3 Ways to Fix the Service Battery Warning on Mac

Are you in the quest of solving the mysterious “Service Battery Warning” on your precious Mac? There are different reasons why you see this on the battery status menu icon once you hover and click it; if you check the official Apple support community page, the concerns and complaints are likely related to software updates (some Yosemite and Mavericks users claimed so), a bug, poor battery management and maintenance, strange battery performance, or simply the need to replace the battery itself.

Note: this battery problem could have arisen from several factors, and is a case-to-case basis. If the warning isn’t solved after executing the first two DIY solutions, better go to the Apple center for advanced diagnostic solutions as the ultimate option.

Before we move forward, let’s have a rundown of the three battery conditions to detect if you need a service. On the battery status menu, you’ll see one of the following:

  • “Normal” – this means your battery functions well and normally.
  • “Replace Soon” – the battery is still working but has the potential to lose its ability to charge.
  • “Replace Now” or “Service Battery” – needs to be serviced.

Service Battery warning message on Mac.

Here are the three ways to fix it:

You can try resetting the SMC if your MacBook comes with a non-removable battery (e.g. Mac computers 2009 and up)

Reset the System Management Controller on Mac.

1. To reset the SMC, shut down the computer.

2. Plug in the power adapter or MagSafe to your computer and power outlet.

3. On the keyboard, press “Shift + Ctrl + Option” keys and the power button simultaneously.

4. Release the three keys plus the power button at the same time.

5. Afterward, press the power button to turn on the computer. Check the battery status menu to see if the “Service Battery” warning disappeared.

Normally, resetting the SMC should do the trick. However, if nothing happens, you may want to try the next one.

This method will take you hours. However, if you really want to get rid of the warning, follow the steps below. Apple also suggests users do this as a way to take care of the battery performance every few months. However, the intervals are dependent on how often we use the computer.

Recalibrate the battery on Mac.

1. Charge your battery up to 100% and make sure that the MagSafe light ring charging jack shows the green light, which indicates full-charge.

2. Once it is fully charged, continue using the computer while the MagSafe is still plugged into the power source; do this for two hours. Afterward, unplug the cord and use it until it runs out of battery power, and you’ll see the low battery warning on the battery status menu. The Mac will sleep automatically without any warning. Once it sleeps, simply turn it off.

3. Wait for five hours or more and then connect the Mac to the power adapter or MagSafe and charge it. This will calibrate your battery.

Note: in the author’s case, the battery status goes back to “Good” (for the mean time) and the Service Battery warning disappeared (screenshot on 717 loadcycles).

Service Battery warning disappeared on Mac.

Lastly, if still nothing happens, here’s the ultimate option:

If the Service Battery warning isn’t solved, perhaps your battery needs to be replaced. Apple says that MacBook batteries have a maximum of 1000 load cycle counts. You can check the cycle counts of your battery by downloading the CoconutBattery app, which is free!

CoconutBattery Mac app - Check battery cycle counts.

Author’s case: The Service Battery warning just came out five months after an authorized Apple Service Provider fixed my battery issue – I had the habit of charging my devices via USB and plugging them into the MacBook, which had caused an irregular flow of the power, draining the battery faster. When I recalibrated my computer, the warning disappeared. However, after a few weeks, it showed again, and as of this writing my computer has the warning. Perhaps recalibrating the battery again will help.

Let us know if you experience the Service Battery warning, and feel free to chime in with your thoughts and suggestions.