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MacBook Pro loses battery charge with cover closed

by mlevin77 / November 12, 2010 6:52 PM PST

I just bought a new MacBook Pro with a solid state (flash memory) disk. The battery life is good while I'm using it, but if I leave it with the cover off for a few days (asleep, I assume), it'll be mostly discharged when I open it up. I assume this isn't normal - it shouldn't be losing that much charge when closed and hibernating. I don't have "wake for ethernet access" checked, if that makes a difference. What's going on - why won't it hibernate?

Mike

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Under warranty,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 12, 2010 9:39 PM PST

call Apple and tell them about this.

P

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When you close the lid
by Jimmy Greystone / November 13, 2010 12:00 AM PST

When you close the lid on an Apple laptop it first goes into a suspend to RAM state Apple calls "Sleep mode". You can tell it's in this mode because you'll have a slowly pulsing white light visible on the front face of the system.

In this state, the system is effectively turned off, except for the RAM which is kept active, and some circuitry needed to power the system back up.

Now, if your battery gets to critical levels during this time, it will go into what Apple calls "Safe sleep" IIRC, and everyone else calls Hibernate. It will dump the contents of RAM to disk, and shut the system off completely.

For better or worse, there is no way to dictate that the system should go into safe sleep when you close the lid, not merely sleep. So if you know you're not going to be using the system for a couple of days, just shut it off. Having to wait 30-90 seconds for the system to boot back up about once a week is not that big of a hardship. Start the thing booting, go get some coffee or something, and by the time you get back, it'll probably be ready.

And when you think about it... When the system is running you get maybe 4-8 hours worth of battery life. In sleep mode you're getting over a 48 hours. Sounds like pretty good battery life to me. Nothing at all seems wrong here, except your expectations.

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Mac in sleep-mode
by sobergirl05 / November 28, 2010 10:46 PM PST
In reply to: When you close the lid

I think your advice is right on, Jimmy. I have left mine on with the cover shut for brief periods and it does lose some charge, less than when open. If I am not going to use it over the next couple of hours, off it goes!

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mine too
by sobergirl05 / November 19, 2010 10:53 PM PST

Hello- My Mac does the same, which i assumed was fine as battery life is usually lost in sleep mode, just way slower. I never tripped on it. However, I usually shut my notebook off if not planning to use for a few hours or more.- Linnea

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same here
by iancoruther / November 27, 2010 12:49 PM PST
In reply to: mine too

Whenever I don't use my mac I always make sure that I turn it off for overusing it and not turning it off may affect its motherboard or other parts, just letting your laptop sleep won't do good you have to turn it off whenever your not using it

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How so
by Jimmy Greystone / November 27, 2010 11:24 PM PST
In reply to: same here

How so? You say turning it off and on may affect the logic board, so as an ACMT who fixes Apple laptops and desktops professionally, I'd be quite interested in hearing how this is so, given I've never come across it until now.

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hi
by iancoruther / December 4, 2010 10:06 AM PST
In reply to: How so

Like us these machines needs to take a rest overusing them may destroy their system, my friend gave me this piece of advice while I'm still using a PC well I think its just the same for all of the gadgets. Some MP or any laptop users are just letting their laptop in sleep mode when not using them instead of shutting them down. This practice may ruin your precious laptop's system.

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Not really
by Jimmy Greystone / December 4, 2010 10:39 AM PST
In reply to: hi

Not really. You can make an argument for using electricity needlessly, but it doesn't really harm the system. Especially these days, when laptops always go into a low power mode when the lid is closed by default.

Sleep mode may wear out the battery a little faster, but other than wasting a little electricity needlessly, there's no real harm to the system. Sorry to say, but your friend is full of it on this one. Maybe 20 or so years ago he'd have had a point, but certainly not today.

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Thanks
by iancoruther / December 4, 2010 6:56 PM PST
In reply to: Not really

Now I can lecture my friend about it, thanks for imparting your knowledge with me :}

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soooo
by jonnyreeves / December 10, 2012 11:09 AM PST
In reply to: Not really

I have a one year old MBP and I find that it uses about 15% battery just being closed and asleep in day. I've never noticed this before. Any thoughts on this? EX. I charged fully last night and unplugged before going to bed with it closed and asleep. Checked it this morning, about 7 hours later and its at 85%. I don't see any reason for it to be using that much battery.

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(NT) Why would you unplug it when you went to bed?
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 10, 2012 8:48 PM PST
In reply to: soooo
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I'd leave it plugged in. (more follows)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 12, 2012 1:39 AM PST
In reply to: soooo

There is some misinformation out there on the net about leaving it plugged in wears out the battery or even more outdated information about overcharging the battery.

Those issues were quite true in early laptops and the NiCad battery days. Be sure you are not reading old issues or getting advice from non-engineers.

At the office we've had laptops plugged in, on desks for years. A few were 4+ years old and when they came off the desk the battery surprised us with more than 50% capacity. Since these batteries were only 300 cycle units we were happy.
Bob

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