(Pocket-lint) - In Mac OS Catalina (v10.15.5), Apple introduced a great feature: battery health management. The idea being simple: to preserve your battery's longevity over extended months and years of use.

However, with battery health management activated - which it is on by default - your Mac battery might not charge to full power, in order to avoid accelerated chemical decomposition.

While that makes sense in a long-run scenario, it might not if you have a long journey and want to push your battery to a full charge. So how do you switch off battery management and get that charge to 100%?

How to switch off battery health management

  • Click the Apple symbol () at the top left of screen
  • Select System Preferences
  • Click Energy Saver > Battery Health
  • Deselect the Battery health management checkbox
  • Select 'Turn Off' from the pop-up window

We wouldn't recommend leaving this switched off at all times, however, in order to ensure your MacBook's battery lifespan will last longer. After all, that's the whole point of this feature: to monitor battery temperature, history and charging patterns to create a tailored protective plan for your Mac.

How to check battery health (cycles) & need for service

Apple also warns that the feature may cause your battery status menu to show the need for service - even if this isn't necessarily the case. Here's how you can check on battery health information.

  • While holding Option/Alt, click the Apple symbol (), at the top left of screen
  • Select System Information (this won't show without pressing Option)
  • The System Information app will open > Under Hardware select Power
  • Under Battery Information look for Health Information
  • For a modern MacBook Pro / Air this count should be sub-1000 cycles (other models/ages differ)

How to reset system management controller (SMC)

If you believe that your battery is incorrectly showing need for service, here's how to reset it by resetting the system management controller. If not, you may need a battery service/replacement at your local Apple store.

  • Shut down your MacBook, ensuring it's plugged into a power socket
  • Press Shift, CTRL, Option/Alt and power simultaneously, releasing at the same time
  • Press the power button to restart your MacBook and the service message should have gone
Writing by Mike Lowe.