Fix MacBook Pro Service Battery warning

Use coconutBattery to see the status of your battery. These steps are both for the old Macbooks and the new (unibody) Macbooks. Not sure about Air but it should work as long as you can open it.

Now do all these steps (I had to do all to make this warning go away).

1. Charge battery to 100% (charger green light).
1a. (probably not necessary) Discharge battery using Caffeine app, until the Macbook turns off, wait a few hours, then charge it back to 100%.
2. Shut down completely. Remove charger.
3. Open the bottom of the MacBook using a screwdriver. (You can leave it open until step 16)
4. Disconnect the battery.
5. Use a cotton swab with 70%+ alcohol and clean the contacts of the battery connector.
6. Hold the power button for 30 seconds, then press it a few times more.
7. Connect the charger (not battery) and wait a few seconds.
8. Reset SMC – press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time, hold for about 1 second, then release them all at the same time.
9. Reset NVRAM. (Steps 9a and 9b)
9a. Turn the Macbook on, then immediately press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
9b. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time. Then release the keys.
10. Let OSX boot or turn the Macbook on if it’s not on.
10. Login.
11. Now connect the battery while the Macbook is still on – this step was probably most important for me.
12. The battery indicator in OSX should show that the battery is now connected and at 99% (or 100%), and there should be no service battery anymore.
13. Wait a few minutes.
14. Shut down the Macbook completely.
15. Disconnect the charger.
16. Close back the Macbook case and screw it back on.
17. Turn on the Macbook and log in. The service battery warning should be gone.
18. Use Caffeine to drain the battery, do not turn off the Macbook until it shuts down itself.
19. Charge to 100%.

Enjoy.

5 thoughts on “Fix MacBook Pro Service Battery warning

  1. Is there an equivalent procedure for a MacBook Air? Steps 3-5 seems NA in my case (2012 MacBook Air, intel i7 13″).

    The service battery message came up about a week ago (14 month old machine, just outside warranty) and Coconut Battery tells me it’s at about 75% capacity. Which seems low for the age of the machine.

    I’m pretty good at keeping it at the right temperature, about maintaining the battery etc. so it’s really disappointing that it’s started losing charge so early in the machine’s life.

    If there is any way I can service the battery at home I’d love to know what it is.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Well the MBA still has screws on the bottom. Why are steps 3-5 not possible? Also see below, this fix might be just temporary anyway, unfortunately :-(

  2. Hi,
    Few days ago I had the service battery warning on my macbook (cycle count still 60), followed your step by step instruction and successfully cure it, thanks.
    But this morning the Service Battery warning reappear.. sure I’ll do the same with your instruction above…but I’m affraid it’ll always reappear.
    Any solution please?

    • Hey. Unfortunately, it did reappear for me as well. So it seems it solves it only temporarily, I guess something about our batteries tells the Macbook that it needs service, regardless of what we do.

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