Here's how to check the number of battery cycles you've gone through on Windows 10 and Mac laptops.
As you probably know, batteries are consumables. While the battery in your laptop will hopefully last for several years, its performance will degrade over time as you use it. This means that the battery will not last as long even if it is 100 percent charged.
To quantify how much you've used your device's battery, you can check its battery cycles. We'll show you how to do a battery cycle count on your Windows laptop or MacBook.
What is a battery cycle?
A battery cycle simply refers to a complete discharge of the battery charge from 100 to zero percent. This does not have to be done all at once. For example, if your laptop's battery is drained from 100 percent to 50 percent, recharge it to 100 percent and then drop it back to 50 percent. This counts as a cycle.
The lower the battery life of your laptop, the "healthier" the battery is. A healthy battery holds almost the factory-set maximum charge compared to a heavily used battery.
Fortunately, both Windows and macOS offer an easy way to check the number of battery cycles. Whether you're curious about how much you've worked on your battery over the years, or if you want to check out a used machine before buying it, here's how to check the number of cycles.
How to check battery cycles on Windows 10
On a Windows laptop, you can check battery cycles with a quick command prompt command. To open this, right-click the Start button (or press Win + X.) and choose command prompt or Windows PowerShell from the displayed menu.
When the command prompt appears, enter this command:
PowerCFG / Battery Report
Next, go to your home folder and look for Battery report.html At this place:
C.: user.(USERNAME).battery report.html
Double click on this file and it should open in your default browser. Look at that Installed batteries Section to see that Design capacity and the Full loading capacity.
Design capacity is the original loading maximum while Full loading capacity is how much charge your laptop can hold now. The Number of passes Shows how often the battery has been charged. If these two numbers are pretty close, you have a healthy battery.
Below is some information about the last battery drain that can be helpful when troubleshooting. For more information, see the Windows apps to analyze battery life.
How to check battery cycles on a MacBook
To check the number of battery cycles on your MacBook, click the Apple menu in the top left and select About this Mac. In the window that appears, click System report Click the button to view more information in a new window.
Under the hardware Click the heading on the left power Section. Then under Health information, you will see one Number of passes Entry with the number of previous cycles.
macOS also shows a condition Here. If your battery is still strong, you will see normal Here. Service recommended is displayed when your battery is in the replacement area.
If you need more information about your Mac's battery, we recommend installing an app to manage your Mac's battery life. These will show you the current and original maximum charge and, in some cases, will help you maintain the condition of your battery over time.
Note that macOS Catalina 10.15.5 includes a new battery health management feature that can automatically lower the maximum capacity of your battery at certain times to keep the battery healthy longer.
Refer to Apple's number of battery cycles page for information on how long your battery should last. Most modern MacBooks are rated for 1,000 cycles.
Maintain the health of your battery
Now you know how to check if your laptop battery is low or not. Don't fret too much about battery cycles. Using your battery pack is a natural part of a laptop. In many cases, you can swap out the battery for an adequate charge. It also works after a certain number of cycles.
In the meantime, basic measures like lowering the brightness can help reduce the power consumption of your laptop and slow down the time it takes to go through battery cycles.
Photo credit: Horoscope / Shutterstock
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About the author
(1551 articles published)
Ben is the Assistant Editor and Onboarding Manager at MakeUseOf. He left his IT job to write full-time in 2016 and has never looked back. For over six years he has been a professional writer reporting on technical tutorials, video game recommendations and more.
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