Here’s how to control the new Battery Health Management feature in macOS Catalina

Apple has implemented a new Battery Health Management feature on macOS Catalina 10.15.5, which aims to “improve the lifespan of your Mac notebook’s battery.” While this may be a helpful feature for most users, some people may want to disable it since it comes enabled by default. But before we get started, here’s how the new macOS battery management works.

Just like the iPhone and iPad, every MacBook model is powered by a lithium-ion battery. As batteries get older, they become less effective and their lifespan becomes shorter — and this can be aggravated by conditions such as temperature and the charging cycle.

With iOS 13, Apple has added a new Optimized Battery Charging option to extend the lifetime of the iPhone battery, and now a similar feature comes to the Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15.5. According to Apple, the new feature reduces the rate at which the battery chemically ages by monitoring the battery’s temperature history and its charging patterns.

Based on the measurements that it collects, battery health management may reduce your battery’s maximum charge when in this mode. This happens as needed to ensure that your battery charges to a level that’s optimized for your usage — reducing wear on the battery, and slowing its chemical aging.

So basically, if you’re someone who constantly uses your MacBook plugged in, macOS will learn your usage habits to prevent the battery from being recharged up to 100% every time. As a result, the battery’s health will be preserved for a longer time.

So you might wonder what the downside is of enabling this feature if it preserves the battery. Since that option prevents the battery from being fully recharged to prevent overcharge, you may run out of battery more quickly when you need to use your Mac unplugged.

How to disable battery health management

If you rely on having your MacBook always charged to use it with only the internal battery most of the time, you may want to disable the Battery Health Management feature. Here’s how you can turn off that option:

  1. Open the System Preferences by accessing the app from the Dock or the Apple menu
  2. Click on Energy Saver
  3. Choose the Battery Health option
  4. Deselect Battery health management, then click OK

Battery Health Management comes enabled by default with macOS Catalina 10.15.5, either on a new MacBook or for users who have updated to the latest version of macOS. Users can disable and enable this feature at any time, just like on iOS.

It’s worth noting that macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is currently only available as a beta version for developers. Even so, Battery Health Management is only available for MacBooks with Thunderbolt 3 ports, which means only the 2016 MacBook Pro and 2018 MacBook Air and later have that option.

As far as we can tell, the new Battery Health Management doesn’t affect or reduce Mac performance. You can read more about it on Apple’s website.

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Avatar for Filipe Espósito Filipe Espósito

Filipe Espósito is a Brazilian tech Journalist who started covering Apple news on iHelp BR with some exclusive scoops — including the reveal of the new Apple Watch Series 5 models in titanium and ceramic. He joined 9to5Mac to share even more tech news around the world.