iBook Battery Life

A short note for iBook owners: I noticed recently that my battery would power the iBook for less than 2 hours. I phoned Apple’s warranty line, and after some testing over the phone, they agreed something was awry, and sent me a new battery. I plugged it in and charged it up, and now my expected battery life is 5 hours.


greener's picture
greener on January 26, 2003 - 11:20 Permalink

Was your iBook under warranty? (less than a year from purchase time)?

Mirk's picture
Mirk on January 30, 2003 - 20:09 Permalink

I’m having the same trouble with my battery. It lasts only 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then suddenly it goes to sleep without warning (at 75 to 80% battery charge left) when I plug it in to the charge adapter the battery reads 0% charge. I even reinstalled OSX (jag) and the problem still continued. I’ve called my Apple dealer in town where I purchased it from (on June 2002). I’m still waiting for them to call me back.
I have the iBook 700mhz combo model (640mb ram).

Mirk's picture
Mirk on January 30, 2003 - 20:38 Permalink

I found this article on resetting the power managagement on the iBook. Let’s see if this helps. HERE’S THE LINK>

Dan Grover's picture
Dan Grover on May 25, 2003 - 21:39 Permalink

I’m having a similar problem, but the battery only lasts around five minutes! I’ve reset the power management twice and it still does it! Help!

Mary's picture
Mary on September 18, 2003 - 03:56 Permalink

Me too, I’ve had my ibook 14 months — its been in the shop twice, once for the logic board and once for a cable. After that the batter didn’t work. Apple tells me that I have use and recharge the battery frequently. Who forgot to tell me this? Let me guess… its in the manual, you know, the Missing Manual. Maybe this info ought to have come in a manual with the computer or at least from the salesman. I have the extended warranty but it isn’t covered. I think Apple is negligent on this.

Jamie Likely's picture
Jamie Likely on September 18, 2003 - 15:07 Permalink

Same thing happened to me, i have had my Ibook for just over a year and a bit i guess and then i started to notice that my battery life went from 5 hours to 3 hours. Then one day i was working and the cord must of unplugged and within 5 minutes my laptop was done for…. So now i have to use it with the plus in all the time. Some portable eh..

I called Apple but since it is not under warranty the nice people at apple told me that there was nothing that they could do. I even called a couple of times to see if i could get through to some one that could help but nothing.

Very Frustrating.

Rachael's picture
Rachael on November 9, 2003 - 21:18 Permalink

Aargh same here, has my iBook just over a year and a half, and one day suddenly noticed my battery life went right down, lasted about 10 mins! i’m seriously doubting macs! i hate to say t

but just after a year (you know when the warranty runs out)
the cd-drive suddenly stopped working
and trackpad went a month after

and now the battery life…great !

i’m currently searching the net for any other info other than resetting the power management…cos thats not helped!

if anyone has any info please help


Jerry's picture
Jerry on November 12, 2003 - 23:38 Permalink

Your apples are rotten ! Dude your geting a Dell……..

barney's picture
barney on February 6, 2004 - 14:25 Permalink

I’ve got an iBook 800. My battery life seemed a little shorter, then at some point it wouldn’t tell me how much time was left til I ran out of juice, it would just say “calculating” forever.

Tried all the usual things. Reset power manager. Zapped PRAM. Trashed various prefs. Then I tried sticking my friend’s battery in my computer and it worked fine. So it was a hardware thing. The battery itself went bad. Sort of. I mean, it still runs the computer for a couple of hours, I just get no warning when it’s gonna run out.

JD Cody's picture
JD Cody on February 18, 2004 - 15:57 Permalink

<sigh> I had the same problems. After operating on battery power for only five minutes, the machine would sleep, and I am now at the point where I have to use the cord at all times.

Since this started happening—literally—the *day after* my warranty ran out (ack! pttthptht!), I called my local Mac shop to inquire. They told me that—yup—the average life span of an iBook battery is about a year. That seems pretty sketchy to me. My husband has used a Titanium for years and has never had a problem. And he says that at their office they’ve never had to replace a laptop battery.

I tell ya what—even though I’m a serious Apple fan, if I’d known about this aggravating battery issue when shopping around for a laptop, I would have gone another way.



—Chained To My Desk

Ari's picture
Ari on March 14, 2004 - 07:13 Permalink

De ja vous and all that. Though I’ve had my iBook for roughly 2 years now(600MHz combo drive). It must have been in the past month or two that my battery life completely halved to about 45 min w/o the wireless network going, and about 38 with it going.

Now, someone had mentioned earlier that you need to use the iBook all the time, recharge the battery frequently. I actually do all that. At one point I even had over 100 days of uptime!!! Granted I put the thing to sleep all the time, but never the less, 100 days without powering down or rebooting, I have the pic to prove it. Not the point though, sorry. Point is, the battery has really lost it’s zing, and now I’m faced with either thrown down almost $120 for a new battery, or not having a proper laptop, which is to say, only going where there is a power outlet within 6 feet or so. Why?

And, if I do decide to go outlet hopping, how long until the plug for the power adapter breaks on me? Cuz that thing is pretty flakey at the point where the chord meets the plug. Never really felt good about that.

It’s not all bad, I must say that I really dig the UNIX functionality, the reason why I got the thing in the first place!!!

Heather Dawson's picture
Heather Dawson on March 18, 2004 - 20:12 Permalink

You know, my problem isn’t how long the battery lasts (2 hours usually). My problem is that my batteries keep dying, and that Apple is charging me around $250 to replace them, under warranty and with AppleCare. I’ve had my IBook for about 9 months, and gone through 3 batteries. That’s alot of money for something that shouldn’t need replacing….It isn’t until I threaten a lawsuit that Apple will replace the battery for me and declare that it’s a functional problem, not operator error.

Art Vandelay's picture
Art Vandelay on March 19, 2004 - 16:49 Permalink

Batteries wear out. That’s just a fact of life. A lithium-ion battery has a certain number of charge/discharge cycles in it before it goes. That’s not something that happens just to Apple batteries either.

Bill Miner's picture
Bill Miner on March 27, 2004 - 14:55 Permalink

If Apple would smarten up and charge a 1/2 or 1/4 of the price for a new battery as it is today a steep $129.00 it would help relieve some of burden on the consumers. I myself as well as many other people would not mind spending $30 for a new battery every year or so (with Apple still making huge profits on sales)to have a new battery. Guess that will never happen!!!!!

Caroling's picture
Caroling on April 10, 2004 - 16:35 Permalink

My problem is that just in the last few months, my battery has decreased dramatically — now when it’s ‘fully charged’ it can only run for about 20 minutes before i’m forced to plug it back in. I suspected that Apple wasn’t going to cover the battery through Apple Care and from these posts — that sounds like it’s the case. I bought the computer in Feb 2001 — so I suppose I’m due for a new battery — but I wish they just didn’t cost so much!

Matthias Rinderknecht's picture
Matthias Rinder... on April 17, 2004 - 12:26 Permalink

My iBook (500MHz, Dual USB, Combo, 2.5 years old) had the same problem: within 2 weeks battery life dropped down from 1.5hours to 5min, charging would go on for about 10min, then it said “charged”. capacity in xbattery would read 68 mAh only (>4000mAh is normal!).

tried resetting power manager unit, resetting nvram, nothing would help. even tried resetting battery’s internal power manager by shorting the two outermost contacts (not recommended, battery could explode!). didn’t work. so i ordered a replacement battery for 200 swiss francs (about 150$).

after that i decided to open the old battery pack. it is made out of 6 batteries of the panasonic CGR18650A type (3.6V, 2000mAh) connected in a 2 parallel x 3 serial way (giving 10.8V, 4000mAh), plus the internal battery pack electronics.

seemed that a resistor on the battery electronics broke off (don’t now whether this came from the dissembling…), maybe this was the actual cause for the battery pack breakdown?

the batteries reminded me of the one used in my MiniDisc-player (Sharp MD-MS200) so i checked the MD-Players battery and it read 3.6V, 1400mAh. tried to use one unit of the iBooky batteries in the MD-player (they’re somewhat shorter than the sharp batteries, so i had to use some plied aluminum foil to ensure contact) and it worked! operated it for over 5hours, no heating of the battery nothing unusual, even recharged it once overnight, no problem.

didn’t check the other battery units yet, but it seems that rather the battery pack’s internal electronics than the actual battery units were broken. so i have 6 functional Panasonic CGR18650A batteries now…anyone interested?

disclaimer: use this information at your own risk!

Mike K's picture
Mike K on April 20, 2004 - 05:30 Permalink

Familiar scenarios. Bought my iBook 600 in Feb. 2002, about a month ago the battery life dropped from about 2 hours to about 20 minutes. Applecare didn’t even want to talk about it, just said batteries aren’t covered and that’s that. Very interesting that the original poster got Apple to replace theirs.

On the positive side, Applecare has given me no trouble at all about replacing two power adapters where the shoddy connections at the power adapter block shorted or came loose inside the plastic housing.

Terry's picture
Terry on May 16, 2004 - 02:31 Permalink

Mike, do you still have those bateries?

I might take them from you. How much?


Clarisse's picture
Clarisse on June 20, 2004 - 04:18 Permalink

I have the same problem as everyone else…I have a 5 year old ibook, so i’m exhilarated that it still works but I bought a new battery few months ago since i was chained by the power cord. Currently i’m on an extended road trip and was counting on using my laptop to update my website while camping, sitting in the passenger seat of the car ect. but now the battery won’t charge at all. I’m extremely frustrated since i barely have enough money for food, so i have none for a battery.
I’ve tried at least one of the tips on this site and it appears it didn’t work. I’m not confident that the others will work either, since they apparently didnt work for other people either. But hey, thanks for posting…at least i feel like i’m trying…

john's picture
john on June 23, 2004 - 06:26 Permalink

I had my ibook G4 for 6 months and the battery is completely dead….will not take a charge. Also had to have the power inverter replaced. Now can only use with power cord.

I think I’m done with Apple!

Razor's picture
Razor on June 24, 2004 - 18:31 Permalink

My dual USB iBook’s battery died after about a year. At the end I was getting about 5 minutes, although the charge showed 100%. I finally replaced it and have been told that once the battery is fully charged, use it till it’s completely exhausted before recharging. This is supposed to prolong battery life. It’s a problem with all rechargeable batteries, not just those used on the iBook. Friends who use Dells and other Windoze laptops have experienced similar troubles. I’ve found that mobile phone rechargeable batteries die even quicker!

Scott's picture
Scott on June 30, 2004 - 23:04 Permalink

I have a tangarine G3 iBook, and the battery suddenly stopped holding a charge. I tried resetting the power management unit, but that didn’t help.

I also own a Compaq M700 Armada laptop for several years now, and I’ve never experienced battery problems.

I’m a fan of Apple and Mac OS X, but expecting users to shell out $129 to replace an iBook battery (every year?) is deplorable.

WP's picture
WP on July 16, 2004 - 14:40 Permalink

Fyi. I’ve got the same problem with a PB notebook, using 8 cgr18650a batteries, looking around for a new one cost me about $200 and thats every year… now I’ve opened the pack up and took everything out, the charger probably can’t be used with other batteries so no point in trying to re-use it, for now I’m looking for any type of combination that gives me 14.8 volts output and fits inside the pack, then find a charger and make an external connector on the pack for it. at least thats the idea, are there any electronic wizzies out there that might be able to tell if the original charger can be re-used ? I am thinking about getting a battery mix with other lithium-ion brands, you can easely get 1800mamps (digital camera) at 1.2 volts, 12 units should be enough and that would fit though halve the output power. But your averidge lithium-ion battery has a spec of 1000 charges, that would be a lifetime of 3 years with dayly use, thats better then $200 for 1 year. Not even thinking about the simple fact that new packs won’t be around for ever to be replaced. Maybe a good marketing idea for someone out there, to convert notebook/laptop packs for use with your normal lithium-ion 1.2volt batteries.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 24, 2004 - 03:51 Permalink

Update in 2004: after using the replacement battery for about a year and a half, the same thing started to happen again. Short battery life, going to sleep without warning, never showing “time remaining” on the toolbar, etc. I got ANOTHER replacement battery from Apple, under AppleCare, and this appears to have solved the problem.

Ty Rayner's picture
Ty Rayner on August 5, 2004 - 02:16 Permalink

Try a little shareware I wrote, called iBatt:

It will tell you your battery’s capacity level, i.e. how worn it is. It also compares your battery’s health against other battery data collected from iBooks/PowerBooks like yours.

Hans's picture
Hans on August 8, 2004 - 11:03 Permalink

I have had my 1999 tangerine ibook since it came out. Two years ago
the first battery began to wear out. Soooo — I swapped it with the other one, the one I was saving for just this event. No juice …
There was a thing or two I did not know about Li-ion batteries, and
my ignorance — Oh, the cost! :0

mike's picture
mike on August 12, 2004 - 08:52 Permalink

SHENZHEN Chanbo Battery Co., Ltd is a leading battery manufacturer in China. We mainly produce Polymer Li-ion, Li-ion, Ni-MH & Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries, Li-MnO2, Li-SOCl2, Alkaline batteries, battery packs and chargers. We can also produce according to customers’ requirement. > > We have 2 modern production bases in Guangzhou and Zhuhai, they cover an area of 380,000 square meters,over 4200 qualified employees are working there, the daily output is more than 700,000pcs.The quality control is implementing ISO9001: 2000 standard to guarantee the quality and stabilty of products. > > > A strong R&D team enriches Great Power leading role in battery technologies,We have 5 synthetical laboratories, a joint Post Doctoral Scientific Research Working Station with Tianjin University and a joint Rechargeable Battery Research Center with Guangzhou Government. Our strong R&D team is the most powerful backing of our development. > > We take humanistic management as our concept, regard the people as the most important factor in our development, pay attention to safety and environmental protection, take the responsibility of the society. We, Great Power people, with great passion and faithfulness,are willing to provide our customers perfect service, and striding forward with you to create a bright future > telephone number :+8675581862567

Mike Akins's picture
Mike Akins on August 29, 2004 - 00:59 Permalink

As the technology director for a school district ( I was a teacher classroom Teacher for 10 years and have seen how much abuse an iBook can really take). We have literally hundreds of iBook and Gateway laptops and battery life has been a concern of mine. We are currently replacing a couple of hundred Gateway laptop batteries and have yet to replace the iBook batteries but it will only be a matter of time.

When I first got my iBook 600/firewire (August 2002)I bought two batteries. I went through the conditioning suggested by apple and have not had a problem with them for two years. I fully expected them to go down after 300-400 charges and I was not disappointed. I have now begun to experience the shortened life. I am just now trying all of the suggestions mention in Posts and links on the list.

The post by EriK Madsen had seveal links to great Knowledge base articles. The one on storage of batteies could explain why Han’s second battery was dead. I have been interchanging my batteries for the past two years and routinely discharge my iBook daily with use.

On costs- don’t change to PC for savings, the cost for new batteries on PCs is very comparable if not even more expensive depending on the model. The warranties all seem to be for that magic 1 year mark.

I also experienced the forever charging in my battery life icon. I switched to % and at least I could get a reading.

I am trying iBatt and will get back to you on what I find out.

Again I can only encourage you to Love your Macs and search the web for online pricing which can save you $10 to $20 dollars, because I live the Windows world as well and Macs really do make computing fun…

Brooke's picture
Brooke on August 30, 2004 - 21:18 Permalink

Wow…I can’t believe that so many of us are having the same problem with these iBook batteries! I bought my iBook about 15 months ago and it all of the sudden it quit charging. I took it into the store and they tested my iBook with a “known good battery” and it still did not charge. It was sent off for repair but was concluded that a new battery AT MY COST would sove my problem. Questioning this because it was already tested in the store with a good battery, I was told that this was all they could do. I am very upset about this and see a lack of concern from Apple. I will re-think about purchasing another Apple product!

Urs's picture
Urs on September 2, 2004 - 01:39 Permalink

Well, after my ibook’s battery lifetime went down to 10 minutes, and the blinking led on the back indicated that my battery is to be replaced, I’ve opened the battery pack and inserted new cells, exactly the same model as the originals.
Imagine what happened? nothing. the led was still blinking, pretending that the battery is still bad. so I guess apple’s power manager in the battery deliberatly pretends a bad battery state to make customers buy new expensive battery packs, although the cells might be still quite ok.

Charlie's picture
Charlie on December 10, 2004 - 13:08 Permalink

Same problem, I have an ibook 2 USB 500MHZ and battery now last 5 to 10 minutes. I tried PMU, also “reset-all” and the …nav command. I also tried replacemtn battery that was charged and good 100%

Put the new battery in and just moments later the “new” battery is down to one led and flashing, just like the older battery.

I like many of you are at a loss? any other ideas for a fix
Really a bummer to be slaved to a plug-in with a laptop.

Larson's picture
Larson on January 21, 2005 - 17:17 Permalink

Use the program “Battorox” to get info about the capacity of your battery!
This tool is very simple and realy nice. I use it myself.

Jasson's picture
Jasson on February 22, 2005 - 20:49 Permalink

The Tool “Battorox” is realy nice! Simple and excellent!

Visit the Site of the Developer “Omid Pajuhideh” and get the Tool at:

I think the latest version is 1.8.

John Gur's picture
John Gur on April 22, 2005 - 22:03 Permalink

lol wow, i just recently bought an ibook as well, g4 about 4 months ago??? for school, today, im sitting around being lazy, my battery state is at 100% so i say hey ill go sit outside, and pull the power off… and i hear that sound beewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww and i see a black screen… wtf is that??? honestly, lol i tryed reseting the thingy i dont know what its called, but im pissed off and want my ibook to work! APPLE SUCKS, too expensive, not reliable, and dies the day after your warrenty, i also had a 15 gig ipod, what dided a year after use, harddrive and batter togeather, i give up on apple…

Dave's picture
Dave on May 20, 2005 - 20:21 Permalink

To all those ranting against Apple, I’m wondering if you know of any laptop manufacturers who WILL replace laptop bateries when they die, since all laptops use basically the same technology in thier batteries?

I bought my first iBook in 2002 and the battery suddenly went to about 5 minutes of life after 5 months or so. I took it into the Apple store and they said, that sounds wrong, and gave me a new battery right there. That iBook broke about a month after the warranty ran out (my fault, fell off a table) and I have had my new iBook for almost a year and a half. Because of my work I run the battery into the ground and then fully recharge it several times a week. Just recently I started noticing a performance drop in the battery. This time I was smart and bought the 3-year Applecare, so when the battery finally becomes unusable we’ll see how generous Apple is about replacing it. But I won’t hold my breath — it seems that when the battery dies so quickly as to seem defective, as in my first experience, they will replace it, but when it is just dead from usual wear and tear they will not.

In general I’m happy with Apple — the computers are infinitly better than PC equivilants, and when they do have problems, as any laptop will, I have found Apple to be equal or better to other manufacturers in terms of service, based on experiences of Windoze-using friends. But the battery replacement price is outrageous — could these things really be any more expensive to produce than a car battery? Oh well, in 8 years we’ll all be using hydrogen fuel cells that last 50 hours.

Dave Wells's picture
Dave Wells on June 22, 2005 - 03:33 Permalink

It is nott he apple computer at fault with the battery issue… rather it is the battery they are using. The actually batteries inside the apple battery pack is a panasonic battery, part number, CGR18650A, I have a P.C. (sorry) made by a random company called Excel, it has the same panasonic batteries running it and they too have crapped out after a short time, am currently trying to source some more to put new ones into my batery pack… will see if it works!

Alex's picture
Alex on July 13, 2005 - 06:43 Permalink

i jsut bougth a used ibook, and the battery wont charge. its indicating no charge becuase o get the single blinking light when i check the battery lebel on the battery itself, but when i plug it in, the cord glows green indicating a full charge rather than orange for currently charging. and ideas?

Sam's picture
Sam on August 9, 2005 - 18:34 Permalink

Everyone: Let’s face facts. Batteries have a finite lifetime. That’s true of car batteries, camcorder batteries, laptop batteries, and other batteries you can think of. Most of the posts listed here seem to fall into the category of normal wear-and-tear of batteries over time. When a laptop battery is about 18 months old under normal use, you can probably expect to see it dying sometime soon. Of course, the actual lifetime depends on your usage pattern. So don’t complain about Apple because of this. Other laptop makers use the same sort of Li-ion battery technology, and their batteries can be expected to exhibit the same behavior. Also, don’t complain about the battery replacement price. I just checked out a site for the prices of Dell laptop batteries, and they typically averaged about $140 so Apple’s battery prices are consistent with those of other computer makers. Just think of buying new batteries occasionally as part of the price you accept for owning a laptop.

Ulf's picture
Ulf on August 13, 2005 - 05:23 Permalink

Thanks for your comments people. I was gonna buy an Apple laptop but I now know better. Dell — here I come!

Sam's picture
Sam on August 16, 2005 - 19:50 Permalink

Here’s an Apple web page with some information about laptop batteries and tips about how to get the most use out of them:


Will's picture
Will on August 30, 2005 - 05:07 Permalink

stuff apple I will never go near their stores ever again. THEY ARE THE WORST!!

See you later macs forever.

nick clement's picture
nick clement on October 16, 2005 - 23:28 Permalink

Hi guys, I’m having the same problem on a Dual USB 500mhz G3 iBook.. it seems though if you turn the screen brightness down considerably the battery indicator (set on time left) behaves a tad erratically. It goes down then back up. I had 2 hrs of charge left, rapidly declining 6 mins in the indcator every 1-2 min. But when the brightness is turned right down it slows. Strange, am looking into the logic board/PMS issue.

Neil's picture
Neil on November 27, 2005 - 20:07 Permalink

It’s not just IBooks that have this problem with their batteries — I’ve got an Advent PC laptop, sold through PC World, but it’s basically a rebadged Gericom machine. I followed all the instructions as to best charging practice and all, and sure enough I now have the same problems as everyone here with quick discharge time. I took the battery apart, had a look inside and I’ve got 9 CGR18650A cells and a nifty little charging circuit with assosicated EPROM for charging / discharging cycle control etc. I didn’t know if I’d be able to find anything wrong with the battery, so I decided to try a fast discharge of the cells through a high current drain device — like a 50w 12 volt bulb. The result was that the bulb lit and burned brightly for some time, and interestingly one of the cells got a bit warm, but the others were fine. I’m guessing this cell is the cause of my problems so I’m now trying to get another one (but finding a place in the UK to buy 1 cell like this is hard!) Having discharged the battery through this high current drain device, I’m going to put it back into the laptop and see if it behaves any better. I’ll let you all know. And if anyone knows where I can get one of these cells in the UK — Please say! :) Cheers!

Mandrake's picture
Mandrake on August 28, 2007 - 20:02 Permalink

Brief post. Got a Toshiba Portege (Many of the same components as an iBook) and yup… Batts charge up to 100%, then slowly reduce to 80% over about 20 mins, then suddenly drop to 3% and it shuts down. Then charging takes the usual hour or so. This is NOT normal. I have a five year old Acer with li-ion batts that still does 2+ hours on a charge. Either the batts are badly made and sufferring chemical breakdown or the circuits are poorly designed. Peeps need to complain. BIG time. Li-ion doesn’t just DIE. It’s capacity reduces slowly over time. I’d be interested to hear from ANY other peeps with similar probs. In the meantime I’m going to try and do some serious research on this. We are being conned….

Michele's picture
Michele on September 26, 2007 - 22:10 Permalink

I agree with mandrake. I know that batteries lose charge over time, but to suddenly go from 3+ hours to 10 minutes or less is ridiculous. My battery stopped working after 2 years, but when I check the data, there are only 168 cycles (apple says it should work for over 300). Yargh!

zillionliu's picture
zillionliu on April 15, 2009 - 08:31 Permalink

less then 2 hours? my laptop battery has been this since bought, so i have ready to buy a replacement one from a on-line store:http://www.usa-batteries.com/l…
can i phone the ibm to have a new battery replace?

Mark's picture
Mark on February 10, 2010 - 08:46 Permalink

I have already replaced the battery of my Powerbook once and the new battery now only last a few minutes. I sent the battery to Apple but they have refused to do anything about it. They do not seem to be interested in this problem and consider that it is normal to have to replace the battery frequently.

john fillips's picture
john fillips on September 2, 2010 - 20:37 Permalink

i just bought my ibook from a place in my hometown, it is noticeably used and when i got home and charged it, the battery would only last 3 to 5 minutes, seeking answers i went back to the place i bought it, i told the manager and he gave me a fresh battery now the battery lasts up to 3 and a half hours after i charge it for an hour, i recommend buying a seperate battery if your looking into buying any model of the apple ibook.