How to Drain a MacBook Battery

By Robert Kingsley

Your Apple MacBook's battery has a small chip built in to it that relays information to your computer about its current charge and how long the laptop can run before recharging. You'll need to calibrate this chip by charging, fully draining and then charging your battery again every few months to maintain an accurate readout. This procedure is simple, but draining your MacBook's battery can take some time, especially if the battery is new. If you aren't content to simply deplete the power with hours of normal use, you can hasten the process in several ways.

Step 1

Unplug the power cable from your MacBook and run the computer from the battery. Plugging in the cable will recharge the battery, so avoid doing this until you have fully drained the battery.

Step 2

Click the "Apple" button on your MacBook's desktop and click "System Preferences." Click "Energy Saver." Select "Battery" from the "Settings for" drop-down list. Select "Better Performance" from the "Optimization" drop-down list. This will disable many of the MacBook's battery-saving settings.

Step 3

Plug in USB powered devices such as a keyboard, mouse and flash drive. These devices draw power from your laptop's battery to function and will help drain the battery faster.

Step 4

Click the "AirPort Wireless" icon from the MacBook's menu bar and click "Turn AirPort on." Close the "Available Networks" screen that loads. You don't have to connect to a network to drain your battery faster with this wireless utility.

Step 5

Click the Bluetooth logo from your computer's menu bar and click "Turn Bluetooth on." Again, you do not need to connect a Bluetooth device to drain battery power with this feature.

Step 6

Open up as many applications as you can without freezing the computer. This will tax your system's resources and accelerate battery usage.

Step 7

Insert a DVD into the MacBook's disc drive and play the movie. This will further tax your system resources, force your battery to power the drive and give you something to watch while your battery quickly drains to empty. The computer will shut down when the battery is fully drained.

Tips & Warnings

  • As the battery ages, the maximum charge it can hold will decrease. After a few hundred charge cycles, it will take noticeably less time to deplete the battery charge.
  • Once the calibration procedure is complete, reset your Energy Saver settings to prolong your battery life once again.