We all have different charging habits with our devices. Some of us use our Macbook whilst commuting, whilst many of us use it as a replacement desktop, rarely taking it out of the office.
If you’re one of these people, then you might find that your Macbook has a notification for you saying “Charging on Hold” when it’s connected to a power source.
As our Macbook’s get smarter, they can recognize our charging patterns and only use electricity when necessary.
MacBook Charging On Hold – What does it mean?
The answer is that this is a complete normal feature in more modern Macbooks – older versions of MacOS did not have this feature. If you have a Macbook released after 2019 then you may notice with message in your Apple menu.
So if you’re wondering why you’re only just getting this notification, it’s because this feature was introduced in macOS 10.15.5 Catalina. This feature aims to improve the long-term battery health of your MacBook.
When your MacBook says “Charging On Hold”, it’s typically in relation to battery health management, and it is part of Apple’s strategy to prolong the lifespan of your MacBook’s battery. Charging on hold rarely means there’s an actual issue with your device.
It does this by using something called adaptive charging. The system monitors your usage patterns and the battery’s temperature to optimize the charging process.
This was introduced to prevent overcharging. To prevent the battery from staying at 100% charge for extended periods, the system may temporarily hold the charge below 100%, especially when it predicts that the MacBook will be connected to the charger for an extended duration.
Why “Charging On Hold” Appears:
You’ll only find this notification appearing if your Macbook is rarely used on battery, as the operating system knows how often you use your device without being connected to a power source.
- Prolonging Battery Lifespan: Lithium-ion batteries, like those in MacBooks, have a limited number of charge cycles and tend to degrade over time. Keeping a battery at 100% charge for prolonged periods can accelerate this degradation.
- Temperature Considerations: Batteries are sensitive to temperature. The system might pause charging to prevent stress on the battery in warmer conditions.
- Usage Patterns: The feature considers how you use your MacBook. For example, if you typically charge it overnight, Battery Health Management might delay charging past 80% until closer to when you usually start using your MacBook again.
What You Should Do:
If you see this message by your battery icon, there’s actually nothing urgent that you need to do. However, you probably will want to consider the following;
- Understand the Feature: Recognize that this feature is designed to extend the battery’s useful life. Battery longevity is important if you want to make the most of your Macbook Pro or Macbook Air.
- Keep macOS Updated: Ensure you’re running the latest version of macOS to benefit from ongoing improvements to Battery Health Management and other system features.
- Check Battery Health: You can check the condition of your battery in System Preferences under “Energy Saver” or “Battery,” depending on your macOS version.
How to Disable Battery Health Management (Not Recommended):
As mentioned, the optimized battery charging option is designed to be for your benefit, but you can disable it if you need to. If you prefer to disable Battery Health Management:
- Go to “System Preferences.”
- Click on “Energy Saver” (for notebooks with macOS Catalina 10.15.5 through macOS Big Sur) or “Battery” (for notebooks with macOS Monterey and later).
- Click on “Battery Health…” at the bottom right.
- Uncheck “Battery health management.”
- Click “OK.”
This option will only appear if you have a Macbook with an Intel processor. If you have a device with a MX processor, this won’t be available.
Note: Disabling Battery Health Management means your MacBook will charge up to 100% regardless of usage patterns, which could potentially shorten the battery’s lifespan in the long run.
Apple introduced this feature with the intent of balancing the need for immediate battery capacity with the long-term health of the battery, ensuring that your MacBook’s battery remains functional for as long as possible.
To sum up: there’s no point continually charging your Macbook up to full charge status if you rarely use it without having it connected to a power supply – this can end up having a negative effect on the battery, reduce its battery life, and is essentially a waste of electricity.
So, instead you’ll get the Mac charging on hold message, meaning it’ll maintain its charge but stop cycling your battery up to full charge. Pretty clever. This form of optimized battery charging is becoming more and more common as a way to preserve a lithium ion battery, and we’ll likely see more of it with Apple’s devices in the future too.