A failing, sick or dead laptop battery turns your slick portable MacBook into a pseudo desktop. Not cool, right? After all, if you really wanted to be tethered to an AC outlet all day you would have purchased an iMac, Mac Pro or Mac Mini.
Since Yosemite, Apple has added built-in battery condition tester for OS X that will let you know if your battery is up to snuff.
How to check your battery condition in OS X
Peeking under the hood of your MacBook is an easy two-step process:
Step one: Hit and hold the option key
You’ll find the Option key located on the bottom row of keys on your keyboard, as shown in the image above. Keep holding down the key while you proceed to the next step.
Step two: Click the battery icon
The battery icon is located at the top of your screen near the system date and time (see image above).
Deciphering the results
If you’ve performed the two steps above properly, a little dropdown window will open. Pay special attention to the line that reads “Condition.” Your current battery status is listed here. You may see any of the following results:
Normal: Your battery is functioning exactly as it should.
Replace soon: Your battery is working but holds less charge than it used to.
Replace now: Your battery is still functioning normally but holding little charge.
Service battery: Your battery is not functioning properly.
If you receive the “service battery” battery alert unexpectedly, such as within the first year of purchasing your MacBook, get it to an Apple Store for repair or replacement. Under warranty, this will be free. If you have an aging MacBook and receive the “service battery” warning, it’s likely because your battery has completely fizzled out and needs to be replaced.