Apple Updates MacBook SMCs to Address Battery Cycle Shutdown Bug

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Apple released a trio of System Management Controller (SMC) updates Wednesday targeted at its portable MacBook line. The updates address an unexpected shutdown issue for MacBook batteries with over one thousand charge cycles.

This update addresses a rare issue on some Apple notebooks where a battery that has accumulated more than 1000 charge cycles may unexpectedly shut down or stop functioning.

The update applies to the non-Retina MacBook Pro (SMC Update 1.6), legacy MacBook (SMC Update 1.5), and MacBook Air (SMC Update 1.8) and can be downloaded via Software Update on those models or via Apple’s support page for each model, linked above.

Update: Although Apple does not list applicable models on the update's support page, MacRumors notes that the SMC update applies to the following MacBook models:

MacBook7,1 (13-inch, Mid 2010)

MacBook Air
MacBookAir3,1 (11-inch, Late 2010)
MacBookAir3,2 (13-inch, Late 2010)
MacBookAir4,1 (11-inch, Mid 2011)
MacBookAir4,2 (13-inch, Mid 2011)

MacBook Pro
MacBookPro7,1 (13-inch, Mid 2010)
MacBookPro8,1 (13-inch, Early 2011 or Late 2011)


Apple SMC Update 1.8 Battery Cycle Count

To determine the number of cycles on your Mac’s battery, hold down the Option key and select the Apple menu in OS X’s menu bar. Choose “System Information” and then “Power” from the list on the left. Your battery’s cycles will be displayed under Health Information > Cycle Count.

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This might be more important than it seems for some people. Two days ago, my MacBook Pro just didn’t turn on at all, and the Apple Store couldn’t find the solution, it was a mystery. I manage through persistence to get it booted, the App Store comes up and lo and behold, after rebooting the Mac to install it, it seems to be back to normal, as I’m typing this comment on it right now.
My 13” 2010 MBP has only done around about 500 cycles, incidentally, about half of what Apple says it applies to.

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