How Long Should I Charge My MacBook Pro/Air for the First Time?

By Novak Bozovic / October 26, 2021

If you’ve been using laptops since their early days, you certainly know a thing or two about how to calibrate your device's battery (much of that knowledge is now obsolete, by the way). In other words, you might be asking yourself: how long should you charge your brand-new MacBook Pro/Air for the first time? Well, keep on reading to get your answer!

First and foremost, keep one thing in mind. There’s no need to worry about calibrating your new MacBook’s battery. In other words, there’s no need to charge your MacBook Pro/Air for the first time in any specific manner. Feel free to deplete its battery or charge it all the way up – it really makes no difference, and here’s why.

Here’s Why Your MacBook’s Battery Doesn’t Need to be Calibrated (Anymore)!

Modern mobile devices (including laptops, smartphones, tablets, and similar) no longer need to be calibrated. In the past, you had to charge your mobile devices for at least 8-12 hours or make sure to go through at least one full battery cycle. However, that’s no longer needed due to the following reasons: 

How to Know When Your MacBook Pro/Air is Fully Charged? 

We’ll answer another often-asked question about new(er) MacBook Pro/Air models. Depending on which model you have, here's how to know if your MacBook is fully charged.

How Long Does It Take for a New MacBook Pro/Air to Fully Charge? 

On average, it takes around two hours for a MacBook (Pro/Air) to charge fully. And in case you plan on buying Apple’s brand-new M1-powered MacBook, keep in mind that charging its battery will take around three hours. Those numbers apply to charging your notebook using its original charging adapter. 

Also, keep in mind that Apple now sells a wide range of ARM-based MacBooks based on the company's chips. Just recently, two new MacBook Pro models were introduced (with 14- and 16-inch screens). They're powered by the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, and they bring more than 20 hours of use on a single charge. Aside from those, Apple continues to sell its M1-powered MacBook Pro and Air models, released in 2020.

We'd like to note that there are big differences between Intel- and M1-based MacBooks, and that especially applies to their batteries. To learn more, check the following tables.

MacBook Air - Intel vs. M1 (Battery Specs)
MacBook Air (Intel, 2020) MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
Web Browsing Up to 11 hours Up to 15 hours
Movie Playback Up to 12 hours Up to 18 hours
Battery Type 49.9-watt-hour Li-Po 49.9-watt-hour Li-Po
Power Adapter 30W USB-C 30W USB-C
MacBook Pro - Intel vs. M1 (Battery Specs)
MacBook Pro (Intel) MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) MacBook Pro (M1 Pro, 2021) MacBook Pro (M1 Max, 20201)
Web Browsing Up to 10 hours Up to 17 hours Up to 11 hours Up to 14 hours
Movie Playback Up to 10 hours Up to 20 hours Up to 17 hours Up to 21 hours
Battery Type 58.2-watt-hour Li-Po 58.2-watt-hour Li-Po 70-watt-hour Li-Po 100-watt-hour Li-Po
Power Adapter 61W USB-C 61W USB-C Up to 96W USB-C 140W USB-C

How to Set Up Your New MacBook's Optimized Battery Charging? (Intel-Based MacBooks Only!)

Last year, macOS received two exciting features that have a direct impact on your MacBook's battery. We highly recommend enabling both of those features, as shown just below.


The following instructions apply to Intel-based MacBook Pro and Air models. If you have an M1 MacBook Pro or Air, know that Apple's optimized charging comes enabled by default, and there's no way to disable that feature.

Optimized Battery Charging macOS Big Sur System Preferences UI
Checking Battery Health macOS Big Sur

As you can see, there's no really no need to charge your brand-new MacBook Pro/Air in any specific manner - as your notebook already comes with an intelligent battery.

With that said, we conclude this short and helpful guide. In case of any questions, don't hesitate to post your comment below. And finally - thanks for reading!

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