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Saturday, June 19, 2021

What Does “Charging on Hold” or “Battery on Hold” Mean in Mac

"Charging on Hold" or "Battery on Hold" on the Mac is simply Optimized Battery Charging at work.

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When you have a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air that is always connected to a power source, you will get a message “Charging on Hold (Rarely Used on Battery)” or “Battery on Hold” under under Battery Status. You don’t have to worry about your battery health or the status of your new Mac. Your Mac Notebook battery is absolutely fine and no round trip to an authorized service center is required.

The macOS Catalina 10.15.5 update brings in battery health management, a new feature developed to improve the battery’s lifespan by reducing the speed at which Lithium-ion battery ages chemically.

Charging On Hold (Rarely Used on Battery)

What is Battery Health Management Feature?

Battery health management monitors when you are charging your MacBook, how long you are running on the power source, and temperature patterns. Based on the data it collects locally, the battery health management feature will reduce your battery’s maximum charge capacity to improve lifespan and save battery charge cycles.

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Every Lithium-ion battery loses its efficiency over time due to temperature differences and charging patterns. The more you charge and discharge your MacBook, the battery ages chemically and affecting its efficiency. 

The battery health management tries to create a balance between the amount of time your MacBook is charging and discharging.

For example, if you are connecting your MacBook to a power source from 10 AM to 5 PM every day, the battery health management observers this pattern. Typically it takes a couple of hours for your MacBook battery to reach its 100% charge capacity. But battery health management caps the full capacity at 80-81% to reduce the stress on the battery. 

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Once the battery charges 80 percent, your MacBook stops charging for few hours. Since it already calculated when you may disconnect the power source, battery health management will disable the hold at 81 percent after some time and it will make sure to charge the battery to 100 percent by the time you disconnect the power source.

Doing this will reduce the time at which the battery chemically ages, reduces the stress on the battery once it reaches its 100% capacity, and saves a few battery cycles.

Is Battery Health Management Useful?

Definitely YES.

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Charging a battery to 100% doesn’t mean the battery is at its full capacity. It can store more power but with more stress on the battery and at the cost of battery lifespan. 

80 percent is the optimal point at which the battery can be charged with very minimal stress. Maintaining the battery at 100% capacity for more time puts a lot of stress on it. Hence battery health management feature maintains the battery at 80 percent for a maximum of the time. And it starts charging to 100% before you disconnect the power supply.

When battery health management is maintaining the battery at 80 percentage, you will notice the “Charging on Hold (Rarely Used on Battery)” or “Battery on Hold” in battery status.

In short, it is very useful to use battery health management.

How to Disable Battery Health Management Temporarily

Though it is not recommended to turn off the battery health management feature, there are few situations like while traveling where we need to charge the battery to 100 percent directly without holding at 80% for some time.

Luckily you can do this easily with few simple clicks. 

To disable battery health management and to fix the Charging on Hold and Battery on Hold message, open System Preferences, select Battery, and uncheck “Optimized battery charging“. Confirm the changes by selecting “Turn Off” in the alert box.

The wording keeps changing with each update as users reported “Battery Is Not Charging” wording is too harsh and confusing. On macOS Big Sur 11.0.1, the wording Battery on Hold, Charging on Hold are clear and self-explanatory. If you see them under battery status under Mac OS Catalina or Big Sur, you have to stop worrying about it and be happy for your battery.

iPads are the only devices that do not have this feature. We are hoping that iPadOS 15 will change that. Optimized Battery charging is also available on your iPhone and on your Apple Watch.

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