You’ve probably worried about the batteries in your mobile devices at some point. Whether a laptop, tablet, or phone, you have to consider that these batteries become less efficient and might need replacing over time.
That’s why both Windows and macOS provide a way for you to check how many times the battery has cycled. This shows the total amount of times the battery has been dead or close to dead and then charged to full. The lower this number, the healthier your battery.
Whether you’re curious how much you’ve worked your battery over the years, need info to help calibrate it, or want to check a machine before buying it used, here’s how to check the cycle count on both Windows laptops and MacBooks.
For Windows (8 and above), you’ll have to run a quick Command Prompt command to generate the report. Right-click the Start Button and choose Command Prompt, then type this command:
Next, head to your user folder and look for battery report.html at this location:
Open that file, and it will probably pop up in your default browser. Have a look at the Installed Batteries section to see the Design Capacity and the Full Charge Capacity — these are the original and current charge maximums, respectively. The Cycle Count shows you how many times the battery has gone through a charge.
On a MacBook, click the Apple logo and choose About This Mac. On the resulting window, click the System Report button to see much more info. Under the Hardware header, click the Power tab. Then, under Health Information, you’ll see a Cycle Count entry with the number of cycles so far.
For more on battery health, check out our discussion on whether you should leave your laptop plugged in all the time.
And remember, you can always use a tool to analyze your laptop’s battery health.
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