Changing the Battery Pack of a Mid 2011 MacBook Air

I recently got a new 13 inch, i5 MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar but I’ll touch on that in greater detail in a separate post. My old MacBook Air was feeling quite sluggish and also the battery couldn’t hold much of a charge anymore so on a recent Saturday, I went over to Golden Computer Center in Sham Shui Po and found a shop that still sells battery packs for the 2011 MacBook Air. If you don’t live in Hong Kong or some other similar urban center that features large computer malls where you can find a wide variety of computer parts, you may have to order a battery on eBay or something similar. Just make sure you’re absolutely sure you get the correct battery for your particular MacBook Air. There have been a few revisions of this computer through the years and I’m not sure if they all use the exact same battery pack.

Once I got home with my loot, I set the Air down on my bench upside down and used one of the two different sized special screw drivers that were conveniently supplied with the new battery pack to unscrew the aluminum panel. I then pried it off. It’s a bit tricky and requires the right combination of finesse and force. Don’t worry about breaking anything. These parts are quite tough.

Next, I disconnected the battery pack’s connecting cable and then carefully lifted the pack out of the computer.

 Then I used the other screwdriver and removed the screws holding the battery pack fastened to the computer’s chassis.  Make sure to handle it with care as it’s quite thin and feels a bit flimsy.

I put the new battery back into the computer, put all the screws in and connected the power cord. Finally, I put the aluminum chassis cover back on and put in all the screws.

That’s it! It was really quite easy! Now I’m back to about 6 hours of battery life under fairly reasonable use. By that, I mean internet browsing, watching YouTube videos, and using Office applications.

I highly recommend this upgrade if your MacBook Air has been showing signs of age and the battery dies too quickly. A battery replacement combined with a fresh OS reinstall and thorough cleaning inside the chassis will make it feel almost like new again. It’s really quite remarkable how well it runs after 6 years if you keep it maintained.

If you’re wondering about how to do a fresh install of MacOS X, you can follow these steps. DO NOT OVERLOOK the first step: backup your data. Then follow all the other steps and it should be really easy. Get it all done and you’ll find that it will have been well worth the time and effort. 🙂

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