A system function in macOS Catalina delivers unexpected results: even when correctly connected to the power supply, modern MacBooks sometimes do not charge. Sounds like a mistake, but it obviously makes sense.
MacBook “won’t charge”: battery health management is the reason
In macOS Catalina 10.15.5, Apple introduced a battery status management system that is supposed to protect MacBook batteries and make them last longer. The feature is said to have caused confusion for some customers, reports the portal heise.de. MacBook models of all kinds occasionally displayed the word “Does not charge” on the battery symbol in the system bar, even though the notebook is correctly connected to the power supply.
Apple is now giving the all-clear in a new entry in the support section of its website. It is currently only available in English. The entry states that MacBooks will occasionally pause charging to recalibrate battery health management. So it is not a defect on the device.
If you need maximum performance even on the go, you can get the MacBook Pro with 16-inch display from Apple:
Battery status management in macOS Catalina explained
Battery status management is activated by default after an update to macOS 10.15.5. You can turn it off in the system settings under “Save energy”> “Battery status …”. This is necessary to get the maximum battery life out of the MacBook, even if it can reduce the life of the battery in the long term.
Apple wants to use the function to slow down the chemical aging process of modern MacBook batteries. “To do this, the function monitors the temperature curve and the charging cycles of the battery,” the manufacturer explains on his website. Based on these measurements, macOS limits the maximum charge of the notebook battery – to a level that is adapted to the usage behavior of the user. This reduces battery wear and slows down the aging process, Apple writes.