Swapping batteries on a 2011-era MacBook Air

I put a new battery in my 2011 11" MacBook Air. I love the laptop more than I minded the frustration. It will probably be easier for you.

I come from the time where we carried spare laptop batteries with us, and they were instantly swappable. I'd press a small button on the battery to light up some green LEDs to see how much juice was left in a spare. Those days are gone. We have now entered a dark age where batteries are sealed behind obscure pentalobe screws. After 7 years my treasured 11" Air was unable to hold a charge for longer than 75 minutes or so. I was fucked and going to have to open that case.

I love that little 11" laptop. It is the device I carry for creative writing. Small enough to not be a bother, but functional enough computer to do anything I need in a pinch. I did not want to lose this laptop, but the short battery life was killing me. Most of the coffee shops and places I like to work no longer want to offer power outlets to folks drinking one cup of black coffee for 2 hours.

I tried cycling the battery to restore some lost capacity. It did not help. I looked at the iPad Pro with a keyboard. I even looked at the Surface Pro. Then I researched batteries and the replacement looked like it should be no problem.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

I searched the internet's latest iteration of forums, Reddit and Youtube, for info on folks who'd replaced this model battery. I read a lot of Amazon reviews. The size of the replacement battery was supposedly a problem in varying degrees with all models, even Apple sourced batteries. The Temark I chose seemed to have a high probability of going in without a problem.

I used the included screwdrivers to remove the tiny, cruelly chosen screws. I kept the ones from the backplate separate from the battery screws, even tho they are different colors and sizes. When the backplate came off I saw that my battery had broken around one of the screws, damage from an apparent fall. I'd dented the case a bit too — but the laptop never showed an issue. There were splintered bits of battery plastic all over. When I removed the battery, I noticed a thin metal bar had come loose in the area of the trackpad. It had been held in place by the battery pressure, I guessed, and needed replacement.

I looked at images of trackpads for my model Air and saw that the bar appeared to sit across the bottom of the trackpad, in-between it and the battery. I felt some residual sticky adhesive where it appeared to go, and the bar stuck right back there. I put everything back together, feeling like I was going to have to take all those screws out again, and should have tried powering up before I had screwed them all in.

The laptop turned right on.

The sign-in screen came up.

The battery showed about a 60% charge. I plugged it in and it started to charge right up.

I moved the pointer to my name/icon on the sign in screen and clicked.

No click.

Pointer will frantically move around the screen. No click.

Tapping at the very top gets me mouse click. I can login. Laptop is fine. Trackpad is not working. I realize it must be that damn bar, and that the adhesive hadn't held.

Power it all down.

Open it back up.

Re-affix the bar with glue stick.

One day later: repeat with electrical tape.

Everything works perfectly here, now. No, really. No problems. When I am done working on the blog this am, I'll take my Air to a coffee shop and work on a short story. It now gets 4-5 hrs of power. More than when it was new.

For $70 and maybe 2 hours of frustration I have a small-sized laptop I like a lot more than any of the new light-computer solutions out there.

It was actually very easy, my old laptop was just beat to hell.

Temark New A1495 A1406 Laptop Battery for MacBook Air 11" A1465 A1370 (Mid 2011 2012 2013 Early 2014 2015 Version), fit MC968 MD223 MD711 020-7376-A 020-7377-A via Amazon