Does Clamshell Mode Ruin Battery? (2 Sensational Facts)

Using Clamshell mode has many features, but recently, I wondered if this feature is damaging my Mac battery. After researching the topic, I discovered that this is a common question that people have asked.

After extensive research and experiments, I conclude that the answer is no. Since MacBooks are designed to work without any issue in Clamshell mode, so there is very little risk of damaging the battery. 

In this article, I’ve explained everything regarding battery life in Clamshell mode and how to save it. Surely at the end of this guide, you’ll be able to know does Clamshell mode ruin the battery.

So let’s get started.

Can Using Clamshell Mode Affect Battery Life?

There are many answers to this question on different websites, but according to my experience, I have never noticed that my battery life has decreased because of the clamshell mode.

The main reason behind this is that the adapter is plugged into the Mac in clamshell mode, saving your battery cycles. So, it is clear that this mode doesn’t ruin your Mac battery.

Apple considers a charge cycle finished once the battery has reached 100% capacity. No matter how much battery you waste.

For Example, Your Mac battery is 100% charged, and you use 60% of the battery in one day and then charge it to 100%. On the second day, if you use 40% battery, one cycle will be complete.

But according to Apple, after 1000 battery cycles, your Mac battery health starts decreasing, and most of the time, you need to change the battery.

Although Apple itself doesn’t say anything about the battery ruining in Clamshell mode, according to my experience, it doesn’t ruin your battery life.

Reasons Why Clamshell Mode Doesn’t Ruin The Battery?

The first and main reason behind this fact is that in clamshell mode, the battery cycles of your Mac battery drop very rarely, increasing the battery lifespan.

Secondly, in Clamshell mode, the charger is plugged into the Mac to save the cycles of your battery. As a result, your battery will not drop down, preventing the cycles from falling.

So, these are the two main reasons MacBook Clamshell mode doesn’t ruin the Mac battery.

How Long Is It Safe To Use Clamshell Mode?

The duration of using Clamshell mode depends on the temperature of your Mac and the type of tasks you perform.

I use the Clamshell mode until my Mac overheats, and it’s very rare because I only multitask and browse.

Overheating in Clamshell mode can occur if you perform highly intensive tasks such as editing, gaming, etc.

When the temperature of the MacBook reaches a sensitive point, it will shut down automatically to prevent any serious damage.

So, I recommend you use clamshell mode only when it is necessary. This will prevent overheating and decrease the chance of battery damage.

But if you want to use Clamshell mode for an extended period, then that’s not a problem; you can use it until your Mac overheats; just keep an eye on it. 

Battery life is not affected by using Clamshell mode for a long time.

Does Frequent Charge In Clamshell Mode Harm The Battery?

Frequent charging in clamshell mode may not necessarily harm the battery but can reduce its lifespan over time. 

The main reason I found out is that lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in laptops, including MacBooks, have limited charge cycles. 

Each time you charge your battery from 0% to 100%, it counts as one charge cycle.

 If you frequently use your MacBook in clamshell mode and charge it multiple times a day, you put more strain on the battery and use up its charge cycles faster. 

However, suppose you’re using your MacBook in clamshell mode for extended periods. In that case, keeping the battery charged is also important to avoid over-discharging, which can harm the battery.

How To Increase the Lifespan Of MacBook Battery In Clamshell Mode?

To extend the lifespan of your MacBook’s battery, it’s recommended that you avoid frequent charging in clamshell mode unless it’s necessary. 

Instead, try to use your MacBook on battery power until the battery level drops to around 20-30% before plugging it in to charge. 

You can also use battery-saving features such as lowering the screen brightness or disabling background apps to help prolong the battery life.

Bonus Tips For Saving Battery Life In Clamshell Mode

Here are my favorite bonus tips that you can use to save your Mac battery life in Clamshell mode:

1. Avoid Leaving Mac In Clamshell Mode

Remember, it’s very important to avoid leaving your Mac in Clamshell mode for extended periods as these can cause overheating, harming your Mac battery.

So, I recommend you use the Clamshell mode only when necessary. If you feel any kind of overheating issue, then immediately shut down your Mac.

2. Use An External Cooling Fan

I recommend you use a cooling dock or fan to prevent your Mac from overheating in clamshell mode. These docks or fans can help circulate the air around your Mac and keep it cool from the bottom.

Also, I highly recommend you use your Mac in a cool environment to increase its battery life.

3. Charge Your Battery Properly

Try to avoid frequent charging unless it’s necessary. It’s important to follow the proper procedures while charging. I prefer to charge when the Mac goes around 30-40%.

Charging your Mac below this percentage can decrease your battery’s life cycles.

4. Use Battery-Saving Features

In Clamshell mode, you should use battery-saving features like disabling background apps, lowering the screen brightness, and turning off Bluetooth when not in use.

5. Keep Your Mac Up-To-Date

Updating your Mac’s software can help prolong the lifespan of your battery. macOS updates include performance improvements and bug fixes to help your Mac run more efficiently.

Pros And Cons Of Clamshell Mode For MacBook Battery?

Along with the advantages of Clamshell mode, there are also some disadvantages. 


  • Saves battery life
  • Enhances productivity
  • Reduces wear and tear


  • Increases temperature
  • Reduces battery lifespan
  • Limits portability

How To Know If the MacBook Is Overheating?

There are numerous signs that your Mac may be overheating. Here are some common indicators to check:

  1. Increase in fan Noise
  2. Hot to touch
  3. Slow performance
  4. Battery draining quickly
  5. Visual glitches
  6. Battery swelling

If you notice any of these indications, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent your Mac from serious loss.

What Should You Do If the MacBook Is Getting Hot?

You can take the following steps when Mas overheats:

  • Close resource-intensive applications
  • Place your Mac on a cool surface or cooling dock
  • Use an external cooling fan
  • Shut down your Mac
  • Check for macOS updates

What Are the Best Alternatives Of Clamshell Mode?

If you want to eliminate Clamshell mode, you can try other alternatives.

I recommend you use the Mac mini, an economical desktop computer for those who desire the MacBook experience.

Due to its compact size, it can easily be placed on any desk. Compared to other all-in-one computers, the iMac is relatively compact. 

As a result, it has a built-in screen without the bulk of a tower computer. A monitor is still required if you use a Mac Pro or a Mac mini. Unlike the Mac Pro and iMac, the Mac mini does not have any peripherals. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is It Bad To Use a MacBook Pro With a Lid Closed?

No. It’s not bad to use clamshell mode until it overheats. Overheating can cause serious threats to your Mac. So, use Clamshell mode but also take care of overheating.

Is It Better To Shut Down Mac Or Close Lid?

Let your Mac sleep if you’re only going to be away from it for an hour or two or overnight.

Does Clamshell Mode Ruin Battery?

No. Clamshell mode is designed to easily perform tasks like video editing and multitasking. But you must take care of overheating in Clamshell mode to save your battery.


The whole article concluded that Clamshell mode doesn’t damage your Mac battery. The main reason behind this is that the adapter is plugged into the Mac in clamshell mode.

Hopefully, now you should know all about the battery life in Clamshell mode and related queries.

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