The MacBook family was first introduced in May 2006 and replaced the iBook as Apple's consumer laptop.

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Why is my MacBook battery swelling?

I just noticed that my MacBook wasn't sitting level on my desk. I lifted it to look underneath it and noticed that my battery has a swell in it. It just seems to have gotten fat. What would cause this?

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I would ditch the battery as soon as possible. A swelling battery poses a fire hazard. Even if it's still holding an ok charge, it's not a good idea to it keep in the computer, as it may leak battery acid into the computer. If you don't want to replace it, then I would consider removing it, and running the computer off the wall charger only.

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Agreed, you don't want to mess with a potentially bad battery... although if things do make a turn for the worse, it would make an interesting lawsuit

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Agreed.......

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I'm fairly certain that batteries no longer contain acid, but agreed...still a very bad sign and can lead to unpleasantness at best, property or personal damage at worst. Don't leave it alone, get it replaced. As for a lawsuit, it wouldn't hold up in court if he knew the battery was swelling and didn't get it addressed. It's like suing a doctor for not finding the ulcer that was causing you pain that you didn't tell him about.

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I got a MBA 11 with similar issues. Is the battery on the right hand side of the keyboard?

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Pls REad the question before you answer, THe question was WHY?

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Take it to the Apple store -- they will most likely replace it for free.

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That's what I'd try.

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Agreed......

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Worth a try!

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They will almost always replace a bulging battery, and it helps if you tell them it's been getting REALLY hot. They need the serial number of your computer, so it's probably best to bring the laptop in with it. They are more likely to swap the battery if the laptop is still under warranty, but I've seen them do it many times out of warranty...they are very concerned about faulty batteries causing fires and causing them to get sued, etc.

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I brought my bulging MacBook battery to ask whether or not it's OK to use, and they replaced it right away. That was nice of them. (I was actually picking up another iMac repair.)

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I have an old MBP A1150 I inherited from my B-I-L. The swelled battery was still usable, however, I sometimes had to power up the book several times to get it to boot. Eventually the battery top bowed/separated and pushed up on the track pad and enter bar from underneath to the point where I could no longer click on a function. Had to take it out and run on house voltage until a replacement battery arrived. At least I could still use it. Once I removed the battery, the enter bar would depress far enough to function again.

So, if you aren't replacing a swollen battery, you might get by for a while, but you will get to the point where have no other choice but replace it, once it swells to far/wide/high for the keys to function properly.

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Old thread I know, but I'll add that this is exactly what prompted me to look inside my old white macbook: Battery is swollen but holds a charge. It pushed up the trackpad to where it was not usable and eventually popped through the white plastic case and protrudes at 30º! :D Have ordered a new replacement battery for $30 from amazon.. let's see what happens next. Not sure how to get the trackpad down yet.

Here's a video of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgPMyl0w...

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I just bought an old macbook with several issues (dumb me). Can you give me an idea of how to get the battery out? I took it to Apple yesterday, and they wanted about $300 to "fix" it. Wouldn't even touch the battery.

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Very likely caused by overheating. Your battery is most likely 'on the way out'. just keep an eye on it in case it gets too bad, and be prepared to buy a replacement.

How is the capacity going?

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My MBP 17 did the same thing - it's been getting really hot. I replaced the battery with OWC's higher beefier one. Interesting that the battery KEPT swelling after I took it off. No goo coming out but the packets inside are quite visible. The heat may taken it's toll though - it's running like snail snot today. Disk utility isn't helping.

Apple had already replaced the first one at 1.5 years (out of warranty) for free. Kinda don't think they'd give me a second one.

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Actually I think they will most likely replace it a second time. It's a defect in their product, and not only that but potentially a dangerous one. It's not a result of anything you did wrong.

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I was having a problem with my power cord so I had to go to the apple store. I took the swollen battery thinking wtf - if they don't replace it at least they will recycle it. Surprise! they gave me a new one! thanks for the heads up, rdlinc!

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returning the battery? You don't need to take the laptop in - just take the battery and the serial of your Mac to the apple store. If the store is a busy one, make an appointment first or you will be sitting around until they get an opening. The Genius Bar guys have to look at it to see it's swollen. They fill out a defective battery invoice, you sign it and walk away, battery in hand.

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Recycle it properly!!

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How is that done?

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Pretty sure apple does that for you, but if you don't take it to apple, find the nearest drop-off point here

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I guess a good way to recycle a battery would be to NOT discard it with your household waste. Just my guess.

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local apple store replaced mine on my late 2006 macbook and replaced the keyboard/trackpad and screen bezel for free.

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how long ago?

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I went to the local Apple Retail Store today with both my MacBook 13" and my MacBook 14" that I bought in November of 2009. Both of the machines have bulging batteries that are pushing out the back cover so that the machines do not sit on a flat surface properly. They said they could not replace the battery with a new one, but would be happy to sell me 2 new batteries. Since both machines are different models with bulging batteries, so much for the "once in a blue moon" claim! If it's so rare, why are both of my units suffering from the battle of the bulge!

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I'm on my second swelling battery in 3 years. The last one was only bought new 14 months ago. I've used the laptop without wall charge a handful of times. But without the battery in the laptop you run the risk of total disconnect in the middle of something. Frankly, I think this is a design fault. I've never seen anyone else have to replace their batteries on their non-apple laptops. This is looking like a yearly charge. Thank again Apple. Your stuff ain't so great - but we sure pay triple for it.

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Had trackpad issues on a 7 year-old macbook. Went to the genius bar today and had the whole thing tested - all ok except the girl said it might be the swollen battery - the only battery I've had for 7 years. As I always have the wall charger in I just gave them the battery to recycle. They said they couldn't replace it without a price tag and I wouldn't have expected them to - batteries are not supposed to last forever. The swollen battery did cause the trackpad malfunctioning - all fine again now, I didn't spend a penny and my laptop will work for a while longer! For those dissing Apple out there, you have plenty of choices - still love all my ones :)

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Apple will not replace a bulging battery out of warranty, having gone through 2 apple senior analysts on the phone and a local genius bar, they don't recognize it as a defect. They do recognize that it only happens once in a blue moon, but apparently that isn't a defect, that's normal. The phone analyst did say they may fix it as a one off if you have damage on the machine stemming from the bulging battery, but they offer no guarantee of course. btw, this apparently happens to the new MBP integrated batteries as well and again they may or may not fix your machine out of warranty if the bulging damages circuit boards.

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its due to over charging... Im supervisor of RCA tech support in Los Angeles and we have portable tvs that this happens to every now and then. Disconnect your charger from the computer when it has reached it full charge unless your using it.

Technically its still the companies fault for not warning of this potential problem. Here at RCA we will replace a battery in this condition no matter how long the customer has had the product.

Im here because the same thing happened to my macbook today. Im hesitant to call tech support after reading some of your posts though.

FYI for all rechargeable battery devices, unplug after fully charged. phone, portable tvs, computers etc.

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I took my Macbook 13" Unibody late 2008 in to the Apple repair store last week because the trackpad had been very stubborn for a long time. I ended up having to pay over US$90 to have the track pad replaced. However, the reason they told me for the problem was a swelling battery, but they would not replace the battery unless I traded in the old one to them and paid a further US$120. So much for Apple replacing defective batteries. Apple shares are at an all time high and they exploit Chinese workers to increase their profits, and no doubt manufacture poor quality batteries for which they charge extraordinarily high prices. Don't be taken in by their mouth-watering advertising. You have to pay for their mistakes to keep their shareholders happy.

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Good luck with trying to take it to the Apple Store. I tried 2 locations and both of them refused to replace it. They told me I'd have to buy a new battery. And the worst thing is the 1st place I went they did absolutely nothing. The 2nd place I went replaced my charger cause apparently it was flagged to be replaced. The charger I had was bad too. And now the worst part is now I can't even get it to boot at all cause the screen flickers but won't even stay on at all now. Was told that its the Logic Board now. I believe all this was cause by the battery issue. I will not be giving Apple anymore of my business.

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Batteries like any other consumable device are susceptible to defects, but over time as they are consumed the interactions and gases inside batteries, particular lithium batteries expand, hence APPLE going to a more gel style internal battery.. This is normal expected behavior ..gases as they heat expand. The same is true of Apple batteries as they are consumed they well can expand. If this does happen to you as it has happened to me, just replace your battery! Apple in most cases or APPLECARE protection does not cover battery replacement. In some cases if this does happen over a very short time lets say 3 months then your battery replacement request may have more to stand on.

So if your battery is old like 4 or 5 years and expands to the point of stopping your unit from working correctly "remove it" if your that concerned. It's the same as recognizing that something is failing in your car. Would you expect Ford to replace your alternator if it failed to charge your battery after it was out of warranty.....?

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I took my MacBook to the Genius Bar when the Service Battery warning came on. My local Apple Store said that my MacBook is no longer supported and even though this is my second swollen battery there was nothing they could do. They don't even have parts to fix it (their words) and they could not repair it in the back of the store. Repair it? Anyhow, the weird part was they had batteries up front on the retail side but said they couldn't get parts for my unsupported Mac in the repair department (wholesale side). If they still sell the parts you would think they could get them through the door into the rear of the store... I have two of these machines one is on it's third battery and the other needs it's third battery. Funny thing is I put my first swollen battery in and let it charge and it holds a better charge than the current battery even after sitting dead for about 3 years. This is an issue with these machines. My theory is they are overcharging the batteries. I've had 4 Genuine Apple batteries and one NewerTech battery all suffer from this phenomenon.

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Hi there, I just removed a swollen battery from my white macbook (2009) and it seems to keep swelling..... What should I do? Is it safe to keep it in my home?

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Anna,

I'm assuming you have already resolved your problem, but just in case you have not/fyi:

It is not safe to keep the battery in your home. Carefully put it in a sealed plastic bag and take it to a disposal facility (Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and RadioShack will all typically dispose of rechargeable lithium ion batteries like the one in your MacBook).

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