A Quick Fix for “No Batteries Available” & Fans Running Constantly on a MacBook Air

May 7, 2013 - 158 Comments

MacBook Air

If you’ve ever had a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro’s battery disappear at random it can be a disconcerting feeling. This is often accompanied with the battery menu having an “X” through it and saying “No Batteries Available”, a very sluggish Mac, and even after a reboot or not the Mac will often have fans running at full speed despite nothing unusual showing up in Activity Monitor. To top it off, the MagSafe charger light typically is not lighting up, and the computer won’t even sleep. Uh oh, something is terribly wrong, right? Well, sort of – but don’t worry, this is all related and it’s a peace of cake to fix.

Before getting into any specifics or the details, let’s cover the solution: an SMC reset.

Get the Battery Back & Fans Normal By Resetting the SMC

This is a technical process but it’s very easy to follow. This will be the same on a MacBook Air & MacBook Pro Retina, technically any Mac with a built-in non-removable battery. You can find instructions for other Macs and older Macs here if needed.

  • Shut down the MacBook and connect the MagSafe power adapter – let the Mac completely power down before proceeding any further
  • Hold Shift+Control+Option+Power concurrently for a few seconds, then release
  • Press the Power button as usual to start the MacBook

Here are the precise key sequences for what an SMC reset looks like on a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro (Retina) keyboard:

Key sequences to reset the SMC controller on a MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina

After the Mac has rebooted normally again, things should be all well and good again. Here’s an example of the “No Batteries Available” menu, then after the fix the battery is shown functioning as normal again:

No batteries available, shown on a MacBook Air

Note the total elapsed time in the clock is 2 minutes. In other words, it took only two minutes fix the entire problem, from adding up all the power-related issues, saving an important file or two, shut down the Mac, reset the SMC with the aforementioned keyboard sequence, then reboot the Mac to normalcy again.

Power Preferences will reset too

It’s important to point out that resetting the SMC will cause you to lose many power-specific options and customizations you may have made to OS X with System Preferences, ranging from screen brightness levels, to settings in Energy Saver for how the Mac handles things like auto-dimming based on lighting and power sources, screen sleep behavior, sleep when idle, etc. Thus you will have to go back and make those minor power customizations again.

Why does this happen?

You won’t always find an exact reason as to why the system management controller goes haywire along with core system and power functions, but the basic idea is that at some point something was corrupted, maybe for a reason or maybe not.

What is an SMC anyway?

For those who don’t know, SMC stands for System Management Controller, and it handles power functions and other core hardware roles on Macs, thus inexplicable issues with power management are almost always resolved by resetting the SMC. This is why for problems or oddities with power management like batteries disappearing, refusal to sleep, a very sluggish Mac combined with system fans blazing loudly, graphics cards acting up, are all very classic symptoms of needing to reset the SMC to get things back on track. Take the time to do it, it works.

Having run into this twice on two different Macs in the past week it’s certainly a worthwhile topic to cover, even if it’s a relatively rare problem to deal with. At the very least, it helps to be informed of these kind of things, so if any of the above happens to you, before calling AppleCare or taking a trip to the Genius Bar, take a moment to reset the SMC yourself, it will almost certainly fix the issue completely.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

158 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. shell says:

    Thank you so much – didn’t even have time to panic before I found your fix!

  2. Jayann says:

    I was ready to pay someone to fix the machine. I can’t believe it was this simple. Thank you for so much covering this fix.

  3. Zan says:

    Thanks. Worked like a charm.

  4. Greg says:

    Great article! Easy to follow and worked perfectly.

    Thanks

  5. A Rivera says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  6. Chuck says:

    I’ve tried this fix several times and its still not working. I have a MBP which was purchased August 2012

  7. Emily says:

    Thank you so much for writing this!!

  8. JC says:

    Hi, I have a mid 2010 13inch Macbook Pro. My fan is on full blast all the time. The Macbook doesn’t appear to be warm, let alone hot. I also have no battery. tried changing it but still.. no battery.

    Tried the SMC but no luck unfortunately. I’m thinking a sledge hammer might do the trick?

  9. Alex says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for this fix information.

  10. Jeremy says:

    A huge thanks for this fix. It worked. Saturday night when my MacBook Pro just died and after turning it back on, non-stop fan, non-stop panic and “no batteries available.”

    Now everything is working again… :)

  11. Alan Hudson says:

    Good fix. Worked perfectly. Thanks

  12. lewis says:

    can’t thank you more!

  13. LG says:

    No worky!! I get the battery, but is never charges, just stays at (0%).

  14. Stacey says:

    Amazing! Thank you so much for this useful tip!

  15. Will P says:

    Thank you so much for this!

    Saved me for sure

  16. Nicky van Zanen says:

    Wow super thanks man! Worked perfectly and just in a few seconds my MacBook was back to normal =)

  17. Kgabo says:

    My Macbook doesn’t switch on anymore after following these steps. Any solutions?

  18. Finn says:

    WOW, it worked! Thank you very much! :)

  19. Sara says:

    Thank you so much! :D :D

  20. Patrick McCaffrey says:

    Thank you sooooooooo much. I can relax now!

  21. Patrick McCaffrey says:

    Thabk you sooooooo much. I can relax now!

  22. Brandon says:

    Some guy at the apple store told me that I spilt water on it and that it was going to cost 600-700 dollars to fix. I brought it home looked it up and literally pressed 4 keys and it’s fixed. THANK YOU!!!

  23. Aiza says:

    Thank you so so much. You’re a lifesaver.

  24. Scott says:

    I have the “no batteries available” error after replacing a battery with a new one. The SMC reset does not help.
    What can I do?

    Thanks.

  25. Amina says:

    Worked like a charm! Thanks so much!!!!

  26. ashley says:

    thank you so much. I was having a sh!t day, and then my beloved MacBook Air fan kept raging and my battery disappeared. your fix, fixed it in less than a minute. thank you thank you

  27. Kawtar says:

    Thank you!!!
    I felt like a pc engineer hahahahah when it came back on with no fan or “No batterie available”

    – Thanks again!!

  28. Jamese says:

    It worked exactly as you said it would. Thanx a million!

  29. sajidd says:

    its making a beep sound when i pressed these four keys,,
    and its still same as it was before..
    what to do now?
    please help me

    • Annabel D says:

      im not sure if your computer is working right if it was beeping.
      how many times did you try it?i tried it twice and it worked the second time.

      Annabel

  30. Jai M says:

    AWESOME!!! Worked like a charm. Thanks so much for posting this.

  31. Annabel D says:

    AWSOME! i thought my computer would never work again!

    Thanks

  32. C. Freire says:

    OMG!!!! THANK YOU!!! I like to think of myself as a tech-savvy mac junkie, but when my MBP Retina started to go haywire for no reason, stopped recognizing the battery, and even the power connector wouldn’t light up, I was as helpless as my great-grandma would’ve been if asked to troubleshoot an iPad! This was a life saver, so simple, yet so effective! The article’s being saved to my Evernote, and I’ll have to do some soul-searching: maybe accept I’m not as “tech-savvy” as I used to believe… :-) THANKS AGAIN!!!

  33. Amaraa says:

    Thank you Paul. It worked great.

  34. Gepenk says:

    I lov u, my problem solve…

  35. thiru says:

    Thnk u very much sir. Almost freaked out.:)

  36. Edefe says:

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! I tried this and it worked!

  37. Siobhan says:

    Thanks soo much. This was exactly the right fix!!

  38. Ethan says:

    I just did this and now it won’t turn on at all… help.

  39. beth says:

    Thank you so much. Worked like a charm.

  40. Leah says:

    MY MACBOOK WONT GO PAST THE GREY LOADY TURN ON SCREEN NOW HELP ME

  41. imani kigahe says:

    awesome!!!! waoooooo……,OMG VERY EASLY ACCORDING TO INSTRUCTIONS.thanks..

  42. Norberto says:

    Worked perfect so far, the x on the icon is gone and now it seems to be charging πŸ˜„, an Apple employe told me the battery was bad because it was not an original Apple one, it was a brand new replacement, now with your advice it’s working and showing 60% and charging, thank you very much πŸ‘πŸ‘

  43. Maria says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  44. Bruce says:

    Thank you!!!!!!!! worked perfectly

  45. Mike@vossen says:

    My mom just bought a new MBP in Atlanta and it started acting up. She came here to help out with our new child and just said it was broken lets go to Apple. We went to Apple and of course its like a week wait to do anything (I totally forgot to schedule an appointment).

    So I decide to take some time to figure this out and the problem was exactly as described in this article. The fix provided worked like a charm. I cannot say enough thanks, my mom is super happy!!!!

  46. Ben says:

    Wow thank you! I thought my laptop was messed! Worked exactly as stated above! thank you!

  47. tola says:

    great, thank you i was beginning to get concerned but your fix saved the day thanks a lot

  48. Pockets ATL says:

    YOUR THE BEST ! WORKS

  49. S-ert says:

    Perfect. Thank you so much. saved my day.

  50. Kemiah says:

    Thank you very much. Very easy fix indeed..

  51. Cameo says:

    Thank you soooo much, I did exactly what you said and presto, bat x gone, magsafe light back on.

    Save the day.

  52. Solom says:

    Thank you so much. Simply followed your three steps in my MacBoo Pro with Win-7 and it solved my problem.

  53. Sophie says:

    Amazing – thank you so much – and thank you for illustrating with the picture! I had read the SMC reset instructions elsewhere but obviously kept getting it wrong because I was pressing the ‘cmd’ button under the mistake impression that was the ‘option’ button! Was thinking my macbook must be immune to the SMC reset! Saved me a boring and inconvenient trip to the Apple store and a lot of stress and anxiety!

  54. Slimmario says:

    I am sorry but this doesn’t work does your laptop have to be up-to-date for this to work

  55. Anand says:

    Wow! I was worried. and it worked like a magic. Thank You!

  56. Mirjam says:

    You made my day! Thank you!

  57. Veysel says:

    Very useful I was freaked out to go Apple Store and pay couple hundred dolars and you guys help me.

    Thanks

  58. Ape-o says:

    OmgThank you!!!! So easy. I had tried previously with no luck but apparently just had the keyboard sequence wrong. Thank goodness.

  59. nitesh says:

    THANKS IT REALLY WORKED!!!

  60. andrew h says:

    Sometimes problems arise and theres no solution in sight or should that be on sites, or, the solutions given are impossible to follow, or don’t work.

    This wasn’t one of those times. Your solution worked like a miracle, it truly was amazing.

    Thanks for giving me back my mac ;)

  61. Nate says:

    Thank you! I was in a panic but this was perfect

  62. Kay says:

    Miracle, I can’t even tell you how happy seeing the charging light come on made me!
    Seriously, I was so close to getting a replacement

  63. ASHLEIGH says:

    THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOO MUCH words can’t express how much you have helped me THANK YOOOUUUUUU

  64. Sam says:

    THANK YOU!

  65. Ed says:

    don’t know who you are, but ur the man. TU, TU, TU, regards man!

  66. Kathleen says:

    Thank you so much it worked like a charm!!

  67. Noemi says:

    Thanks for the tip. I was worried as to how much it was going to cost me to get this fix.
    Noemi

  68. Benji says:

    Although I needed to buy a new battery anyways, this article just saved my mac

    THANK YOU!!!!

  69. Christina says:

    THANK YOU!!!!

  70. Nick says:

    Thank you so much for the fix! My Mac works excellent now!

  71. Liz says:

    This just happened to me on a Dell Windows laptop, any idea on how to solve it on a non-Mac?

  72. marco says:

    hi am having problems since weeks ago with my mac book pro battery it wont charge when i unplug also my adapter it just turs itself off hopefully you can help me out i did a check with the coconut battery program and it shows that my battery was in poor condition and when i took it to th technician he said that the battery indicator or a chip inside to make the battery work was damaged marco

  73. simon says:

    a word of warning!! the advice above is sound…. for a while!! iv had this problem for five months now and the above advice helped but I found i had to reset every few days. Now the machine completely ignores the key commands and goes into safe mode. my problem is the keyboard keys only work in upper case and keys for most programmes are garbled.

    • uhbtn says:

      it sounds like your Mac is overheating and maybe is getting damaged, it has nothing to do with the advice. You should take it for repair.

  74. Goneval says:

    Thanks!

  75. Rodrigo says:

    Thanks man… you rock it!

  76. Katie says:

    Just tried this and still nothing. The battery displays and X and the fan is going. The computer works when it is plugged in, but very very sluggish. The light on the charger stays green, not turning to orange like when it is charging. I have a MacBook Pro from 2011. Any other suggestions?

  77. Marie says:

    Travelling for work far away from the mac stores and this just happened to me, I was ready to really panic, but your solution worked, amazing, thanks so much!!

  78. Jade says:

    Thank you so much! I’ve had my Mac for over 4 years now and I was sure it was done for. I’m so happy I Don’t have to get a new one :D

  79. Sjoerd says:

    Hello,

    Same goes for me!

    I am helping a friend with a MacBook Pro late 2008 on Lion 4 GB 1 TB HD
    The fans are very loud (maximum) It says no battery, no orange or green light on MacSafe adapter.

    What I did was pram reset SMC reset al logo read many webpage and al the suggestions goes to the SMC reset.

    First I did get the MBP and it was doing nothing, light was not burning (MacSafe adapter)
    Tried several boot methodes but what did work was a tip i read from this support forum.
    remove battery remove MacSafe, hold down power button 10 sec, the reconnect MacSafe adapter, stil holding power button down and now for another 10 sec, release it and then startup the normal way.
    The MacBook Pro booted “normal” but with loud noise from the fan (maximum) I started again in safe mode and repair permissions, booted again and still Loud noise.
    Started activity monitor and the was no much CPU use from any program,
    Put back the battery and did a boot. No go Then MacSafe attach and the MBP started but in it did say no battery
    All the time the light on the MacSafe adapter was OFF.
    It only gets green when the MBP is 100% off and the MacSafe adapter is attached then it is green

    Tried several times SMC reset bit no go. (According to several website this would solve the problem) (even followed Apple webpage about is (removable battery)
    The MacBook Pro is normal working but with loud fans and only with the MacSafe adapter attached.
    The battery is replaced 2 years ago. It would not charge and was bolded, now it is in good shape from the out side.
    When I push the button on the the battery the lights ar not lighting up.
    Again with the battery removed I have the same problem (very loud fans, maximum , and no light on the MacSafe adapter)

    O one last thing it would also not get into sleep mode thats why al the things lead to SMC reset, but no go

    Question if I buy a new battery, could that solve the problem? I don’t have one nearby, so I will have to buy it.

    Thanks for any suggestion

  80. garciahor says:

    Thank you so much. My Macbook Unibody 2008 works perfectly now!

  81. Allaa eserri says:

    THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH! You’re a life saver lmao. I was panicking but then I got on your page thankfully!!!!!!!! Thank you so much. I love you.

  82. ratchaman says:

    DUDE, SERIOUSLY, i feel like i should cut my arm or my leg right now and mail it to you.. my friend job well done. indeed.

  83. Ryan says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I was in full blown panic mode. Currently finishing up my masters dissertation and then this happened. I was about to cry and then saw your article and everything seems to be working well again. You are a lifesaver.

  84. Ele says:

    More blessings to you for this helpful post

  85. Bernice says:

    I never comment on these types of things, or anything at all to be honest but I really do have to thank you. I got extremely frantic, thinking I had to go to the apple store and pay a fortune to get it fixed, but thank God I stumbled on your website before I did. Took a minute and now my macbook pro is alive once again. THANK YOU!!!

  86. Korin says:

    Thank you so much!! Worked like a charm. And no trip to the Apple Store!!

  87. Frankie says:

    Worked perfectly thanks

  88. Mon Aripin says:

    Thank U Very Much Sir U are my saviour hope we meet in person to say thank u very much :) my macbook become normal again :)

  89. Santhi says:

    Thank you very much ,it worked !!!

  90. D Chow says:

    Thank you so much !!!! life saver. Worked like a treat. Definitely recommended !!!!!! :)

  91. Enrique says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH IT DID WORK. SUCH A SUPER FAST AND EASY SOLUTION. :) =D

  92. Travis says:

    Awesome!!!! Thank you so much.

  93. fionna says:

    Thanks for these, I help my friend fixing his macbook air when the technical from Apple just telling him that it needs overhaul cleaning to fix it and requires them 5 days when it can solve within seconds. That apple care center must need retraining for their technicals.

  94. Felicity says:

    Thank you for much for this!

  95. visitor says:

    Yooooh, you are lifesaver

  96. Veronica says:

    Faced the exact same problem, tried your solution and it worked like a charm. Thanks so much!!!!

  97. Shaana says:

    So thankful for this fix!!! It was so easy and when it rebooted I almost forgot how quiet my mac used to be!!

    Thank you

  98. Mike H says:

    Yup this fix is quick and simple and works on a MBP running Yosemite 10.10.5 Thanks

  99. Benjamin says:

    Awesome!!!! thank you so much,, it worked πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

  100. Henry says:

    Whoever wrote this, take my virginity (just kidding), but thank you so so much

  101. caroline says:

    Thank you – utterly wonderful – thought my macbook pro had finally had it, and now so relieved. Your advice greatly appreciated.

  102. shirls says:

    OOMMG! who’s the greAtest person in the world?!?!?! yooouu arree.. thanks a bunch this was a LIFE SAVER

  103. Luisa says:

    Thank you!!

  104. Caroline says:

    Thank you so much for this! Worked perfectly – I was beginning to panic at the cost of replacing the battery (New Zealand is expensive!)

    Cheers!

  105. hossam says:

    THANK YOUUUU

  106. Dan says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! Stopped that sinking feeling in my heart and wallet simply and quickly.

  107. The Christenson's says:

    You are a life saver my friend. Thanks you for posting this.

  108. Tom Walls says:

    My cat sat on my Mac’s keyboard and in the morning the computer was all kinds of messed up – WiFi wouldn’t connect, the battery symbol displayed an ‘X’ and so on. This procedure fixed it! Thanks!

  109. Belle says:

    Thank you soooooooo much!!! Found daughter absolutely about to freak out about her laptop (and terrified to tell me we might have an expensive visit to Apple store in our future) but experience has taught me to google first and panic later with laptop issues. Your page was the first that came up and within a minute we were totally fixed!!!!! Cannot thank you enough for the easy to follow instructions and assistance in avoiding a catastrophe here today :-)

  110. Byron says:

    Wow. That so worked. Thank you.

  111. Wow!! You are a life safer! Thanks so much for this – I searched everywhere!!! Batteries all sorted now…thanks again

  112. Neda says:

    Really helpful! Thanks a million

  113. J Gers says:

    Worked perfectly on a mac book pro. Saw your headline and went right to your link. Every symptom was exactly correct. Thanks for sharing bro my wife thinks I am like a super genius now.

  114. Mindy says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! I read articles all the time that don’t work, but this one worked brilliantly. Whoever wrote this article, you are amazing. Thank you!

  115. Reka says:

    Big thank you!! Excellent article

  116. Dave says:

    Thank you! Clear, concise, and accurate. The right fix for the right problem.

  117. David says:

    I was about to get a new battery. This saved my life

  118. suni says:

    it worked! it worked!!! thank u sooooooo much!!!!

  119. Danny says:

    Thanks mate, works a treat and got my keyboard backlight working again too.

  120. Anthony says:

    I am afraid, it did not work for me, followed all your instructions, unplugged battery, re plugged, Held Shift+Control+Option+Power concurrently for a few seconds, nothing.

    However, when I hold down shift control, it starts uo.
    Plug gives me a green light, but cannot charge battery.

  121. Daylen Workman says:

    Ok so i tried this the first time it did this and it worked perfectly and now it wont work. Please help to find another fix

  122. c v says:

    THANK YOU! This saved me a grueling trip to the apple store. You rock!!

  123. wadali says:

    awesome trick working well but i want to know why its happened

  124. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Better than getting married

  125. PsYness says:

    Awesome… This just worked perfectly on my macbook Thank you for this thread.

  126. Mikaela says:

    This is awesome i though my computer was really broken but then i heard it was happening to others it made me feel just fine and now my macbook isn’t making a loud Vooming noise and it has stopped it annoying Turning off while charging!

  127. Hector Ruiz says:

    Hello! This is the first time in 5.2 years with the Mac Air. Incredibly simple and easy. Thank you so much.

    Strange but today I got some files from an infected USB (from a Winbugs computer), I was not able to read the files, I say 2 files instead of 3, then the person used a single.ZIP file, then the ZIP, once unzipped showed another .ZIP file, not the 3 original files, we had to format the thumb drive.

    So at this point in time I don’t know if the problem was because of the virus or because of the age of my Air, having lots of PDF opened files (about 30)

    Regards

    • glenn says:

      Macs can not get Windows viruses. Mac is entirely immune to any and every Windows virus, so the data on the USB drive from Windows would have no impact on the Mac.

  128. Rose Smith says:

    OMG! i was flipping out because all of the sudden one afternoon this happened, and my little apple on the outside of the computer wasn’t turning off (the light) and i was getting really frustrated, and i looked this up and this fixed it right away!! I normally don’t leave stupid reviews.. but this made me so happy! Thanks for the help! P.S. If anybody is wondering, you don’t need to buy a weird adapter thing, it worked for me by just shutting down and holding shift control option ad power for like 20 seconds. Thanks!

  129. Mallory says:

    Great, after doing this my mac won’t turn on at all. Thanks a lot literally made the problem as worse as possible.

  130. Delacroix says:

    Thank you. This is awesome.

  131. Claire says:

    Thank you so much! Saved my life! I thought my mac was done for good, ill definitely recommend this and tell people about it if they happen to have these problems

  132. Dj Salvation says:

    So I’m a Dj and ,I have a gig planned for tomorrow and my laptop was doing all the symptoms mentioned. I was so scared, thinking my lap top crashed the night before a party, but I followed these simple step, and back to new!!! True Lifesaver

  133. Elaine says:

    thank you so much,, thought my laptop was gonna die on me.. you’re a saint…

  134. ashish says:

    Thank you.. worked like a charm..

  135. Aakay says:

    It did work dude……..Thank u so much

  136. lisa says:

    Curse you!! The fix worked perfectly and now I won’t be getting a new rose gold air. Dang it!!!

  137. Mat says:

    The problem with me happened after a malfunction on magsafe. A little trouble with my power source. After the forced shutdown, maybe the mac protection against mal function, the new boot began with theses troubles (fan always on, missing battery).
    I made the procedures and with a new power source (the old didnt work more) all turn back to normal. I had fear of burning magsafe board, but nothing happen. Just reset things and mac is working fine.

  138. Jennifer says:

    I, having a notorious history of terrible luck with technology, was not expecting this to work for me at all. It did. I’m honestly amazed. Thank you so much for this!

  139. Ahmed Alwerdani says:

    Thank you, It is back to normal again.

  140. Diana says:

    This might be a silly question, but i’m always worried about this, if I follow your steps will any of my files be accidentally deleted in the process? Thanks!

  141. Ioana Odeh says:

    god bless you! Is working …. Milion thanks for your great Support

  142. Reza says:

    Super helpful article and works perfectly. Thanks!!

  143. Lisa says:

    Incredible!! Thank you!

  144. shem says:

    A big thanks to you, Bless u

  145. Erock says:

    Just adding my name to the long list of thank yous. You da best!!

  146. Chang says:

    Thank you thank you thank you…. Worked like a charm on my MBP πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

  147. Abdullah Wasim says:

    Thx this worked perfectly and I’m not a bot and this is he first time I commented on a post

  148. Cocoy Serapio says:

    It worked! This saved a lot of time effort and money going to the shop!

Leave a Reply

 

Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on Amazon.com

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates