MacBook Pros that don't charge past 1% get free battery replacement

Every so often, we hear about software updates that bring their own set of bugs even as they fix others. Most of the time, these bugs only affect software features but there are rare times that they may affect even a device's hardware. The past few days have been a stressful one for MacBook Pro owners exactly because of that rare case of bad luck over battery issues and Apple is now offering free battery replacements for those affected by a highly inconvenient bug.

When Apple released macOS Big Sure 11.2 last week, some MacBook Pro owners suddenly discovered they could no longer charge their batteries. It took a few days but Apple finally rolled out a fix in Big Sur 11.2.1 and a Catalina 10.15.7 supplemental update to make sure that other MacBook Pros won't even reach that point. Unfortunately, it might have been too late for some who have run into a worse scenario.

Apple acknowledged that a very small number of 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models now can't even charge past 1%. Even if these were functioning perfectly before, they are now faced with a "Service Recommended" warning. This could make it impossible for affected users to even update their MacBook Pros at this point.

Apple is now announcing a free battery replacement offer to MacBook Pros that were affected by this strange bug. Given the age of the devices, they are naturally outside of warranty coverage. That said, only these specific models are eligible for the offer:

• MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

• MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

• MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

• MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

• MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)

• MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)

Owners are advised to check their model number and battery health to verify they can claim the free replacement and contact Apple support. Those that aren't affected are also advised to update to the latest Big Sur and Catalina versions anyway to make sure they don't end up on the same boat as these.