Several potential problems could cause a MacBook to not acknowledge the battery. Fixing some of the issues requires you to simply restart your system or adjust the System Memory Controller. Sometimes the battery doesn't show up due to a more serious issue with the hardware on your computer; these problems usually require sending your computer to a technician to repair. In extreme cases, you may need to replace your computer. Troubleshoot the problem using safe methods that won't void your warranty to find out why your computer battery isn't being registered.

Battery Status

The battery status menu displays the current condition of the battery. Check to make sure the status shows an "X" mark and doesn't simply show a completely drained battery. Determine the current battery level by clicking the battery status icon. The drop-down menu displays the condition of the battery and shows the time until the battery gets completely charged. If you see an indication that you need to service or replace the battery, take it in for repair. All laptop batteries eventually need replacement.

Software-Related Issues

Resetting the System Management Controller can sometimes fix power- and battery-related issues. If you can remove the battery on your own, shut down the computer and unplug the computer. Press and hold the power button for five seconds, release the button and then replace the battery. Try restarting your computer. For MacBook models with batteries you can't remove, shut down the computer but keep the power adapter plugged in. Press "Shift-Control-Option" along with the power button simultaneously. Release the keys and start the computer to see if the computer indicates a charging battery.

Diagnose Hardware Issues

A swollen battery could cause the system to not recognize the battery. Generally, a swollen battery also causes problems with the built-in trackpad as the battery pushes against the trackpad. Swollen batteries must be replaced to prevent a more hazardous condition. Heat can temporarily swell a battery. If you have a hot computer, power it off, disconnect it from a power source and let it cool down. Charging your battery increases the heat. You can also push in the small round battery indicator switch on the side of your computer. A series of green lights is visible on the side of the computer when you have a working battery.

Changing the Battery

Only use Apple-approved batteries as replacements. Many third-party manufacturer batteries may not work properly in the computer and may not show up within the power settings. You should only replace batteries on computers with a built-in battery with the help of a professional. Static discharge and incorrectly disconnecting the power cable from the battery to the logic board could destroy your computer. The built-in battery also requires a Y-shaped screwdriver that you must purchase from a specialty store. Using another screwdriver could strip the screws and make it more expensive to replace should you consult a professional later.