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The MagSafe power supply is great because it uses magnets to ensure a connection between your MacBook and the AC adapter. Not only does it quickly shut down and prevent errors, but it also clicks quickly to power your Mac. It usually works fine, but in some rare cases, the MagSafe adapter is seemingly connected nicely, but no charge is transferred to the computer. Fortunately, these problems are usually easy to solve, so follow steps 1–3 below to get your MagSafe to recharge your Mac.
And yes, these steps are the same for any MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with a built-in battery and MagSafe Magnetic Charging Adapter.
1: Make sure the MagSafe is plugged in and try another outlet
Yes, that means check that the adapter is plugged in and that the MagSafe AC adapter or wall adapter is properly connected and secured. Experimenting with different outlets is also critical because it excludes an outlet (and who hasn’t had the experience of plugging something into a non-functioning outlet before?).
Also check the adapter for defects or wear. Do not use the MagSafe if the MagSafe cable is torn, decayed, damaged, or the inside of the charger is exposed in any way. Replace it immediately.
2: Check the MagSafe ports for debris
Now check the MagSafe ports for objects or debris. Look closely at both the adapter cable and the port on the side of your MacBook Pro / Air. Foreign objects that interfere with the physical connection between the charger and the computer are one of the most common reasons why MagSafe adapters apparently do not pass payment. The image below shows how a small piece of something blocking the connection can be hard to see, so check carefully.
(Notice the small metal particle that is firmly inserted into the corner of the port. Yes, this is a real example of troubleshooting taken on a MacBook Air that does not charge.)
If you see something stuck in the MagSafe adapter or Mac port, unplug the MagSafe from the wall and unplug your Mac from all power sources, and then remove it from the port with a wooden object, such as a toothpick. Never use any metal for this purpose.
This may sound silly or unlikely, but it happens more often than you might think. Because laptops and MagSafe adapters are often carried in backpacks, purses, and bags, they can collect lint and other particles that can prevent proper connection. In addition, the same magnetic connection that makes the MagSafe adapter so wonderful can also attract other small items that are only large enough to prevent charging while also being difficult to visually identify.
3: Reset SMC
If you have verified that the MagSafe adapter is connected correctly and there are no obstructions in the port, you should next select the System Management Driver (SMC). This can solve many power problems on Macs, strange fan behavior, batteries that are not charging, the MagSafe adapter not being recognized as connected or charging, a message missing from the battery, refusing to sleep, or waking up properly to many other problems.
Resetting your SMC on MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Retina MacBook without a removable battery is easy and as follows:
- To shut down your MacBook, choose Apple Menu> Shut Down
- Connect the MagSafe power supply
- Hold down Shift + Control + Option + Power at the same time for about 4 seconds, then release it all together
- Press the power button to turn on the MacBook to restore the SMC
For clarity, these are the exact keys that are pressed when the Mac is turned off while the adapter is connected to reset the SMC:
If you have an older MacBook model with an eject battery, the steps are slightly different, you can follow the instructions or Apple’s official instructions to perform the same SMC recovery on these computers.
Resetting SMC clears all power settings on your Mac, so if you have custom settings in Energy Saver or elsewhere, you’ll need to reconfigure them, because all power management settings will be reset to the default settings for macOS / Mac OS X.
4: Disconnect the plug, wait, try again
This next tip may sound a little strange, but it fixes many issues related to Magsafe, which doesn’t load Macs. Basically, unplug everything, including the outlet, wait a while, and then try again.
- Disconnect the MagSafe adapter from your Mac and electrical outlet. Let it sit detached from anywhere for about 5 minutes. Then plug the charging plug back in, and then connect the MagSafe to your MacBook Pro.
Many MagSafe users in our comments say this works when there are no other tricks, so try this if Magsafe doesn’t charge your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air!
Your MacBook battery should now charge from the MagSafe as usual
Once your Mac is turned on, it should charge well, like the MagSafe light is orange or green.
If you’re still having problems and your Mac isn’t charging, the MagSafe adapter itself may be faulty (a fairly rare occurrence) or your MacBook logic card may be faulty (another rare occurrence). If possible, try another MagSafe adapter to see if it works with your Mac.
If you’ve completed the steps above and the battery still doesn’t charge and the MagSafe adapter doesn’t work, your next bet is to schedule an appointment or call with Apple’s official support channels to get the MacBook, battery, and MagSafe adapter I looked at. Sometimes it can be a hardware failure, although it is quite rare.
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