How to Fix a Mac Laptop That’s Not Charging


When your Mac laptop refuses to charge, it can be a frustrating experience, especially if you rely on it for work, school, or personal use. A non-charging Mac can disrupt your routine, hinder productivity, and cause unnecessary stress. Fortunately, many charging issues can be resolved with some troubleshooting. This comprehensive guide will walk you through various steps to diagnose and potentially fix the problem. By the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of the possible causes and solutions for your Mac laptop's charging issues.

Step 1: Check the Power Source

Before diving into more complex troubleshooting, it's essential to rule out any issues with the power source. Sometimes, the problem might not lie with your Mac or its charger but with the outlet itself.

  1. Test the Outlet: Ensure that the power outlet you're using is functioning correctly. Plug another device, like a lamp or phone charger, into the same outlet to see if it works. If the outlet is faulty, try a different one.

  2. Check for Loose Connections: Ensure that the charger is firmly plugged into the outlet. Sometimes, a loose connection can prevent the charger from working correctly.

  3. Power Strip Issues: If you're using a power strip, ensure that it's switched on and functioning correctly. Try plugging the charger directly into the wall outlet to rule out issues with the power strip.

Step 2: Inspect the Charging Cable and Adapter

The next step is to inspect the charging cable and adapter for any visible damage or issues. A damaged cable or adapter can prevent your Mac from charging.

  1. Visual Inspection: Carefully examine the entire length of the charging cable for any signs of fraying, cuts, or exposed wires. Check the adapter for any visible damage, such as cracks or burn marks.

  2. Connection Points: Ensure that both ends of the charging cable (the end that connects to your Mac and the end that connects to the adapter) are clean and free of debris. Any obstruction can interfere with the charging process.

  3. Test Another Device: If possible, try using the same charging cable and adapter with another compatible device to see if it charges. If the other device charges without issue, the problem might be with your Mac.

  4. Try a Different Cable and Adapter: If you have access to another compatible charging cable and adapter, try using them to charge your Mac. This can help determine if the issue is with the original charger.

Step 3: Clean the Charging Port

Over time, dust, lint, and other debris can accumulate in the charging port of your Mac, preventing proper connection and charging.

  1. Power Off Your Mac: Before cleaning the charging port, ensure that your Mac is powered off to avoid any potential damage.

  2. Use Compressed Air: Use a can of compressed air to blow out any debris from the charging port. Hold the can upright and use short bursts of air to avoid moisture buildup.

  3. Soft Brush: Alternatively, you can use a soft-bristled brush (like a clean toothbrush) to gently remove any debris from the charging port.

  4. Inspect the Port: After cleaning, inspect the port for any remaining debris or damage. Ensure that the port is clear and unobstructed before attempting to charge your Mac again.

Step 4: Restart Your Mac

Sometimes, a simple restart can resolve minor software issues that might be preventing your Mac from charging.

  1. Shut Down Your Mac: Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and select "Shut Down."

  2. Wait a Few Seconds: After your Mac has completely shut down, wait for about 10-15 seconds.

  3. Power On Your Mac: Press the power button to turn your Mac back on.

  4. Check Charging Status: Once your Mac has restarted, check if it is now charging. Sometimes, a restart can reset the charging system and resolve minor issues.

Step 5: Reset the SMC (System Management Controller)

The System Management Controller (SMC) is responsible for various hardware functions on your Mac, including power management and battery charging. Resetting the SMC can often resolve charging issues.

For MacBooks with a Non-Removable Battery

  1. Shut Down Your Mac: Click on the Apple menu and select "Shut Down."

  2. Press and Hold Keys: Once your Mac is off, press and hold the Shift + Control + Option keys on the left side of the built-in keyboard, then press the power button simultaneously.

  3. Hold for 10 Seconds: Hold all four keys and the power button for 10 seconds, then release them.

  4. Power On Your Mac: Press the power button again to turn on your Mac.

  5. Check Charging Status: Check if your Mac is now charging. Resetting the SMC can often resolve charging issues related to power management.

For MacBooks with a Removable Battery

  1. Shut Down Your Mac: Click on the Apple menu and select "Shut Down."

  2. Remove the Battery: After your Mac has completely shut down, remove the battery (if applicable).

  3. Press and Hold Power Button: Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.

  4. Reinsert the Battery: Reinsert the battery into your Mac.

  5. Power On Your Mac: Press the power button to turn on your Mac.

  6. Check Charging Status: Check if your Mac is now charging. Resetting the SMC can often resolve charging issues related to power management.

Step 6: Check System Information

Your Mac provides detailed information about its hardware, including the battery and charging system. Checking this information can help diagnose the problem.

  1. Open System Information: Click on the Apple menu, select "About This Mac," and then click on "System Report."

  2. Navigate to Power: In the System Information window, navigate to the "Power" section.

  3. Battery Information: Check the "Battery Information" section for details about the battery condition, cycle count, and charging status. This information can help you determine if the battery itself is the issue.

  4. AC Charger Information: Check the "AC Charger Information" section to ensure that your Mac is recognizing the charger. If it shows "Not Charging" or "No AC Adapter Connected," there might be an issue with the charger or charging port.

Step 7: Update macOS

Sometimes, software updates can fix bugs and improve hardware compatibility, including issues related to battery charging.

  1. Check for Updates: Click on the Apple menu and select "System Preferences," then click on "Software Update."

  2. Install Updates: If updates are available, follow the on-screen instructions to download and install them.

  3. Restart Your Mac: After the updates are installed, restart your Mac and check if it is now charging.

Step 8: Try a Different Charging Cable and Adapter

If you haven't already done so, trying a different charging cable and adapter can help determine if the issue is with your current charger.

  1. Borrow or Purchase a New Charger: If you have access to another compatible charger (from a friend or colleague), try using it to charge your Mac. Alternatively, you can purchase a new charger.

  2. Check Compatibility: Ensure that the charger you are using is compatible with your Mac model. Using an incompatible charger can cause charging issues.

  3. Test Charging: Connect the new charger to your Mac and check if it is charging. If it charges with the new charger, the issue is likely with your original charger.

Step 9: Check Battery Health

The health of your Mac's battery can affect its ability to charge and hold a charge. Over time, batteries degrade and may need to be replaced.

  1. Battery Health Information: Go to Apple menu > About This Mac > System Report > Power. Check the "Battery Information" section for the battery health status.

  2. Cycle Count: The cycle count indicates the number of times the battery has been charged and discharged. Depending on the model, MacBook batteries typically last for 300-1000 charge cycles.

  3. Replace Battery: If the battery's health is poor or the cycle count is high, it might be time to replace it. Contact Apple Support or an authorized service provider for battery replacement options.

Step 10: Contact Apple Support

If none of the above steps resolve the issue, it might be a hardware problem that requires professional assistance.

  1. Apple Support: Visit the Apple Support website and follow the instructions to contact Apple Support. They can provide further troubleshooting and arrange for repairs if necessary.

  2. Apple Store or Authorized Service Provider: If your Mac is under warranty or AppleCare, visit an Apple Store or authorized service provider for diagnosis and repair. They can test your Mac with known-good components to identify and fix the issue.

Preventive Tips for Maintaining Your Mac’s Battery Health

While troubleshooting and fixing charging issues is essential, maintaining your Mac's battery health can help prevent future problems. Here are some tips to keep your battery in good condition:

  1. Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Keep your Mac and its battery from extreme temperatures. Avoid leaving it in a hot car or in direct sunlight.

  2. Regular Use: Use your Mac regularly to keep the battery active. If you don't use it for extended periods, store it with a 50% charge to prevent battery degradation.

  3. Update Software: Keep your macOS and all software up to date to ensure optimal battery performance and compatibility.

  4. Optimize Settings: Adjust settings like screen brightness, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth to conserve battery power. Use power-saving features like "Battery Saver" mode when necessary.

  5. Calibrate the Battery: Occasionally, calibrate your Mac's battery by fully charging it, then using it until it completely

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