MacBook Not Charging When Plugged In? Here's the Fix


Your Macbook is an expensive piece of technology and seeing it not charging can make your blood run cold. Don't worry. We have created a detailed, easy to follow step-by-step guide to help identify why your device is not charging and what you can do to fix it.

Hardware vs. Software

Pinpointing the reason for your Macbook not charging is very difficult, as there can be several reasons. This is why we have divided the our guide into two main categories - hardware and software.

Software issues are usually straightforward to fix. They typically don’t cost you any money and can be done by yourself at home if you simply follow this guide. Hardware reasons, on the other hand, can be pretty complicated.

The most simple hardware reason is your charger being faulty. Still, there are other reasons which are much more complicated and might require an actual computer mechanic to solve. These include issues such as your charging port not working or water damage. We have provided all the possible issues and how you can fix them in thie article.

Software Problem

If you are not sure what the exact problem with your Macbook is, then it’s best to start by seeing if there is a software issue. Software issues are the easiest to solve.

Restart your MacBook

Sometimes the problem isn’t too complicated, and you just need to restart your MacBook.

  1. Click on the Apple logo on the top left-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Click on the restart option.
  3. Wait for your MacBook to restart and check if your Macbook is charging.

Reset SMC

If you've already tried restarting and it didn’t work, try out this method, it involves resetting the SMC (System Management Controller), which is responsible for battery management. It is a pretty straightforward process, here is how to do it.

  1. Shut down your Macbook.
  2. Hold the Shift, Control, Option, and power buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds.
  3. After 10 seconds, release the keys and click on the power button.

CleanMyMac X

It’s possible that a particular app is running in the background on your Mac, and that it is draining the battery. If such an app exists, it must be put to sleep (or deleted).

To start though, you'll need to first find the app which is draining the battery. For this, we recommend using CleanMyMac X. It has many useful features for maintaining your Mac and one of them happens to be identifying all battery draining apps. Here's how to do it.

  1. Click on the health monitor icon located in the upper bar of your Mac.
  2. Check the section which displays your battery life.
  3. If there are any apps under that which are battery consuming, then they must be put to sleep.
  4. Click on the application on the menu bar.
  5. Select the quit option.

Malware

It may also be possible that there is malware installed on your Mac. These malicious pieces of software are are known to deplete batteries in the background without your knowledge. Just like battery-draining apps, we recommend using CleanMyMac X to deal with malware. CleanMyMac X has a separate Malware removal tab which searches your Mac for any malware and deletes it.

Hardware Problem

Hardware problems are also pretty common amongst Mac users. These problems usually require you to replace the faulty part, so may be a bit more expensive. You should troubleshoot for them after you’ve first made sure that no software problems are plaguing your Macbook.

Faulty Charger

Apple makes some of the highest quality products available. Still, their charger cables can be flimsy and are susceptible to physical damage. You must inspect your charger to make sure that there is no part where the wire is exposed, and if there is, then it’s likely that your charger is broken and you will need to buy a new one.

However, finding out if your charger is broken is not an easy task. Your charger has two main parts; the cable and the charging brick. One of these may be faulty, while the other one could be working correctly, so it would be a waste of money to repurchase both of these.

You’ll first need to borrow a charging cable and brick from your friend or someone else you know who owns a Mac. Plug the charger that works into your Mac and if it charges, then you know that your charger is faulty. Check both your cable and power brick individually to see which one is faulty and then replace the defective part. We have listed below the cable, and also the power brick, that we think are the best replacements available in the market.

Best Cable

The Anker USB-C cable is one of the best charging cables out there for your Mac or any other device that uses USB-C, like your iPad pro. This is a braided cable so it won’t break like Apples included cables.

USB Type C Cable, Anker Powerline+ USB C to USB 3.0 Cable (3ft), High Durability, for Samsung Galaxy Note 8, S8, S8+, S9, MacBook, Sony XZ, LG V20 G5 G6, HTC 10, Xiaomi 5 and More
13,959 Reviews
USB Type C Cable, Anker Powerline+ USB C to USB 3.0 Cable (3ft), High Durability, for Samsung Galaxy Note 8, S8, S8+, S9, MacBook, Sony XZ, LG V20 G5 G6, HTC 10, Xiaomi 5 and More
  • The Anker Advantage: Join the 20 million+ powered by our leading technology.
  • Fast Sync & charge: charges phones and tablets at high speed. Offers SuperSpeed transfer of 5 Gaps—transfer an HD movie in under 5 seconds. (Does not support full speed charge for Nexus 5X or 6P or...
  • Lasts 5X longer: double-braided nylon exterior, toughened aramid Fiber core and laser-welded connectors equip power line+ with superior toughness from end-to-end.
  • What you get: Anker power line+ C to USB 3. 0 (3ft including both ends), Our worry-free lifetime and friendly customer service.

Best Power Brick

Satechi is a reputable brand that has made one of the best power bricks in the market in the form of its 75W travel charger. This charger provides you with one USB-C port, one quick charger 3.0 USB port, and two other USB ports to charge all your devices.

Satechi 75W Dual Type-C PD Travel Charger Adapter with 2 USB-C PD & 2 USB 3.0 - Compatible with 2020/2019 MacBook Pro, 2020/2019 iPad Pro
451 Reviews
Satechi 75W Dual Type-C PD Travel Charger Adapter with 2 USB-C PD & 2 USB 3.0 - Compatible with 2020/2019 MacBook Pro, 2020/2019 iPad Pro
  • POWERFUL ALL-IN-ONE CHARGING - consolidates multiple adapters into one powerful, sleek charger to simultaneously power up to four USB devices (max output: 75W). Charging cables are not included
  • DUAL USB-C POWER DELIVERY - enjoy two USB-C PD ports, supplying up to 60W/18W to your USB-C laptop or tablet. Supports fast charging on compatible USB-C devices
  • EXTRA USB 3.0 PORTS - includes two additional USB-A ports to charge your smartphones, cameras, media devices and more! Total max output: 12W
  • ADVANCED SAFETY FEATURES - housed in durable, heat-resistant materials and CE/ETL/FCC certified ensure a safe, worry-free charge. We always recommend using original charging cables
  • COMPATIBILITY - 2020/2019/2018/2017/2016 MacBook Pro, 2020/2018 MacBook Air, 2020/2018 iPad Pro, 2019 iPad, 2015/2016/2017 MacBook, iPhone 11 Plus Max/11 Plus/11, XS Max/XS/XR, Microsoft Surface...

Overheating MacBook

You might not know this, but overheating significantly affects the battery of your Mac. Besides the usual thermal throttling and decreased battery life, it may cause your Mac not to charge at all.

Your MacBook has thermal sensors that detect high temperatures and, when activated, don’t allow you to charge to prevent any damage to your Mac. The best course of action in this event is to let your Macbook cool down. If your Macbook is overheating, firstly stop using it.

If it’s in direct sunlight or a warm room, then take it to a cooler environment. After a few minutes, or even a few hours, your Macbook will once again start charging.

If this happens often, it might be benefical to invest in a cooling pad which dissipates some heat from your Macbook, causing it to run cooler.

Bad Battery

Another essential reason why Macbooks stop charging is because of a degraded internal battery. Check your battery health as shown below, and if it’s deficient, then contact Apple or any trusted third party to replace your battery and install a new one. If you are technologically skilled enough, you can even do this yourself, but remember that if done by anyone other than Apple, your warranty will be void. Here's the steps to check your Macbook battery health:

  1. Hold the Option key.
  2. Click on the Apple menu.
  3. Select system information.
  4. Under the hardware section, choose Power.
  5. Your battery health is listed under the Battery Information section.

Conclusion

If the methods listed above didn’t help solve your problem, then it’s best to take your Macbook to Apple or any other repair shop and get it checked by a professional.

Muaz Ashrafi

Hi! I am Muaz, a Mass Communication major. I like to think I am a free urban spirit. I write blogs with a focus on tech and gadgets. When I'm not writing, you can find me with my headphones on, relaxing to some good house EDM music. I'm also a hobbyist photographer, you can find me on Instagram @mzwithacamera.

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