Sometimes, a simple issue can cause a big headache. It’s like a tiny fishbone stuck in the throat that puts you in much discomfort. MacBook charging issue is a bit similar story.
Laptop is running okay; all other functionalities may also work perfectly. Yet your MacBook Pro won’t charge. It’s running out of power and will be dead soon. Yes, it’s a big concern. But don’t worry, take it easy. It is a usual thing, happens to a lot of battery-powered devices, including MacBook Pro.
Still, you have to take the fishbone out of your throat. So, let’s get on the road to find out why the MacBook Pro is not charging and how to put things back to normal. Here we go…
Why is my Macbook Pro not charging when plugged in?
You have plugged in your MacBook Pro as usual, but it’s not charging! You might go clueless on why is the MacBook pro not charging? From a faulty charger to internal hardware/software issues, it can happen for several reasons.
To help you out, we have listed the most common reasons why the MacBook Pro won’t charge. Open the cards one by one, and see if your Mac has one of these similar kinds of issues.
MacBook Pro won’t charge with defective charger and ports
When it comes to investigating a charging issue, the charger becomes a prime suspect in any case. The same goes here. Therefore, Check whether your charger has one of the above defects.
- Damaged Charging Cable
- Broken AC plug
- Low-Power Adapter
- Damaged MagSafe Pins
- Dirty Charging Ports
A faulty charger may be the reason why your MacBook is not charging.
Battery may cause the issue
MacBook may not be charging due to poor battery condition. Sometimes, overcharging the battery or heavy usage of the laptop can damage battery health. However, battery health may naturally decline when it reaches the final stage of its life cycle.
Besides, MacBook Pro has an advanced Battery health management system. When the battery is above 90% charged, this system stops charging the laptop. And it won’t start charging until the battery drains below that percentage. Basically, it is not an issue, just an advanced feature to extend the Lithium-ion battery life.
Issue with the System Management Controller (SMC)
The SMC – System Management Controller handles the battery, charging, and power management. The system is responsible for managing behavior of the power button and power to the USB ports. It is a part of logic board that controls the action of the charging circuit. SMC remains active even if the laptop is shut down. That’s why the Mac still charges and shows an indicator light when it’s switched off.
In short, MacBook’s charging depends on this system. Therefore, your MacBook Pro won’t charge in case there’s a problem with SMC.
MacBook Pro won’t charge when there are safety concerns
Alternative Currents (AC) can have serious distortions. (Note: If you don’t know, the line current is actually AC currents). The distortion or noise in line can damage the charging device. Therefore, MacBook chargers come with a built-in voltage protection system that halts charging when there is line noise.
See whether your charger quits charging in a few minutes after plugging in. If yes, then check the line current or the power outlet. Your MacBook may not be charging due to line noise.
If you are using one of the recalled MacBook Pro models
Some of the MacBook Pro models sold between September 2015 to February 2017 have battery overheating issues. Due to that, Apple recalled those models. If you are using one of those models, check whether it’s already recalled.
How do you check it? You can check it by serial number. Find your MacBook’s serial number from Apple Menu >> About This Mac. Then go to the 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall Program, and check for your Mac’s eligibility for a replacement.
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What do you do if your MacBook isn’t charging?
Once you diagnose the causes, you must go for the cure. That means if you figure out why your MacBook Pro is not charging, you can fix the issue. Thankfully the most common causes for Mac charging issues are easy to fix.
Let’s find out how to fix a MacBook Pro that is not charging.
Reset the SMC when your MacBook Pro won’t charge
If the battery is in a good condition and the charger is perfectly okay, there may be an issue with the System Management Controller (SMC). Try resetting the SMC to fix the issue.
You can reset the SMC in different ways under different conditions. Follow the instructions below to reset the system management controller.
Note: Check the basic things like the charger, battery, and line connections before going into this procedure.
Reset SMC on MacBooks with T2 security chip
This method is for the MacBooks with an Apple T2 security chip. To check, go to Apple menu >> System Information, then select Controller. You will see “Apple T2 chip” listed when your Mac has the T2 security chip. Also, you can check the list of Mac models that have the Apple T2 chip from here.
If your MacBook Pro has a T2 chip, follow these steps:
Step-1: First, shut down your MacBook.
Step-2: Now press Left Control + Left Option + Right Shift. Hold those buttons
on press for 7 seconds. The Mac might turn on in the process.
Step-3: Then press the Power Button too. Press and hold all four keys for
another 7 secs. The Mac will turn off as you press these buttons, in case it turned
Step-4: After seven seconds, release all the keys. And wait for a few seconds.
Then start your Mac as normal. The SMC reset is done.
If your Mac doesn’t have a T2 security chip, the SMC reset process is different, depending on whether your MacBook has a nonremovable battery or a removable one.
Reset SMC On Macbooks with a nonremovable battery
You have to go for different approaches if your MacBook Pro doesn’t have an Apple T2 security chip but a nonremovable battery.
Here is the process:
Step-1: Shut down your device First.
Step-2: Now press the following keys: Left Control, Left Option, and Shift.
Press and hold all the keys for 10 seconds.
Step-3: Then release all the keys and press the Power Button to turn on the
Reset SMC On Macbooks with a removable battery
The older MacBooks used to have removable batteries. If you use one of those, follow these procedures:
Step-1: Shut down your computer.
Step-2: Remove the battery from the device.
Step-3: Press the power button and keep holding it for 5 seconds.
Step-4: Put back the battery in its place.
Step-5: Finally, turn on your MacBook Pro by pressing the Power Button.
The SMC resetting process is done. Your MacBook Pro should start charging again. These were all possible ways to reset SMC on a MacBook Pro. If your device still doesn’t charge, the problem lies elsewhere.
Check the charger and charging lines
Chargers have a big role to play charging any device. Therefore, the charger and charging line is the first you should check for a potential flaw.
Take the following action to find and fix the charger issues of your MacBook Pro:
Inspect for physical damage
Examine the adapter, AC plug, and charging cable for possible defects. As for the cable, check if the wire has a cut somewhere or is burnt. The damaged cable cannot flow electricity from the power source to the laptop. Hence the device won’t charge. The same goes for the AC plug when it’s broken.
In both scenarios, you need to repair the damaged component. If you are an expert, you can try to repair them. But we recommend you to reach a service point with your broken charger. Having said that, you might get a new Mac charger in case it is heavily damaged.
Check for line noise
As said earlier, Mac charger automatically stops charging when there’s a noise in line current. Thanks to its built-in voltage protection mechanism. After all, Apple always uses advanced technologies and you would expect such safety features in their product.
Anyway, unplug the charger and plug it in again after few moments. If the stops charging after few minutes, there is line noise perhaps. Call an electrician to inspect the line of your house or office. Also, always plug your charger into a separate outlet to stay out of the hassle.
Clean the dirty ports
Frequent use of the USB-C port can make it grubby. It can cause distortions while charging. So, keeping the charging port clean is a good practice. You can use compressed air to blow out the dust. Also, can use soft brushes and plastic dental picks to clean the sticky dirt.
Use the right power adapter and cable
Individual MacBooks have different power ratings. For example, the 61 watts USB-C power adapter and charge cable are recommended for 13-inch MacBook Pro models from 2016 onwards. While the recommendation for 15-inch MacBook Pro models is 87 watts. And for 16-inch MacBook Pro 2019 models, the power rating is 96 watts.
You can use non-recommended chargers, and they might charge your device as well. But they can cause a lot of trouble also. Therefore, find the right power adapter and cable for your Mac notebook and always use the recommended ones.
Charger issues are often considered primary level concerns. It’s easy to repair or replace a charger. However, a damaged charger can cause a lot of harm to your MacBook. So you need to keep track of your Mac charger condition regularly.
Check battery health and replace it if required
Battery is at the core of the charging process. In technical terms, when you are charging a device, it is actually the battery that gets charged. So, if your MacBook Pro is not charging, there may be an issue with the Battery. You need to check the MacBook battery health in such a case.
Check the battery condition
Click on the Battery icon in the menu bar while holding the option key. Also, you can go to the Apple menu >> System Preferences >> Battery to see the battery status.
You can see one of the four states: Normal, Service Recommended. What do they mean?
- Normal: The battery is perfectly functional holding the charge well enough.
- Service Recommended: Your Mac Pro battery is holding less charge than standard. You can think of replacing the battery at this stage.
- Replace Soon: The MacBook battery is not holding enough charge. You should take serious consideration to replacing it.
- Replace Now: This is the state when you have no other options. The battery is not holding charge at all and you have to replace it immediately.
So now you know when to replace your battery. If your Mac battery is not charging check the battery if it has come to a point where replacing is inevitable.
Check the charge cycle count
You can also check the charge cycle to get an idea about the battery condition.
To check Cycle Count:
- Press the Option Key and click the Apple Menu.
- Then go to the System Information and choose Hardware.
- Under the Hardware section select Power. There you can see Cycle Count under the Battery Information section.
Every time when you use all of the battery’s power is counts as one charge cycle. The MacBook Pro models of 2009 onwards has a Maximum Cycle Count of 1000.
Best places to get a new battery
Once the battery reaches the final stage of its life cycle, it doesn’t charge anymore. Therefore, you need to replace it.
But where will you find a new Mac battery? Well, official Apple stores or an authorized seller is the best place to get a new battery. There may be other popular sellers, but we can not recommend you anything that is not approved by Apple itself.
How much a new battery would cost? Here is a list of battery prices for different MacBook Pro models according to Apple Support.
If your MacBook is on a warranty period (usually one year), find an Apple Authorized Service Provider near you to claim for a replacement/free repair.
Few more ways to fix the MacBook Pro not charging issue
At times, some simple malfunctioning of the MacBook system can stop charging the laptop. You can solve those in simple ways. If none of the above fixes work and the issue persists, here is a list of things you can try:
- Install the pending software updates
- Update the macOS itself.
- Factory Reset (Backup all the data first)
- Simply Restart the Computer.
Also, check the Easy Fix article on how to format your Macbook Pro.
How do you fix a dead Macbook Pro that won’t charge?
The situation goes trickier when your MacBook runs out of power and it is not charging. When the full charge is drained, it goes dead. For this state, you can’t take certain steps like checking battery health, updating software and so. You inspect the battery and charger physically. However, there are other ways to fix it.
One is, resetting the SMC. As we discussed earlier, you can reset the System Management Controller even if the device is turned off or dead.
Another way is to reset the NVRAM. Press and hold the Command, Option, P, and R keys together till 20 seconds later and allow the computer to continue starting as usual. Resetting the nonvolatile RAM usually solves a lot of minor issues. Then release all four keys. Hopefully, it will solve this issue too.
On a final note
After a long-drawn discussion, you should be able to find and fix the charging issue on your MacBook Pro. The article should be sufficient for most of the cases when a MacBook Pro won’t charge. We have covered the most common cause and how to fix them.
Yet, a dozen of unknown issues may appear regarding MacBook Pro charging. Also, you may not be sure about fixing the issue on your own. That’s okay. Don’t risk your device by experimenting. Instead, we recommend you turn to the nearest Apple Service Center, or get online support from Apple.