If your USB-C power adapter isn't charging your Mac laptop

Find out what to do if the USB-C power adapter that came with your Mac laptop computer stops charging, gets warm or sparks.

Mac laptop computers come with a USB-C power adapter and charge cable. You can find out which power adapter and cable came with your Mac laptop computer, and find troubleshooting tips below. If you're experiencing an issue with a non-Apple power adapter, try using the Apple power adapter and cable that came with your Mac laptop instead.

USB-C power adapter

USB-C power adapter

 

AC plug or "duckhead"

 

USB-C charging cable

 

If your Mac laptop with USB-C won't charge

If your USB-C power adapter isn't charging your MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, first try unplugging the power adapter from the plug socket, waiting a few seconds and then plugging it back in. If that doesn't help, check the following.

Check the power

Find out how to check your plug socket and AC plug. 

Check the plug socket

Make sure you've connected your USB-C power adapter to a working plug socket. Unplug your USB-C power adapter from the plug socket, then plug in a known-good device, such as a lamp or clock, to confirm it turns on correctly. If the plug socket is working, connect your USB-C power adapter to it and try charging your Mac. If your Mac still isn't charging, shut it down and close the display for 30 seconds, then open the display and try charging it again. If you're not using a Mac with Apple silicon, reset the SMC.

Check for line noise issues

Unplug the power adapter from the wall, wait 30 seconds, then plug the adapter back in:

  • If your Mac laptop starts charging after you've plugged the power adapter back in, this may indicate an issue with line noise (disruption caused by stray electromagnetic signals) from your plug socket. The power adapter will shut off automatically when its built-in voltage protection feature senses line noise from a socket.
  • Some possible sources of line noise include lights with ballasts, refrigerators or mini-refrigerators that are on the same electrical circuit as the socket you're using. Plugging the power adapter into an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or a socket that's on a different circuit can help.

If your power adapter continues turning itself off when it's connected to a known-good socket, take your adapter to an Apple Authorised Service Provider or Apple Store for further evaluation.

Check the AC plug or cable

Your power adapter comes with a removable AC plug that has the blades for inserting into a plug socket. If your Mac laptop won't charge when using the AC plug with the power adapter, try using another Apple AC plug, or try using an Apple Power Adapter Extension Cable (sold separately). 

Check the cabling

Your Mac laptop comes with a USB-C cable that charges the computer. You can find out if this cable is causing your charging issue by trying another USB-C cable. Remember that not all USB-C cables can charge your MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, so make sure the cable you're using is designed for charging.

If your Mac laptop is able to charge with one USB-C cable but not another, stop using the cable that isn't working immediately and get your cable and power supply evaluated.

If your Mac laptop only starts charging when you wiggle or move the USB-C cable or Apple Power Adapter Extension Cable (sold separately), stop using the cable immediately and get your cable and power supply evaluated.

Check for updates

In some cases, software or firmware updates may be available for your computer that will improve communication with your power adapter. If your MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro isn't charging as expected, check for software updates on your Mac.

If the adapter starts getting warm

The USB-C power adapter can become warm during normal use, so make sure you're using it in a well-ventilated area. Always plug the power adapter directly into a plug socket using the AC plug, or place it on a table or other well-ventilated area when using the Power Adapter Extension Cable (sold separately).

Avoid placing your adapter in a poorly ventilated area, such as on a sofa, thick carpet, bedding or a pillow. Avoid covering the adapter with a blanket or other insulation.

The power adapter may turn itself off if it gets too warm. If this happens, disconnect the USB-C cable from your Mac laptop, then let the power adapter cool down before handling it.

If you see a spark

When you plug in the USB-C power adapter, it may spark where the blades of the plug enter the socket. This is generally normal and can happen when plugging any electrical appliance into a socket.

If you see any of the following when plugging in your adapter or if you have other concerns about sparking, you should contact Apple:

  • Contact Apple if a spark comes from somewhere other than the blades of the plug.
  • Contact Apple if you see any damage or discolouration on the adapter.

Get your Mac laptop and power supply evaluated

Whether your Mac laptop with USB-C is in or out of warranty, you can bring it to an Apple Authorised Service Provider or Apple Store for evaluation. Make sure you bring your Mac, your USB-C power adapter and any USB-C cables you use for charging.

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