If you need to replace the charger for your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro, it’s important that you find the right charger for your specific machine, as unlike the iPhone’s one-size-fits-all lightning cable, the chargers differ from Apple. MacBook range.
We’ll show you how to find the charger that best suits your laptop. It’s also worth noting that Apple has recalled some of its outlets for security reasons, and you’ll need to find out if yours has been compromised.
Updated on 08/18/22: We’ve updated our guide to include the latest MacBooks and power adapters.
Will the wrong charger damage my MacBook?
If you buy an official MacBook charger from Apple, you can be sure that choosing the wrong type won’t damage your device.
While several are available, ranging from 30W to 140W, the more powerful ones won’t overload your machine or drain your battery. Fast charging is a new feature on some MacBooks and requires a certain amount of power, but charging with a slower power adapter is fine, it just takes longer.
Chargers for the current MacBook range
Currently, the MacBook range consists of the M1 MacBook Air, M2 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in three sizes. Each of these has a different charger, which we’ve listed below.
Check your cable
Before replacing the entire charger, make sure that the cable you are using is the correct rating for your device. Since the introduction of USB-C chargers, the cables have been separated from the main adapter and are therefore easier to mix up.
Many of the official Apple cables have the words ‘Designed by Apple in California’. Assembled in China’ printed on them. In addition, there is also an alphanumeric serial number that indicates which charger they belong to. You won’t find this on all cables, though. For example, it’s not on the newer braided MagSafe 3 cables that come with the very latest MacBooks.
Those starting with C4M or FL4 are for the 29/30W USB-C adapters used by the MacBook (2015 and later) and MacBook Air (2018 and later).
Those starting with DLC or CTC can be used with the 61W or 87W USB-C adapters used by the MacBook Pros (2016 or later).
Apple recommends that you contact Apple Support if you notice that your cable does not have a serial number, as you may be entitled to a replacement.
Which Mac do I have?
If your machine is older than any of the above, you should first determine the specific type before purchasing a charger.
Read our Which Mac Do I Have? manual for instructions on determining your model.
Chargers for older Macs
As you can imagine, there have been quite a few combinations of chargers and machines in Apple’s recent history.
These mainly fall into four main types: MagSafe, MagSafe 2, MagSafe 3, and the ones that only charge with a USB-C connection on the Mac side. MageSafe 2 cables are split between MagSafe L and MagSafe T type connectors. MagSafe L is the longer, straighter connector attached next to the MacBook, while the T is the blocky square used on most MagSafe connectors.
Here’s an overview of which style belongs to which device.
If your MacBook doesn’t have a MagSafe connector, it just charges via USB-C. You can use any USB-C power adapter that supports the USB-C Power Delivery standard, but you’ll need a more powerful adapter to charge your Mac faster, especially if it’s a newer, larger model. Check out our guide to the best USB-C power adapters.
The latest MacBooks with MagSafe 3 can also be charged via USB-C, and in fact MagSafe 3 cables can be connected to any USB-C power adapter that supports the power supply standard.
The latest re-emergence of MagSafe comes after several years of MacBooks that only have USB-C connectors. It is similar in design to the T-shaped MagSafe 2, but slightly thinner and able to carry more power.
MagSafe 3 is more of a cable than a charger. The two chargers that these MagSafe 3 cables are attached to simply have USB-C ports and will work just fine to charge your MacBook when plugged into the USB-C port. That way you won’t charge the 16-inch MacBook Pro quickly, but otherwise it works fine.