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Which MacBook charger do I need?

Everyone knows the chargers that come with your MacBook are not nearly as sturdy as the MacBook itself.

macbook charger macbook pro on table
Image: Unsplash

It’s a pretty well-known fact that the chargers that come with MacBooks are nowhere near as hardy as the MacBook they come with. Whether it’s the cable near the connector fraying, the end near the power brick, or losing the connectors that plug into the wall, the charger is often the first thing to go.

That means replacements, and as Apple used proprietary connectors until recently, that means figuring out exactly which charger you had so you can get a new one. Maybe you left it in a coffee house (back when WFH was really WFStarbucks), and don’t even know the model number of the charger.

Whatever the reason for replacement, we’ll tell you which charger you need, and how to find the information you need to figure it out.

So, which charger do I need for my MacBook?

Short answer: It depends on the year it was made

Okay, the first thing you need to know is which model your MacBook is. Click on the Apple logo on the menu bar, then on About This Mac, and it’ll be the first line under your OS version, something like MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015). Then you need to head down to the lists below to see which charger version you need.

MacBook Pro

macbook pro 13 screen

Image: KnowTechie

The professional’s laptop of choice, the MacBook Pro has come with a dizzying list of power bricks mainly due to Apple making three sizes of laptop with a mix of integrated and discrete graphics cards, all which need different power requirements. All the new MacBook Pro models from 2016 or later now use USB-C, but you need the 61W charger if you have a 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the 87W charger if you have a 15-inch, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro uses a 96W power adapter.

The 85W MagSafe Power Adapter with MagSafe 2 style connector is for:

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2014)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2013)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2013)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012)

The less powerful 60W MagSafe charger works with such Retina-enabled laptops as:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2013)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2013)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2012)

The older 60W MagSafe adapter with L-style connector works on:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010)

Another L-style 85W MagSafe Power Adapter is compatible with:

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2010)

If you have one of the oldest of MacBooks, you need the T-style connector.

The 60W MagSafe adapter with T-style connector works with:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.53 GHz, Mid 2009)

The rest of the old models need the 85W MagSafe charger with T-style connector:

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2009)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2009)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2009)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2008)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2008)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2008)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.4 or 2.2 GHz)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, 2.4 GHz)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Core 2 Duo)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Core 2 Duo)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch)
  • MacBook Pro (original)

MacBook Air

macbook air

Image: KnowTechie

The Air first came out in 2008 and was shocking at the time as it didn’t offer a CD-ROM drive. The newest ones from 2018 or later all use a 30W USB-C Power Adapter.

If you have one from mid-2012 to 2017 that doesn’t have Touch ID, you need a 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter. Those include:

  • MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012)

Older ones use a 45W MagSafe charger with the L-shaped connector, list as follows:

  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2011)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Late 2010)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Late 2010)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2009)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008)
  • MacBook Air (the original model)

MacBook

laptop marketing macbook

Image: Pixabay

The earliest laptops from Apple were all under the MacBook name, which disappeared in 2010 until Apple resurrected the name with the 12-inch MacBook.

For the most recent, here are the chargers you need:

MacBook (12-inch, 2015 and later) use 29W or 30W USB-C power adaptors (for which the serial number on the cable reads C4M or FL4).

MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010) and MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) use a 60W MagSafe Power Adapter with an L-shaped connector.

Almost every earlier MacBook model would be compatible with a 60W MagSafe Adapter with a T-shaped connector. The exact list of models is:

  • MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009)
  • MacBook (13-inch, Early 2009)
  • MacBook (13-inch, Late 2008)
  • MacBook (13-inch, Early 2008)
  • MacBook (13-inch, Late 2007)
  • MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2007)
  • MacBook (13-inch, Late 2006)
  • MacBook (13-inch, any older model)

There you have it, a comprehensive guide to the chargers you’ll need with the many, many MacBook models available.

Have you ever had to get a replacement charger for your MacBook? Did you have any issues finding the right one? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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