What to Do if Your MacBook Is Plugged in but Not Charging

If your Mac is not charging despite being plugged in, do not throw your device out the window. You are faced with a problem that becomes rather common among Mac users. Luckily, there are certain steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue by yourself. Work your way through our list of working solutions and let us know what helped you. 

What Causes Mac Batteries Not to Charge?

The “Battery is Not Charging” notification might pop up when you click the battery icon in the menu bar. Several predicaments could trigger this notification, including your device temporarily pausing the charging to prevent battery damage.

Mac is designed to temporarily stop charging to extend the lifespan of your battery. Once the battery percentage drops below 90%, the Mac will resume the charging.

The power source you are using could be insufficient to charge the battery but enough to keep your device running without draining the battery. This could happen when your Mac is connected to a low-wattage adapter that cannot provide enough energy to both run your device and charge its battery. To overcome this obstacle without upgrading to a higher-voltage adapter, turn off your device, or put it to sleep, to allow the battery to charge. 

Your device is running at a very high-performance level that drains more power than the power source could provide. This could happen when you run apps, such as video games and video editing software, that require a lot of power.

What to Do if Your Mac Battery Won’t Charge?

Before we continue with more advanced troubleshooting, go through the following checklist to make sure that your device is installed properly:

  1. Check the power cable and make sure that it is securely connected to both your Mac and the power source.
  2. Check if the power outlet is in good condition. Bear in mind that your power outlets could get damaged over time. If there are no signs of damage on your outlet, try plugging in another device and check if it is charging normally.
  3. Make sure that your MagSafe connector pins are not stuck. If this is your case, try unplugging and replugging the MagSafe adapter into the power port. Repeat if necessary. 

Fix1. Restart Your Device

A temporary bug could be interfering with your Mac’s normal operation. A simple restart could be the solution to this issue.

  1. Click the Apple menu and select Restart.

Fix 2: Check for Updates

It is possible that a software issue is interfering with your Mac charging process. Make sure that you are running the latest software version, because a fix for your problem could be included in the update. 

  1. Click the Apple menu and select Software Update.
  2. If any updates are available, click the Update Now button to apply them. 
  3. Enter your administrator password if you are asked.

Fix 3. Reset the System Management Controller

The System Management Controller (SMC) is tasked to control how your Mac distributes resources between different features. An SMC restart is recommended when dealing with power-, battery-, and fan-related issues. 

  1. To reset the SMC, follow Apple’s documentation

Fix 4. Get your Mac serviced

Unfortunately, sometimes there is no other option but to ask for professional help. Take your device to an Apple store or contact AppleCare.

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