Can you charge your MacBook with a phone charger?

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For people who use a MacBook for school or work, one of the worst things that can happen when the battery dies is when you have an urgent and important task that you need to get done. Of course, if you have your laptop’s charger with you and you’re in an area with an electrical outlet, this isn’t a difficult fix, as you can keep working while the MacBook is plugged in. However, if this is not the case, what are your options? Don’t have your MacBook charger handy? For that matter, can you use an iPhone charger or any phone charger?

Before you get yours, it’s important to not only understand your MacBook’s charging requirements, but also to make sure your laptop’s charging port even mates with any phone charging cable or power adapter you have access to. If you happen to own an older MacBook that uses a power adapter with a magnetic connector — it’s the kind that positions itself automatically when held near the laptop’s charging port — then a phone charger definitely won’t work. However, if you have one of the newer MacBook models that uses a USB-C power adapter and charging cable, you may have a variety of charging options.

How to determine the wattage requirement of your MacBook

According to Apple, the optimal method for charging a MacBook model is to use an adapter capable of producing the minimum wattage of the charger that came with your laptop. If you own another Apple product and have its Apple power adapter handy, you can quickly check it for compatibility by finding a label on it that lists its wattage. If the number on it matches or exceeds the wattage on your MacBook’s original charger, you should be good to go. The most accurate way to verify that your Apple power adapter is actually working is to connect it to the laptop and check your MacBook settings:

  1. Long-press the Option key on the Apple menu (it’s the apple icon in the top-left corner of the screen) and choose System Information.
  2. Go to the Hardware section in the left pane.
  3. Choose performance.

You’ll know if the Apple adapter you’re using has enough power to charge your MacBook by checking the AC Charger Information section. It should say Yes next to Shop.

Charging options for USB-C compatible MacBooks

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If your MacBook came with an Apple-branded USB-C power adapter, you can technically use it any USB-C power adapter and a USB-C cable for charging, including those used for non-Apple mobile devices. It goes without saying that using your MacBook’s official charger and plugging it in while using the laptop is the best way to ensure the device retains a battery charge. Of course, if you’re in a pinch, you can try using whatever USB-C power adapter you have on hand – whether it’s higher or lower wattage than the original power adapter that came with your Mac – and yourself no need to worry that it will damage the battery.

However, it’s important to note that if your phone charger’s adapter supplies a lower wattage than your MacBook requires, charging may take forever or not work at all. Unless you’re using the official charger that came with your MacBook, your MacBook’s ability to hold a charge for long periods of time is case-by-case and often not a guarantee.

To ensure that your third-party USB-C backup power adapter and cable combo is indeed working optimally to charge your MacBook, connect it to your device, plug it into a power outlet, and then follow the steps in the previous section to see if the device is actually charging. If your MacBook’s system information isn’t providing any useful data — in some cases, it may not properly recognize non-Apple chargers — you can try completely shutting down your laptop and leaving it connected to a power source for as long as possible. Can you charge your MacBook with a phone charger?


PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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