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Daily Tech Tip: Finding the Appropriate Mac Power Adapter

mac power adapter

The greatest favor you can ever do for your MacBook? Don’t ever lose its power cord. But if you lose its lifeline by accident, we’re here to help you get a suitable replacement. Go to the nearest Apple shop and you’ll see that there are several types of adapters to choose from. If you have no recollection of what your lost Mac power adapter looked like, we’re sure it’ll be confusing picking just about any charger.

Quick Reminders before Buying a Replacement Mac Power Adapter

Apple has made a number of MacBook power adapters over the years, but they are generally available in 29W, 45W, 60W, and 85W varieties. Keep in mind, too, that MagSafe power adapters come in three pieces: Connector and adapter, AC plug (or the “duckhead”), and the AC cord.

Whether you own a MacBook Pro, Macbook, or MacBook Air, you can absolutely get the right adapter if you know your Mac’s model.

Can’t I Just Get Any Apple Charger?

Use the appropriate wattage power adapter for your Apple notebook at all times. Otherwise, it won’t charge as fast or as efficiently as a compatible charger.

Although you won’t necessarily encounter technical problems using a compatible, higher wattage adapter, it may not charge your Mac fast enough. Go for a lower wattage adapter, however, and it won’t even provide enough power for charging. It may cause potential overheating in the charger itself, too.

How Do I Know My MacBook’s Model?

It’s fairly easy to find this info. Simply go to the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of your screen and then select About This Mac. You should see the exact model year and name of your Apple notebook on the Overview tab as soon as the System Information box appears.

In case your Mac isn’t starting up due to technical issues, use safe mode to view the notebook’s model and serial number. You can find your MacBook’s serial number elsewhere, too, specifically in these places:

  • Printed outside your notebook
  • Shown on the original printed or emailed invoice (or receipt)
  • Printed on your Mac’s original packaging

When you’re done taking note of your Mac’s exact model, it’ll be much easier finding a replacement power adapter that fits it.

What Are the Different Power Adapters for Mac?

Again, different power adapters fit different models of the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro lines. Take a look at our quick guide below to see which type fits your Mac’s.

Apple 29W USB-C Mac Power Adapter and USB-C Charge

  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)

85W MagSafe Mac Power Adapter with MagSafe 2 Style Connector

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

60W MagSafe Mac Power Adapter with MagSafe 2 Style Connector

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

45W MagSafe Mac Power Adapter with MagSafe 2 Style Connector

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

Don’t hesitate to check Apple’s official list of power adapters for more information on the right power adapter, cord, and plug that are built for your Mac notebook computer.

Where Do I Buy Genuine Mac Power Adapters?

Get the name of the specific adapter that works with your MacBook and search for a replacement unit straight from Apple’s online store or any of its retail outlets. Check out the catalogs at stores that are authorized to sell Apple hardware (often with discounts) like Best Buy or Amazon, too.

Why Does the Replacement Mac Power Adapter Somehow Look Different?

In some cases, the replacement adapter you buy may not be the same size, shape, wattage, or color as the original unit that came with your Apple notebook. There’s really nothing to worry about as long as the adapter has the same label as the one that works with your MacBook. Plug it in and you’ll see that it powers and charges your Mac much like the adapter you recently lost did.

Wondering whether it’s time you made the jump to the newest MacBook Pro? We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the groundbreaking Apple innovation here at The Plug!

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