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Which Charger Do You Need for Your MacBook [2009 – 2021]

Most MacBook chargers don’t last very long. Many people need to purchase multiple chargers over 5-6 years. This article will help you remember which power adapter you need for your MacBook after the battery has died.

What MacBook charger do I need?

USB-C chargers are required for MacBook Air 2018 and later, MacBook Pro 2016 and later (including M1) owners. MagSafe power adapters in L and T shapes are required for MacBook owners from 2009 to 2010. All other models require MagSafe 2 power adapters. The wattage will vary depending on the MacBook’s year, model and size.

This is how to shop for a power adapter.

  1. Identify your MacBook model
  2. Choose the right charger from these tables
  3. Get a genuine Apple charger

How to identify the MacBook model

Before you buy any parts, it is important to understand the specs of your computer.

These steps will help you identify the year and model of your MacBook.

  1. Click the Apple logo at the top left corner.
  2. Click on the first item in the dropdown menu “About This Mac”.
  3. The information regarding the MacBook type, size and year can be found under the Overview tab.

In the screenshot above, you can see that I have a MacBook Pro (Retina 13-inch, early 2015).

I now have my MacBook Pro 13-inch model in hand and can find it in the MacBook Pro 13 inch model table. I also see that I require a 60W MagSafe2 power adapter.

There is also an Amazon link on the table that I can use for ordering the charger I need.

Before you make your purchase, I want to answer some frequently asked questions about MacBook chargers.

All MacBook chargers are the same?

The table below shows that there are four types of MacBook chargers available: USB-C (or MagSafe 2), MagSafe 2, L shaped MagSafe, and T-shaped MagSafe. They also vary in wattage.

The MagSafe 2 power adapter has three versions: 45W, 60W and 85W.

Using MacBook Air charger for MacBook Pro

Apple states that power adapters of different wattages can be used with MacBooks. However, there is a caveat. You can expect to charge your MacBook Air faster if you use a charger with a MacBook Pro that is more powerful.

A MacBook Pro 13-inch 2012-2015 will require a 60W MagSafe2 charger.

However, it is possible to use the 45W MagSafe2 charger (the one that came with MacBook Air) without issues. Also, it might not charge quickly enough if MacBook Pro is being used heavily.

Both 45W and 60W chargers are available at my home. I found the 60W charger to be faster than the lesser-powerful one.

At the same, I was able charge my MacBook with a 45W adapter as I watched YouTube videos. You can use a lower-wattage charger to charge your MacBook.

Use a MacBook Pro charger to charge your MacBook Air

A MacBook Pro power adapter can be used on low-wattage models such as the MacBook Air, provided that they are compatible with the charging ports. A more powerful charger could cause the MacBook to be damaged prematurely.

For example, a MacBook Air 2012-2017 model requires 45W MagSafe 2 charger. It is possible to use the 60W MagSafe 2 charger with a MacBook Pro.

A power adapter that has more watts can charge your MacBook Air faster.

However, the battery generates more heat the faster it charges. The MacBook Air battery may be damaged faster if it is exposed to more heat.

I own both the MacBook Air 13-inch 2014 model and the MacBook Pro 13-inch 2015.

Both chargers work well together, and I have never experienced any problems with one of them in the past four years. I haven’t noticed any battery degradation.

What’s the difference between MagSafe 2 and MagSafe 2?

MagSafe 1 is available in L and T sizes.

MagSafe 2 is only available in T-shaped.

The MagSafe 2 T-style power adapters and MagSafe 2 look nearly the same. MagSafe 2 is shorter and thinner than MagSafe 1, while MagSafe 1 (the older model) is slightly longer and thicker.

MagSafe 2 and MagSafe 2 cannot be interchanged due to differences in size.

Are MagSafe T and L interchangeable?

Yes, MagSafe 1 power adapters in L or T shapes can be interchanged. MagSafe 2 adapters cannot be used in conjunction with MagSafe 1 chargers.

How do I identify an original MacBook charger

It can be difficult to distinguish between a fake and an original MacBook charger.

These counterfeit chargers have many of the same exterior attributes, including labels and serial numbers. Connect the charger to the computer and check the System Report.

How to identify your original MacBook charger:

  1. Plug the power adapter into the AC port and connect it to the MacBook.
  2. Start Spotlight search and enter System Information.
  3. Click on the Hardware section in the System Information app.
  4. Scroll down to find the AC Charger Information Section.
  5. Each original charger comes with a unique serial number. The charger is authentic if the serial number does not contain zeroes.

Here’s the fake charger in System Information.

Is it safe to use fake MacBook chargers?

Underwriters Laboratories Study states that consumers are at risk of being killed if 99% of the fake Apple chargers fail a basic safety check.

Although the research was limited to 400 different iPhone chargers, it seems reasonable that higher-priced MacBook chargers carry similar safety risks.

Chargers for MacBook replacement

Amazon sells so-called replacement chargers, which are usually 3-4 times cheaper than the original.

To satisfy my curiosity, I took apart both the original and replacement chargers. Here’s what I found.

The Apple logo is not on replacement chargers, and they are not certified as such by UL.

I don’t know if you are a techie, but I wouldn’t buy anything unless it was properly certified. It can even fry my expensive laptop.

The replacement chargers contain a similar number of components. One thing that I did not notice was the lack of isolation between components. This could potentially lead to overheating or fire hazards.

Which Charger Do You Need for Your MacBook [2009 – 2021]

MacBook chargers generally do not last long. Many people have to buy several charges over 5-6 years. Once the power adapter is dead, you may not remember which one you need to buy for your MacBook, and this article is going to help with your purchase.

Which MacBook charger do you need?

Owners of MacBook Air 2018 and newer and MacBook Pro 2016 and newer (including M1) need USB-C chargers. Owners of 2009-2010 MacBooks need either L or T-shaped MagSafe power adapters. The rest need MagSafe 2 power adapters. However, the wattage depends on the MacBook model, year, and size.

Here’s the process you should use when shopping for a power adapter:

  1. Identify the MacBook model
  2. Find the right charger from the tables below
  3. Buy a genuine Apple charger

How To Identify the MacBook model

Before purchasing any parts, you need to know the specifications of your computer.

To identify MacBook year and model follow these steps:

  1. Click on Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen
  2. In the dropdown menu click on the first item “About This Mac”
  3. Under Overview tab locate the information about the MacBook type, size, and year.
Identify MacBook model and year
Identify MacBook model and year

For instance, in the screenshot above, I have MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, early 2015).

Now I can locate my laptop in the MacBook Pro 13-inch model table and see that I need 60W MagSafe 2 power adapter.

The table also has an Amazon link which I can use to order the charger I need.

But before you proceed with the purchase, let me answer some commonly asked questions about MacBook chargers.

Are all MacBook chargers the same?

As you can see from the table below, there are four different types of MacBook chargers: USB-C, MagSafe 2, L-shaped MagSafe, T-shaped MagSafe. They also differ by wattage.

For instance, the MagSafe 2 power adapter comes with 45W, 60W, and 85W variations.

Using MacBook Air charger for MacBook Pro

According to Apple, it is acceptable to use power adapters with different wattages with MacBooks with a caveat. When using a charger from MacBook Air with a more powerful MacBook Pro expect a longer charging time.

For example, a MacBook Pro 13-inch 2012-2015 requires 60W MagSafe 2 charger.

However, it is possible to use a 45W MagSafe 2 charger (the one that comes with MacBook Air) without any issues. The difference is that the 45W power adapter has less power, and it may not charge fast enough while MacBook Pro is under heavy load.

I have both 45W and 60W chargers at home and found that 60W charger indeed works faster than the less powerful one.

At the same time, I was able to charge with a 45W adapter while watching YouTube videos. So yes, you can use a lower wattage charger with your MacBook.

Using a MacBook Pro charger for MacBook Air

It is perfectly safe to use a MacBook Pro power adapter on lower-wattage models, such as MacBook Air as long as the charging ports are compatible. However, a more powerful charger can wear out the MacBook battery prematurely.

For example, a MacBook Air 2012-2017 model requires 45W MagSafe 2 charger. But it is ok to use a 60W charger of a MacBook Pro with it.

A power adapter with more watts will charge MacBook Air faster.

On the other hand, the faster the battery is charging, the more heat it generates. Eventually, the extra heat may degrade the MacBook Air battery faster.

I have both MacBook Air 13-inch 2014 and MacBook Pro 13-inch 2015 models.

I use their chargers interchangeably, and I never had any issues in 4 years with either one. And I didn’t notice any abnormal battery degradation personally.

What is the difference between MagSafe and MagSafe 2?

MagSafe 1 comes in two shapes: L and T.

MagSafe 2 comes only in T shape.

Both MagSafe and MagSafe 2 T-style power adapters, look almost the same. The only difference is MagSafe 2 is longer and thinner while MagSafe 1 (the older one) is slightly shorter and thicker.

MagSafe and MagSafe 2 are not interchangeable due to size differences.

Are MagSafe L and T interchangeable?

Yes, MagSafe 1 power adapters that come in L and T shapes are interchangeable. MagSafe 2 adapters are not interchangeable with either type of MagSafe 1 chargers.

How to identify an original MacBook charger?

It is tough to tell the difference between fake and original MacBook charger.

Counterfeit chargers lately have the same external attributes: look, labels, and even serial numbers. The only way to tell the difference is by connecting the charger and then checking the System Report.

Steps to identify the original MacBook charger:

  1. Plugin the power adapter to the AC and plug it into the MacBook.
  2. Start Spotlight Search and type in System Information.
  3. In the System Information app, click on the Power section under Hardware.
  4. Scroll all the way down and find the AC Charger Information section.
  5. The original charger has a unique serial number. If the serial number is not all zeroes, then the charger is genuine.
Original MacBook Charger has serial number
Original MacBook Charger has serial number

Here’s how the fake charger looks in System Information:

Fake MacBook charger does not have serial number
Fake MacBook charger does not have serial number

Are fake MacBook chargers safe?

According to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) study “consumers face potentially fatal risks after 99% of fake Apple chargers failed a basic safety test.”

While the research was done on 400 various iPhone chargers, it is reasonable to assume that more expensive MacBook charges carry similar safety risks.

Replacement MacBook chargers

You can buy so-called replacement chargers on Amazon, and they usually cost 3-4 times less than original ones.

Out of curiosity, I tore down both original and replacement chargers, and here’s what I found:

Replacement charger is not UL-certified and does not have serial number
Replacement charger is not UL-certified and does not have serial number

Replacement chargers do not have the Apple logo on the side, and also they are not certified by UL.

I don’t know about you, but I would never buy anything that was not properly certified. Especially, if it can fry my expensive laptop.

Replacement chargers have a comparable number of components inside. The only thing I noticed is the lack of isolation between parts, which potentially can cause overheating and fire hazards.

 

More isolation in original charger (on the right)
More isolation in original charger (on the right)

MacBook Air Chargers

Here’s the table of MacBook Air chargers.

I also included links to Apple and Amazon websites, so you can make a purchase if needed.

MBA 13″ Model and Year Power Adapter
MacBook Air (M1, 2020) 30W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, 2020) 30W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, 2019) 30W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, 2018) 30W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, 2017) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (11″, early 2015) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, early 2015) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (11″, early 2014) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, early 2014) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (11″, mid 2013) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, mid 2013) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (11″, mid 2012) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, mid 2012) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, mid 2011) 45W L-shaped MagSafe 
MacBook Air (11″, mid 2011) 45W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Air (13″, late 2010) 45W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Air (11″, late 2010) 45W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Air (mid 2009) 45W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Air Power Adapters (2009-2021)

Which Charger Do You Need for Your MacBook [2009 – 2021]

MacBook chargers generally do not last long. Many people have to buy several charges over 5-6 years. Once the power adapter is dead, you may not remember which one you need to buy for your MacBook, and this article is going to help with your purchase.

Which MacBook charger do you need?

Owners of MacBook Air 2018 and newer and MacBook Pro 2016 and newer (including M1) need USB-C chargers. Owners of 2009-2010 MacBooks need either L or T-shaped MagSafe power adapters. The rest need MagSafe 2 power adapters. However, the wattage depends on the MacBook model, year, and size.

Here’s the process you should use when shopping for a power adapter:

  1. Identify the MacBook model
  2. Find the right charger from the tables below
  3. Buy a genuine Apple charger

How To Identify the MacBook model

Before purchasing any parts, you need to know the specifications of your computer.

To identify MacBook year and model follow these steps:

  1. Click on Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen
  2. In the dropdown menu click on the first item “About This Mac”
  3. Under Overview tab locate the information about the MacBook type, size, and year.
Identify MacBook model and year
Identify MacBook model and year

For instance, in the screenshot above, I have MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, early 2015).

Now I can locate my laptop in the MacBook Pro 13-inch model table and see that I need 60W MagSafe 2 power adapter.

The table also has an Amazon link which I can use to order the charger I need.

But before you proceed with the purchase, let me answer some commonly asked questions about MacBook chargers.

Are all MacBook chargers the same?

As you can see from the table below, there are four different types of MacBook chargers: USB-C, MagSafe 2, L-shaped MagSafe, T-shaped MagSafe. They also differ by wattage.

For instance, the MagSafe 2 power adapter comes with 45W, 60W, and 85W variations.

Using MacBook Air charger for MacBook Pro

According to Apple, it is acceptable to use power adapters with different wattages with MacBooks with a caveat. When using a charger from MacBook Air with a more powerful MacBook Pro expect a longer charging time.

For example, a MacBook Pro 13-inch 2012-2015 requires 60W MagSafe 2 charger.

However, it is possible to use a 45W MagSafe 2 charger (the one that comes with MacBook Air) without any issues. The difference is that the 45W power adapter has less power, and it may not charge fast enough while MacBook Pro is under heavy load.

I have both 45W and 60W chargers at home and found that 60W charger indeed works faster than the less powerful one.

At the same time, I was able to charge with a 45W adapter while watching YouTube videos. So yes, you can use a lower wattage charger with your MacBook.

Using a MacBook Pro charger for MacBook Air

It is perfectly safe to use a MacBook Pro power adapter on lower-wattage models, such as MacBook Air as long as the charging ports are compatible. However, a more powerful charger can wear out the MacBook battery prematurely.

For example, a MacBook Air 2012-2017 model requires 45W MagSafe 2 charger. But it is ok to use a 60W charger of a MacBook Pro with it.

A power adapter with more watts will charge MacBook Air faster.

On the other hand, the faster the battery is charging, the more heat it generates. Eventually, the extra heat may degrade the MacBook Air battery faster.

I have both MacBook Air 13-inch 2014 and MacBook Pro 13-inch 2015 models.

I use their chargers interchangeably, and I never had any issues in 4 years with either one. And I didn’t notice any abnormal battery degradation personally.

What is the difference between MagSafe and MagSafe 2?

MagSafe 1 comes in two shapes: L and T.

MagSafe 2 comes only in T shape.

Both MagSafe and MagSafe 2 T-style power adapters, look almost the same. The only difference is MagSafe 2 is longer and thinner while MagSafe 1 (the older one) is slightly shorter and thicker.

MagSafe and MagSafe 2 are not interchangeable due to size differences.

Are MagSafe L and T interchangeable?

Yes, MagSafe 1 power adapters that come in L and T shapes are interchangeable. MagSafe 2 adapters are not interchangeable with either type of MagSafe 1 chargers.

How to identify an original MacBook charger?

It is tough to tell the difference between fake and original MacBook charger.

Counterfeit chargers lately have the same external attributes: look, labels, and even serial numbers. The only way to tell the difference is by connecting the charger and then checking the System Report.

Steps to identify the original MacBook charger:

  1. Plugin the power adapter to the AC and plug it into the MacBook.
  2. Start Spotlight Search and type in System Information.
  3. In the System Information app, click on the Power section under Hardware.
  4. Scroll all the way down and find the AC Charger Information section.
  5. The original charger has a unique serial number. If the serial number is not all zeroes, then the charger is genuine.
Original MacBook Charger has serial number
Original MacBook Charger has serial number

Here’s how the fake charger looks in System Information:

Fake MacBook charger does not have serial number
Fake MacBook charger does not have serial number

Are fake MacBook chargers safe?

According to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) study “consumers face potentially fatal risks after 99% of fake Apple chargers failed a basic safety test.”

While the research was done on 400 various iPhone chargers, it is reasonable to assume that more expensive MacBook charges carry similar safety risks.

Replacement MacBook chargers

You can buy so-called replacement chargers on Amazon, and they usually cost 3-4 times less than original ones.

Out of curiosity, I tore down both original and replacement chargers, and here’s what I found:

Replacement charger is not UL-certified and does not have serial number
Replacement charger is not UL-certified and does not have serial number

Replacement chargers do not have the Apple logo on the side, and also they are not certified by UL.

I don’t know about you, but I would never buy anything that was not properly certified. Especially, if it can fry my expensive laptop.

Replacement chargers have a comparable number of components inside. The only thing I noticed is the lack of isolation between parts, which potentially can cause overheating and fire hazards.By the way, fake chargers are one of the top reasons why MacBooks overheat and lose battery charge quickly.

More isolation in original charger (on the right)
More isolation in original charger (on the right)

MacBook Air Chargers

Here’s the table of MacBook Air chargers.

I also included links to Apple and Amazon websites, so you can make a purchase if needed.

MBA 13″ Model and Year Power Adapter
MacBook Air (M1, 2020) 30W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, 2020) 30W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, 2019) 30W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, 2018) 30W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, 2017) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (11″, early 2015) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, early 2015) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (11″, early 2014) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, early 2014) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (11″, mid 2013) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, mid 2013) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (11″, mid 2012) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, mid 2012) 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
MacBook Air (13″, mid 2011) 45W L-shaped MagSafe 
MacBook Air (11″, mid 2011) 45W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Air (13″, late 2010) 45W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Air (11″, late 2010) 45W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Air (mid 2009) 45W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Air Power Adapters (2009-2021)

MacBook Pro 13″/14″ Chargers

MBP 13″ Model and Year Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 14″, M1 Max, 2021 96W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 14″, M1 Pro, 2021 67W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 13″, M1, 2020 61W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 13″, 2020 61W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 13″, 2019 61W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 13″, 2018 61W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 13″, 2017 61W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 13″, 2016 61W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 13″, early 2015 60W MagSafe 2 charger
MacBook Pro 13″, mid 2014 60W MagSafe 2 charger
MacBook Pro 13″, late 2013 60W MagSafe 2 charger
MacBook Pro 13″, early 2013 60W MagSafe 2 charger
MacBook Pro 13″, late 2012 60W MagSafe 2 charger
MacBook Pro 13″, mid 2012 60W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 13″, late 2011 60W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 13″, early 2011 60W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 13″, mid 2010 60W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 13″, mid 2009 60W T-shaped MagSafe adapter
MacBook Pro 13″ Chargers, 2009-2020

MacBook Pro 15″/16″ Chargers

MBP 15″/16″ Model and Year Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 16″, M1 Max, 2021 140W USB‑C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 16″, 2019 96W USB‑C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 15″, 2019 87W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 15″, 2018 87W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 15″, 2017 87W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 15″, 2016 87W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 15″, mid 2015 85W MagSafe 2 Charger
MacBook Pro 15″, mid 2014 85W MagSafe 2 Charger
MacBook Pro 15″, late 2013 85W MagSafe 2 Charger
MacBook Pro 15″, early 2013 85W MagSafe 2 Charger
MacBook Pro 15″ Retina mid 2012 85W MagSafe 2 Charger
MacBook Pro 15″, mid 2012 85W L shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 15″, late 2011 85W L shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 15″, early 2011 85W L shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 15″, mid 2010 85W L shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 15″, 2.53GHz, mid 2009 60W T-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 15″, mid 2009 85W T-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 15″, late 2008 85W T-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 15″, early 2008 85W T-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 15″, Core 2 Duo 85W T-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 15″, glossy 85W T-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 15″ Chargers, 2008-2020

MacBook Pro 17″ Chargers

MBP 17″ Model and Year Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 17″, late 2011 85W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 17″, early 2011 85W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 17″, mid 2010 85W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 17″, mid 2009 85W T-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 17″, early 2009 85W T-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 17″, late 2008 85W T-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 17″, early 2008 85W T-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 17″, 2.4GHz 85W T-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 17″, Core 2 Duo 85W T-shaped MagSafe
MacBook Pro 17″ 85W T-shaped MagSafe

MacBook (not Air or Pro) Chargers

MB Model and Year Power Adapter
MacBook 12″, 2017 30W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook 12″, Early 2016 30W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook 12″, Early 2015 30W USB-C Power Adapter
MacBook 13″, Mid 2010 60W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook 13″, Late 2009 60W L-shaped MagSafe
MacBook 13″, Mid 2009 60W T-shaped MagSafe Power Adapter
MacBook 13″, Early 2009 60W T-shaped MagSafe Power Adapter

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