Which charger do you need for your MacBook?

Macworld

If you have to replace the charger for your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro, then it’s important that you find the correct one for your particular machine as, unlike the iPhone’s one-size-fits-all lightning cable, chargers vary between Apple’s MacBook range.

We show you how to work out the charger that’s best for your laptop. It’s also worth noting that Apple has recalled some of its wall plugs over safety concerns, and that you should find out if yours is affected.

Updated 27 Feb 2024: We’ve updated our guide to include the latest MacBooks and power adapters.

Will the wrong charger damage my MacBook?

If you’re buying an official MacBook charger from Apple then you can rest assured that choosing the wrong type won’t cause any harm to your device.

While there are a variety available, ranging from 30W up to 140W, the more powerful ones won’t overload your machine or affect your battery. Fast-charging is a new feature on some MacBooks and requires a certain power rating, but you can charge with a slower power adapter just fine, it will simply take longer.

If you want a more affordable replacement or spare MacBook charger, check out our recommendations for the best chargers for MacBook Pro and Air.

Chargers for the current MacBook range

At the moment the MacBook range is comprised of the 2020 M1 MacBook Air, M3 MacBook Air, and 14-inch and 16-inch M3 MacBook Pro models. Each of these comes a different charger, which we’ve listed below.

MacBook Air (M1): ()

MacBook Air (M2): () or ()

13-inch MacBook Pro (M1/M2): ()

14-inch MacBook Pro M1 Pro/M2 Pro/M3 entry level models): ()

14-inch MacBook Pro (M1/M2/M3 Pro or M1/M2/M3 Max all other models): ()

16-inch MacBook Pro (M1/M2/M3 Pro and M1/M2/M3 Max) use a (U.K. version)

Apple offers fast charging on the 2022 MacBook Air and later with a 67W charger with a Thunderbolt or high-speed USB-C cable and the 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro and later with a 96W power adapter. The 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro only supports fast charging with a 140W power adapter and a MagSafe 3 Cable or 240W USB-C Charge Cable.

Check your cable

Before you replace the entire power charger it would be wise to check if the cable you’re using is the correct rating for your device. Since the introduction of USB-C chargers, the cables have been separate from the main adapter, and as such they could be mixed up more easily.

Many of the official Apple cables will have the words ‘Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China’ printed on them. Next to these will also be an alpha-numeric serial number that denotes to which charger they belong. You won’t find this on all cables, though. For example, it’s not written on the newer braided MagSafe 3 cables that comes with the very latest MacBooks.

Ones beginning with C4M or FL4 are intended for the 29/30W USB-C adaptors used by the MacBook (2015 and later) and MacBook Air (2018 and later).

Those beginning with DLC or CTC can be used with either the 61W or 87W USB-C adaptors used by the MacBook Pros (2016 or later).

Apple recommends that if you should find your cable doesn’t have a serial number printed on it then you should contact as you may be entitled to a replacement.

Which Mac do I have?

If your machine is older than any of those listed above then you’ll need to first ascertain its specific type before shopping for a charger. Read our Which Mac do I have? guide for instructions on how to determine your model.

Chargers for older Macs

As you can imagine, there have been quite a few combinations of chargers and machines throughout Apple’s recent history.

These fall mainly into four main types: MagSafe, MagSafe 2, MagSafe 3, and those that charge only with a USB-C connection on the Mac side. MageSafe 2 cables are split between MagSafe L and MagSafe T type connectors. MagSafe L is the longer, straighter connector that attached alongside the MacBook, while the T is the blocky square that was used on most MagSafe connectors.

Here’s a breakdown of which style pertains to which device.

USB-C

If your MacBook has no MagSafe connector, it just charges via USB-C. You can use any USB-C power adapter that supports the USB-C Power Delivery standard, but you’ll want a higher-power adapter to charge your Mac faster, especially if it’s a newer, larger model. Check our guide to the best USB-C Power Adapters.

The latest MacBooks with MagSafe 3 can be charged via USB-C as well, and in fact, MagSafe 3 cables can plug into any USB-C power adapter that supports the power delivery standard.

MagSafe 3

The latest re-emergence of MagSafe comes after several years of MacBooks that only have USB-C connectors. It’s similar in design to the T-shape MagSafe 2, but slightly thinner and capable of carrying more current.

MagSafe 3 is more of a cable than a charger. The chargers to which these MagSafe 3 cables attach simply have USB-C ports, and work fine to charge your MacBook when plugged into the USB-C port. You won’t get fast charging on the 16-inch MacBook Pro that way, but it will otherwise work fine.

MagSafe 2

The () style connector is compatible with:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15in, Mid 2015)

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15in, Mid 2014)

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15in, Late 2013)

Macbook Pro (Retina, 15in, Early 2013)

MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012)

The (U.K. version) style connector is compatible with:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 13in, Early 2015)

MacBook Pro (Retina, 13in, Mid 2014)

MacBook Pro (Retina, 13in, Late 2013)

MacBook Pro (Retina, 13in, Early 2013)

MacBook Pro (Retina, 13in, Late 2012)

The 45W MagSafe power adapter with MagSafe 2 (U.K. version) style connector is compatible with:

MacBook Air (13in, 2017)

MacBook Air (11in, Early 2015)

MacBook Air (13in, Early 2015)

MacBook Air (11in, Early 2014)

MacBook Air (13in, Early 2014)

MacBook Air (11in, Mid 2013)

MacBook Air (13in, Mid 2013)

MacBook Air (11in, Mid 2012)

MacBook Air (13in, Mid 2012)

MagSafe

The 60W MagSafe power adapter with “T” style connector is compatible with:

MacBook Pro (13in, Mid 2009)

MacBook Pro (15in, 2.53GHz, Mid 2009)

MacBook (13in, Mid 2009)

MacBook (13in, Early 2009)

MacBook (13in, Aluminum, Late 2008)

MacBook (13in, Late 2008)

MacBook (13in, Early 2008)

MacBook (13in, Late 2007)

MacBook (13in, Mid 2007)

MacBook (13in, Late 2006) 

MacBook (13in)

The (U.K. version) is compatible with:

MacBook Pro (13in, Mid 2012)

MacBook Pro (13in, Late 2011)

MacBook Pro (13in, Early 2011)

MacBook Pro (13in, Mid 2010)

MacBook (13in, Mid 2010)

MacBook (13in, Late 2009)

The 85W MagSafe power adapter with “T” style connector is compatible with:

MacBook Pro (15in Mid 2009)

MacBook Pro (17in Mid 2009)

MacBook Pro (17in Early 2009)

MacBook Pro (15in Late 2008)

MacBook Pro (17in Late 2008)

MacBook Pro (15in Early 2008)

MacBook Pro (17in Early 2008)

MacBook Pro (15in 2.4/2.2GHz)

MacBook Pro (17in 2.4GHz)

MacBook Pro (15in Core 2 Duo)

MacBook Pro (17in Core 2 Duo)

MacBook Pro (15in Glossy)

MacBook Pro (17in)

MacBook Pro

The 85W MagSafe power adapter with “L” style connector (U.K. version) is compatible with:

MacBook Pro (15in, Mid 2012)

MacBook Pro (15in, Late 2011)

MacBook Pro (17in, Late 2011)

MacBook Pro (15in, Early 2011)

MacBook Pro (17in, Early 2011)

MacBook Pro (15in, Mid 2010)

MacBook Pro (17in, Mid 2010)

The 45W MagSafe power adapter wih “L” style connector is compatible with:

MacBook Air (13in, Mid 2011)

MacBook Air (11in, Mid 2011)

MacBook Air (13in, Late 2010)

MacBook Air (11in, Late 2010)

MacBook Air (Mid 2009)

MacBook Air (Late 2008)

MacBook Air (Original)

Power

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