What to do if your MacBook is not charging

A beauty of a MacBook or any other laptop is its portability. You can unplug it and use it whenever and wherever you want. Of course, it only makes sense if it holds the charge. That’s why it can be a nightmare when your laptop is not charging hence killing its portability factor.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process to fix your MacBook that’s not charging. But before we start, let’s look at a few possible reasons your laptop battery won’t charge.


Why my Mac won't charge?

Possible reasons why your computer won’t charge:

  • Broken connections
  • Incorrect settings
  • Hardware problems
  • Battery critical condition
  • Overheating

Can certain apps affect battery health?

In short, the answer is yes. According to security researcher Charlie Miller, “malicious software may be exploited in various ways, from just causing the battery to stop functioning to auto-installing malware.” The "backdoor" applications may disguise themselves as alerts to “update your Flash player” or imitate harmless Chrome extensions. If you are unsure about downloading such things in the past, you need to run an anti-malware check. Chances are, your battery will come to life.

Many users on Apple forums recommend using CleanMyMac X as it deals with macOS-specific viruses. This app developed by MacPaw is notarized by Apple, so you are safe downloading it.

Here is the link to get a free edition.

Removing malware files

When you run CleanMyMac X, click the Malware Removal tab. This should reveal if any app has highjacked your battery.

How to troubleshoot a MacBook that’s not charging

Here are 5 ways to fix your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro not charging.

Method 1: Physically inspect hardware

Before you look any further, you need to check the basics. If your MacBook Pro battery is not charging, verify the power cable. Inspect every inch of the cable and look for broken spots or any dark stains on its surface. If you find any damage, there is a chance it’s causing the problem.

The next thing you should do is to verify the ports for any foreign objects or debris. Dust can build up in the charging port blocking the connection, so if you find something, use a wooden object to remove it (you can use a toothpick).

Check whether you are plugged into the wall socket. Make sure it is turned on, or try using a different socket. We know this sounds a bit basic, but it’s always better to double-check.

To prevent electric shock and other dangerous accidents, be careful when working with wiring and power tools. Never leave electrical appliances somewhere they can easily fall into the water. Always be cautious for your own safety.

Method 2: Reboot your MacBook

Just like apps on your MacBook can get frozen, so can the hardware that controls the charging of your notebook. That’s why when your MacBook won’t charge, try to restart it. A simple reboot can reset the hardware and fix the problem.

  1. Click the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Click Restart.
  3. Wait for the reboot, and then try charging your Mac again.

As simple as that! Now you know what to do before asking yourself, “Why isn’t my laptop charging?”

Method 3: Check your battery health

The MacBook battery may wear out faster than expected if you use it intensively. You should always monitor its status; otherwise, there’s a risk of having a non-working notebook at the most inappropriate time. Checking your battery health is especially relevant when the battery doesn’t charge even with a cable.

To view the state of the battery health, go to the System Preferences and click the Battery icon. Select Battery from the left-side menu and click Battery Health. The advanced options of the menu will appear. There are two states your battery may be in:

  • Normal — Your battery is functioning well.
  • Service recommended — The battery works fine but holds the charge less than it did before. It should be replaced soon.

A free tool to check the battery👇

There’s a nice tool you can use to check your battery’s condition. It’s free since it’s available in a free version of CleanMyMac X. What it does is calculate the cycle count of your battery, which is a more realistic indicator of its health.

Note: A typical MacBook battery is designed to withstand 1000 charge-discharge cycles.

Download a free version of CleanMyMac X.

In the app, click the little iMac icon in the upper Menu bar.

Now, inspect the tab for Battery.


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Method 4: Reset the SMC

The System Management Controller (SMC) is responsible for the battery management and its status indicator lights. Therefore, if your Mac battery is not charging, resetting the SMC may help.

Note that the process of resetting the SMC for MacBooks with a removable battery and a non-removable battery is quite different. That’s why first you have to determine whether your battery is removable.

Mac notebooks that have non-removable batteries include MacBook Pro (mid-2009 through 2017), MacBook Air (2017 and earlier), and all MacBook models (except the 13-inch MacBook introduced in mid-2009).

If a battery is non-removable:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Press Shift-Control-Option and a power button at the same time and hold for 10 seconds.
  3. Release the keys.
  4. Press the power button to turn on your Mac.


Method 5: Cool your MacBook

It may be surprising, but the reason for your MacBook battery not charging may be as simple as overheating. If the thermal sensors within your laptop detect a drastic temperature rise, they block out the access to the battery as a safety measure.

What can you do if your MacBook is hot to the touch? Simply turn it off and let it be for some time, or place a fan near your Mac to cool it down right away. If you work outside, move into the shade — direct sunlight can cause your Mac to get hot.

Method 6. Check for battery-draining apps

Another issue is battery-draining apps. It has been noted that some programs are extremely taxing on the battery. There’s a simple way to check it using the tool we’ve mentioned above, CleanMyMac X. It has a system health monitor in the upper bar of your Mac. 

When you click it, you will see the apps that drain your battery far too much:


You may need this tool to do further maintenance on your Mac. Download its free version here, from the official site.

If all troubleshooting methods fail, consider taking your MacBook to the Apple Store or a certified Apple repair center. Every laptop has its own quirks, and at this point, it’s better to ask a licensed professional to help. More than likely, your MacBook will need a unique fix. To avoid those unpleasant “Why won’t my laptop charge?” surprise, also check our comprehensive guide on “How to increase Mac battery life.” Take care of your battery health!

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