Apple explains why your MacBook may be 'Not Charging' while plugged in

12-inch MacBook, Apple, 2017
12-inch MacBook, Apple, 2017 (Image credit: iMore/Rene Ritchie)

What you need to know

  • Apple has released a new support document about MacBook charging.
  • The document goes over expected behavior when charging a Mac.
  • Specifically, it covers why your Mac may temporarily not charge when plugged in.

Apple has released a new support document that provides some context as to why your MacBook may show as 'Not Charging' while it is plugged in.

MacBooks running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a 'Battery health management' feature that, according to Apple, may pause a charge to improve the long-term health of your MacBook's battery.

If your Mac notebook has Thunderbolt 3 ports and uses macOS Catalina 10.15.5 or later, you can use battery health management to help extend the life of your battery. Battery health management is designed to improve your battery's lifespan by reducing the rate at which it chemically ages. The feature does this by monitoring your battery's temperature history and charging patterns.

Apple says that, when it does this, you may notice the battery's maximum charge level to also be lowered. This is expected behavior and the computer will resume charging.

When battery health management is turned on, you might occasionally see "Not Charging" in the battery status menu of your Mac, and your battery's maximum charge level might be lowered temporarily. This is normal, and it's how battery health management optimizes charging. Your Mac resumes charging to 100 percent depending on your usage.

Apple notes that, if your MacBook is still struggling to charge, you may have an issue with the charger, cable, or power source you are using to charge your Mac.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.