No matter how old or new your MacBook may be, chances are the computer will outlive its charger. Whether you yanked it accidentally, rolled over it with your desk chair, or it just stopped charging for no good reason, that MacBook charger never seems to last as long as the laptop it was meant to charge. If you're not sure how to go about it, we're here to explain how to get a replacement MacBook charger.
Step 1: Identify the charger you need
While it may seem obvious at first, choosing the correct MacBook charger is not as simple as you may think. Over the years, Apple has changed, tweaked, and altered its laptop charger numerous times, so it's best to double-check which charger your best MacBook needs. For example, the newest MacBook Air with M2 has a MagSafe charger, but older Macs may have a USB-C charger.
Luckily for us, Apple has provided a handy guide to identify which charging cable and adapter you need according to your MacBook year and model.
Check Apple's MacBook charger identification guide (opens in new tab) to best ascertain which charger you need. Pay attention to things like year and model for best results. If you're not sure which year or model your MacBook is, then you'll need to check under the Apple menu on your device:
- Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen.
- Select About This Mac.
- Record the model and year of your MacBook from the About This Mac panel.
In the event that your MacBook is dead and unable to charge, you won't be able to check the Apple menu, of course. If this is the case, turn the MacBook over and read the tiny print on the underside of the laptop. Here you'll find the serial number. Type the serial number into Apple's Tech Specs page (opens in new tab) to find the model and year of your MacBook, then you can proceed to look up the charger in the MacBook charger identification guide.
Step 2. Check if your MacBook charger is covered under warranty
Determining whether or not your MacBook charger is covered under warranty can be a little tricky. Here are some basic facts about Apple's product warranty coverage:
- All MacBooks and their accessories come with a one-year limited warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship.
- The warranty for "defects in materials and workmanship" will cover a charger that stops working for no reason, but will not cover a charger that has been damaged by the user.
- Extended AppleCare warranties that are bought and paid for by the user will also cover defects in materials and workmanship for up to three years, but will not cover wear and tear or accidental damage.
- If a user buys the upgraded AppleCare+ coverage for MacBook, this extended warranty does cover up to two instances of accidental damage, but it will cost an extra fee to replace.
Does that sound a bit complicated? If so, you're in luck. Apple will tell you right away if your MacBook charger is covered under warranty when you enter your MacBook's serial number into Apple's Check Coverage page (opens in new tab). If you don't know your MacBook's serial number, follow the instructions in the section above to locate the serial number alongside the MacBook model and year.
If your MacBook charger is indeed covered under warranty, or if you're still not sure, the next step is to make an appointment with your local Apple Store to get it taken care of. You can do this by following the prompts to get support on Apple's Genius Bar page (opens in new tab), or by going to the Reservations section of the Apple Store app (opens in new tab) on your smartphone.
Once you make a reservation, Apple's Genius Bar staff will be able to replace the MacBook charger if it's covered under warranty or help you buy a new one if it's not, occasionally even with a little discount depending on the situation.
Alternatively, if the charger is covered under warranty, you can also contact Apple's support center (opens in new tab) and they can replace it by mail, which may be even easier.
Step 3: Locate the best Apple retailer
Once it's been determined that replacement is absolutely necessary, you'll have to decide where you want to buy your MacBook charger. The charger you need (based on the determination you made in Step 1 above) will likely be sold wherever Apple products are sold. Here are a few of the most popular retailers of Apple products:
- The Apple Store (opens in new tab) (obvi)
- Amazon (opens in new tab)
- Best Buy (opens in new tab)
- Walmart (opens in new tab)
- Newegg (opens in new tab)
Of course, Apple chargers can be quite pricey. If your MacBook is no longer covered under warranty, you may be tempted to buy a cheaper third-party alternative. This is not always advisable, but we can give you a few tips on choosing third-party accessories for Mac.
Alternative: Consider third-party options
It's usually in your best interest to buy an official Apple charger whenever possible. One reason Apple's MacBook chargers are so expensive is because they have a ton of smart safeguards built in to prevent over-charging, over-heating, and electrical malfunctions. With that being said, sometimes an expensive Apple charger simply isn't in the budget. If that's the case, here are some tips for finding the right third-party charger:
- Choose an Apple-certified brand. Some third-party MacBook chargers are made by Apple-certified brands, like Belkin. If the charger comes from a brand that Apple sells in the Apple store, it's a reliable brand.
- Go for a well-established brand. If you haven't heard of the brand, don't buy the charger. Amazon has a ton of these unknown brands that can potentially cause some issues so be aware.
- Research the brand and read the charger's reviews. If it doesn't have a ton of reviews, don't buy it.
- Avoid deals that seem too good to be true. If the price of the charger is a quarter of the price Apple sells it for, it's probably not safe for your Mac.
Just for reference, some Apple-certified brands that sell wall chargers and cables include:
- Native Union
Better get to charging!
Don't let a broken MacBook charger slow you down. By following a few quick steps, you can identify which charger you need and find out how to get a replacement MacBook charger as easily as possible. Even if it's not covered by warranty, there are many online stores and brands that sell replacement MacBook chargers to get your MacBook up and running again. Or if you'd rather go for a portable MacBook charger, check out our guide on the best portable chargers for MacBook.
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Jaclyn Kilani is a content writer at iMore. She's a longtime Apple addict with a flair for creating (written works, design, photos; you name it!) on her devices. Jaclyn has also worked in the marketing sector for over 16 years, dabbling in a bit of everything from writing to graphic design and digital marketing. In her heart of hearts, however, she is a born writer and an avid reader who adores everything about the written word. Someday she may even churn out a book or two.
Throughout her career, Jaclyn has also developed something of an addiction to all things Apple. Her professional and personal life is enhanced by an ever-growing collection of iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches, and even AirTags. Luckily, this expensive habit is of great use to her work at iMore, where she writes with authority on Apple products and the accessories that go with them.
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