How to Charge a MacBook Pro Correctly

Why left-hand charging can make your laptop run hot

What to Know

  • Plug your charging cable in and you're good to go.
  • Newer MacBook Pros can charge on either side but it's recommended to only use the right-hand side.
  • Phone chargers can be used to recharge newer MacBook Pros if you have to.

This article teaches you how to charge a MacBook Pro correctly and what to consider when charging your laptop. It looks at both older pre-USB-C MacBook Pros as well as more modern ones.

What Is the Proper Way to Charge a Macbook Pro?

When it comes to any type of MacBook Pro, you can simply plug the charging cable in to charge it up and your laptop will recharge in the background. However, there are some things to consider. Here's an overview of what to consider and what will help charge your laptop more efficiently.

  • Older MacBook Pros charge differently. If you have an older MacBook Pro that was sold before 2016, it uses Apple's proprietary magnetic charging cable. The cable will automatically snap into place when you place it near the charging port.
  • Modern MacBook Pros use USB-C. Newer MacBook Pros use a USB-C cable to charge up. You can plug it into any port like you would a USB cable but it doesn't snap into place like a magnetic charging cable does. 
  • Any USB-C cable will do. If you have a newer MacBook Pro, any USB-C charging cable will work just fine although it's recommended to use the official charging cable. 
  • Charging while using it can be slower. If you recharge your MacBook Pro while using it, it can charge up slower than if it's not in use. It's a minimal difference in most cases but it's worth bearing in mind.
  • Avoid using the battery where possible. Leave your MacBook Pro plugged in as often as possible to avoid wear and tear on the battery. 

Which Port Is for Charging Macbook Pro?

Here's where to look for the charging port on both older and newer MacBook Pros.

  1. Look to the right-hand side of your laptop.

  2. On an older MacBook Pro, look for a square-shaped port that the magnetic charging cable snaps into. 

    The charging cable's light should change to orange to show it's charging or green to show it's fully charged.

  3. On a newer MacBook Pro, plug the USB-C cable into any port. Two should be located on the right-hand side which are ideal. 

    There's no light to indicate it's charging correctly. 

Can I Charge Macbook With Phone Charger?

Depending on what phone you use, the answer is often yes. Here's what to do.

Using a phone charger to recharge your MacBook will be much slower than using the correct charging cable so try to avoid doing so unless you have no other option.

  1. Check to see if your phone charger is a USB-C based charger. Unfortunately, iPhones don't use USB-C to charge. Now, some Android phones use USB-C, so those AC adapters could charge a MacBook/Pro, but it would be incredibly slow.

  2. Plug one end into the MacBook Pro.

  3. Plug the other end into your power socket or USB hub to begin charging.

Can I Charge My Macbook Pro From Any Port?

That depends on the MacBook Pro you own. Older MacBook Pros that use a proprietary magnetic charging cable only have one charging port. You'll know you've found it when the cable snaps into place.

Newer MacBook Pros use USB-C for charging so any port will work. 

Is It Safe to Charge From the Left-Hand Side?

Recent research has found that there can be issues with charging via the left-hand side ports of a modern MacBook Pro which can mean you shouldn't do so. Notably, it can cause spikes to the laptop's temperature causing it to overheat and crash. Here's what to consider before you charge via the left-hand side. 

  • Check you can charge your MacBook Pro from the left-hand side. Not all MacBook Pros have charging ports on the left-hand side, so don't worry about this if yours doesn't. 
  • Move your laptop. Can you move your MacBook Pro so you charge it via the right-hand side? Do so if you can.
  • Consider any heat implications. Not all MacBook Pros immediately crash if you charge via the left-hand side. In most cases, you won't have a problem. Our advice: Don't panic but do be aware of the issue. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does it take to charge a MacBook Pro? It depends on which model MacBook you own and how depleted the battery is when it's plugged in to charge. Newer Pros come with fast charging, so they can go from dead to operational in minutes. You can click the battery icon in the menu bar to get an estimate on how long it'll take to fully charge your device.
  • How much does Apple charge to replace a MacBook Pro battery? If you're experiencing battery issues, it might be covered under your device's warranty. Check to see if that's the case before spending money on a replacement. If your MacBook Pro is no longer under warranty, Apple charges for battery service depending on which model you own. It costs $129 for a 13-inch or 15-inch MacBook Pro, and $199 for the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros with retina displays.
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