MacBook Pro Battery Not Charging? Looking at Solutions

Is the battery on your MacBook Pro not charging? There may be a reason for that. While there are a variety of motives that a battery in a MacBook may not charge, this may potentially be intentional on Apple’s end. However, if your battery isn’t charging for other reasons, this could also be an issue. No-one likes having a battery that doesn’t charge, so let’s dive-in.

When it comes to a MacBook Pro battery, Apple has a system in place to protect the battery as much as the system can. I’m going to cover this a bit more later on, and I’m also going to explain some reasons as to why your battery isn’t charging. While Apple does have measures in place to protect your battery, this may not entirely be the reason why it isn’t charging.

Why is My MacBook Pro Battery Not Charging When Plugged In?

If you find that your MacBook Pro doesn’t seem to be charging, even when plugged in, there may be a number of simple reasons for this explanation.

One of the more common elements for this occurring is due to your device putting a momentary pause on charging. This is to help extend the life of your battery. It may take the battery dipping below 93 percent for it to begin properly charging again.

Additionally, your device may be connected to a power source that is able to deliver enough power to keep it running, but not enough power to keep it running while charging. A common reason for this is that the wattage in a particular charger may cause this. Make sure that you are using a charger with the proper wattage if you want to charge your MacBook Pro while it runs.

Another reason this may be occurring is that your MacBook may be running high-performance, and the charger is simply not able to keep up with the demands. For example, if you are running programs that are graphically- or CPU-intensive, your charger is likely unable to keep up a pace with your needs. Having the right charger in this instance is without a doubt a crucial.

How Do I Reset My MacBook Pro Battery Not Charging?

If your MacBook Pro is still not receiving a proper charge, it may be either a software or hardware issue. Let’s take a look at some software solutions first, and then take a look at some hardware solutions.

One of the first things you can do is ensure that you’re not draining the battery too quickly. It could be that your computer is running at a far higher performance than the battery is capable of keeping up with. Video games and video editing software can often be the largest determining factor in this situation, so try quitting these applications and see if you are able to get a proper charge. Keeping your screen too bright can also play a role in this situation.

It’s also possible that you simply need to update to the latest available version of macOS for your device. Getting the latest software and firmware is usually a great solution to minor problems with your machine. From the Menu Bar, going to Apple > System Settings > General > Software Update and seeing if an update is available is good idea.

You may also want to consider turning off Battery Health features. As a preventative measure, Apple includes ways for the MacBook Pro to protect its own battery, including stopping the device from charging all the way to 100%. This is known as Optimized Battery Charging.

While I fully wouldn’t recommend turning it off, you can do so through the following steps (note that this is for macOS Ventura, older devices may have slightly different steps):

  1. Go to Apple > System Settings
  2. Scroll down to Battery.
  3. Within this window, click the Information icon (the ‘i’ with a circle around it) near Battery Health. This will bring up additional options.
  4. Find Optimized Battery Charging, and turn it off.

How Do I Check the Health of My Battery?

Fortunately, if you want to check the health of your battery, the above steps pretty much got you all the way there. However, all you need to do is go to the Menu Bar, and then navigate to Apple > System Preferences > Battery. You will then see the Battery Health indicator. It should say ‘Normal’. If it says ‘Service Recommended’, you may want to get in touch with an Apple Support Specialist.

How Do I Reset My SMC on My MacBook Pro?

Another thing you may want to do is reset the System Management Controller, or SMC. This can be a great solution if a Mac is experiencing more obscure problems relating to thermal or power management. However, it’s worth noting that this is typically more of a solution for Intel-based Macs. For example, Apple actually suggests that Macs with Apple Silicon only need to reset their devices while the machine is plugged-in. You can find out how to check what you’re running below.

Of course, if you are using an Intel-based Mac, resetting the SMC takes a little bit more than a simple reset while the device is plugged-in. However, how you go about it is going to greatly depend on whether or not you are using a T2 chip or not.

Find Which Chip You Are Running

If you need to know if you are running an Apple T2 Security Chip or not, you can find this information in System Information. Simply press and hold the Option key while you navigate to the Apple icon in the Menu Bar, and the About This Mac option will turn to the System Information option. You can then find the information about your chip either under Controller or iBridge, depending on the macOS version you are running. If you see T2 in the model name, you’re rocking a T2 Security Chip.

You can find what kind of chip you’re running in just a few steps.

If you’re concerned about your battery, Apple also recommends shutting down your Mac, pressing and holding the power button for 10 seconds, and then releasing the button. Then turn your Mac back on. If you are still having issues, that’s when Apple recommends resetting your SMC. Try this before doing a reset.

Perform an SMC If You Have a T2 Chip

Time needed: 5 minutes

Keeping that in mind, here’s how to perform an SMC if you have the T2 chip:

  1. Shut down your Mac.

  2. On the built-in keyboard, press and hold the following keys: Control, Option and Shift. Your machine may turn back on. Make sure you’re using the Shift on the right-side of your keyboard.

  3. Hold these three keys for seven seconds.

  4. Then, press and hold the power button. If your Mac did turn on from the previous step, it will power off again while you hold the keys.

  5. Continue to hold all four keys for another seven seconds. Release them.

  6. Wait a couple of seconds, and then power your Mac back on.

Perform an SMC if You Don’t Have a T2

If your MacBook Pro doesn’t have a T2 Security chip, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your MacBook Pro.
  2. Using the built-in keyboard, press and hold Shift, Control and Option. Make sure you’re using the Shift on the left-side of your keyboard.
  3. While holding these keys, press and hold the power button.
  4. Hold all four keys for 10 seconds.
  5. Release the keys, then turn your Mac back on with the power button.

Hardware Issues to Consider

When it comes to hardware issues, consider the following:

  • Inspect the hardware: Check to ensure that none of your cables are faulty or damaged. It may also be a good idea to try official Apple products, as third-party cables and chargers do not always play well with Apple products, even if you have been using them for sometime.
  • Give the device a chance to cool down: The MacBook Pro is not a fan of excessive heat. Ensure that your device is operating in a cool, ventilated area. If you’re the type that likes to watch Netflix in bed on your MacBook Pro, you may want to consider giving it a break for a period.
  • Clean your ports: Clean the ports on your device, and ensure they are free of debris. Some compressed-air will be your friend in this situation.
  • Use a different power cable/power adapter/AC wall adapter: Any one of these may be giving you issues, especially if you are using third-party products. Again, ensure that they are clean and free of any damage. Ideally, you want to use the peripherals that came with your machine.
  • Checking for line noise: Unplug your power adapter from the wall, wait a minute, and then plug it back in. If your MacBook Pro begins charging without issue, there might be a line noise issue concerning the power source. You can then repeat the process to periodically reset your adapter. Larger electronics being on the same electrical circuit as your MacBook Pro can cause this issue.

Running Apple Diagnostics

You may also want to run Apple Diagnostics. This can help you determine if there is anything going wrong with your MacBook Pro internally.

First, you’ll need to determine if you are using Apple Silicon or not. You can find this information in the Menu Bar by going to Apple > About This Mac.

If you’re using Apple Silicon, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your Mac and continue to press and hold the power button as it starts up.
  2. You can then release the power button when you are presented with a startup options window. This will include a gear that has the label Options.
  3. Then, press Command and the D key on your keyboard.
  4. You will get your results after running the test.

If you are using an Intel-based processor, follow these step:

  1. Turn on your Mac, then immediately press and hold the D key as the computer boots up.
  2. If you see a progress bar or are asked to choose a language, let go of the D key. You will see the results once the progress bar completes.

If none of these things are working for you, it may be time to consider getting your Mac serviced. I would recommend going through official channels by visiting this official Apple website.

MacBook Pro: Fully Charged

Having a MacBook Pro is great, but having a MacBook Pro that simply won’t charge isn’t so great. Without a battery, your MacBook Pro is little more than a smaller desktop machine, and who wants that? Fortunately, there are some steps and measures users can take to ensure that their device is operating as it should. There’s also some measures users can take if it is a hardware or software problem.

Following these steps, users can determine what, if anything, is causing the battery on their MacBook Pro to not charge properly. Again, remember that Optimized Battery Charging is a thing, so it may be intentional that your battery is not charging at certain points throughout the cycle. Whether you’re using Apple Silicon, or something Intel-based, there’s solutions for everyone.

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