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Why Isn’t My Mac Battery Charging When Plugged In? 7 Causes and Fixes

Last Updated Nov 14, 2022

You are all set up in your office or favorite coffee shop, working away on your Mac. Suddenly, you notice that your Mac battery isn’t charging, even though you are plugged in. 

This can be incredibly frustrating. There are a few things to watch out for to understand why this is happening, and some fixes you can try. Read on to find out why this is happening and what you can do about it. 

Make Sure Your System Is Up to Date and Running Smoothly 

It goes without saying, you need the latest updates to keep your Mac running smoothly. 

An out-of-date system can impact several things, including the battery and its response to being plugged in. If your system is completely up to date, then you may just need to do a simple restart. 

One of the greatest pieces of advice given by computer techs is, “Did you turn it off and back on again?” There may be a simple glitch in the system that can be easily fixed with a restart or an update. 

Check Your Power Source

Are you plugged into a strong enough power source? If you are not plugged into a strong power source, such as a wall outlet, your Mac may not be receiving the strength charge that it needs.  

Using weaker charging ports, such as portable chargers, may keep your Mac from charging while plugged in. Consider plugging into a stronger source to see if this resolves the issue. 

Portable charging ports are great for charging your Mac if it is not in use. However, they often don’t have enough strength to charge your Mac while you are using it.

Check Your Battery Settings

The Mac is not designed to stay plugged in all the time. Usually there are default settings that keep the battery from constantly charging. 

If you are plugged in and not receiving a charge, your system may have paused the charging process. Go to your Battery settings to find out how those are set up and customize them to your liking. 

Like most settings, your Battery settings are customizable. Refer to your User’s Manual to make sure that the settings you select won’t adversely affect your overall battery life going forward. 

Check The Apps and Programs You Are Running

It could be the apps or programs you are running that could be part of the problem. Certain high technology programs drain the Mac’s power more quickly than others. 

If you find that your system won’t charge while plugged in, it could be the programs you are running. If you are streaming and doing high-end editing (such as video editing) at the same time, the system may be using more power than it is able to replace – even if you are plugged in.

Consider closing one or more apps or programs if you have multiple running at the same time. If you only have one program running, but it is a power-demanding program, you may need to make sure your Mac is fully charged before using that program. 

Check Your Hardware

Are your charging cables in good, working condition? Your problem could be as simple as busted cable. 

If your cables are frayed, split, torn, or damaged in any way, it is likely time to replace them. Your Mac may not be getting charged at all if you have damaged hardware. 

The cable itself may be fine, but there could be obstructions in the connecting port. Make sure it is free of dust, debris, or other things that could hinder charging to take place.

You will also want to check the power source you are plugged into. If it is damaged or not functioning, find a new power source.

Check The Battery Itself

In your Battery settings, you can find out the overall health of your battery. Batteries aren’t designed to last forever. 

If your system indicates that your battery is on its last leg, it may be time to purchase a new one. Consult your User’s Manual to determine the kind of battery you need and consider replacing it. 

Now, let’s see the next issue.

Check Your Mac’s Temperature

Does your Mac feel like it is running hot? If it is very hot, the battery usually won’t charge while in use as a safety feature. 

Consider ways to cool your Mac down. If you are in the sun, come inside or find some shade. You may also want to check that you aren’t blocking the vents that keep the machine cool. 

Now you know all about why your Mac battery isn’t charging.


Running out of power on your Mac can be a frustrating thing. Trying to charge it, and not wanting to charge while in use, can be even more stressful. 

Hopefully, the above tips will help you navigate any charging problems you experience the next time you are plugged in, but your Mac won’t charge.  

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