My Dad bought me a third-party charger for my MacBook Pro and it charges really slowly. Is there a way I can check within MacOS to see how much power it’s delivering?
If you’re suspecting that the third-party charger isn’t delivering the full power for your MacBook Pro to charge, you’re probably right. the good news is that Mac systems can charge from even relatively low power sources, though obviously, it’s a slower process. With very low power chargers, you basically need to turn the computer off and let it sleep while charging to see any result, but those aren’t recommended except in a dire emergency.
Until the M1 MacBook Pros, the recommended input wattage was 87W, the charger included in the box with the MacBook Pro. The new M1 units, however, have even bigger chargers and can accept up to 150W – the bigger charger that is in the newest boxes. The good news is that they also charge just fine with an older 87W charger, though, unlike the previous generation, they don’t seem to be able to get any benefit from being plugged into a lower power 67W charger.
How can you tell? The Mac can tell you if it’s charging or not! Let’s have a look.
MACOS 12 – BATTERY POWER ON THE MENUBAR
By default, there’s a tiny battery icon on the menubar on a Mac system which makes it easy to glance and ascertain battery status:
Mine also includes the percentage, which I prefer for its greater accuracy. Enabling that isn’t in the Battery control panel, however, it’s somewhere else in System Preferences. Where? Well, you can use search to find it for yourself:
Yes, you really do want to become familiar with that handy search feature!
MacOS 12 has one more trick up its proverbial sleeve with the battery icon on the menubar too: Click on it and you’ll see what’s consuming the most power on your computer:
To figure out how much power is coming in for the charge, however, you’ll want to go somewhere else entirely.
SYSTEM REPORT LISTS POWER FROM CHARGER
From the Apple menu on the top left, choose “About This Mac“. You’ll see a summary like this:
Click on “System Report…” (as indicated by the cursor arrow).
This fires up one of the most useful programs on the Mac, actually, a utility that lets you really dig into your hardware and software configuration and see every single facet and element of your device. Including “Power“. Find that category on the left menu and click on it. Then scroll down on the right side until you get to this section:
This is where you can answer your questions about the charger. For example, notice that there’s a field “Charging” and that in the above it shows “Yes”. That’s good. If you plug in a charger that has too little power output, it’ll say “No”. You can also ascertain exactly how much power is coming in from the “Wattage (W)” field, as highlighted. In this instance, I have an Apple 87W USB-C Power Adapter plugged into my new M1 MacBook Pro. Not as much as the big new charger, but 86 of those 87W watts are being utilized to charge the battery and it’s working just fine.
Now plug in the third-party charger, go to System Report > Power > AC Charger Information and see what it reports!
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