Repairing MagSafe Connector

Member-Contributed Guide

Member-Contributed Guide

An awesome member of our community made this guide. It is not managed by iFixit staff.

Magsafe cables are known to break off close to the connector. This article explains how to dismantle the magsafe and re-connect the cable to it.

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Edit Step 1 MagSafe Connector  ¶ 

  • Open the jaws of the vice so the metal shell of the magsafe just fits between them. Place the magsafe between the jaws with the cable upwards and the white plastic housing resting on the jaws.

  • Cut off the cable as close to the housing as possible.

  • Use a cross-head screwdriver to force the metal section of the magsafe out of the plastic housing

  • Gently prise apart the strain relief metal band around the remains of the cable and put it aside for later.

  • Cut down one side of the soft plastic inner and peel it away from the wires and circuit board. You are very unlikely to be able to re-use it so don't worry if it tears.

  • The image shows roughly what you should now have. The braid is soldered to two places (one on each site of the circuit board at opposite ends - middle and right in the picture); the white core is soldered in just one (left in the picture).

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Unsolder the braids and core from both sides of the circuit board.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Cut back 15mm of sleeve from the cable.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • You will probably want three strips of heatshrink. They will need to fit over each other shrunk in place so likely need to be different sizes.

  • Cut the smallest diameter sleeve to 2cm long. Once shrunk into place the white plastic outer will need to fit over this. You might wish to check that this will work, as otherwise you will need to enlarge the hole in the housing (now, not later!).

  • Cut the others a little longer each e.g. 2.5cm and 3cm.

  • Slide the largest diameter heatshrink over the cable.

  • Slide on the next largest size

  • Push the remains of the strain relief out of the white plastic outer housing. Now slide on the plastic outer part of the magsafe connector. Make sure that you get it the right way round!

  • Finally, slide on the smallest piece of heatshrink.

Image #1

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Peel back the braid

  • Tease out the fibres that are contained within the braid and then cut them off as close to the cable as possible.

  • Split the braid in to two equal parts. Twist each part separately to make two neat wires.

  • Strip back 3mm of insulation from the inner core. Twist the core by hand and then tin the end.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Solder the core on to the opposite side to the chip (in the opposite corner).

  • Cut two pieces of the smallest heatshrink - roughly 4mm long.

  • Slide on to the braid leaving roughly 3mm of braid free at the end where it joins the cable.

  • Shrink in to place. If your heat gun is a bit powerful, use the soldering iron to supply the heat.

  • Cut off the braids leaving about 3mm free beyond the heatshrink.

  • Solder the first braid on to the chip side in the opposite corner to the chip.

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Make sure that the cable comes off the centre of the circuit board so the housing will fit over it.

  • Also check that there is about 3mm of stripped cable on top of the circuit board as the strain relief has to fit here (see next photo)

  • Solder the other braid on the other side, in the opposite corner to the core. Try not to extend beyond the edge of the circuit board

  • Carefully file off any solder or cable that extends beyond the end of the circuit board.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Reattach the strain relief. It needs to fit under the two lugs on the circuit board above the solder points for the braid and core.

  • This is just visible on the left hand side of the core in the picture. The right hand tab is a bit short of the tab on the right because I didn't get the cable decently centred!

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Slide down the first bit of heatshrink and shrink down.

  • (You can see the right hand side of the strain relief is short of the tab in this picture.

  • I have since found (and others too) that the heatshrink doesn't stay in place that well and so is not so great as strain relief. More in step 10.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Slide the housing back over the magsafe connector. It goes on either way round (there is a hole for the led on both sides.

  • Squeeze in place with the pliers. If it doesn't fit over the circuit board fairly easily, check that you don't need to file down the solder joints some more.

  • Slide the first of the pieces of heatsink up against the plastic housing.

  • Keeping it tight, shrink it in place. This is important to help avoid a future failure.

  • Repeat with the outermost piece of heatshrink.

  • Try powering it up! Remember that it will take a few seconds before the LED illuminates.

  • Orange light - success!

  • Abrading the top of the casing and applying a big blob of hot-melt glue seemed to provide more permanent, if less elegant, strain relief!

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the Apple AC Adapter device page.

Required Tools

Soldering Station

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Lead-Free Solder

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Heat Gun

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Large Needle Nose Pliers

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Heat Shrink Tubing Assortment

$6.95 · 36 In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

This is great! Very useful, and nice zoomed in photos. Thanks for putting it up!

Kyle Wiens, · Reply

Quote from Kyle Wiens:

This is great! Very useful, and nice zoomed in photos. Thanks for putting it up!

Thanks. I think that the strain relief needs more work though as it is still not standing up well enough to my daughter working on her lap! I have some ideas but need to try them out.

Dave Fixedit, · Reply

Hi Dave

My MagSafe is broken inside the wires, close to the power supply.

Do you have any tips on how to open the power supply?

Is it glued together in the white plastic?

(60W for MacBook white)

thanks Hans Henrik

Hans Henrik, · Reply

Quote from Hans Henrik:

Hi Dave

My MagSafe is broken inside the wires, close to the power supply.

Do you have any tips on how to open the power supply?

Is it glued together in the white plastic?

(60W for MacBook white)

thanks Hans Henrik

Hi Hans

Sorry, but I haven't tried that. I did pick up a broken one on ebay for the magsafe connector, so if I get a chance I will try pulling it apart as it doesn't matter if I break it.

Dave Fixedit, · Reply

this guide is amazing!! i did it well, been my very first time soldering cables, tip to remember: try to calculate the size of the whole soldering and the cable together, i didn't and before closing the case up, i realized it hasn't fitted, i disoldered everything and resoldered everything again... yes, i had to...

thanks guys! your contribution was very helpful. many thanks.

Mugen, · Reply

Excellent guide with great pictures! I recently fixed one I found put to the road on my way home, but now I'm nervous about trying it out on my Macbook Pro 13. I originally tested it on a Macbook, but it started sparking, and the Macbook shut off. I realized the solder on my white wire had become disconnected and have since resoldered it more securely in place. Any suggestions on how to safely test this? Do Macbooks have built in protection for faulty chargers? or should I somehow use a voltmeter or something else? Thanks!

(Also if you're having issues fitting the housing over your bulky solder job, a small file is great to slim it down. Just test the strength of your solder again after)

Buddy Lee, · Reply

I did this but found the strain relief via heat shrink to be very flimsy, it provides the required stiffness but does not anchor well to the connector = poor fix. I found a product on line that is a hand moldable rubber that will adhere to the connector providing a true strain relief. I'm going to try it.

http://sugru.com/us

Eric D, · Reply

Thanks guys for your comments; much appreciated.

1. Getting the lengths right is indeed a problem. I am pretty sure it too me more than one attempt too.

2. I don't know about the safety cut-out in the power supply, although I suspect that there must be something as it must be possible to short out the pins on the connector by mistake some time.

3. I found that the strain relief was not good myself too. Abrading the top of the casing and then putting a big blob of hot-melt glue worked much better, even if it was not very elegant! It would be interesting to see if your strain relief

Dave

Dave Fixedit, · Reply

I have done this on a T connector and thought I would share some tips I discovered...

Soak the T connector in isopropyl alcohol (higher % is better. ie: 91%, grain alcohol, everclear etc) prior to attempting to remove the housing. This softens the epoxy considerably making it MUCH easier to remove the housing without damage. You can cut the connector off of the cable prior to soaking to prevent wicking.

Also, check the solder connections from the pogo pins to the circuit board. The ROHS solder used to make the connections is garbage and is prone to failure. 3 out of the 5 pins in my connector had broken joints. You will likely need to use a loupe or other magnifying device to spot these cracked joints.

Good Luck!

-John C.

sonicj, · Reply

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