Released October 24, 2011 / 2.2, 2.4, or 2.5 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Intermittent 'Battery not charging'


This battery is 968 cycles. Good. 92% of design full charge capacity.

All in all, many cycles, must have been discharged to 10% then charged completely to keep so much capacity, without heavy app usage.

What I've had was battery not charging at about 11% while running youtube 4K video (in 4K quality) and some other apps... like HW Monitor, coconut battery etc...

Basically my question is: under any circumstances of high energy demand/load, with wifi youtube 4K playback, keyboard backlight maxed and screen brightness maxed, also volume maxed, is it allowed for the battery to show 'not charging'?! As in... battery wants a certain amount of watts which cannot be provided?

Reset SMC and PRAM etc.

Battery was flat out the other day, just charged it after 1 month or so.

Is there a failsafe against poor input - say magsafe board faulty- which magsafe board can create various issues. Simply put... it is probably battery or board issue...

With 3rd party cheap batteries, I've seen macbook go funny on performance with above 4K youtube playback via wifi because of poor battery power, though charged fully let's say...

When cpu and gpu are throttling, does it lower the wattage to charge battery?

Note: PSU is 85W magsafe 1 genuine Apple ( and I mean genuine.. not some copyright infringement look-alike copy).

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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

The charging is not throttled per se, but the power is provided first to run the computer, and second to charge the battery. But not enough is provided apparently. This reminds me of liquid damaged boards with partially corroded lines between charging chip and battery. The "bottle neck" would prevent the laptop from replenishing the battery during normal use, but would otherwise charge when turned off - but slowly.

So either you have corrosion on this line, from previous / old liquid damage; or the board was previously replaced from Apple by a refurb and those lines were indeed corroded; or the components on that line and/or charging chip are compromised and not working fully. Or the charger is failing somehow.

It should be easy to troubleshoot.

1/ I would start by downloading Coconut battery and monitoring the charging process and charging wattage during different types of loads.

You can also see the charging from "Apple">About This Mac>Overview>System Report>Power>AC Charger Information>Wattage.

2/ If you feel something is not right with the battery or charger, you can try a different preferably known good (not necessarily new) charger and/or battery (one thing at a time). May be even the MagSafe DC-in board.

3/ Third step would be to remove the bottom cover, disconnect the battery, and look around for traces of corrosion. Specially slightly north of where the battery connects.

4/ If nothing jumps out at this point, you would either have to send it to someone who can perform board level repairs, or whip out a multimeter, schematics, a board view, and start troubleshooting. Then if you do find something wrong, you'd have to be able to microsolder replacement parts.

Final note: this model is highly prone to GPU failure. Take it into consideration before spending big bucks to repair it. It's a shame since with an SSD and 16GB of RAM it still performs outstandingly.

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I replaced the GPU with a 2014+ chip.

I believe the stress was a bit high, with 4K streaming and everything maxed out, brightness, keyboard backlight, speaker volume.

Also battery has many cycles, so it could explain it.

The charger was fine, it would only go into that battery not charging mode when fans would be at max speed, and CPU at very high temperature, but stability was maintained at all times...

And yes, it looks like an Apple refurbished board... that failed its GPU later on as it has those extra ports soldered on the board...

So you're probably right, but it is charging just fine when not full load so am not worried...


I bet this was not a 2014+ chip. I bet this was a remarked chip.

If it was etched, it is probably remarked. The original chips are printed on and the print can be removed by sanding.

You can replace the CPU compound. I like arctic silver. Whatever you feel is good, may be you can help improve the heat dissipation. Also you may want to use a fan or something directed at the laptop :) any hack may help.


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