Introduction

If your MacBook no longer charges or you don't see the little orange or green charging light when it's plugged in, check the cord for signs of damage.

In this guide we will change the cord connecting the charger to the MacBook.

Alternatively, you can use this guide to repair your existing cable instead of replacing it.

Tools required:
  • Tools required:

    • A decent soldering iron

    • Wire cutters

    • Desoldering pump

    • A big heavy-duty spudger

    • A pair of snap-ring pliers for use with external snap-rings. Really any long-nose pliers would do, this is just perfect for the job if you happen to have a pair :-)

    • Super glue

    • 1 or 2 small clamps

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Open the cord winding flaps. Heat the power brick's plastic casing with a hair dryer, and/or run a razor blade along the seam between the two halves of the casing, in order to weaken the adhesive. This will make it easier to pry the case open. Insert your pliers and pry slowly. (Make sure they stay seated in the inside corners, or you may injure yourself or gouge the case.)
  • Open the cord winding flaps.

  • Heat the power brick's plastic casing with a hair dryer, and/or run a razor blade along the seam between the two halves of the casing, in order to weaken the adhesive. This will make it easier to pry the case open.

  • Insert your pliers and pry slowly. (Make sure they stay seated in the inside corners, or you may injure yourself or gouge the case.)

  • The cord winding flap will fall out.

  • Do the same on the other side.

  • Work slowly!

There is an easier way to open the case. Get a number 10 spanner and use it to prise off the case below the cable tidy clips. Wedge the outer 'fork' into the near corner of the space below the cable tidy clips and push the spanner away from you. Pop! Off it comes. Takes 2 seconds with very little physical effort. It is similar to the pliers approach but easier to do.

Stephen Ashworth - Reply

Steven, could you elaborate on your suggestion? I think you’re suggesting we use a spanner bit, which looks like a a flathead screwdriver with a notch in the center of its straight edge. But spanner also means wrench in British English, so clarification would be helpful.

Where is the near corner of th space below the clips. Could that also be described as “one of the side seams, right where it terminates and the depression that accommodates a tidy hook that’s not in use not in use begins”?

El Crashitan - Reply

Dear Pierre:

I’m not able to envision a successful implementation of this step. I don’t have a bench vise handy so I can’t just mess around until it works. If the needle-nose pliers is just sitting on the vise, and I’m holding the adaptor, what forces the pliers to pry the case open instead of clattering to the bench? Got photos?

Carrie aka El Crashitan

El Crashitan - Reply

If your charger is never opened before, it would be difficult to pry it open. Try bench-vise tools to add power your needle nose plier
  • If your charger is never opened before, it would be difficult to pry it open. Try bench-vise tools to add power your needle nose plier

  • Handle of your needle-nose plier is laid upon the closed bench vise, insert into the casing, then roll the vise slowly.

  • The casing would be cracked and you can continue to next step

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Finish it by hand; you'll have to apply some force. At some point, the case will crack open. (The edges are glued all the way around, and the interior metal sheeting may be glued to the case with a foam adhesive as well.)
  • Finish it by hand; you'll have to apply some force.

  • At some point, the case will crack open. (The edges are glued all the way around, and the interior metal sheeting may be glued to the case with a foam adhesive as well.)

  • The corner pieces inside the winding flaps, with their flat metal springs, may come loose as well; note their arrangement with springs pointing toward the cord, for reinstallation later.

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Carefully remove the inside from the shell.
  • Carefully remove the inside from the shell.

    • Be careful not to touch any of the capacitor leads, or you may receive an electric shock.

  • If the inside sticks to one half of the shell, it's probably due to (a) glue around the edge of the A/C connector, and/or (b) foam glue between the inside and the flat of the shell.

    • Use a heavy duty spudger or other pry tool to pry the edge of the A/C connector from the shell, and carefully pry between the shell and the inside to break the foam glue.

    • Use only ESD-safe pry tools. Do not use metal pry tools or screwdrivers.

  • You may find the metallic sheeting breaks a little; that's okay, but try to minimize the damage!

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I like to insert a big spudger to make more room to work.
  • I like to insert a big spudger to make more room to work.

On the 60W adaptor you might find a small metal tab with 2 tiny rivets holding the metal plate in place. This can be pried off gently and then the metal plate can be pulled out a little to make more space to work in.

PiersC - Reply

Make sure you note the position of the positive and negative terminals. Start by removing a bit of solder with the pump. Separate the cables. It may require some force, so be careful not to break the board.
  • Make sure you note the position of the positive and negative terminals.

  • Start by removing a bit of solder with the pump.

  • Separate the cables. It may require some force, so be careful not to break the board.

On the smaller 45W adapters, it is virtually impossible to desolder the white cable because the solder joint is hidden behind a capacitor.

Tip: Pull with some force on the white cable with the pliers, it should come out clean without causing damage. It is not soldered directly onto the board, there is a receptacle in between which you can pull the cable out of. You can use this receptacle to solder or clamp in the new cable, too.

Matthias Huber - Reply

(on the 45W) Be careful not to pull too hard on the white cable/clamp - I managed to rip a piece out of the PCB. Fortunately, I had another power adapter (with the same cable issue) lying around.

One point that is missing from this guide:

Partially remove the copper shielding to gain access to the white cable.

Do it on the side that does not have the capacitor lead soldered to it.

Simply peel off the adhesive tape, remove the tab out of the slot and peel up the shielding (it will look like a tent) to gain some space to access the 'white' solder spot. Be careful not to put too much strain onto the electrolytic capacitor's lead.

redwoood -

From the pictures, it looks like too much heat was applied when desoldering, so the eyelets/vias, which connect the wires to the conductive traces on the PCB, got pulled off the PCB along with the wires. This is something to be careful with, because if it happens you can end up with a useless/irreparable power adapter. Or at least the effort and cost involved in fixing it might be something not worth dealing with. It might be simpler/safer to clip the old wires and then solder them together with the wires of the new cord (like in this repair guide: Restoring Apple AC Adapter Broken Cable).

blerkh - Reply

The replacement cable should come with some solder pre-applied; just put the leads in place and apply heat to install it. Bending the wire tips 90 degrees helps with installation.
  • The replacement cable should come with some solder pre-applied; just put the leads in place and apply heat to install it.

  • Bending the wire tips 90 degrees helps with installation.

you need to solder those new leads to the board - that part seems to be missing here

deanholdren - Reply

Are you talking about the ends of the cable ?

If it is the case, just strip a little bit no longer than 3/16" of an inch ( like 3mm ) you have to make sure it is not too long; you can see at the step 8, there is no room on the other side of the board.

And heat it to apply soldering on it so it looks like the picture, it is easy to insert and it weld solidly.

Pierre Merineau - Reply

Carefully put the power assembly back in the first half of the casing.
  • Carefully put the power assembly back in the first half of the casing.

  • It will be a tight fit!

When I opened the charger, it turns out the white wire is attached to a connection on the PCB marked "Out +", but the black one is loose so I don't know where it used to be. There are two options next to where the white wire is, one marked "Out -" and the other "ID"; also slightly further back there's one marked "ADJ". Anyone know which of those the black wire is meant to go into?

Sorry if this should be obvious, but I'm a bit of a noob... :}

Rob - Reply

Place the cable grommet in the proper position in the casing.
  • Place the cable grommet in the proper position in the casing.

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Put the cord winding flappers back in position.
  • Put the cord winding flappers back in position.

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Put some super glue on the cover.
  • Put some super glue on the cover.

  • Avoid the flap areas and the grommet area.

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You might want to wear gloves so as not to get excess super glue on your fingers. Hold the flaps in place and install the other half of the casing. It will be tight—be patient!
  • You might want to wear gloves so as not to get excess super glue on your fingers.

  • Hold the flaps in place and install the other half of the casing.

    • It will be tight—be patient!

  • Make sure the flaps stay in place.

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Clamp the casing together and give it a few hours for the glue to set. Clamp the casing together and give it a few hours for the glue to set.
  • Clamp the casing together and give it a few hours for the glue to set.

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Just like new!
  • Just like new!

Good articel.

I just repaired the power adapter for my friend's MacBook and it's now working perfectly. The case cracking method is inspired! Never would have thought of using a pair of needle nose pliers that way. I hate that cliche about "thinking outside the box" but it truly applies in this case. Thanks.

BTW,this articel is also very usefull.

http://www.eachbattery.com/guide/how-to-...

hewanyv557 - Reply

Just did this repair on my wife's MacBook a little while ago, but I only cracked the case open enough to pull put the cable and clip the wires at the strain relief. Then I soldered the new cable to those cable ends, added the shrink tubing, and re-sealed the case with superglue. It looks and works like new! Much easier than going to the board. I also held the ears in place with scotch tape so they wouldn't move while closing it up.

John Lewis - Reply

Conclusion

Apply and repeat to all your friends victim of faulty cable ;-)

78 other people completed this guide.

Pierre Merineau

Member since: 02/10/2010

2,670 Reputation

4 Guides authored

21 Comments

This guide was very helpful in figuring out what needed to be done and how to do it. I don't have access to a lead pump so I ended up removing the old wires and then soldering the new ones on top of the remaining solder. So far it's working just fine!

Wildlife Ecology - Reply

I wasn't able to open my charger, even when using heat, the pliars as shown here and even a knife. As the damage to my cable was a few inches from the charger I just cut the cord and soldered a new one to the end. Cable looks a bit ratty but you could use white tubing to place over the top.

This guide is great and would definitely use it if possible =)

Ben Winkler - Reply

Try using bench vise with needle-nose plier

ridwan -

Thank you guys.. this guide was super helpful, without this I would have to spend 73 box unnecessarily.

Thanks again..

Lorenzo Cremisi - Reply

My powersafe adapter(a1436) has broken cable and i want to repair it, do you know how many volts out if you connect the multimeter on the black and white cable? I get 9,77v is that correct?

Fotis Karolos - Reply

Great instructions. No solder pump either but so far it is working. $6.50 for parts instead of $40 for a new unit. Thanks very much!

Frederick D - Reply

Great guide thanks, I bought my replacement lead on eBay for £5 and it's now working a treat.

One word of warning though, careful where you stick your fingers as I got a couple of zaps of electricity from something inside (yes it was unplugged :)

If you don't have a solder pump / solder sucker then I recommend you buy one before you start, it'd be tricky to clear out the holes on the board without one.

Andy B - Reply

I did this on an 85W adapter (official from apple, the one that came with the laptop) and the system is now reporting the connected charger as 60W. Any ideas on why this would be the case?

steve - Reply

My guess would be that even though you have an 85 w charger, your computer only needs and draws 60w. Hope this helps

Harry - Reply

The electronic ID for the adapter is on a small circuit board inside the MagSafe connector, so it looks like the cable you bought emulates the 60w model.

Grangerham - Reply

Very useful guide. My 85W's charger's lead was damaged near the charger. I opened it up following your guide. Accessing the back of the circuit board where the black lead is soldered on was tricky due to the copper shielding, so I cut the leads and soldered it them back together, with the join inside the unit. This lost me the cable strain relief but I improvised one with hot melt glue and Sugru! Not exactly looking like new, it works nicely - thanks!

Seb Wills - Reply

Failure to connect is a common problem; i.e. no light on the connector, and partial or no charging. The magnetic surface of the connector may be damaged. To fix, take a snap off blade knife, & run the back of the blade across the mating surface of the connector, to remove any bumps. Had trouble with mine for months; just tried this now, worked immediately. ;-)

stuart21 - Reply

Once I knew what to do, it was easy. I'd like, however, to add one additional hint: the housing splits open a little bit easier on the mains plug side, because the glued seam is shorter there.

R.D. Z. - Reply

Great guide!!! I've now replaced two MagSafe cables without much of a problem. I bought the replacements on amazon.... no problems yet.

If you use regular needle nose pliers (or snap ring for that matter) tape the ends so that you don't damage the case. Also, start prying apart on the short end of the case as there is less adhesive. Two clamps are better than one when closing up the case. Good luck!

Voscillate - Reply

great guide - thanks. I made a right mess of removing the soldered wire (I was fixing an 85w magsafe 2). I was using a pretty rubbish soldering iron, but amazingly it all works now! The hair dryer worked well, but amazing how much force was require and amazed I did not break it.

Steuart - Reply

On ifixit, all I found or on the net in gereral, al I found is how to fix the adaptoer itself. But what about the plug? It is my second time, the wiring inside of the plug itself came lose. But I don't seem to be able to open the plug to fix the wire, any idea how to fix it? By plug I mean the small end of the adaptor where the orange or green led lites up on the Macbook Air

rich1812 - Reply

Thank You. Your guide is very helpful and I can fix my adapter like a new one.

ridwan - Reply

I just fixed my 45w charger from 2011 (Macbook Air) and it is not possible to get to the + wire in the charger. I ended up cutting the wire, and connecting the new one to it - and covering the solder with shrink-wrap.

Casper Pedersen - Reply

I had a frayed cord, with the conducting metal wire completely detached from the rest of the conducting wire (below the insulating material). If that's the case for you, you can peal off the insulating layer from an old iPhone charger, remove the conducting wire and use it to join the two dead ends on the cord of your macbook charger. Apply some electrical tape on top of it and you now have a working charger!

btw, does anyone know what metal this wire is made of?

al 4515 - Reply

Mine, was difficult to reassemble. I fix the original cable, cutting the damaged part and drilling a hole in the original cable grommet with a dremel rotary tool then passing through the cable and solder it to the board.

Juan Gonzalez - Reply

Many thanks. Unfortunately, I think the cable shorted out the power supply before breaking in two. The fuse needed replacing but not a whimper after completing your excellent instructions.

Peter - Reply

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