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How to Check if Your MacBook Is Charging: 8 Best Ways

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Last updated: September 6, 2023

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Is your MacBook giving you a hard time while charging? Knowing if your MacBook is charging correctly is crucial to ensure you don’t find yourself with a dead battery at the most inconvenient times.

In this blog, I’ll guide you through simple steps to check if your MacBook is charging to ensure it stays powered up when you need it. So, let’s jump right in.

Before We Begin

If you’re facing charging problems with your Mac, debris, malware, or an outdated macOS could be the culprit. To avoid these issues, why not try MacKeeper – a convenient all-in-one solution that allows you to quickly run malware scans and stay on top of important updates? Say goodbye to your MacBook charging troubles by downloading and installing MacKeeper today.

Fix Charging Issues on Your Mac by Running a Virus Scan With MacKeeper

When your MacBook is running slower than usual or encountering charging issues, malware or virus infections could be the underlying culprits. These malicious intruders have a knack for draining your device’s power and disrupting the charging process.

By conducting a thorough malware scan, MacKeeper can identify and remove malware, potentially resolving the charging issues caused by these unwanted guests.

Here’s how to run a malware scan using MacKeeper:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper.
  2. Launch MacKeeper and click the Antivirus tab in the left sidebar.
click antivirus under the security section 6
  1. Run an instant virus scan by clicking the Start Scan button.
click start scan in mackeeper antivirus 6
  1. If the scan finds any viruses, click the Fix Items button.
  2. If there are no issues in your system, click Restart to run the scan again or close the program.
click restart to finish the process 6
  1. You can also select the features you want to use to secure your Mac, like enabling real-time antivirus protection.
click enable to allow real time protection
  1. Once you have configured your security settings, MacKeeper will continue to protect your Mac in the background, scanning for threats and blocking malicious activity.

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

Besides scanning your Mac for malware, MacKeeper can do a number of optimisation tasks, like removing login items, stopping annoying ads, and freeing up your Mac RAM. Check out my detailed MacKeeper review to learn about its amazing features.

How to Check If Your MacBook Is Charging

When it comes to your MacBook, ensuring it has a reliable power source is essential to charge it properly. But sometimes, knowing if it is charging or not gets tricky.

Below, I’ll walk you through simple steps to check if your MacBook is charging when it’s turned on or off. From checking the battery icon to examining the power adapter and exploring system setting, I’ve got everything covered.

A. How to Check If Your Mac Is Charging When Turned On

Here are some quick and easy ways to check your MacBook’s charging when it is turned on and you have access to its screen.

1. Look at the Battery Icon in the Menu Bar

When your Mac is connected to a power source and charging, you should see a lightning bolt icon inside the battery icon.

battery icon in the menu bar

By default, the battery icon is located in the top-right corner of the menu bar. However, if you can’t find it, you add the battery icon to the menu bar following these steps:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and select System Settings.
click apple icon and select system settings
  1. In the System Settings window, click the Control Center tab.
click control center in system settings
  1. Scroll down to the Battery section and toggle on the Show in Menu Bar switch.
toggle on show in menu bar switch for battery

Once you’ve checked the box, the battery icon will immediately appear in the menu bar at the top-right corner of your screen.

2. Check the Battery Percentage

If you have the battery icon in the menu bar, you can click it to see the battery percentage and its power source. If the power source is Power Adapter, it means your Mac is charging.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to check the power source on Mac:

  1. Click the battery icon in the menu bar.
battery icon in the menu bar
  1. A dropdown menu will appear showing the current power source. If the power source says Power Adapter, it means your Mac is charging.
macbook battery power source

3. Use System Information

You can also use the System Information utility to check the charging status. Here’s how:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and select About This Mac.
click apple icon and select about this mac
  1. In the window that appears, click More info.
click more info
  1. Scroll to the bottom and click the System Report button.
click system report in general
  1. In the System Information window, select Power from the sidebar and look at Charge Information. If it says Yes next to Charging, it means your Mac is charging.
charge information in system report
  1. Scroll down to the AC Charger Information section. If the Connected and Charging fields show Yes, it means your Mac is charging.
ac charger information in system report

4. With Charging Sound

Some newer models of MacBook, like the MacBook Air 2020, have a feature where they emit a sound when you connect the charger, like an iPhone. This is a useful indication that the device is charging.

Here are the steps to check if your MacBook is charging using this sound:

  1. Make sure your MacBook’s sound is not muted and the volume is at a level where you can hear it.
  2. Unplug the charger from your MacBook.
  3. Wait a few seconds, then plug the charger back into your MacBook.
  4. Listen for a quiet ding sound, similar to the sound when plugging in an iPhone.

If you hear the sound, your MacBook is charging.

This sound will not play if your MacBook’s battery is completely dead when you plug in the charger. In such a case, wait a few minutes for the battery to charge sufficiently before you can hear the sound.

5. Check ‌Battery Health

Your MacBook’s battery health speaks a lot about charging. You can also know the charging status through it.

Here’s how to use MacBook’s battery health feature to check if your Mac is charging:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner and select About This Mac.
click apple icon and select about this mac
  1. Click More Info on the next window.
click more info
  1. Click Battery in the left sidebar.
click battery in system settings
  1. Under Battery in the right pane, you’ll see a battery icon with Charging: X% next to it. It means your Mac is charging.

B. How to Check If Your MacBook Is Charging When Turned Off

Now you know how to check if your Mac is charging while it’s turned on. But what about when it’s turned off? Below, I’ve shared how you can check whether a Mac is charging or not while its powered off.

1. Using the MagSafe Power Adapter

The MagSafe Power Adapter is a unique feature of MacBooks that allows you to quickly connect your laptop to a power source. Using this method, you can check if your MacBook is charging and take any necessary steps to ensure it receives the power it needs to function properly.

Here’s how to use the MagSafe Power adapter to check if your Mac is charging:

  1. Connect the MagSafe power adapter to your MacBook and a power source.
  2. Look at the MagSafe LED indicator lights on the connector.
    • If the LED is green, your MacBook is charging.
    • If the LED is amber, your MacBook’s battery is low and charging.
    • If the LED is not lit, there may be a problem with the power source or adapter.
  1. Check for common issues that may prevent charging, such as debris in the MagSafe port or a damaged MagSafe connector.

2. Using the Charging Cable

If your MacBook predates 2016 and uses a magnetic charging cable, including the older L-shaped version, you can determine its charging status through a light on the cable’s end.

macbook charging cable light
Source: Malyshev Alexander

This light serves as an indicator:

  • an orange light signifies your MacBook is currently charging
  • a green light indicates the battery is full, and your device is operating on the power adapter

It’s important to note that even if your MacBook doesn’t power on, the presence or absence of this light can help identify whether the issue lies with the battery or not.

However, this isn’t the case with newer MacBook models with USB-C ports as there’s no indicator light on the USB-C charger. So, you can’t know if your MacBook is charging unless it’s turned on.

3. Use the Apple Support App

You can also connect your MacBook to your iPad or iPhone and check the battery status in it. Here’s how:

  1. Download and open the Apple Support app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID.
  3. Tap the Devices tab.
  4. Find your MacBook in the list of devices and select it.
  5. Look for the Battery section and check the status.
  6. If it says Charging, your MacBook charges even if turned off.

Maximize the Charging Lifespan of Your Battery

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the health of your MacBook’s battery. Over time, MacBook batteries lose their capacity to hold a charge. If your MacBook is really old, you may even get the Service Recommended for battery warning.

To avoid such issues and warnings, do what I do to maximize the charging lifespan of my MacBook battery. 

1. Adjust the Display Brightness

One of the common reasons for the MacBook battery draining fast is the high display brightness setting, as it can consume a lot of energy. Keeping the display brightness moderate is always recommended to conserve the battery life.

Here’s how to adjust the display brightness on your Mac:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen and select System Settings.
click apple icon and select system settings
  1. Click Displays in the left sidebar and drag the Brightness slider to the left to reduce the display brightness.
drag the brightness slider in displays
  1. Alternatively, you can toggle on Automatically adjust brightness to allow your MacBook to adjust the brightness according to ambient light.
toggle on automatically adjust brightness

2. Disable Unused Features

You may not use many features on your Mac, but they continue to run in the background, taking up valuable system resources and slowing down your computer. To prevent this, it’s important to disable any unused features on your MacBook.

If you don’t know how to do it, follow these steps to disable unused features on your Mac:

  1. Click the Control Center icon in the menu bar and turn off Bluetooth in the drop-down menu if you’re not using it.
click bluetooth in control center
  1. Next, click AirdDrop and turn it off.
click airdrop in control center and turn it off
  1. You can also turn off Wi-Fi when not in use.
click wi fi in control center and turn it off

By turning off these features, you can save significant battery on your Mac.

3. Quit Unused Apps and Processes

Clicking the little red cross on your Mac apps doesn’t really turn them off and they keep running in the background even after you’ve quit them. These apps consume RAM and CPU resources, causing your system to slow down and overheat. They also cause your Mac’s battery to drop quicker.

To prevent your Mac from overheating and battery from depleting quickly:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen and select Force Quit.
click the apple icon and select force quit
  1. Select the apps you’re not using in the new window.
  2. Click Force Quit to quit those apps and processes.
select the app store app and confirm that you want to force quit

4. Uninstall Heavy Applications

Unnecessary applications running in the background can consume a significant amount of system resources and ultimately drain the battery of your MacBook. This can also slow down your MacBook and make it less efficient.

So, keep an eye on the applications running in the background and uninstall applications you no longer use. Here’s how to delete unused apps with MacKeeper:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
  2. After installation, launch MacKeeper and click the Smart Uninstaller in the left-hand menu.
click smart uninstaller in the left sidebar 2
  1. Click Start Scan.
click start scan in smart uninstaller 1
  1. Select the applications you want to delete from the list and click Remove Selected.
select the applications you want to remove and click remove selected
  1. Tap the Remove button on the pop-up to confirm the deletion.
click remove on the pop up window in smart uninstaller 2
  1. MacKeeper will uninstall the apps and remove associated files and folders. You will get a Removal Completed notification. If you want to scan your Mac again, click Rescan.
click rescan in smart uninstaller 3

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

MacKeeper can do a lot more than just uninstalling apps on Mac. This handy tool can clean up junk files, remove duplicate files, and protect your Mac from malware. So, check out my detailed MacKeeper review to learn more about its awesome features.

On the other hand, you can use Launchpad to uninstall apps on your Mac. Here’s how:

  1. Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, or use the Mac keyboard shortcut key: F4.
click the launchpad icon in the dock
  1. Scroll through the list of apps in Launchpad until you find the app you want to uninstall.
  2. Click and hold the app icon until it starts shaking, and an X icon appears on the top-left corner of the app icon. Click the X icon to delete the app.
click the x icon to delete the app in launchpad
  1. A pop-up window will ask you to confirm if you want to delete the app. Tap the Delete button to confirm, and it will move the app to the Bin in the Dock.
tap the delete button to confirm
  1. After deleting the app, right-click the Bin icon in the Dock and select Empty Bin.
right click the bin and select empty bin 5
  1. Restart your Mac to ensure that all changes are applied.

Final Words

Now that you know how to check if your MacBook is charging, you may want to learn more about extending its lifespan and preventing issues like the MacBook battery not charging

Here are a few tips to get your started:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I know if my MacBook’s battery needs to be replaced?

    To know if your MacBook’s battery needs to be replaced, check its battery health by clicking the Apple icon > About This Mac > More Info. From there, click System Report and then Power. Look for the Cycle Count and Condition fields to determine the health of your battery.

  2. Is it wrong to use my MacBook while it’s charging?

    No, it’s not wrong to use your MacBook while it’s charging. However, you should avoid using your MacBook for processor-intensive tasks while it’s charging, as this can cause the device to heat up and potentially reduce the lifespan of the battery.

  3. How can I tell if my MacBook’s battery is in good condition?

    To tell if your MacBook’s battery is in good condition, click the battery icon in the menu bar. It indicates that your battery is in good condition if it displays Normal. Another way to check by About This Mac > System Report. Under Power, you can view the cycle count of your battery. If your cycle count is approaching 1000 cycles, consider replacing your battery to keep your MacBook running optimally.

Hashir Ibrahim

Author

I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

Ojash

Reviewer

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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