Can I use a 30w Charger for a MacBook Pro? 


Your MacBook Pro is a valuable tool, being able to be used in virtually any environment (weather permitted, anyway). One disadvantage to worry about with the MacBook Pro, however, is needing to keep it charged. Granted, this is the case with any portable device, but it is no less frustrating when your MacBook Pro runs out of charge. The MacBook Pro comes with its own power cord, but some owners are wondering: in a pinch, can you use a 30w charger for a MacBook Pro?

It is technically possible to use a 30w charger with your MacBook Pro, though it is not recommended that you do so. The MacBook Pro uses different wattage levels depending on the model. For instance, one model uses a 61w USB-C charging cord, another uses an 87w USB-C charging cord, and the most recent one uses a 140w USB-C charging cord. This means that, in the case of the lowest-wattage MacBook Pro, a 30w charger has only half the capacity. A 30w charger will cause it to charge somewhat while asleep, and allow the MacBook Pro to be used while it is plugged in. However, it is highly likely that you using the laptop will drain the battery faster than a 30w charging cord can charge it.

But is it even safe to use a 30w charger? And do 30w chargers work with other types of MacBooks?

Can I use a 30w Charger for a MacBook Pro?

Which cord is included with your MacBook Pro will ultimately come down to which model of MacBook Pro you have. If you have the 13-inch MacBook Pro, it will come with a 67w charger cord, while owners of the 15-inch MacBook Pro (both first released in 2016) get an 87w charger cord instead. More recently, however, the 16-inch MacBook Pro was released with a 140w charging cord included. All three of these MacBook Pro models have a USB-C charging cord. But can you use a 30w charger for any of these MacBook Pros?

The answer is that yes, you can use a 30w charger, but it is not exactly the best solution. The reason for this is because a 30w charger cable is less capable of charging quickly than a higher-capacity charger, and thus, your MacBook Pro may not even be capable of gaining charge while it is in use. At best, a 30w charger can be used to slow battery drain while in use instead of actually adding charge. However, while not in use, a 30w charger may at least be capable of charging to full battery capacity, though it will take that much longer to do this than the cord your MacBook Pro came with. The more wattage required to adequately charge a device, the longer it will take to charge with a cord of lower capacity.

If you are looking at using, for instance, a 61w charger with a MacBook Pro model that uses an 87w or 140w charger, you should also be capable of using it instead. Much like using a 30w charger, however, expect that it will take some time to finish charging.

Can I use a charger with a higher-capacity charging cord than what is called for?

While we have covered whether you can use a lower-capacity charging cord, we haven’t covered using a higher-capacity one on a device that only requires a lower-capacity one. For example, what happens if you use an 87w charger on a 13-inch MacBook that only calls for a 61w cord?

While you absolutely can use the 15-inch MacBook Pro’s charging cable on the 13-inch one, there will be no actual benefit to its use. This is because, while the charger is capable of outputting a certain wattage required for its respective device, it will only output as much as is needed for the device it is plugged into. So even if you use an 87w charger instead of a 61w charger, the best you will get is the same as a 61w charge.

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One of the things that gives people the most pause here, however, is whether this is even safe to do. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry: whether you’re using a lower-capacity charger or a higher-capacity one, it should be safe to use.

Can I use a 30w charger with a MacBook Air?

A 30w charger may not be the best fit for a MacBook Pro, but that does not necessarily mean that no type of MacBook is capable of running well with it. In fact, Apple specifically recommends the use of a 30w charger if you are using a MacBook Air instead of a MacBook Pro.

Can I get a replacement charger for a MacBook Pro?

If your MacBook Pro charger becomes damaged or lost, you are probably rightfully worried about whether you can get a replacement charger for it that’s the same wattage as the original one. Thankfully, not only can you get a comparable replacement for your charger, but depending on the circumstances of how you came to be without a MacBook charger, Apple may opt to repair or replace it for free.

Getting a MacBook Pro charger replaced depends on a variety of factors. For example, if you can show that the MacBook Pro’s charger is damaged or otherwise unusable due to some kind of defect. In this case, getting the cord replaced should be a relatively simple affair. For instance, you can bring your MacBook Pro and charger into the Apple Store and to the Genius Store, the staff will give it a once over to make sure it qualifies. However, if you do not have convenient access to an Apple Store, you can also have it sent in to be checked and, if applicable, replaced. Of course, this only really applies if it is covered by a warranty.

If Apple is unwilling to replace or repair your MacBook Pro charger, however, your next option would be to buy a replacement. You can go on a site like Amazon.com to buy a replacement cord.

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