MagSafe to MagSafe2 & rMBP - Does it charge the rMBP while in use?

Equipment: 2012 rMBP, 2008 23" Cinema Dislay, MagSafe to MagSafe2 adapter.

Tonight I hooked up my retina macbook pro to my cinema display via the MagSafe to MagSafe2 adapter and noticed that while the rMBP received power, it wasn't charging the battery while I used the computer.

I've read various reports online about the MacBook air being able to receive both power and battery charge simultaneously, probably because it's power needs are 45w compared to the rMBP's 85w.

My experience so far says that the MagSafe to MagSafe2 adapter will NOT charge a rMBP while it's in use. Is this correct?

MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter

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4 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    I am not a Genious Bar Apple employee but I do own a 13" MacBook Air, the 13" MacBook (Mid 2005), 15 inch MacBook Pro (Mid 2008), 13" Macbook Pro (Mid 2011) and two White mid 2006 MacBooks-- Just to name a few

    The air requires 45 watts, MacBooks require 60, and the 15"/17" Pro's require 85 watts.

    45w Megsafe Air charger will only charge the Air although a higher watt charger will charge it as well

    60 Watt Mega safe. Charger that comes with the all 13" MacBook's and Pros are as well as the air

    Whilst the The 85 watt Megasafe charger is intended For Macs 15" & 17"; it is my charger of choice b/c it charges all Intell based Macs including the air

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  • In my experience the cinema display can and will charge a newer device, once you have used the converter. The problem is, does it charge in practice? Almost every time I plug mine in the little light fails to light. If I am lucky the power is going in but failing to charge (as revealed by clicking on the power plug icon in the top menu). The only solution seems to be repeated connect/disconnect cycles until somehow it starts going.

    So, if your converter + cinema display isn't charging, try, try again. I can't tell whether it is the amount of power (this is a macbook air, so it isn't likely the issue) or the quality of the connection, but either way it isn't reliable. The regular cord/power adapter works every time, so I suspect the little converter thing.

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  • Actually, the cinema display SHOULD be charging your macbook pro. I have a similar setup and it worked the first time I plugged everything in, but stopped charging after a few uses. The problem is actually in the connection, not the wattage difference. When I notice I'm not charging, all I have to do it remove the magsafe adapter from the cord and reconnect, giving it a little extra jiggle to be sure it's all seated good and re-plug into the macbook. Saw elsewhere that rotating the adapter 180 degrees (flip it) can mean the difference between charging and not charging. Not sure this is true (can't hurt though), but literally jiggling the thing when you reattach (as though the contacts aren't seating fully) has been successful almost every time. I just did it, in fact. No SMS reset required (doesn't work anyway).

    (by "flip it", I of course mean keep the connections facing the correct sides, just roll the thing and reattach)

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  • I have a 13" 2010 MacBook Pro with the 60watt charger and a 15" retina MacBook Pro with the 85watt charger. In addition to experience I asked this question to a tech and several other experienced persons. The 60watt will charge any MacBook Pro albeit slower, I am using my 60watt with my rMBP because my 13" is downstairs demoted to family computer and that way I can keep the chargers in one spot. For the first few seconds or minutes mac's might "reject" a charger, my 13" MBP rejected its own charger and would ONLY power the computer until I took it in to get fixed, the computer needed to be rebooted at the firmware level. My 60watt is charging my 15" rMBP just fine, a little slower but it doesn't matter to me, again first few seconds it said power only. I can't speak on the 45watt charger but it might in fact to low. Does it charge it when the lid is closed? I realize this threads a year old but it could still help someone who stumbles on it.

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