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Can I use one charger for all MacBooks from years 2008 to 2013? ... or did Apple change the charger in the last 5-6 years?

A friend of mine has a Macbook from 2007 or 2008 , she can lend it to me but she lost the charger, so I have to buy one here in the Czech Republic... I need the laptop now, so I will have to buy it tomorrow ...

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The physical MagSafe adapter remains unchanged from a pinout perspective (the shape has altered externally from a T shape to an L shape and back again) for almost every Macbook except the 2012 Macbook Air and Retina Macbook which use MagSafe 2; Adapters are available to connect a MagSafe power supply to these machines, but you cannot use a MagSafe 2 adapter to power anything other than the 2012 Air and Retina at present.

You need to ensure that you use the correct power rated charger for the Macbooks. Macbook Airs use a 45 watt supply, through to something like 85 watts for Macbook Pros.

It's OK to use a higher rated supply than is required, the charger only supplies what is asked of it, so a Macbook Air on a Pros power supply will only request its 45 watts, not get fried with 85 watts.

Conversely, it's not OK to do the opposite, running a MBP on an Airs power supply will request up to 85 watts of draw on a 45 watt power supply, and burn out the adapter eventually.

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One comment: the 2012 MBA and Retina MBP switched to the MagSafe 2 plug. An older charger won't fit. There is an adapter to use an older charger with a new laptop, but there is no way to use a newer charger with an older laptop. –  Alan Shutko Sep 17 '13 at 20:52
    
Thanks Alan - I was unaware of that. –  stuffe Sep 17 '13 at 20:52
    
I only know because I have one of them. :) –  Alan Shutko Sep 17 '13 at 21:14
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It's also worth noting that the "T" shaped chargers won't connect to a MacBook Air pre-2010 redesign that's sitting on a surface as the charging port points downward. It was this product that caused Apple to switch over to the "L" connector across the lineup. It'll work if you turn it over or prop up that side, but both are annoying to do if you want to use it at the same time. –  Kyle Cronin Sep 17 '13 at 21:29
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