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Much hay has been made of the apparent grounding issue while using the stubby plug on a MacBook AC adapter.

While I understand it is completely safe to have a bit of grounding flowing through the user, those of us who live and work in the tropics would love to find a grounded (earthed) stubby plug adapter.

I see no reason this shouldn't exist, given that the longer cable is grounded via the metal stump on the AC adapter, but I haven't found one.

Notably, I am in Australia, where the plug head doesn't fold over anyhow, but I'd also love a US version.

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  • I would pay careful attention to the quality of one not offered by Apple.
    – dwightk
    Commented May 24, 2014 at 14:08
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    Quality should be much less of a concern here than with the much-publicized cases of the iPhone and iPad charger clones, since we're talking about the AC end of things and there is no fancy circuitry or tight tolerances involved here. The OP is looking for what amounts to a very, very short 3-prong extension cord. Commented May 24, 2014 at 18:44
  • I hesitate to use the word "quality" for feeling a slight tingle when I touch the case of a charging laptop or tablet, safe or not. That's when I was wearing shoes on a wooden floor. What would it be like barefoot on wet cement? (To Apple's credit, it does not happen on my new laptop with the USB-C charging.)
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 8:08

5 Answers 5

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I too was very annoyed about the buzzing case issue. I worked with a manufacturer to create a grounded, 3-prong Apple duckhead for the US. It is now available on Amazon.

apple duck head ac adapter with ground pin macbook duckhead ground connector

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    Amazing! Can you do one for the EU market as well? Please!
    – Halil Sen
    Commented Sep 1, 2022 at 14:02
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I have only just discovered this problem with a 2017 MacBook Pro. I get a tingling feeling from the MacBook and realised that the earth part of the apple UK 13 amp plug is a dummy (not connected with the circular locking spur on the charger unit) but I noticed on my early MacBook Air that there was an earth connector on the apple plug and so I swapped it and now I do not have the tingling problem. I do have it on the Air with the new "improved" apple plug.

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    That's how I learned of the issue as well. I got a little tingling sensation from a MacBook Pro. I could feel it in my earbuds too -- pretty annoying. Suspecting grounding I went with the long grounded cable. But why is grounding only available as a 6-foot cable?
    – cloudworks
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 6:23
  • Just figured this out too. Thought I was going crazy. Switched to the long cable and no issues, but I dont need the extra cable..
    – K20GH
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 18:41
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The AC cable is grounded up to the Power supply connection. The 3 pin grounded cable goes to a 2 pin connector which then plugs into the adapter.

This means that the grounding is not even connected so there is absolutely no difference safety-wise.

Main reason is for those places where you have to rotate the wall plug to insert, or you need to insert a grounding pin into the plug to activate.

There is no grounding on the output site of the power adapter, thus your Mac is not grounded.

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    I don't think this is quite true that the ground isn't connected on the 3 pin cable. The 3 pin cable does indeed drop to the two pins on the adapter, but if you look inside the retaining clip, you'll notice metal contacts that connect to the center (metal) post on the adapter when they're connected.
    – moneyt
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 13:03
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    While the answer is written in a very authoritative tone, it is simply false - the 3 pin grounded cable goes to a 2 pin connector with a metal contact inside, where it clips over the metal post on the adapter. This contact provides the 3rd point of contact for the ground.
    – jbg
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 17:10
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    There is no grounding on the 2 prong plug from Power Supply that plugs in directly into wall outlet, with two prongs, not 3 (thus the ground pin is not there). The device is completely floating (not grounded) because the power supply is isolated from the AC side.
    – Ruskes
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 19:20
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I found a product with Grounded Plug (duckhead) as shown in the picture below that is a Schuko type for EU. The grounding function is activated when the Apple Power Adapter ground pin and the plug ground pin are combined.

enter image description here

It says that you can buy it on Amazon now. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08JYWKTZ3?ref=myi_title_dp&th=1

Doodle Plug is available for Apple MacBook, iPad chargers in EU countries (Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Greece, etc.).

  • Available for all Apple Chargers (Magsafe, USB Power adapters) with ground pins
  • Anti-static and device protection while charging Apple products
  • Compatible with both Schuko type outlets, including the EU and Korea
  • Significantly reduce iPad and iPhone touch errors (including Apple Pencil) while charging
  • Reduces the noise of earphones or speakers when charging
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    How is the quality of the plug? I've seen it doesn't have any CE marking, and it's not sold on amazon.fr (but on .co.uk)… which is curious given France uses EU plug, unlike UK…
    – Louis CAD
    Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 5:19
  • As of 28 Sep 2023, the link is 404 on amazon.co.uk and it doesn't come up on the search.
    – Tim MB
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 13:05
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Some types of 3 pin prong are not indeed grounding. The link mainly teaches how to ground it DIY. But it needs some tools and skill that it's not easy to DIY. Then, I tried to ground it with a little piece of tin foil, a scissor and some band to stick the tin foil which is attached to the grounding pin. And it just worked for me. I think that it will work for 2 pin prong as well with a little bit of imagination. Good luck.

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  • The link given redirects to a recruitment spam page. Please remove or amend this answer.
    – datashaman
    Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 13:50

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