My Macbook Pro 13 Retina only charges (charger lights up and charges) if FIRST I plug the charger to the macbook THEN I join the metal part of the charger cable (see pictures).

If I do it the other way around: first join the metal part of the adapter cable and then plug it to the computer it doesn't charge.

A new Adapter doesn't work because of this reason (it has the metal part soldered from factory)

First I plug it to the laptop: Connecting to the computer

Then I join the metal part of the cable:

Joining the metal part of the cable

I'm not interested on fixing the charger, it won't work anyway as the problem seems to be the computer's Magsafe port.

Any ideas what the problem can be or how to fix it?

Can you explain me this behaviour?

  • 2
    What are you doing with your gear man! I have never seen it as bad as this. I had a broken cable once and received a new one at the apple store. Jun 15, 2015 at 20:40
  • Three years of heavy usage!
    – Agu Dondo
    Jun 15, 2015 at 21:10
  • 2
    Have you tried a new power cable? You've asserted that the problem is the MagSafe port, but none of your comments lead me to believe that it must be. My first troubleshooting step would be to ensure that it is the MagSafe port by testing it with a new cable. If another cable works, the problem is likely not the port.
    – nadyne
    Jun 17, 2015 at 21:05
  • 1
    I also think you should get your hands on an unbroken charger (lend it from someone?) and see if your problem really is the port.
    – René
    Jun 18, 2015 at 8:35
  • Run your terminal app and run tail -f /var/log/system.log. This will monitor what's happening on your system. Plug in your MagSafe cable and you should see something like magsafeStateChanged state changed old 2 new 1. That's what mine showed when I plugged it in. When I unplug I get old 1 new 2. What do you see with both the new, and old (both with the wire touching before, and wire touching after) cables? Jun 19, 2015 at 16:43

3 Answers 3


Apple MagSafe cables have one central shielded cable & one braided outer cable. You are simply breaking & creating a connection when you touch the broken braided cable - the order anomaly is the MagSafe/MacBook logic/sensor only allowing a particular state to operate.

It is possible to crack open a MagSafe and solder a 3rd party cable (but it will probably have 2 shielded internal cores and no braiding). Search YouTube for video (and note the risk of electrical shock even after several days of the MagSafe not being used). You will need the correct replacement part, long nose pliers to forcibly crack open the white MagSafe shell, soldering iron, desoldering pump, locktite adhesive & activator, steady hands & patience.

Alternatively pop into an Apple shop when they are least busy (in the UK 10am the shops are empty), borrow a MagSafe & do an SMC reset. If that doesn't work, an Apple diagnostic test is required (power/logic board) - store staff may run one out of goodwill (hence go when they're not busy)

  • But don't you think the problem is in the computer port? as I need first to plug the adapter in then connect the braided outer cable in order it to work. not the other way around. That's why a new magsafe doesn't work (because the braided cable is connected from factory).
    – Agu Dondo
    Jun 17, 2015 at 13:00

Have a look at Ken Shirriff's Teardown and exploration of Apple's Magsafe connector. It includes a pinout that will help you.

  • Thanks. I did, but I still don't know how I can fix my issue.
    – Agu Dondo
    Jun 15, 2015 at 15:18
  • 3
    Sorry, I was under the impression that you were a hobbyist, or a person that understood electronics, and that you wanted to fix that cable. The reason that you're seeing that behaviour (that you describe) is due to an indeterminate state related to that broken Adapter Sense wire. Unless you (or a friend) can repair that cable, then the other option is to buy a new power adapter.
    – Vzzdak
    Jun 15, 2015 at 17:51
  • Exactly, I was trying to understand the behaviour and how to fix it. I have a Macbook Pro 13 Retina, do you know if is even possible to repair / change it?
    – Agu Dondo
    Jun 15, 2015 at 20:06
  • When you mention 'power adapter' are you referring to the Magsafe port in the computer itself, right?
    – Agu Dondo
    Jun 15, 2015 at 20:08
  • A power adapter is what plugs into the electrical output, thereby converting the household current to what you need. In your photos, the wires need repair. For the macbook itself, it is probably fine, though you could test using a known, working power adapter.
    – Vzzdak
    Jun 15, 2015 at 20:19

Unless you know your way around electronics, a soldering iron and the like, it is doubtful you will be able to fix it. However a quick check of iFixit.com yielded this url.

  • The problem is not fixing the charger, is knowing what could be wrong with the laptop Magsafe port.
    – Agu Dondo
    Jun 15, 2015 at 17:24

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