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I need to repair a MagSafe power adapter, which has a damaged cable.

As you can see in the photos, there is damage to what appears to be shielding.

Update: This frayed wire is not “shielding.” See the accepted answer and its comments for details.

Damaged MagSafe adapter Damaged MagSafe adapter closeup

I’m leery of simply applying (more ugly, ineffective) tape as a long term option. I’m considering using some higher quality shrink-wrap or the like, but I‘d also like to account for the fraying.

The problem is, I cannot find any information online about the frayed part, such as the material and the function(s) it provides.

Can you provide detailed specifications of the frayed part of the cable, including how it works / what it does?

Presumably, I can use the answer to inform my repair decisions.

Of course, I also welcome comments you might have about how to or whether to repair this damage.

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2 Answers 2

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There are two cables that come out of the adapter (white brick) - a white cable and a bare cable (it's actually black on the very end of the cable at the adapter end). The bare cable wraps around the white cable. White being positive 18V and and black being ground.

Can you repair this?

Yes. However it will involve destroying the case of the adapter because it's held together with adhesive. I did this once and had to reassemble it with duct tape. However, instead of fixing the cable, replacements can be had relatively inexpensively on eBay.

However, I highly suggest getting a new adapter because the case will never quite close properly and you run the risk of breaking the plastic because the adhesive is so strong. If you do get a new adapter, get a genuine Apple and not a knock-off.

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    I'll also point out safety concerns: a faulty repair or damage after opening the case could cause a fire or fatal electric shock, since there are line voltages (and higher) inside the supply.
    – user71659
    Oct 18, 2017 at 18:39
  • @allen: Are you saying that (what I called) the shielding, is actually not shielding at all, but rather the second half of the adapter's (DC) circuit wiring?
    – EJ Mak
    Oct 18, 2017 at 19:29
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    @EJMak - Correct. Many DC power adapters are done this way
    – Allan
    Oct 19, 2017 at 0:18
  • The "shielding" on my adapter makes no contact with the head that plugs in (it's frayed all the way around) - How is the charger still functioning if it has no ground return?
    – SheerKahn
    Oct 4, 2023 at 3:23
  • That’s DC shielding. Genuine Apple (laptop) chargers are optically isolated within the charger itself between mains and the DC side. You should not see that bare wire connected to the earth/ground
    – Allan
    Oct 8, 2023 at 21:11
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I believe the guide that you're after to repair your magsafe should be this:

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Power+Cord+5-Pin+MagSafe+Connector+and+Cable+Replacement/21842

As to the detail spec of the shielding am not entirely sure.

Also, from the link I gave you, it seems like Amazon does not sell the replacement part any longer :( Might have to source somewhere else(At your own risk).

Alternative repair without replacing the cable would be this:

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Restoring+Apple+AC+Adapter+Broken+Cable/24487

Personally I would advise with all the hassle might as well head down to your official Apple store and get a new one. Official and safer. Just my opinion. :)

Hopefully those links will help you out :)

Cheers.

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  • Your post is interesting (and potentially useful), but it doesn't answer my question.
    – EJ Mak
    Oct 18, 2017 at 19:33

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