I have recently had some problems charging my iPhone 7 from my 2013 Macbook Air. For a while, the phone would only charge if I had the lightning cable turned a certain way, otherwise it would do that incredibly annoying connecting/disconnecting thing. It now refuses to charge at all when connected to the laptop. The strange thing is - my laptop charges my portable phone charger fine (suggesting the laptop port isn't the issue) and the phone charger works with my iPhone fine (suggesting the phone isn't the issue either). And I have tested 2 different cables (one new, one is an apple with no signs of wear and tear) and both work with other devices.

I have, previously (March last year) had some issues with the headphone port requiring the following repair. I am wondering if the two could be correlated, if there is any "easy" fix or if I should just take it into Apple.

The problem description/diagnosis from last time:

Issue: Machine fans get loud and no sound from machine

Steps to Reproduce: observed the issue, Performed visual mechanical inspection, ran Mac Resource Inspector and noted machine had a thermal sensor warning

Proposed Resolution: Replace I/O flex and test. If unsuccessful replace I/O board. Run ASD/EFI & OS as post repair testing and ensure there is sound in users operating issues

2 Answers 2


Could that be that portable phone charger simply takes less power to charge while iPhone requires more?

By the way, with iPhone not charging is it all the same for all USB hubs on your MB? And is it recognised at all by the laptop?

  • I have a feeling it may be the phone now. The phone is charging less regardless of the outlet (MB, phone charger) and it has been dropped a few times in the snow due to the weather and previously in the sand so I wouldn't be surprised if the port has been scratched a bit. And yes, it isn't charging sometimes regardless of the MB USB hub.
    – Inazuma
    Feb 21, 2018 at 19:57

Needing h/w board replacement doesn't sound good, but it's probably a red herring. The thing to check is the state of your laptop when you are trying to charge your phone. Firstly, a laptop USB port is going to supply less power than your wall adapter that came with the phone. A computer USB port is not really intended to be used as a charger, so my first preference would be to use the wall adapter. Second, the state of your laptop might matter. If it's asleep, but not plugged in, you might have an energy saver setting on that would reduce or block the power to the USB port. I would check with Apple support to see if they really expect you to charge your phone from a laptop that's not plugged in itself.

  • Ok thanks. I should stop being so reliant on my laptop anyway and taking it everywhere I go. Will let you know what apple says.
    – Inazuma
    Feb 19, 2018 at 6:11

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