The circumstances of my Macbook Air (late 2010 model) and its inability to charge the battery are a bit unique from the other cases I've read about on forums:

  • My battery would not charge, and the computer would die instantly upon removing the MagSafe cable.
  • The MagSafe indicator light would sometimes show a very faint green, but most of the time, it was completely off.
  • I tried resetting the SMC; nothing changed.
  • I tried multiple outlets; nothing changed. Coconut Battery gave a "check battery" status, indicating it needed to be replaced. I did so.

Coconut Battery likes the new battery, but it has the same issues:

  • When the computer is on and plugged in, the system's power status says "Not charging."
  • When I unplug, the battery powers the system just fine. But eventually, it will lose power from not charging, and I'll be back at Square One.
  • The MagSafe indicator light is still off with the new battery. I've tried jiggling it when it is in the port; no change.
  • I've tried cleaning out the MagSafe port; no change.
  • I've tried using a different duckhead adapter; no change.
  • The pins on the MagSafe plug appear fine.
  • I've tried resetting the SMC several more times; no change.

I'm out of ideas. I suppose I could try using a different power adapter, but I don't have another on-hand with a compatible MagSafe adapter. Apple's next recommended step is to get the machine serviced. But I'd rather pursue more DIY options if they exist.

  • You’ve done everything but the most obvious - try a new MagSafe adapter. There’s nothing unique about your situation
    – Allan
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 17:30
  • I'd find a compatible magsafe adapter and power supply, and try that. If it makes a difference, you've found your culprit. If it doesn't - you've found your culprit!
    – Seamus
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 17:43
  • Either a new Magsafe or take it into the Apple Store and see if your logic board needs to be replaced. Commented May 26, 2018 at 19:02
  • I've been far off site with no access to my diagnostic tools. I have literally walked into my local BestBuy with my MacBook and told the guy there that I think my MagSafe is dead and can I test my MacBook out on one of the displays to verify it's not my MacBook. The let me with no problems.
    – Allan
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 19:13
  • Before you wasted your time on all the shite you have tried, the very first thing to do should have been to prove the power was actually available to the MacBook. Until you have done that everything else can’t be relied on
    – user19125
    Commented May 27, 2018 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


Once you've reset the SMC once - that's out of the picture. Let's assume your situation is different than all the rest - My MacBook Air won't charge - and it's not the adapter or the pins or something you can fix and identify without turning a screw or opening the Mac.

Now you have to figure if the adapter is bad - you didn't explicitly say that, but it's probably not since you would report that the system is dead and won't power on ever again if you can't get some adapter to put charge back in the battery when the machine is off and sitting overnight.

At this point, you still need a hardware repair.

A repair shop might be able to tell if the battery needs replacing but since you did that - you either have a totally unlikely circumstance that the old battery failed in a non-common way and the new battery happens to have the same non-common failure mode. The new battery should show clean in system information even if it won't charge due to other issues. The real key is if the new battery shows "check battery" status you would want to return that part if you're sure you didn't do the repair wrong (you'll risk being charged for the shipping and not get your money back if the part is good) but it's far more likely the fault is with the charging circuitry and power handling circuitry. Also, you probably needed a new battery too so that's out of the way now.

The likely cause is you need a new MagSafe power in board for the Air or a new logic board. Sorry to deliver the news, but the alternative to this diagnosis is that the cables or the new battery were bad and it will be costly to figure that out as well.

  • 1
    The benefit of having a shop work on it - is they see dozens to hundreds of these and likely have test parts so you'll spend a lot of money getting extra parts to troubleshoot. They can write off those small hardware costs since they do them once and then have the part - you pay higher for their labor and experience, but get a better repair (in theory).
    – bmike
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 17:49
  • If he tries a new battery and a new Magsafe then its likely that his Logic Board may need to be replaced Commented May 26, 2018 at 19:03

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