My wife's 2017 macbook won't turn on/charge. It just displays this battery icon, with the red bar of the battery flashing intermittently. It's currently plugged into the charger but this doesn't seem to have any effect.

Does anyone know what this means? Time to take it to the apple store?


  • How long have you left it charging with the lid closed? – fsb Jun 11 '19 at 19:19
  • I think at least overnight – Jon Barker Jun 11 '19 at 19:20

The system management controller is responsible for determining if the battery is healthy to charge, so I would try one time to reset that.

Then leave it off for 15 minutes or more on charge before seeking hardware repair.

Here is the detailed triage tree with links on how to do all the steps and how to get help if you can’t self repair this:

If your Mac doesn't turn on or start up

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  • No difference when resetting the SMC unfortunately. Still only displays the battery icon when i hit the power button – Jon Barker Jun 12 '19 at 1:27
  • 1
    UPDATE: After resetting the SMC, about 10 mins later I was about to follow this guide macpaw.com/how-to/mac-wont-turn-on step 3. I unplugged charge cable, held down the power button, was about to plug in power when it magically turned on! It said 3% bat when it came on. Not sure of the exact fix sequence, but I guess messing around with it long enough made it charge! Thanks for your help – Jon Barker Jun 12 '19 at 1:34
  • SMC followed by a good 30 minutes of charging means you’re almost certain to have a full recovery. Less time means the batter didn’t go flat enough to enter the danger zone with low voltage where it cannot recover a normal charge capacity. – bmike Jun 12 '19 at 2:33

Turned out my problem was that I'd bought a cheap USB C cable on amazon that had shorted and fried the USB C input port on the mac.

Had to buy some new parts from iFixit and replace the USB C input.

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