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, 2019 at 19:19
  • I think at least overnight
    – Jon Barker
    Jun 11, 2019 at 19:20

3 Answers 3


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

  • No difference when resetting the SMC unfortunately. Still only displays the battery icon when i hit the power button
    – Jon Barker
    Jun 12, 2019 at 1:27
  • 2
    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, 2019 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, 2019 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.

  • Hi Jon, Can you provide more details? Like the iFixit page u used? I tried to find a usb fix on iFixit and cant find it. My mac book pro 2017 also lost 4 of the 4 ports and I can't charge it. Thank you for ur info sir.
    – user218227
    Mar 17, 2021 at 16:09
  • Ok, I actually was about to buy the usb c ports and replace them because none were working and could not charge my mac book pro. So to see what I needed, i opened up the mac and was preparing it by disconnecting the battery. I zapped the pram and reset the config but nothing worked. Finally, i connected the battery and gave it a try. It worked! all ports are working fine now.
    – user218227
    Mar 18, 2021 at 0:37

Buy original part from apple, or take it to the apple store or a good repair man with good google review (very important).

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