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How to quickly tell if your Apple MacBook charger is genuine

Here's how to tell if that replacement MacBook charger you bought is genuine or counterfeit.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer
08-macbook-pro-16-inch1.jpg
Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple products command a premium price, making them attractive to counterfeiters, and unless you buy the products direct from Apple or a reputable retailer, there's a chance that you'll end up with a fake product.

But you can tell if your MacBook charger is a genuine Apple charger or not.

Before I go any further, I want to clear one thing up. There are a lot of chargers out there from third parties, many good, some terrible. There are even some very capable 140W USB-C chargers that will charge the M1-powered 16-inch MacBook Pro. If you have bought a third-party charger, then it will not identify as an Apple charger, but that doesn't mean that it's dangerous or poor quality.

Also: This powerful 140W USB-C charger is smaller than Apple's and has three ports

OK, with that out of the way, here's how to tell if a MacBook charger is a genuine Apple product.

Plug the charger into an outlet and connect the MacBook to it. Then, hold down the OPTION key on your MacBook and click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen, then System Information…

From there, click on Power in the left-hand column. If the charger is genuine, this will show the manufacturer as Apple Inc, along with information about the charger, including the hardware and firmware versions.

System information for a genuine Apple charger

System information for a genuine Apple charger

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

If the charger is not a genuine Apple charger, then you will see a lot less information.

System information for a third-party charger

System information for a third-party charger

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

This screen also shows the output wattage of the charger, which is a good way to check if the charger you have is delivering the power it promises.

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