Home & Office
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


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
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.

Editorial standards