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.
Apart from physical damage -- such as display damage -- the most common hardware complaint that MacBook owners have is battery and charging issues.
Is your MacBook charger charging, and if so, is it charging fast or slow?
Now, if you're a tech, then chances are that you have a USB-C power meter that you can use to test the input. But the average home or office user isn't going to want to spend money on a power meter that they're only going to use once or twice.
Fortunately, Apple offers users a way to tell how much power is getting into a MacBook.
But as with most things related to diagnostics, this information is buried.
The tool you are looking for is called System Information. You can find this either in Applications (it's in the Utilities folder), or you can click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen, click on About this Mac… and then on System Report….
With System Information up, look for Power (under Hardware in the tree on the left) and scroll down to AC Charger Information.
If a charger is connected, then you'll get information on the power and charging state.
In the first example, I'm using the included 140W charger to power the MacBook, and this is delivering 140W and the battery is charging.
In the next example, I'm using a much smaller charger, and this is delivering 40W and the battery is not charging (it's not charging because the laptop is running, if the laptop is switched off then it would charge, albeit at a slow rate).
This is a quick and simple way to check if a charger is working, what the output is, and whether the battery is charging.