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How to tell how fast your MacBook is charging (no meter required)

It's easy… if you know where to look.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

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.

Also: Test your USB-C charger with the MakerHawk Type-C meter

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.

MacBook Pro being charged by the Apple 140W charger

MacBook Pro being charged by the Apple 140W charger

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).

MacBook Pro being powered by a generic 40W charger

MacBook Pro being powered by a generic 40W charger

This is a quick and simple way to check if a charger is working, what the output is, and whether the battery is charging.

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