I’m sorry to say it, but the best Apple MacBook Pro charger, officially known as a MacBook “power adapter and cord” by Apple, is the MacBook Pro charger that’s manufactured by Apple.

What does this mean?

It means that when you lose, break, or wear out your original MacBook Air or Pro charger, you should only replace it with another power cable adapter and cord manufactured by Apple. It also means that I don’t recommend any third-party Apple MacBook power adapters or charging cords.

This is a message nobody likes to hear because Apple OEM power chargers bought from reputable sources usually cost more than $70 while cheap knock offs can be had for half as much.

So why not go cheap? Especially on an aging Mac?

It’s just not worth the risk of damaging your MacBook with a cheap knockoff.

Low-quality or faulty wiring is not what you want feeding hot electricity into your MacBook. The last thing you want is a “charger” that can start a fire and turn your MacBook Pro to a pile of aluminum. If a cheaply manufactured third-party MacBook Pro charger leads to an electrical error that ultimately damages your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, you might be out of a lot more than just the price of a new MacBook — you could lose your work, or worse, your family photos and videos (which is why you need a backup, which is another story altogether).

The Best MacBook Pro Charger: Apple’s

The smartest thing to do here is to buy an original Apple charger . . . and buy it from a reputable source. This means that I don’t buy power adapters off of Craigslist or eBay. Why? You risk picking up a counterfeit power adapter. It looks like Apple’s . . . but there’s a reason it comes in a plain package or isn’t packaged at all. Also, when you see something like, “original Apple quality,” it’s definitely not an Apple-made product, and it’s highly unlikely to be built to Apple’s standards. Don’t fall for this sort of slight-of-hand wording.

But aren’t counterfeit options just produced “on the side” by manufacturers with stolen specifications and molds from the same factories in Asia anyway? Maybe. But do you really believe that the quality control is the same?

It’s not.

In my mind, it’s just not worth the risk. Sorry guys. I can’t recommend any power adapter that comes from some company without a brand, without a reputation it believes in and wants to protect . . . for something that will be used in a wide variety of situations with one of the most important devices you own.

How to Find the Right Power Adapter for your MacBook

First, I like doing business with reputable online retailers like Amazon and B&H because I like to spread out Apple’s range of influence — plus you can often get fast and free shipping, which means you don’t have to spend your own time and energy on an errand. I definitely don’t see any issues with buying direct from Apple or directly from local authorized resellers you can trust. But when I’m online shopping, I look to help keep the Apple ecosystem alive so it’s not completely controlled by Apple.

Second, Apple has a support guide that will help you identify which charger you need to use. If you can’t just look at the old charger and note the fine print, this is a good resource page.

Third, buy it online from a reputable source. Are you going to find a deal? Nope. You might find it a couple of dollars less than Apple’s price, but that will be it. And if you find a really great “deal” it’s probably a fake.

One last thing about Amazon — make sure that you choose official Apple chargers that have this information up near the top but below the pricing information: “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.” If you’re buying an Apple charger from some other dealer through Amazon . . . well, it may or may not be the real thing — but I trust that Amazon is selling the real thing when I see this phrase: “Ships and sold by Amazon.com.”

Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, only two official Apple MacBook chargers were available through Amazon directly from Amazon — and a third went out of stock. Obviously stock comes and goes, so you’ll have to pay attention. In this case, though, it’s really hard to beat B&H’s quick shipping and customer service.

Get the Gear from B&H — fast and free 2-day shipping:




About the author

Chris Maxcer

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I've been writing about the tech industry since the birth of the email newsletter, and I still remember the clacking Mac keyboards from high school -- Apple's seed-planting strategy at work. I'm a big fan of elegant gear and great tech, but there's something to be said for turning it all off -- or most of it -- to go outside. Online I like to call out cool stuff on Wicked Cool Bite and blog with my buddies at Man Makes Fire. To catch me, take a "firstnamelastname" guess at the url of this site.