MagSafe on the new MacBook Pro: Everything you need to know

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited October 20
The new 2021 MacBook Pro has the third-generation of Apple's MagSafe charging technology, and it is more powerful than ever.

Our old MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adapter
Our old MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adapter

What is MagSafe 3?

MagSafe is Apple's magnetic charging system that first debuted with the 2006 MacBook Pro, the very first portable Intel Mac. Apple did away with the connector roughly a decade later, swapping it out for USB-C. USB-C certainly has its advantages, but MacBook Pro users never fully got over the loss of MagSafe.






With MagSafe's return, users of the new 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro can once more charge with the magnetic connector.

This allows for the cable to snap into position, align itself properly, but also come free with a quick pull, preventing your laptop from going flying.

Upgraded hardware

The new version of MagSafe has been altered once more from what we saw with MagSafe 2.

Comparing MagSafe 1, MagSafe 2, and MagSafe 3 sizes
Comparing MagSafe 1, MagSafe 2, and MagSafe 3 sizes


MagSafe 2 was slimmer than the original MagSafe connector, and MagSafe 3 appears even slightly thinner than that, but a tiny bit wider. Because of these changes in size, the new MagSafe is not backward compatible with the previous generations.

Another hardware change is that with the first two iterations of MagSafe, it was one piece. The MagSafe cable was permanently connected to the wall transformer. The cable, which was heavily prone to fraying with use, couldn't be removed from the power brick, which was a more costly replacement should either piece go bad.

The updated model has two distinct pieces. There is the power brick and the newly-braided USB-C to MagSafe cable.

Both parts can be purchased separately, or you can use an existing USB-C brick that you may have around. The braided nylon coating should also make the cable more durable.

Charging specifics

The charger is either 67W, 96W, or 140W, depending on the model of Mac you choose. The 14-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 67W charger, but if you want to use the Fast Charge ability to go from zero to 50 percent in only 30 minutes, you'll need at least the 96W charger -- a $20 premium.

The MagSafe 3 port on the new MacBook Pros
The new MagSafe 3 port on the new MacBook Pros


On the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple ships a 140W USB-C charger which is using GaN for the very first time.

The new machines can be charged with MagSafe, or can be charged via USB-C. However, users can only Fast Charge the new models via MagSafe. Apple uses the latest USB-C PD 3.1 spec with that new braided cable, which is very new and not supported on the Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports on the new MacBook Pros.

MagSafe is just one of many new ports to make their return to the MacBook Pro, including HDMI 2.0 and a dedicated SDXC card reader/

Where to buy

Apple's new line of MacBook Pro notebooks can be ordered today at popular Apple resellers, with the latest MacBook Pro deals available in our Price Guide.

Shop the lowest prices on 2021 models

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,784member
    I typically keep my MBPs for seven years, so only three more to go on my 2017 before I get to have MagSafe again! Wheeee!

    I'd love to know who was responsible for the removal of MagSafe. It's such an obvious customer pleaser. No one thinking clearly would have ever killed it.
    OferGeorgeBMacwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,108member
    welshdog said:
    I typically keep my MBPs for seven years, so only three more to go on my 2017 before I get to have MagSafe again! Wheeee!

    I'd love to know who was responsible for the removal of MagSafe. It's such an obvious customer pleaser. No one thinking clearly would have ever killed it.
    The benefit of being able to charge from either side was well worth it for me at the time. Plus, the USB-C plug actually pulled out more easily in my experience than the reworked barrel-style MagSafe 1 connector. 
    OferXedwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,441member
    welshdog said:
    I'd love to know who was responsible for the removal of MagSafe. It's such an obvious customer pleaser. No one thinking clearly would have ever killed it.
    Well, it had to be Jonny Ive, right? :tongue: 

    spheric said: welshdog said: I typically keep my MBPs for seven years, so only three more to go on my 2017 before I get to have MagSafe again! Wheeee!

    I'd love to know who was responsible for the removal of MagSafe. It's such an obvious customer pleaser. No one thinking clearly would have ever killed it.
    The benefit of being able to charge from either side was well worth it for me at the time. Plus, the USB-C plug actually pulled out more easily in my experience than the reworked barrel-style MagSafe 1 connector.  You can still charge via the TB4 ports, it’s just limited to 100W. (I assume you can use a USB C-USB C cable with the same power adapter) I actually don’t like the ease with which USB C plugs pull out; I find them less secure than the old USB A plugs and have accidentally disconnected USB C cables on occasion.

    I’m so happy to see MagSafe come back. @welshdog is right - Magsafe was one of those brilliant Apple innovations that was beautifully simple and functional. It just worked and it was a boneheaded move to remove it. I tried a 3rd party USB C- magnetic charging adapter for my 2016 MBP but it was horribly unreliable.

    Aside from being easier to use, having the LED on the cable to show charging status was incredibly handy. With USB C you had to open the machine to check, now you can see from across the room.

    GeorgeBMacwilliamlondonwelshdogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    Is there a MagSafe 2 to 3 adapter?
    urashidGeorgeBMacStarmax160watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    XedXed Posts: 1,113member
    spheric said:
    welshdog said:
    I typically keep my MBPs for seven years, so only three more to go on my 2017 before I get to have MagSafe again! Wheeee!

    I'd love to know who was responsible for the removal of MagSafe. It's such an obvious customer pleaser. No one thinking clearly would have ever killed it.
    The benefit of being able to charge from either side was well worth it for me at the time. Plus, the USB-C plug actually pulled out more easily in my experience than the reworked barrel-style MagSafe 1 connector. 
    I love MagSafe but the benefits of USB-C charging from either side can’t be denied. I’m glad we get both now.
    lucidcgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    Be nice to have again, I suppose, but I've already got work and home setup with either a powered USB-C dock or a USB-C monitor that can power the MBP and connect to things with just a single cable.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 12
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    Given that there are USB-C cables with magnetic tips, this whole thing wasn’t necessary.
    We could have one more USB/TB4 port, a UBC-C charging cable with a magnetic tip, and have the best of all solutions, with charging on either side, MagSafe like safety, and industry standard connection.

    So, frankly not particularly thrilled.

    I’d be more thrilled with USB/TB4 ports that allow the connector to be screwed down. One can barely breathe without disks unmounting unsafely, etc. even with quality TB3 cables like the ones sold for good money by OWC.

    USB-C is the least professional connector, despite its throughput, etc. It’s simply utterly unreliable.
    welshdogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 12
    Rcfa:

    USB-C is the least professional connector, despite its throughput, etc. It’s simply utterly unreliable.
    Indeed, in my older MacBook Pro it easily pulls out and pushing it in feels vague. However newer chargers and iPads have a clear ’click’ when pushing the connector in. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Depending on the model, some  of the Magsafe 1 & 2 adaptor came with an L-shaped adaptor.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    The benefit of being able to charge from either side was well worth it for me at the time. 

    You must have a MB or MBP. The most recent MBA have all their ports on the left side. So, a benefit I can not experience.

    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 12
    Is there a MagSafe 2 to 3 adapter?

    I hope there will be.  When I went from a MBP with Magsafe 1 to Magsafe 2, I sprung for a couple adapters (around $6 each at the time), and, voila, my old Magsafe 1 chargers were still usable.  So, I'd love a Magsafe 2 to 3 adapter.  I'd also love a Magsafe 1 to 3 adapter, so I don't have to have adapter upon adapter.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 12
    neilmneilm Posts: 917member
    The 14-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 67W charger, but if you want to use the Fast Charge ability to go from zero to 50 percent in only 30 minutes, you'll need at least the 96W charger -- a $20 premium.
    Only the 8-core base model M1 Pro comes with a 67W charger. Bump it up to the 10-core or the Max and the charger upgrades to 96W.
    watto_cobra
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