Can I charge a MacBook with an iPhone charger

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by relbhcb, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. relbhcb macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2011
    If I use a USB-A to USB-C lead, can I charge my 2015 MacBook through the UK spec mains plug that comes with an iPhone 6 (with USB-A out)? If so, has anyone tried it,, and how long does it take to charge from flat?

    I can see that this would be useful if travelling and not wanting to carry the MB power brick.

  2. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Not really. The phone charger just doesn't have enough output to both power the device and charge the battery. It might charge it very very slowly if it were shut down and not in use. The iPad chargers generally work ok, but even they can be put into a state of 'not charging' while the MacBook is in heavy use or has the screen brightness way up. The 12w charger seems to take about 5-6 hours to charge it when not in use.
  3. evangw macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    I came here wondering a similar thing. The iPad charger is 10 watts (or at least the two I have are; compared to 29 watts for the Macbook charger), so I'm wondering how (in)efficiently this would work. I'm going on a four month trip with an iPhone, Macbook, and iPad (between two of us) and it would be nice to have a single common powerbrick for all three. But, in the meantime, there's no USB-C to Lightning cable, so there's no possibility to use the USB-C charging brick without a slew of adaptors that might or might not work. It's too bad how long it seems to be taking Belkin and everyone to make USB-C cables. Even four months on, the only USB-C thumb drive still seems to be San Disk's (Patriot's "June launch" for their much nicer one seems to have evaporated).

    5-6 hours for a full charge sounds OK to me..
  4. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Take the MacBook brick and get a usb-c to usb-a female adapter (like the $20 Apple one). That adapter is small and can stay right on the end of your lightning cable, doubles as an adapter for your other usb peripherals, and then you can charge all devices from a single brick, and quickly.

    4-5 hours isn't bad most of the time, until you're down to 30% battery and want to get a quick top-off to take it somewhere. Then it's a drag. What I do is keep a couple of the usb-a to usb-c cables around to connect to my extra iPad chargers and keep one at home and one at my desk at work where charging times really don't matter - and keep the 29w model in my bag where I'll never forget it and don't have to worry about constantly unpacking it or moving it.
  5. Hook85 macrumors member


    Jul 15, 2015
    Sheffield, UK
    Thanks for this - I'm planning on doing some travelling (the main reason I bought the MacBook) and I hadn't thought about using the USBC->USB cable in 'reverse'.
  6. applegeek97 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2008
    You can't, I thought the same thing (kinda disappointed).
  7. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    I charge all the time with an ASUS Nexus 7 charger, and a iPad 12W charger. Works great. I also use my dual port USB charger from Amazon. Unless you can get at least 10W, it wont simultaneously charge and power the laptop, meaning you'll only charge while it's closed.
  8. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Northeast USA
    You can use it but like others have said the charging will be very slow.

    The best I could get was 10W charging. Its not bad for keeping the MB charged during use but you won't see the battery gauge go up much. You're basically going to be using just as much power as you are putting in with a 10W charger.

    If you turn off the MB and charge it will be faster but obviously not as fast as the 29W.
  9. will0407 macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2006
    Check out the Kigston MicroDuo 3c. Was only released a week or two ago but much better than the Sandisk stick. The Sandisk was around £38 in the UK for 32GB, I bought the Kingston for £10.48. Kingston also do a 16GB and 64GB
  10. fatefulwhisper macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    Sorry for repeating what others have already said on here, but I have confirmed in an earlier post ( that you can indeed charge the MacBook w/ an iPhone charger, albeit very, very slowly. But yes, it is indeed possible. However, if you wish to just maintain your battery %, it won't decrease while you're using your MacBook, as long as it's not processor intensive. Just don't expect any miracles w/ charging though, even with the lid closed.

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