MacBook feels like current is going through it when plugged in, “vibrate” feeling

Hieveryone

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Original poster
Apr 11, 2014
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When I plug in my MacBook Pro it feels like current is going through when I drag my hand over it. It kind of if feels like it’s “vibrating”
 

BLBL

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2018
802
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Power supply does not have grounding, unless you buy separate cable instead of plug integrated in charger and then use grounded outlet. Basically nothing serious.
 
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Hieveryone

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Apr 11, 2014
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Power supply does not have grounding, unless you buy separate cable instead of plug integrated in charger and then use grounded outlet. Basically nothing serious.
How do I use a grounded outlet? I’m using the USB-C one so idk how to use a separate cable
 

BLBL

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2018
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Apple sells cable that you use to replace the included plug in the charger that comes with the machine. But is is not plug as the one that come with the charger, it is a cable with suitable plugs on each end, so not very practical but does the trick if vibration bothers you. The vibration you feel is from small leak current due to missing ground. To prove that theory, next time you feel it then touch the machine with your other hand at the same time and it cannot be felt.
 

Hieveryone

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Apr 11, 2014
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Apple sells cable that you use to replace the included plug in the charger that comes with the machine. But is is not plug as the one that come with the charger, it is a cable with suitable plugs on each end, so not very practical but does the trick if vibration bothers you. The vibration you feel is from small leak current due to missing ground. To prove that theory, next time you feel it then touch the machine with your other hand at the same time and it cannot be felt.
I'm not sure what you're talking about but can you link the cable? I want to buy it
 

curmudgeonette

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Jan 28, 2016
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I'm not sure what you're talking about but can you link the cable?
Instead of plugging the power brick into the wall, Apple sells an AC cable that goes from the wall to the brick. This cable has a three prong grounded plug on the end that plugs into the wall.

BTW, this "vibrate" issue has been around a long time - from the PowerBook era and maybe before!
 
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BLBL

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2018
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I guess simple reason to use small plug instead of three prong cable is to reduce clutter with cables. Personally I like power brick this small with only one cable going from it. I do feel that vibration with mine but knowing what causes it does not bother me. I guess it is just something that needs to keep in mind if connecting some delicate equipment. It is like using desktop computer in non grounded outlet.
 

pshufd

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Oct 24, 2013
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In the old days, the power bricks looked like this. As you can see, it's a two-pronged plug:





Apple also provided a cable. You took out the two-pronged plug and replaced it with the grounded cable:

 

kp98077

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2010
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Hmmm that seems strange to me, never experienced that, is it like a shock??
 

pshufd

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Oct 24, 2013
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Hmmm that seems strange to me, never experienced that, is it like a shock??
It's like a fuzzing sensation on your fingertips.

Sometimes you feel it touching the metal surface of an appliance where the plug isn't grounded or there's no actual ground even though the plug will accept it.
 
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kohlson

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Apr 23, 2010
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pshufd

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Yeah, it's annoying. I use external KVMs so rarely see the problem. And you can always just run on battery if your notebook is charged.
 

kp98077

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Oct 26, 2010
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this is not an issues with the 2019 13" then? this seems VERY ODD to me... lol
 

buran-energia

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Oct 9, 2017
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When I plug in my MacBook Pro it feels like current is going through when I drag my hand over it. It kind of if feels like it’s “vibrating”
1). Your charger/adapter needs to have three pins (one for ground).
2). Your power outlet needs to be grounded.

If either of those are not met, you might get the vibrating/electric feeling.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
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Isla Nublar
When I plug in my MacBook Pro it feels like current is going through when I drag my hand over it. It kind of if feels like it’s “vibrating”
It's the outlets in your house most likely. When I worked overseas I would feel this but at home (where I had much better outlets) I did not.
 

kp98077

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2010
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so this is only when the macbook is plugged in right? only apple... oy!
 

Michael Scrip

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Mar 4, 2011
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Can someone explain the grounded Apple power extension cable linked above?

Obviously it has the third prong which is typical for grounded plugs.

But... there are still only two prongs going into the power adapter itself.

So is it actually being grounded?

Usually if a laptop charger is grounded it accepts a 3-prong "Mickey Mouse" cable like this: