Apple MagSafe cord repair

[Tommy Ward] had a big problem with the cord for his laptop power supply. This thing’s not cheap so he figured out a way to fix the frayed cord on his Apple MagSafe. He asserts that the shortened rubber collar on the plug end of the cord is to blame for this type of damage. We think rough use may have something to do with it too, but having had to repair our own feline-damaged power cords we’re not about to start pointing fingers.

To pull off an appropriate fix [Tommy] pries apart the case housing the power converter. This lets him get at the solder connections of the cord. After removing it from the circuit board he clips off the damaged portion of the cable. To reuse the strain relief grommet he drilled out the old portion of wire and insulation, making room for the undamaged cable to pass through, adding a cable tie on the inside to aide in strain relief. The last part of the fix involves gluing everything back together.

If your power supply problems have to do with the computer connector itself there’s a fix for that too.

44 thoughts on “Apple MagSafe cord repair

  1. Didn’t Apple recall certain types of MacBook power adapters? I’ve heard that if you bring one to a store they’ll replace it with an updated design no questions asked.

    1. This is correct. Any strain relief damage like the damaged pictured is under an informal recall. Stop by an Apple Store and they’ll swap it for free.

      1. As I found out personally, their recall/replacement only covers damage at the *other end* of the cable (the MagSafe connector end).

        They won’t replace it on the end displayed in the pic. Crappy.

  2. Not to belittle an outstanding hack, in both documentation and execution, but if this does occur, at least in the US, this sort of thing is 100% covered even if you have no warrenty. It becomes a safety issue and they auto replace anything like this due to it’s potential for lawsuits based on injuries.

      1. Do the smiley faces make a condescending remark okay all of a sudden? Not everyone is a genius at grammar or spelling. His point is clearly stated and that is what matters the most – or at least, it is what should matter the most.

        I’ve seen a lot of grammar/spelling nazis on here this week and it’s starting to get a tad bit annoying.

        1. It’s not a “condescending remark” – it’s a statement of fact. The original usage is plain wrong and you should be aware of that. You do not have to be a genius at grammar or spelling to be aware of the correct and proper use of the apostrophe. The excuse will no doubt be, “You understand what I mean anyway”. Well, in that case, wh dnt w jst rmve all th vwls nd sve n spc?

          There’s a right way and a wrong way to spell things – “It’s potential for lawsuits….” is simply the wrong way.

          1. Brii – now that you mention it, every time I put on my grammar Nazi hat, I’ll try my utmost to be as condescending as possible.

  3. I once had an older power supply where the cable went into it like a funnel, opposite of that rubber collar. Even with careful usage, it started spewing sparks one day and Apple was super-good about at handling the problem.

    1. I had the same problem, it was on a iBook. And numerous problems with mag safe power supplies. Apple loves to use shitty strain releif. Interestingly I’ve never had a similar problem with any of my PC laptop power adapters.

  4. For those giving this a try make sure not to break the copper shielding off like I did. I also wish I had thought of the ties for gluing. Mine didn’t turn out near this pretty.

  5. Most of the time, the strain relief slips over the cable, so you don’t necessarily have to drill it. Sometimes it’s a tight fit, but it’s rare that the strain relief is molded as part of the cable.

  6. Strain relief = strain concentrater. Those elephant trunk like extentions are the cause of breakage. I am suprised that the funnel entrance failed, but there seems to be problem with there being a shield in a power cable, bound to fail. Filter the power entirely in the power unit, please don’t add junk, beads, etc to the outside.
    Finaly don’t wrap cords around anything, no rap, no wrapping at all. That is the cause of all this type of breakage. I have seen some of the most C-O activity in this area, cords wrapped tightly with flat winding on wall warts. Storage in the stressed position does the damage.

    1. “Finaly don’t wrap cords around anything, no rap, no wrapping at all.”
      apple actually encourages it, there are flip out ears to wrap the power cable around on the magsafe/ibook power adapters.

        1. I actually always wrap the AC cord around the body of the adapter perpendicular to the wrap direction for the DC cord, and I wrap it first, between both ears and the DC cord outlet, and then I wrap the dc cord through the ears and secure with the little rubber clip. I have never had a problem with the adapter end of the DC cord, or the AC cord for that matter. My only issue was with my (T-style) computer end, which wouldn’t be related to wrapping for storage.

        2. It’s also helpful to introduce a loop of slack in the cable before wrapping it around the first ear. I started doing this after my v1 MagSafe adapter was replaced, and the replacement is in perfect condition after five years. Still working great even on my 2013 systems with the MagSafe 2 adapter.

  7. Looks to me that there should be room for a coaxial power socket. While not install one of those on power supply & the mating plug on the cord? Thereby eliminating what most likely causes the damage, repeated winding the cord around the power supply.

  8. I’ve gone through so many Apple chargers over the years. I’ve encountered this exact problem on no less than 3 of the chargers and I’ve had a couple “pop” and just stop working. I’ve never had any luck getting Apple to replace them. I’ve got generic/knock-off chargers that have lasted longer than the official ones.

  9. I use Polymorph to support any cable that are starting to go – I’ve fixed a few cables this way – it just a two minute job and the polymorph normally sticks well to the case.

  10. This problem is common to chargers, and common to charging cables for Iphones and Ipads.

    Seems apple are just using cheap materials?? there’s no reason that the insulation on wires should degrade like this!

    1. The strain relief material is too rigid, its basically no strain relief at all, just a hard step-off that you generally try to avoid when running a cable out of a chassis. The insulation fails because as the conductors break they heat up at this point with continued usage. Mine smoked a little bit before it finally failed. I called Apple to see about getting a replacement but I was told it was out of warranty. I should have tried just bringing it by an Apple Store, since the unofficial policy is apparently to replace the units on sight, but a call ahead gets a declination. Anywho, chop, solder, re-mould the body of the connector (that had to be destroyed to remove it) in hot glue and it was fine, complete with a functional LED, btw.

    1. Yes.

      but in this case it’s done an the most hacker unfriendly line of product (both from the point of view that you can’t open without breaking, and that the brand started by selling the work of hackers from a computer club)

  11. Apple power supplies are prone to this type of failure. One can’t just blame the users (HaD), at a certain point it is clear that for whatever reason Apple refuses to redesign the thing regardless of safety issues. It’s probably a gold mine for them, or maybe they are just incompetent, arrogant, lazy, or all of the above.

  12. I had the magsafe cord fail on the other end in much the same way. This is definitely the result of an inappropriate strain relief. The cable broke at the end of the strain relief just as pictured here and on mine, the strain relief was too rigid. I fixed mine by cutting, soldering and molding a new body on the magsafe end out of hot glue. I also purchased a replacement while I was at it so I would have a spare (but I chose the higher wattage adapter intended for a Macbook Pro, which I find runs cooler than the original 65watt unit that I had and repaired). On the (still OEM Apple) high wattage and newer charger, the strain reliefs are both much more pliable, and work as a proper strain relief. This cord has now held up longer than the original did with zero evidence of damage than my original had, with no change in the way I handle it.

  13. Actually my iphone power-cable has the same issue. I think it has to do with the kind of plastic used to encompass the power-cable.

    Cheap china knock-offs work far longer and better than apples cords, in my own experience.

  14. I understand pets and other human beings factor in to damage of this nature, however, I express as much care as possible for cords and wires. Every time I lend out AV, USB, or power cords they come back wrapped up crappily and stressed. I’ve since stopped lending out cords to people – but come on, how damn hard is it to take care of one?

  15. What I don’t get is.. my make this side of the adapter not easily switchable/removable like the other side of the adapter from where the goes to the wall outlet?!?

    Then it would be a matter of swapping a simple piece of cable. Now it’s complete adapters that are thrown away in quite large numbers world wide.

    What a waste!

    I’ve just Apple products daily now for close to 10 years. This is the single most failure prone Apple product I’ve had in my hands. I’m using adapter number 4 by now. I’d rather spend such money on a new music player or phone. :-)

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