Magsafe 1 to Magsafe 2 The Cheap Way

[Klakinoumi] wanted to use their Magsafe 1 charger from 2007 with their newer Macbook Pro Retina from 2012 — but it had a Magsafe 2 port. There were a few options on the table (buy an adapter, buy a new charger, cry) but those wouldn’t do. [Klakinoumi] went with the brute force option of grinding a Magsafe 1 charger to fit Magsafe 2.

Based on the existence of passive adapters that allow Magsafe 1 chargers to work with newer laptops, we’d assume that the older chargers are probably electrically similar to the newer models. That said, it’s not our gear and we’d definitely be checking first.

With that out of the way, it’s a simple enough modification — grind away the Magsafe 1’s magnet until it fits into a Magsafe 2 port. It really is that easy. The spring-loaded pins all seem to line up with the newer port’s pads. [Klakinoumi] reports it worked successfully in their tests with 2012, 2014 and 2015 Macbooks but that it should be attempted at your own risk — good advice, as laptops ain’t cheap.

When doing this mod, consider taking care not to overheat the connector during grinding. You could both melt plastic parts of the connector, or ruin the magnet by heating it past its Curie point.

Interested in the protocol Magsafe speaks over those little golden pins? Find out here.

25 thoughts on “Magsafe 1 to Magsafe 2 The Cheap Way

    1. Apple’s MS1 to MS2 adapter is like $10, and the change was made to make the connector thinner to fit in the thinner laptops it came on. The adapter that comes with a laptop has the right connector for the laptop so you don’t have to buy anything ‘new’.

      This mode makes it not work on Macs with MS-1 connections reliably, so the adapter is by far the better choice.

      Besides, it’s not like PC laptops aren’t worse. we deal with lots of laptops form HP and Dell here and it seems like every model has a different connector, and often power supply voltage. I have one adapter sitting on my desk that lets me work with almost any mac that uses a magsafe adapter. People who have other brands of laptop have to bring their adapters with them or we can’t work on them.

      But kudos for coming up with ‘drones’ instead of the usual ‘fanbois’ for your straw apple argument.

        1. Because its Megatron/Pegatron/Hans that design the laptops and they choose and/or design the cheapest connector possible/what they see fit for that week..

          At least MSI and Asus have been pretty consistent, all 19v, one dc-in for the thicker and a thinner one for the Zenbooks, MSI as a dc-in for up to 120Watts and then another for anything over that.

          1. I think most non-Apple laptops prior to USB-C are compatible with 18-20v adapters. I have 2 netbooks, and 4 laptops from 5 different vendors across a 10 year span that are all compatible with this Targus 19v universal power supply I have sitting around.

        2. Thankfully usb-c seems to be killing off this issue in phones and laptops. Hopefully no more shit connectors (the firewire apple debacle in the past and now lightning…) Hopefully laptops will move to usb-c usb chargers like ankers

        3. I mainly look for laptops that use a DC barrel jack. I have plenty of 19V adapters that may work with my new laptop, and work with my wife’s laptop and my old laptop.

          Weird connectors are a pretty unnecessary complication to my life. Ultrathin laptops that I can’t increase RAM and storage space are kind of a drag too. I’m on the third battery pack on this old Core 2 Duo Acer laptop I kick around for table top gaming (reading PDFs, running Hero Lab), quite inexpensive to replace.

        1. Next day comment, but oh well…
          Most dells use a Dallas 1-wire EEPROM/PROM for wattage identification.
          That way the laptop can decide if you accidentally used your Dell-netbook PSU with
          your Alienware kit and either sip the power or refuse to take power in extreme cases like mentioned.
          Or it can decide to charge said Alienware laptop ONLY when shut down, though it’ll take some
          hours to charge at such low wattage.
          Everything being relative to eachother, however a pain if your PSU blew up and you needed your laptop
          and you only have an Acer-AIO external 120W PSU:

          Crack open your now dead PSU, Identify the ID chip+Circuit. Wire up said circuit into laptop in a
          space available and remove the middle pin connection from the main-board by trace-cut or dragging
          the pin out of the socket back or replace the socket with something more common like the ones used on
          Acer laptops (Older peasant grade ones from 2003 onwards) as the Acer ones are similar to the wall-wart
          Christmas light PSU barrel-jack etc.

          HP uses a feed-back voltage reference, so if their PSU is dying then they can automatically reduce the load
          on the PSU and/or if the incorrect PSU is used then they can reduce load: some just need a resistor between
          the middle pin and 19v. But careful, that may burn out HP systems requiring say 0v to 5v as their reference!

          A modded HP/Dell with the middle pin-receptor in the laptop removed can have their PSUs interchanged.

          I am currently powering my Multimedia-laptop on an unmodified Dell 250W PSU brick found at a
          boot-sale. I made up out of a HP barrel receptor and a normal barrel jack plug a dell-to-universal
          adapter cable ready to add any conversion barrel-jacks to, the universal barrel fits my toshiba Multimedia
          Laptop natively, this is unusual as most Toshibas usually have massive barrel-jacks where the pin is
          at least 4mm-dia.

          1. how dare they make sure you arent using weak 65W adapter with “gaming” laptop pulling 100W peak!!1
            Same with Lenovo (resistor tells the wattage), its there to prevent user from doing stupid shit.

            Citing absolute TRASH like MSI/ACER/Asus laptops as example to strive for is just a cherry on top :)

    1. There was an interview around where even Steve pans the part of Apple that constantly schemed for ridiculous cable monopoly ploys.

      Without Steve & Woz, Apple is just another Lenovo waiting to happen.

  1. Don’t worry. Apple will invent “Magsafe 3” in such a way that this low-cost fix will prove impossible. After all, Apple foisted upon us the non-removeable battery. They are all about getting money from gullible consumers from the iPod to present day. Apple became every bit as evil as Microsoft ever was.

      1. I would like to see Apple make a way for me to use magsafe 1 or 2 work with the new usbc standard. It is really obnoxious since i have several of these chargers but only one that works with my new macbook. They made a decent one that adapted between 1 nad 2 which I used with my old old charger.

  2. please correct the post, there is no magnet in a magsafe cable connector (to be ruined by overheating past the Curie point). The magnet(s) is located in the socket inside the chassis.

    if you’re going to make references to scientific principles, at least make sure you’re correct first.

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