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Ask Max: Can you charge a standard MacBook with a MacBook Air charger?

Asked on 11/06/2009:

Hi Jacob,

Hope you can clarify whether it is possible to charge the MacBook using the 45w power adapter (for Macbook Air)? I want to share my mate's 45w power adapter. Any downside in using the lower wattage adapter?

Please advise.

Thanks and regards,



The lower wattage of the MacBook Air power adapter will let your Unibody MacBookrun. It will not recharge the battery with the MacBook running though.

Your MacBook has a 45-watt battery and that 45 watt MacBook Air adapter will just provide enough power replace the power that would have come from the battery, but that is it. To charge the battery you will need to have the proper 60 watt adapter or, completely shut down the system so all power can be used to charge the battery.

- Jacob

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