MagSafe is now a universal name that Apple uses for both iPhone and Mac charging. There are ‌MagSafe‌ charging pucks for the ‌iPhone‌, and ‌MagSafe‌ 3 charging ports and cables for Apple's Macs. The two ‌MagSafe‌ capabilities aren't related, but Apple is using the same ‌MagSafe‌ terminology for all of its latest charging technology.

magsafe chargers

MagSafe for Mac

Apple reintroduced ‌MagSafe‌ for the Mac with the launch of the 2021 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, and we can expect to see ‌MagSafe‌ roll out across the Mac lineup.

16 inch magsafe 3
‌MagSafe‌ for Mac is not a new technology, and it was previously used starting in 2012. ‌MagSafe‌, as the name suggests, uses magnets to connect a charger to a charging port on the Mac, with the idea that if a ‌MagSafe‌ cable is pulled, it disconnects safely without pulling the MacBook down from wherever it might be resting.

Apple swapped from ‌MagSafe‌ to USB-C in 2016, but at this point, the Mac's power needs have exceeded what's possible with USB-C, so Apple needed another solution, and that solution was a return to ‌MagSafe‌ charging.

How MagSafe for Mac Works

The new iteration of ‌MagSafe‌ for Mac is officially known as ‌MagSafe‌ 3, and it works exactly like the previous ‌MagSafe‌ implementation. There's a small rectangular magnet-topped charging connector that fits into the five-pin charging slot, with the magnets securing the fit.

macbook pro magsafe 3 charging
There's a USB-C port at the other end of the charging cable that is meant to plug into a power adapter to power the Mac.

Maximum Charging Power

Apple transitioned to ‌MagSafe‌ largely for the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which is now able to charge at up to 140W, a charging speed not supported by USB-C cables.

When a ‌MagSafe‌ to USB-C cable is paired with the 140W USB-C Power Adapter that comes with the 16-inch MacBook Pro, the MacBook Pro can be charged at up to 140W, and it powers up quicker than it would with a USB-C based charging solution limited to 100W.

16-inch MacBook Pro models can still be charged with USB-C cables, but not at the full 140W.

It's only 16-inch MacBook Pro models that max out at 140W, but the 14-inch machines also use ‌MagSafe‌ charging for cohesiveness. The lower-end 14-inch machines ship with a 67W power adapter but can take advantage of a 96W power adapter, while the higher-end 14-inch machines ship with the 96W adapter.

Availability

Right now, ‌MagSafe‌ 3 charging capabilities are limited to the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models introduced in 2021. The ‌MagSafe‌ 3 charging cables are not compatible with any other Macs, including older Macs that used ‌MagSafe‌ 2.

MagSafe for iPhone

Apple also has ‌MagSafe‌ technology for the ‌iPhone‌, but it works differently. Rather than magnets built into a specific charging area, Apple added a ring of magnets around the Qi-based wireless charging coils, which allows for a close fit and faster charging speeds. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models use the magnet ring to connect to accessories that also have magnets built inside, so it's not limited to just charging technology.

iphone12magsafe
Cases are the same way, snapping onto the magnet ring built into the ‌iPhone‌. The design of the magnet ring allows the ‌iPhone 12‌ models to be compatible with a whole range of accessories that rely on magnets, from chargers to mounts to cases.

The Magnet Ring in iPhones

‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 13‌ models have a ring of 18 rectangular magnets arranged in a circular shape located underneath the wireless charging coil in each device, which is what allows the ‌MagSafe‌ magic to happen.

magsafeinternals

Image via iFixit

Older iPhones had the same wireless charging coil, but no magnets underneath to allow for magnetic connections.

Apple's MagSafe Charger

The ‌MagSafe‌ Charger looks something like a larger Apple Watch Charging Puck with an aluminum body and a soft white material at the top of the charger. The charger snaps onto an ‌iPhone‌ with magnets inside, perfectly aligning the charging coil in the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger with the charging coil in the ‌iPhone‌.

lolagEJ1Mkqfld1m

Image via iFixit

Repair site iFixit took apart a ‌MagSafe‌ Charger and did an x-ray to show us the charger’s internal design. As with the ‌iPhone‌, there are a series of magnets inside that are compatible with the magnets in the ‌iPhone‌ that surround an internal charging coil and a circuit board that manages the charging process.

Apple has also designed the MagSafe Duo Charger, which combines a ‌MagSafe‌ charger with an Apple Watch charging puck. The charger is foldable, making it ideal for travel, and costs $129.

magsafe duo charger

The ‌MagSafe‌ Duo Charger is not able to charge an ‌iPhone 12‌ or ‌iPhone 13‌ at the full 15W. With Apple's 20W charger, the ‌MagSafe‌ Duo chargers at a maximum of 11W, and with a 27W or higher USB-C power adapter, it charges at up to 14W. The ‌MagSafe‌ Duo does not come with a power adapter and a charger must be purchased separately. Note that the 29W charger from Apple is not compatible, but the 30W version is.

12W Charging iPhone 12 and 13 mini

For most of the ‌iPhone 12‌ models, the ‌MagSafe‌ charger is able to charge at a maximum of 15W, but for the smallest ‌iPhone‌, the iPhone 12 mini, charging maxes out at 12W. The same goes for the ‌MagSafe‌ Duo. Charging speeds can also be affected by the temperature of the ‌iPhone‌.

Getting 15W Charging Speeds

Achieving 15W (or 12W on ‌iPhone 12‌/13 mini) charging speeds requires Apple's 20W power adapter or another appropriate 20W+ PD 3.0 charger. Testing with Apple’s prior-generation 18W iPad charger and a 96W MacBook Pro charger proved that those power adapters do not allow the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger to reach the full 15 watts.

usbcpoweradapter20w
The same goes for many existing third-party power adapters, which also do not have the proper charging profile. New chargers from third-party companies may, however, include support for the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger, and testing indicates that to provide the 15W charging speed, a ‌MagSafe‌ Charger needs to support Power Delivery 3.0 at 9V/2.22A or 9V/2.56A, according to Apple. The ‌iPhone 12 mini‌ and ‌iPhone 13‌ mini can hit maximum charging speeds with a 9V/2.03A power adapter.

You're guaranteed to get 15W with Apple’s $19 20W power adapter (this power adapter also comes with the 2020 iPad Air models), but you may also be able to use a third-party charger as long as it meets those specifications.

MagSafe Charging vs. Traditional Charging

With the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger, it takes about an hour to charge an ‌iPhone 12‌ from zero to 50 percent, which is double the time that it takes to charge using a USB-C to Lightning cable and a 20W+ USB-C power adapter.


Charging with the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger is faster than charging with a Qi-based charger, which maxes out at 7.5W, but for the fastest charging you’re still going to want to use a wired charging connection with a Lightning to USB-C cable.

When the ‌iPhone‌ is warm, charging speeds can be throttled down, and Apple warns that if the ‌iPhone‌ gets too warm, charging will be limited above 80 percent. Apple recommends moving your ‌iPhone‌ and charger to a cooler location if it feels overly warm.

Charging Speeds With Lightning Accessories

When Lightning-based accessories like EarPods are connected to an ‌iPhone 12‌ or ‌iPhone 13‌, charging with ‌MagSafe‌ is limited to 7.5W, which is something to be aware of.

Using the MagSafe Charger With Older iPhones

Using the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger with older iPhones is possible, but not recommended because charging is slower than with the 7.5W Qi-based chargers. Charging appears to be capped at right around 5W with the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger when paired with older devices, and in testing, the ‌MagSafe‌ charger has proven to be slower than using a plain old Qi charger.

magsafe2

MagSafe vs. USB-C

Testing suggests the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger charges a compatible ‌iPhone‌ less than half as fast than a wired 20W USB-C charger. With the 20W charger, a dead ‌iPhone‌ was able to charge to 50 percent in 28 minutes, and the same 50 percent charge took an hour over ‌MagSafe‌.

lightning usb c

MagSafe Cases and Accessories

Apple has designed cases, wallet attachments, and a ‌MagSafe‌ Charger to use with the ‌MagSafe‌ iPhones, and third-party case and accessory makers are also creating MagSafe-compatible products. We have a guide highlighting some of the available MagSafe accessories that you can purchase.

iphone12promagsafe

MagSafe Don'ts

  • Avoid putting single use cards like hotel cards against the magnet in the ‌iPhone‌ or the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger
  • Don’t put credit cards, security badges, passports, or key fobs between the ‌iPhone‌ and ‌MagSafe‌ Charger because magnetic strips and RFID chips can be damaged
  • Don’t charge with the ‌MagSafe‌ Wallet attachment on the ‌iPhone‌ (cases can remain on)

MagSafe Charger Warnings

When using the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger, Apple warns that it can leave an imprint on the Leather Cases designed for ‌MagSafe‌ iPhones, which is something to be aware of. It can also leave a mark on Silicone cases based on reports from MacRumors readers, and it’s possible that this will affect third-party cases made from soft materials as well.

Apple recommends that those worried about the ring that can be caused by ‌MagSafe‌ choose Silicone or Clear cases instead of the Leather versions.

magsafe damage leather case

iPhone MagSafe and Pacemakers

Like all iPhones, the ‌iPhone 12‌ and 13 models with their ‌MagSafe‌ technology can cause interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators. Apple recommends keeping ‌iPhone 12‌ models and all ‌MagSafe‌ accessories a safe distance away from implanted medical devices.

A safe distance is considered more than 6 inches / 15 cm apart or more than 12 inches / 30 cm apart if wirelessly charging. Though there are more magnets in the ‌iPhone 12‌/13 models, Apple says that they are "not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior ‌iPhone‌ models."

Guide Feedback

Have questions about ‌MagSafe‌ for ‌iPhone‌ and Mac or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Related Articles

belkin magsafe charger

Belkin Launches New MagSafe Charger With Kickstand

Tuesday January 18, 2022 12:56 pm PST by
Belkin today came out with a new $60 MagSafe Charger, which offers MagSafe charging speeds and adds an additional feature -- a built-in kickstand. Available in black or white ">from the online Apple Store, the Boost Charge Pro Portable Wireless Charger Pad With MagSafe offers 15W charging speeds for most iPhone 12 and 13 models. The exception is the iPhone 12 and 13 mini, which max out at...
iP14 Lightning Portless Feature Gray Grey

The iPhone 14 Is Unlikely to Be Portless, Here's Why

Saturday January 8, 2022 5:27 am PST by
Ever since Apple removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 in 2016, rumors have swirled that Apple eventually aims to ditch the Lightning port next for a completely portless design. Indeed, analysts originally predicted that the highest-end ‌‌iPhone‌‌ 13 would offer a "completely wireless experience." Of course, that didn't happen, but a portless iPhone 14 in 2022 looks just as unlikely, for the ...
magsafe1

Apple Releases New MagSafe Charger Firmware [Updated]

Thursday December 9, 2021 11:24 am PST by
Apple today released updated firmware for the MagSafe Charger that's compatible with iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models that have magnets inside. The new firmware is version 10M229, up from 9M5069. Note that in the Settings app, you'll see a version number rather than the firmware number. The new version is 247.0.0.0, and the old one was 174.0.0.0. The MagSafe Charger initially came out in fall...
magsafe duo perspective feature

Deals: MagSafe Duo Charger Drops to Record Low Price of $89.99 ($39 Off) [Update: Out of Stock]

Thursday November 11, 2021 6:20 am PST by
At DailySteals today, you can get Apple's MagSafe Duo Charger for $89.99, down from $129.00 by using the code SBDSMSFE at the checkout screen. This is a brand new model of the MagSafe Duo, and DailySteals offers free shipping to shoppers in the United States. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with DailySteals. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
magsafe battery pack feature

Deals: Verizon Discounting the MagSafe Battery Pack ($74.24), MagSafe Duo Charger ($96.74), and Other Apple Accessories

Wednesday October 20, 2021 7:56 am PDT by
Verizon's sale from earlier this month remains ongoing as we near the end of October, and it still has the all-around best deals online across Apple's collection of MagSafe accessories. This includes discounts on products like the MagSafe Charger, MagSafe Duo Charger, MagSafe Battery Pack, and a few non-MagSafe accessories. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Verizon. When you click a ...
macbook pro magsafe 3 charging

14-inch MacBook Pro Can Fast Charge Via Thunderbolt, But Fast Charge Limited to MagSafe in 16-inch Model

Tuesday October 19, 2021 4:38 am PDT by
With the debut of the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, Apple has brought a fast charge capability to the Mac for the first time, allowing users to charge the laptop battery up to 50% in just 30 minutes. But there's a difference between models with this feature that Apple didn't really mention. While both models can be charged over Thunderbolt or MagSafe, only the 14-inch MacBook...
magsafe duo perspective feature

Apple's $129 MagSafe Duo Charger Can't Fast Charge Apple Watch Series 7

Friday October 15, 2021 2:29 pm PDT by
With the launch of the iPhone 12 models last year, Apple introduced a $129 MagSafe Duo Charger that's able to charge an iPhone and an Apple Watch at the same time, but it's unfortunately already outdated. The Apple Watch Series 7 has a new fast charging feature that requires an updated charging puck, and that means the Apple Watch Series 7 does not fast charge when connected to the MagSafe...
wallet find my bug

Many iPhone 13 Owners Unable to Get Find My Working on New MagSafe Wallet

Thursday September 30, 2021 11:01 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 13 models, Apple introduced an updated version of the MagSafe Wallet that has Find My built in. The new MagSafe Wallet is designed to be easier to find should it slip off of an iPhone or fall out of a pocket, but some new MagSafe Wallet owners are unable to get Find My to connect. According to a long thread on Reddit, affected users do not get the proper Find My pop...
iphone 13 magsafe 1

iPhone 13 Mini Still Limited to Maximum 12W of Peak Power via MagSafe Charger

Thursday September 23, 2021 9:14 pm PDT by
While Apple's standard MagSafe Charger can typically support up to 15 watts of peak power delivery to iPhone models when used with an appropriate power adapter, last year's iPhone 12 mini was limited to a lower 12-watt peak, perhaps due to thermal constraints with the smaller device. As highlighted in an update to Apple's support document on the MagSafe Charger today, that restriction...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple's New Find My-Enabled MagSafe Wallet

Thursday September 23, 2021 11:28 am PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 13 models, Apple introduced a new version of the MagSafe Wallet that first came out last year. This updated version includes Find My technology, and we thought we'd test it out to see how well it works and whether it's a useful feature addition. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, the new iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe looks like...
magsafe wallet find my

Apple Releases New MagSafe Wallet With Find My Support

Tuesday September 14, 2021 1:20 pm PDT by
Apple today released a new version of the MagSafe Wallet, now featuring support for the Find My network and five new color options. The new MagSafe Wallet can now give the location where it was last separated from your iPhone in the Find My app: Designed with both style and function in mind, the new iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe is the perfect way to keep your ID and credit cards...
Pixel Stand 23W 668x445

Google Pixel 6 Rumored to Support 23W Wireless Charging, Beating iPhone 12's MagSafe

Wednesday September 1, 2021 2:54 am PDT by
Google is rumored to be working on a new wireless charging stand that could deliver 23W of charging power to its upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones, according to a leaked inventory image published by Android Police. Image via Android Police. If true, that would beat the iPhone 12's maximum 15W wireless charging speed (or 12W on ‌iPhone 12 mini‌) using Apple's MagSafe charger, and...
joby tripod mount magsafe

Joby Debuts New GorillaPod-Compatible MagSafe Mounts

Tuesday August 31, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
Joby today announced the launch of new MagSafe-compatible mounting options that are designed to work with the popular GorillaPod tripods. The GripTight Mount for MagSafe attaches to an iPhone 12 model using magnets and it features a hybrid clamp for use in both portrait and landscape mode. There's an included 1⁄4" - 20 tripod mount that's compatible with the GorillaPod or other tripod...
otterbox magsafe folding stand

Apple Now Selling OtterBox Folding Stand for MagSafe Charger

Wednesday August 11, 2021 11:41 am PDT by
Apple has begun selling a new third-party accessory for its MagSafe ecosystem, a folding stand from OtterBox priced at $39.95. The hinged stand includes a recessed area to house a user-provided MagSafe Charger and a slot for routing the cable through the stand and out the back. The folding design is convenient for travel and lets you set your desired angle for nightstand viewing, video...
zens charger 4 in 1

Zens Debuts New 4-in-1 Wireless Charger for iPhone 12

Thursday July 29, 2021 1:00 am PDT by
Zens today announced the launch of a new 4-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charger that's designed to work with Apple's latest iPhone 12 models. The 4-in-1 charger offers a magnetic charging puck that is compatible with the iPhone 12. Zens says that it is a 15W magnetic charger, but it's worth noting that third-party chargers that are not using Apple's official MagSafe solution are limited to 7.5W Qi ...
realme magdart

Realme Planning to Launch 'MagDart' Magnetic Charger As Android Equivalent to Apple's MagSafe

Tuesday July 27, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Realme is gearing up to launch what it's creatively calling "MagDart," an accessory for its upcoming flagship smartphone, that much like Apple's MagSafe announced earlier last year, will utilize magnets to charge the device by snapping onto its back. Realme's CEO, Madhan Sheth, confirmed the news via a tweet, stating that "Realme Flash" will be the "world's 1st Android phone with Magnetic...
magsafe battery pack forum photo

MagSafe Battery Pack Tidbits: Thickness, Weight, Charging Details, and More

Tuesday July 20, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack for the iPhone 12 has started arriving to customers around the world, and as more people get their hands on the accessory, various tidbits have surfaced about its design and functionality. MagSafe Battery Pack photo shared by MacRumors forum member Boardiesboi Priced at $99 in the United States, the MagSafe Battery Pack attaches magnetically to the back of the ...
magsafe battery pack feature2

MagSafe Battery Pack Now Available for Apple Store Pickup

Tuesday July 20, 2021 3:39 am PDT by
The newly-launched MagSafe Battery Pack for the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max is now available for in-store pickup at Apple Stores in a range of countries and regions around the world. Spot checks show that customers in the U.S., Canada, UK, EU, Australia, Japan, and China can now place an order for a MagSafe Battery Pack on Apple's website or in the Apple...
magsafe battery pack 2

Photos of Apple's New MagSafe Battery Pack Provide First Look at Thickness

Monday July 19, 2021 7:36 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack will begin arriving to customers around the world this week, and one lucky person has already snagged one. Steven Russell from Memphis, Tennessee said he managed to pick up the MagSafe Battery Pack from a local Apple Store over the weekend, and he has since shared photos on Reddit, providing a closer look at its design and thickness. Russell shared some...
nomad magsafe cover 1

Nomad Launches Leather Cover for Apple's MagSafe Charger

Wednesday July 7, 2021 2:26 pm PDT by
Nomad today debuted its latest product, a Leather Cover that's designed to work with Apple's MagSafe Charger. The Leather Cover is meant to slide over a MagSafe Charger, providing a more attractive design for those who use Apple's charging solution. The Leather Cover for MagSafe is available in rustic brown and black Horween leather, and each cover has a soft microfiber exterior that does...