Whether you have a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro, your charger likely has one fatal flaw: the plug. The power adapter needs to connect directly to an outlet, a design that works fine for smaller charging bricks. However, the bigger your MacBook, the bigger the brick, all without changing the design. As such, your massive power adapter needs to hang from the wall, or balance on top of a power strip, fighting against gravity for its life.
Obviously, the weight is a major component here. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to prop my power strip up after my MacBook Pro’s charger knocked everything over. The other part of the problem, though, is the plug portion of the charger is removable. When you connect your 10-ton charger to the wall, its mass sometimes pulls the plug right out of the adapter (this has happened to me so many times).
Have you ever wondered why the plug is removable? It doesn’t make much sense out of the box. Sure, the prongs could bend out of shape, and having the ability to replace them without throwing out the whole charger is a plus. But since the prongs don’t bend on a daily basis, but your charger does fall off the wall on a daily basis, it doesn’t seem a worth trade-off. Well, it is, because of this.
Apple sells a power adapter extension cable that connects to this port on your charger to extend the reach of your power adapter. Of course, that’s not why it’s cool. Take a look at the other end of the extension cable. You’ll find a traditional three-prong plug, which connects nice and neatly into any wall or floor outlet. Neither gravity nor gentle force will pull this plug down, and for that, we stan. Your power adapter, on the other hand, hangs out on the floor, plugged into nothing but the extension cable and the USB-C cord.
This is how life as a MacBook user used to be, and it was glorious. For years, Apple included these power adapter extension cables with each and every MacBook purchase. In fact, it was the default way to use your charger: While you could swap the extension cable out for the tiny plug, why would you? Your charger would obviously fall out of the wall, or take up way too much room on a power strip. Why would you not use the extension cable?
The only reason not to would be if Apple stopped including it with your MacBook, which it did. When the company switched from MagSafe charging to USB-C charging way back in 2015, they also did away with the extension cable in the box. Funnily enough, the change to USB-C was an improvement. MagSafe cables before were fused to the power adapter, so if the cable broke, your charger was good as dead. Having a detachable USB-C cable made so much sense, it almost made up for the missing MagSafe and extension cable. Almost.
Of course, today, MagSafe is back with the most recent MacBook Air and MacBook Pros, complete with the USB-C detachable design. However, the extension cable is nowhere to be seen.
The only modern power adapter this doesn’t apply to from Apple is the dual USB-C port charger you can order with the M2 MacBook Pro. That adapter has a unique design, and isn’t compatible with the extension cable. Then again, its unique design means you can’t pull it apart, so that solves one problem at least.
I can’t recommend this extension cable enough. It relegates your MacBook’s giant power adapter to the floor, and extends your reach to the nearest outlet. While Apple sells it for $19, I wouldn’t be surprised if you know someone with one of these in storage. Anyone who bought a MacBook pre-2015 likely has one somewhere, and they’re still compatible with modern power adapters. Be warned, though: If they still have a MacBook, they may not be so keen to give it up.
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