Here’s why you might see ‘Not Charging’ when your Mac is plugged in

If you have a Mac and have seen a “Not Charging” warning when it’s plugged into a working outlet, Apple last week released a support document that explains why you might see that message when your Mac is plugged in.

Here's why you might see 'not charging' when your Mac is plugged in. Image: 13-inch MacBook Pro
Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro
Apple support:

Depending on its settings, your Mac might temporarily pause charging to help calibrate battery health management, a feature designed to improve the lifespan of your battery.

Battery health management

If your Mac notebook has Thunderbolt 3 ports and uses macOS Catalina 10.15.5 or later, you can use battery health management to help extend the life of your battery. Battery health management is designed to improve your battery’s lifespan by reducing the rate at which it chemically ages. The feature does this by monitoring your battery’s temperature history and charging patterns.

When battery health management is turned on, you might occasionally see “Not Charging” in the battery status menu of your Mac, and your battery’s maximum charge level might be lowered temporarily. This is normal, and it’s how battery health management optimizes charging. Your Mac resumes charging to 100 percent depending on your usage.

Other reasons for not charging

You might also see “Not Charging” when your Mac isn’t getting enough power to charge the battery, such as when it’s not using the correct power adapter and cable, or it’s plugged into a power source that isn’t delivering enough power.

MacDailyNews Note: Based on the measurements that the battery health management feature in macOS 10.15.5 and later collects, battery health management may reduce your battery’s maximum charge when in this mode. This happens as needed to ensure that your battery charges to a level that’s optimized for your usage—reducing wear on the battery, and slowing its chemical aging.

While battery health management benefits your battery’s long-term lifespan, it can also reduce the amount of time your Mac runs on one battery charge when capacity limits are applied. If your priority is making your Mac notebook last as long as possible before recharging, you can turn the feature off:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu , then click Energy Saver.
  2. Click Battery Health.
  3. Deselect Battery health management, then click OK.
  4. Click Turn Off.

Note that turning this feature off might reduce your battery’s lifespan.

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