Thursday, August 9, 2012

MacBook Air - What's the big power cord for?

This is a question that is usually asked by people who are new to MacBook Air or Macintosh in general. When you buy a new MacBook Air it comes with two power cords, one that looks like this:


And there is also a bigger power cord that looks like this:


However when you look around the MacBook Air itself, you can't find a plug that fits the second power cord:


So what gives? Why did they include the big power cord you may ask yourself! It makes no sense! Here is what the big power cord is meant to be used for. On the first smaller power adapter, slide off the edge of the adapter itself like so:


You don't have to worry about breaking it, as long as you slide it horizontally and yes you do have to apply some force. With the corner piece completely off, you can now slide in the end of the second / bigger power cord like so:


That's it! Now what exactly does that get you, you may ask. Here is what you get:


A much longer power cord that is also a lot easier to plug into outlets where space is limited! So essentially you can think of it as an extension cord with a smaller foot print.

A lot of hard core Mac users may look at this post and think this should be common sense, but you will be surprised how many people at work and elsewhere at libraries and coffee shops have asked me this very question. From now on when they ask me this question I will be referring them to this blog post. Feel free to do the same if you are a Mac Pro.

Enjoy!

Pete Soheil
DigiOz Multimedia, Inc
www.digioz.com

220 comments:

1 – 200 of 220   Newer›   Newest»
Ammy said...

I just got my MacBook Air yesterday. This certainly answered my question. I didn't have time to go back to the Apple Store today and ask them, so I very much appreciate this post with pictures. I've returned to a Mac after a 20 year absence, so I am needing some assistance to adjust. You did just that!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Ammy! This is actually a very common question, and it's not very clear just by looking at the cords. Glad I could help. :)

Adrian Whipp said...

I'd figured it out with some tinkering but still wasn't sure if there was something else to it, like faster charging or something. Thanks for the article.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Adrian. Nope, nothing else to it really other then a longer reach and a smaller foot print for the chord.

Lori P said...

Oh my gosh, this was SO helpful! I just got my Macbook Air yesterday, and the whole two cord thing was bugging me. thank you!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Lori. This is actually quite a popular question. :)

Time2Fly said...

Yet another example of Apple arrogance. They assume their products are so great everyone should instinctively know how to use them. They can't be bothered to provide any information AT ALL with their packaging. Would it have killed them to put even just a little diagram on a slip of paper showing what the second cord is for??!! Thanks for the post and the information. Maybe you could get Apple to hire you and bring a little common sense to their organization!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Well, there is no question that they sell high quality products. Then again, you pay through the roof for the products, and I agree considering how much money you pay for it there should be a printed manual included. Right now they expect you to download the manual online, which of course no one does.

Anyways, enjoy it!

Pete

Topgum said...

Thank you very much! I purchased a Mac book pro for my daughter and she gave me the cord! Had no clue how it fit onto the computer and never looked at whatever ac adaptor she was using. Your clear and succinct answer will now allow me to show my girl that dad's can be cool once in a while.

Thank you
Brian

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Brian. Glad to be of help.

Herpreet said...

Why didn't they just make one cord long enough, instead of giving us two cords?

Thanks for explaining this.

Few more questions-

Can I forward delete? I had a pc before, and this habit will die hard. Is there a 'home' button that brings me to the beginning of a sentence?

Please don't make me download the manual. :(

DigiOz Multimedia said...

@Herpreet - That is a very good question that only the MacBook Air designers can answer. I agree from a practical standpoint 1 power cord does seem easier. As far as Forward Delete, Fn-Delete should do the trick for you. As for a home button, this may help:

Home: fn+left arrow
End: fn+right arrow
Pg Up: fn+up arrow
Pg Dwn: fn+down arrow

@ar mirza - If you have a warranty on your MacBook Air as most people do I recommend that you take it to the Apple Store for a Memory Upgrade. Otherwise your warranty will become void.

bakhreza A Talip said...

So helpful..its worth it to stay up so late found your article to help me figure it out of using the power cord..no silly question after all..

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Glad you found it useful Bbakhreza.

Debbie said...

Well, count me as one of those with absolutely NO idea of what that second cord was for. I know my way in and out of a PC and am the "go to" for family and friends for IT problems, but I just purchased my first MAC and was at a loss as to what to do with that cord. Talk about feeling silly! Such a simple explanation. I appreciate the pictures. I'm also glad I read through the rest of the comments....having no End and Home keys was really bugging me, and I'm glad to know I don't have to live without them. You're the best!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Glad I could be of help to you Debbie.

Pete

Friedeggman said...

Thanks. Glad to see I wasn't alone in being puzzled. Great post.

Friedeggman said...

Thanks. Glad to see I wasn't alone in being puzzled. Great post.

Christopher Balchin said...

Thanks a lot. I didn't get it and your pictures and comments make it crystal clear.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome both!

Jim W said...

Thanks for this! I just got a new Macbook Pro and was very "Wtf?" about this dual cord threat!

Julie Lundberg said...

New to Mac, and loving it, but hated the short charging cord. I happened to dig in the box and find the second cord, but couldn't for the life of me figure out how to use it. Feeling stupid, and it's too late to go the store, I googled my question and you saved the day! Thanks! Now, back to enjoying my Mac :)
Julie

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Glad you found the information useful Jim and Julie. :)

candace kaneshiro-pruett said...

LOL i feel like a complete du* A** now that i read your very clear blog/post it makes ALL THE SENSE IN THE WORLD what those 2 different cords are for LOL Im glad that I am not alone though. Thank you so much for this explanation as well as pictures!
kudos to you and keep up the awesome work!

hiplanedrifter said...

You geeks are all the same. Surprise that someone might not know what the hell this thing is for. Has anyone ever seen an extension cord with a white something-or-other in the middle of it, and where the cord is different diameters from one section to the next. Pls someone tell me you have so I can feel much stupider. Steve Jobs would likely have anticipated the possible confusion, and put a sticky or something on the white whatever-the-hell it is. For all that, I am glad I can go to your site and find the answer even if you really don't get Apple's lapse in this case.

Human86 said...

I have a question... I have a Macbook air as my main laptop.. When I am at home, and there is a possibility to connect the MBA to power and use... But after it gets charged for 100%, can I still use it on AC power or should I COMPULSORILY disconnect and only use it on Battery... I want to ask you if using on AC power decreases the battery performance or not?

DigiOz Multimedia said...

@hiplanedrifter - I am not denying the fact that Apple could have done a better job in this case. Either way, I am glad I could help you.

@Human86 - The charger automatically shuts down internally when your laptop is charged 100% and runs purely on AC Power directly from your outlet. There is no need for you to switch to batteries again.

Human86 said...

Thank you.. That leaves my head free from worries.... So, at home, I can work on AC power and on move with battery :-)

Unknown said...

Ordered MacBook Pro on line & thought extra power cord maybe accidentally shipped with it.

Even if I'd known it was for Mac Pro, would have still had trouble connecting, without your illustration.

Thanks!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Glad to hear my pictures helped you. This is actually quite a common problem and not very intuitive at all unless someone at a Mac Store explains it to you or a Mac Pro tells you about it.

Tessa Updates said...

This post represents everything good about the web. I Google a question ... I find an answer that is thorough and helpful. Thank you for your help!

kitty b said...

thanks for reminding me about this cable, i had forgotten. i knew what it was for but i forgot i had it. i am so sick of this huge clunky charger falling from the outlet, why they made it so huge and cumbersome, i have no idea.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Glad you found it helpful Tessa and Kitty!

Michelle Jaii said...

Thank you so much this was exactly what i was looking for !

Mrs. Wilkinson said...

Thank you so much. I've had a pc laptop for 10 years and had no idea!!
Melissa W

Swolffcv said...

Is one cord better than the other? I feel like the thicker one would have more charging power...maybe? Thank you!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are vey welcome Michelle and Melissa!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Swolffcv, the two cords have to work together. You cannot use the thicker cord without the thinner one.

Don Mottolo said...

+1 @Tessa "This post represents everything good about the web."

Thanks for the posting - wanted to let you know it's still helping others years later. I'm another one with decades of PC /IT consulting experience that was confused by finding 2 cords in the box. Then once I found how the fit together still was at a loss for why they gave you this option. So, it's an interesting example of how a company that is known for creating products with an intuitive design certainly failed with this one component.

Last night my Macbook Air would not turn on. It had been working perfectly, but when I opened the lid - nothing. Tried the power button - nothing. This morning I was troubleshooting the problem, and it still wasn't working. Tried it with and without the power cord.

Finally, I noticed the small plug piece of the power adapter had slid out just a small bit from the bigger piece (yet the connector at the laptop end showed the green light, so power was getting through). After sliding the pieces a hair closer, it now works again.

I'm not really satisfied with this solution (why wouldn't it work unplugged?), but figured this info may help someone else.

Beverly said...

So glad to find this simple explanation to a
seemingly STUPID question. Husband thought we probably should use the bigger cord, ?? safety reasons. Bigger is alway better-----right? But being anal about unsightly, messy cords, I hated the big ugly cord. So I made an executive decision and changed to smaller, neater cord........now, I feel better.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Glad to be of help Don and Beverly.

Nisha Kaura said...

I purchased macbook air yesterday n had this doubt, thanks for your advice.
Further, I want to know is it normal if the charger gets hot while charging ,
Thanks :)

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Nisha. Yes, the charger does get a bit hot while working and that is normal.

Scott Woodard said...

So, I figured out how to connect the extension to the power cord; however, I can't figure out how to disconnect them. The extension doesn't "slide out" from the power adapter very easily and I'm concerned about forcing the issue. What am I missing?

Thanks,
Scott

DigiOz Multimedia said...

@Dipesh - Yes, Macbook Air does come with the same cord.
@Scott - As long as you slide the extension block along the line shown in the picture you should be fine. You do have to apply some force though, which is normal for this.

Liz said...

Thanks so much for this post, I was dumbfounded with that heavy duty cord!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Liz. Glad I was able to help.

travlnwoman said...

There IS a reason for two cords other than it being an extension cord. If you are not near a plug that has a ground in it (that is what the fat cord is for) i.e. tree pronged outlet, you can use the shorter 2 pronged power cord.

Duy Nguyen said...

Answered my question!

Joan Young said...

Just got my own macbook pro, after the previous one I had, which was a lemon - the screen kept separating from the unit! Anyway, now I need to find an extension cord that I can use in a courtroom setting -- one that is much longer than the one that comes with the mac. Any suggestions? Thank you all, very helpful blog.

--Joan Young

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Hi Joan,

Maybe this will work?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FVFMJO4?psc=1



Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome!

PanamaMark said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm not exactly a dummy around computers but this simple thing had me puzzled too. My biggest concern was that the Mag2 was not grounded and may not be as safe. Just an 'extension cord' dah! Thanks so much.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Glad I could help Mark.

hb091666 said...

Thanks so much! As much as I like Apple's sleek, minimalist packaging, I find the lack of even basic documentation to be insulting.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are certainly not alone in feeling that way. Apple basically assumes that you either know how it work, or can figure out how it works on your own or will visit their website and download the manual in PDFs format there. If all else fails they assume you will call their tech support.

Obviously they assume a bit too much!

MomRN154 said...

As everyone else has said, Thank You!! I too am new to mac, have had a PC forever and finally decided to take the leap to Mac. That was the most puzzling part of the transition. Thanks again great post!!!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

@MomRN154 - You are very welcome. Glad I was able to help. :)

Tammy said...

Thank you! So much to learn as a first time Mac user!

Tammy said...

Thank you! So much to learn as a first time Mac owner!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Tammy!

Anonymous said...

Very kind of you to go out of your way to explain the two cords. I also appreciated the info of forward delete, page up and down, etc.

Apple should at least add these keys.

Thank you for your help.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Glad to hear you found this article useful.

Milet Miranda said...

Thanks for this! I am a new macbook pro user and I had no idea what that extension cord is for. :)

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Milet, glad I could help.

Mary said...

Thanks for the post! I too was clueless as to what the cord was for.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Mary.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the article, i was wondering what it was for!

Maria said...

Thanks, it never would have occurred to me to try taking apart a power cord to put an extension on it. Seems counter intuitive to basically tell someone to 'break' an item to make it more useful.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are welcome Maria, and yes you do have a good point!

PatiB said...

Thanks for the hint on the power cord. Mind telling me what the little flip up wings are for, then?

Pati Beardsley said...

Thanks for the hint on the power cord, which of Course I was baffled on. Now, do you mind telling what the flip up wings are for? I presume, for hanging? How would one use it in such an application?

DigiOz Multimedia said...

As said in an official post by Apple "The 'wings' allow the cable to be stored with the adapter using a very small footprint." You basically can use it to coil the cable around it for easier travel.

Anonymous said...

Thank You! Thank You! I just picked up a MacBook Pro and felt like such a dummy when I couldn't figure out what to do with those two cords. I was embarrassed to call one of my friends who uses Apple products, so I started searching on Google to find help and it took a while but finally got to this one which is exactly the explanation with pictures that I was looking for. Bless you for saving me from techno humiliation!!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome my friend, glad you found it helpful.

trailway said...

Thanks. I had no clue what the purpose of the cord was.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome!

falt007 said...

Thanks for this post. Can I use the smaller cord to charge MacBook Pro? Helpful when traveling.
Tx again.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Yes, you can use the smaller cord to charge it just fine. The big cord just extends it.

Christopher Nester said...

YES! Answered my question, as most people put on here I got a new macbook Air on Saturday and was so confused about it!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Enjoy your new MacBook Air Chris. :)

Anonymous said...

Another thank you from a new MacBook Pro user who couldn't figure out what the second cord was for. Apple really could be a little more helpful.

Anonymous said...

Bing! Thank you!

I don't know why Apple assumes all this stuff is genetically programmed into us at birth or something. I guess actual instructions would clash with the design aesthetic or something.

Anonymous said...

Big big thank you.I got my macbook yesterday and as with most other people was puzzled by the two power chords.thanks a lot for your post.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are all quite welcom Anonymous 1, 2 and 3!

Anonymous said...

Another thank you for the great post! We just purchased a MacBook pro yesterday and could not figure out what the heck the supplied extra cord does. It is not clear and you would think some kind of card or documentation would be included in the box to explain it.

Anonymous said...

Great explaination. Thank You!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are both very welcome!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Since there were no instructions with my MacBook, I had no idea what this was for...

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are quite welcome.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this explanation

Ahtsham Gondal said...

Thanks. I bought my Mac Book Air (13) a week ago and didn't understand what it was for and whether or not it offered faster charging or something and i just turned back to apple like the prodigal sone after 1 years distance. So thank you very much for this blog.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are both very welcome!

Anonymous said...

Thanks.... new to Macs and received this remotely. quick and easy answer ... thanks

Anonymous said...

thank you for your help.. i have one doubt. what does less footprint for chord means?

and regarding one answer of yours, i read somewhere that it is not advisable to continue using plugged when battery is fully charged. so i charge it 100% and then unplug charger. are you sure macbook uses power directly from outlet but not from battery once battery is charged fully.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Your MacBook automatically will stop charging when it is full. This is a safety feature that has to be in place, otherwise the batteries would get damaged as soon as they are fully charged.

When your MacBook is plugged into the wall it always uses direct power from the outlet regardless of if the batteries are empty or not. If your batteries are empty, they will charge while your machine continues using electricity from the outlet. It's only when you disconnect the machine from the outlet that the batteries kick in and start supplying power to the machine.

Anonymous said...

Wow....I have been wondering what the heck to do with that power cord and now I know!
Thank you!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome.

Anonymous said...

thank you for your help.. i have one doubt. what does less footprint for chord means?

DigiOz Multimedia said...

It means the end of the chord that gets plugged in takes less space (because it's smaller) with the thicker chord.

Shint said...

By any chance, do you know if I can use it for the new MacBook 12?

Thanks in advance

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Yes Shint, the new MacBook uses the same 29W USB-C Power Adapter, so the same concept applies to that. The only thing that is different with it is that the tip of the USB-C Charge Cable is now different then the old MacBook, but the charger chord and Power Adapter are still the same.

Beanster said...

I cannot believe how helpful/useful this thread has been! Just received my first Apple laptop (MacBook Pro) after 20 years of Windows desktop, and I get this power cord which fits exactly into WHAT? From the little two prongs (for what???), to the second LARGE power cord (NO explanation), to the knowledge that, once powered to 100%, the laptop will continue to use AC and not drain the fully-charged battery --- I am stoked! BASIC valuable information. Someone earlier used the phrase "tech shaming" or some such, so I, too, am grateful I won't be belittled for asking legitimate questions. You guys are very validating for common/normal users. Love you for your kind, patient, and thorough explanations. I heart you!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Beanster! Glad we could help you. Enjoy your new Mac.

Shint said...

Thank you DigiOz!!!

Kanchana said...

Just got y MacBook Air today and wondered what the other cord was for. A quick search and your post showed up first and answered my question perfectly. Thanks.

Mugsy said...

I had no clue.. You're the shit!!! Thanks

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Glad to hear that Kanchana.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Glad I could help Mugsy. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Very helpful. I think I am going to love this extra cord

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Apple would be very happy to hear that. :)

Linelle said...

Awesome! I bought a new MacBook Pro yesterday and I'd been scratching my head over what the big cord was for. This is my 3rd MacBook and I don't remember getting a big cord like this before. Thanks for explaining it, makes perfect sense.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Good to hear you found the post useful Linelle.

babykidrn said...

Thank you so much for the blog. I use an iPhone but have never been able to own a Mac, I was lost and confused. Is the wing flip up things to wrap the little cord?

New Macbook user said...

Thanks so much! I was very confused to why no port on my Macbook matched the extra plug. You're a life saver

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Yes, that's exactly what it is for.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome.

Anonymous said...

Thank you DigiOz!!! I just bought Macbook Air and was wondering about that. Your photos helped a lot, too.

Choppers68 said...

Ok double thanks: explained the two cord- and the flip-up wings (which I didn't even know were there until reading these posts) thanks so much!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are welcome Shint.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Yep, you are definitely not alone there!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Hahah ... very cool! Glad I could help. :)

Irene Anderson Coaching said...

Thanks I was confused about the cord! LOL

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Irene!

Unknown said...

Thanks this was very helpful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! Indeed it is not that obvious!

Anonymous said...

thank you! very helpful

Rick Wilson said...

THANK YOU! I was wondering how this was used, being a new MacBook Pro user... Apple should have explained it much better in their docs.

Appreciate this info...

Stacey said...

THANK YOU!!! :D

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Stacy and Rick!

High Road Blogger said...

Peter--Honestly neither my husband nor I could figure out how to attach one cord to the other. Your pix and clear, concise comments saved the day. Thank you.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

My pleasure. Glad I could help!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the clear explanation and pictures. I'm new to Apple, and I was surprised that the mini-manual didn't give instruction on how to set up the power cord etc. You ended moments of frustration!

Lynne Borden said...

I was wondering how it plugged in also.. Thank you so much for the pics also.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Lynne. Glad I was able to help.

Aya Medina said...

This is awesome! I always wanted to use it because my electrical outlet was vertically placed on my wall and the charger falls off when plugged. And it made the cord longer! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the very clear explanation. I really appreciate it.

Richmond BC said...

Thank you for explaining it - I had no idea not know what the big cord was for when I first opened the box.

Anonymous said...

Thank you SOOOO very much for your pictures and explanation. I was about ready to call Apple to ask what this extra cord is for that came in the box with my new macbook air. There are no directions in the box.. I know, directions don't come in boxes anymore. Anyway, thank you for caring enough to help those of us who need explanations explained simply. Have a Blessed, Happy and Healthy New Year 2016!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are all very welcome!

Sally said...

Hope you enjoy the fact that now we're into 2016 and folks, like me, are still totally puzzled about the second cord and still finding your illustrated tips invaluable. Thank ou!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Sally! When I wrote this blog entry some 4 years ago I didn't even dream of getting the amount of attention it has. It is pretty sad that Apple still doesn't explain this to their customers.

BR613 said...

Your blog has been helping people for over three years! Kudos to you for explaining the mystery of the two cords and extra thanks for tips like using Fn.

Since Apple claims their products are intuitive, we're bound to feel like idiots if we can't figure something out, especially a cord that shouldn't require technical expertise. Maybe if all of us had phoned Apple, they might have gotten the message.

I don't recall two cords coming with my 2012 MacBook Air. I recently had to replace the thin cord because it had frayed. Because of the way Apple packaged the replacement, only the thicker cord was visible initially. I just assumed that Apple had replaced the delicate, thin one with something robust. Live and learn.

Anonymous said...

It never occurred to me that white box came apart. I was doing everything else, connecting to my wifi, syncing with my PC, and migrating my music. I did not know what the cord was for and thought I was missing a power supply. Text explanations don't do it. Thank you for the pictures.

Robert Lubran said...

Glad to know I'm not the only idiot out there who could not intuit out to use the second cord. Appreciate the explanation.

Tami B said...

Thanks! This was really helpful!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this. I am new to Mac and am trying to get used to all of the features and functions. When I saw the cord in the box and it didn't fit into anything it sure made me feel well...
not so smart. Thank your for this answer!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are all very welcome. Trust me, it's not common sense at all!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info!!! I got a MacBook recently and was flummoxed as to the purpose of this seemingly extraneous power cord, lol. Now I know...

KQ said...

I just bought my very first Mac at the age of 36...this question was my 'virgin Mac Google search! :) A rather large ominous cord - my first thought was "If this was a PC, whats the obvious reason to include a second cord with such an end bit?!" LOL Thank you so much for answering that with pictures. Some things, like why two cords? and 'where the heck is my side bar for scrolling? (LOL!) need to be answered tonight!

Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Is there anywhere to store the part you pull off the power block?

Non Believer said...

I love you for making this blog. Lol

Sincerely,
New MacBook Owner

Mary Lynne Spurgeon said...

This is without a doubt the best explanation for a question asked on safari that I have ever asked. While I have had an IPhone and an IPad for years this is my first MacBook Air. I asked several Apple users what the cord was for and they did not know.
Thank you, thank you for such a great explanation. Apple you are the best.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Mary (and the few people before her post). :)

Roger Bracchi said...

So, why does the power adapter have just two prongs, and the "extension cord" three? I know that the third prong on the extension cord is a ground wire. Is it important to ground laptops with a three prong plug?

DigiOz Multimedia said...

It is always recommended to keep electronic devices such as laptops grounded, so if you can actually put up with the longer cord your laptop will be safer when using. Of course the longer cord does take up a lot more room, and since using your laptop without the extension is safe enough for most use conditions you should be fine plugging your device in without it.

I hope this makes sense.

Christine said...

Thanks for the cord info. I too have been a long time pc user and was given a MacBookAir as a gift from my husband. I needed some assistance with switching from a pc to a Mac so I have just ordered a book called Switching to the MAC, the missing manual (el Capitan edition). I glanced at an older edition and it seems that this book will help me greatly. It had lots of shortcuts listed that I wouldn't have even known existed. Seriously, just a basic manual from Apple with suggestions to research the shortcuts on my own would have given me a heads up. I own an iPad mini and iPhone and have liked them both very much. A computer is such a different thing, I hope I get used to this MAC or it will have been a great deal of $ wasted! Not impressed with Apple's handling of this MAC.

Amanda W said...

This post was extremely helpful! Thank you for the pictures as well. I'm surprised the small booklet did not come with instructions about that cord.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

You are very welcome Amanda and Christine!

Yahya said...

Thanks so much lol I had no idea

Jennifer Swanson said...

As everyone else has said already, thank you! I got my MacBook Air today and asked my husband, who has had his for over a year now, what the extra cord was for? He shrugged and said, "no idea. I shoved it in a drawer, don't know what it's for." Heh heh, I'm going to feel very clever when I demonstrate what to do with it! Thanks, a most helpful post.

Penny McPeak said...

I was told that it would be better to plug and unplug from the big cord instead of the adapter to keep the adapter free from damage from repeated pulling using the adapter as a plug instead of the big plug.

Unknown said...

Wow. Thanks - you just changed my life!! ;)

Anonymous said...

THAAAANK YOOOUUU!! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! I really hate that Apple just assumes that you know everything about everything Apple. I have never owned anything Apple before and my Mac Book Air is baffling to the point where I power it down and go back to the PC that I so desperately wanted to replace.

Kim Muhammad said...

Thank you so much! My MacBook was delivered today and I couldn't figure out what this cord was for. You are the "Man"..

Anonymous said...

Great post thanksabunches! I'm a longtime iMac user with her first MacBook Pro and I too sat stupidly for a while trying to figure out this cord.

Kevin Knox said...

I have one of the new super light MacBooks now. I do still have one of these thicker extension cords from my Pro from 2010. Would this cord work with my new MacBook?

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Yes, it should. To my knowledge they haven't changed that cord in years.

Ella said...

Thank you so much for that. I was trying to figure it out but was afraid to move anything in case I 'broke' it! I had to pack it all up again until I could get to the Apple shop. It wouldn't kill them to include a diagram!

Ella said...

Thank you so much. I was trying to figure it out but was scared to move anything in case I broke something. I had to repackage it until I could get to the Apple shop! I think they should include a diagram of this.

Kevin Knox said...

Thanks so much, DigiOz. I'll hold onto the cord for now. You've been most helpful.

Moderne-aire said...

Although I like the thinner cord opposed to the industrial strength (both the same length with my 2015 13" Mac Pro purchase on 03/15/16) I do think using a grounded 3 prong plug offers more protection for the computer and try to reserve the thinner cord for portable use.
(Appreciate this blog)

Anonymous said...

thank you so much. I have always used apple mobile devices but just recently started using mac. It has been quite an adjustment as they are so very different from the mobile devices. I would take this cord out every couple weeks and finally decided to just post a question and......how easy that was. I have nothing unkind to say about Apple, but thank YOU so very much for your help.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I've used the mobile devices - no problem! Just bought a used MacBook Pro, and was totally clueless - this was a great help :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Very helpful!!

Beverly Douhan said...

Thank you! Can't believe Apple didn't give some info re the powers in the box. I am brand new to a Mac computer. Wonder what else I will want to know that they don't offer to tell me. 😉
Beverly D

Alexis Culbertson said...

You're heaven sent. Thanks for posting this as everyone else has said!

Rebecca Dikeman said...

THIS WAS A GODSEND!!!! I'M ONE OF THOSE MAC NEWBIES - AND I'M TECHNOLOGICALLY CHALLENGED, AS WELL - SO I WAS COMPLETELY LOST!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I figured either my box was packed erroneously or I'm braindead because there are no instructions like yours in the box. Thank you so much. Best result from my google search on this topic!

Anonymous said...

This puzzled me too and I cannot believe it. The article is from 2012, and Apple still didn't bother to add half a page of explanation about the cable and I am sure almost everyone who hasn't had a Mac before had to google what it was or ask at the Apple store.

Soncoast Youth said...

Yep, I was clueless too! Thanks for the help!

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you. Just got a MacBook Pro on my job. The tech who set it up also didn't know what this 2nd power cord was.
Couldn't Apple have put a simple little diagram on a piece of paper to explain??

Unknown said...

Totally answered my question, thanks. I had figured out how to use both power cords before reading this but was still wondering why? I guess the extension does come in handy, though I haven't found myself needing to use it yet. Also, why do MacBooks need such a day power adapter? Why is a giant white box so necessary when it isn't for other, less advanced computers?

Also, I was wondering what the two little tabs that fold out on the MagSafe adapter are, but then I found an image at this link, www.support.apple.com/en-us/HT202451, that answered the question. They are meant to save space by holding your extra cord so it's not just piled up by the outlet. Sort of like a vacuum. Pretty cool.

~First time MacBook Air user

Anonymous said...

This helped me too! I had absolutely no idea what to do with the other cord. I appreciate you taking the time to post this information for those of us (like myself) who were baffled by this.

Anonymous said...

Coming up on the forth anniversary of this blog and I found myself wondering the same. I spent a minute looking on the sides of the computer and the playing with the clunky plug. I did find the tabs but then placed the extension cord into the box. It was driving me crazy laying here in bed so I couldn't help but Google the answer. Apple....put a sticker on the charger!!!!
Thanks for this post!

Carlos Navarro said...

Thanks for the help!! I somehow lost the plugs to the smaller power cord and thought I had no way to power my Macbook Air but your image showed me the larger power cord that I had forgotten about and never used!

Carlos

Unknown said...

Oh my God what a wonderful help...

Jill said...

Thank you so much for this post! I recently bought my MacBook Air and just had to charge it for the first time. I asked my 11 year old and he didn't know what it was for so I thought I was in big trouble if he didn't know. LOL! When I googled it this was the first post that came up and the pics were super helpful along with the info! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post! Seriously, it's wasn't a common sense thing for me. Why? Because I've never seen a power cord like that. Duh... You made it eazy peazy!
Thanks!

Camilla Greppi said...

I can't pull the extension cord out from the power block/charger.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Use the Force Luke, I mean force it out Camilla! It does take a bit of pulling to pull it out completely.

Pam Scarberry said...

Thank you for this blog. I bought my MacBook Air Saturday and couldn't figure out what this heavy duty cord was for... Now I know!! :) Thank you very much!!

Ms. Carroll said...

Thanks for your help! I appreciate the visual and the thorough but simple explanation. Even the little "Macbook air Info" booklet that came with the purchase didn't include this information!

Robin Westbrook said...

THANK YOU!! I will admit to being a MacBook novice. My sister got the new Air Pro for me for my birthday because I had always wanted one. . I am 71. I have never used anything but Windows. I asked but no one seemed to know. I don't mind sounding foolish. I had an idea it was there to augment the charging cord but wasn't sure how. I ladore my MacBook. Now I love it more because I can carry it around the room while it's charging. I can charge it and work while in bed when before my cord wouldn't reach the outlet. Simple, easy and why didn't those instructions come with the dang thing?

Anonymous said...

My goodness, I've had my mac book pro for a whole year while using the "normal charger" and my "weird" cord was collecting dust on my table. I finally decided to google what the unknown cord was for after had to borrow a charger when my battery was dying. The borrowed charger didn't quite look exactly like mine, but I did notice the 3 prongs that was very different than the regular charger. I figured somehow the weird charger was related somehow, yet I still didn't know how. When I got home I googled my question about what it was for and the site was the first that I came to. I was amazed when I followed the instructions and I had a much longer charger, where i didn't have to keep sitting up near the edge of my bed while working to keep my computer on the charger when the battery was low. I also noticed that I didn't have to worry about the charger constantly coming out the outlet when I accidentally lightly tugged on the wire with my foot.

Mike Sands said...

Thank you so much for this. First time to apple and I'm an engineer and still it didn't make sense to me why I needed the other power chord.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this! I didn't know how to use this for school, and I'm so glad i came across this.

Suriana Mat Ariff said...

Thank you so much!!! this post make my day... as i not a MAC user before so I never have any idea why there's two power cord. They certainly need to slip a small manual how to use this cord in their packaging. Thanks again.

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