The Incredible Disappearing Power Adapter


The Original 85W MacBook Pro MagSafe Power AdapterI have read that Apple is shrinking its 85W Power Adapter for the MacBook Pro to a more manageable size.  I remember first getting my MacBook Pro, an upgrade from a TiBook, and noting the size of the power brick.  I thought it was laughable that Apple expected users to plug in this brick in a standard outlet.

While preparing for a trip, I forgot my MacBook Pro adapter.  Luckily, I would be in New York City for some business.  I figured I could easily pick up a new 85W Power  Adapter at an Apple Store, but boy was I wrong.  I had not been in an Apple Store in four years (I live in Vermont, not exactly a hotbed of Apple Stores).  I got to see the one on Price Street, Apple Store SoHo.  The place was extremely clean and the place was buzzing, but there was not an MacBook Pro power adapter in stock.  I asked an Apple Store employee to see if the 5th Avenue store had any — but no luck.  There went my excuse to go to the big glass cube.

I even checked the Albany Apple Store to no avail.  Looks like Apple has been very busy clearing out the old MacBook Pro power adapter in anticipation of the new and more conveniently-sized adapter.  Also, there are no third party power adapters since the MagSafe connector is patented by Apple and they have yet to license the patent to others.

I was told by an Apple Store employee that the MagSafe adapter for the MacBook (the 60W version) would work in a pinch for a MacBook Pro.  He told me that the 60W MagSafe adapter would charge a MacBook Pro “incredibly slowly” but it would indeed work.  He had not heard that Apple had redesigned the MacBook Pro Power Adapter.  He also told me that I would be able to exchange the product for store credit.   I told him that I would hold him personally responsible if I was not allowed to return the product.  The Apple Store employee quickly responded by handing me his card and reassuring me that an exchange should not be a problem.

I picked up the 60W adapter without having to wait through a line since the Apple Store employee had a wireless point of sale device.  I had read about that feature of the store, but it was the first time I had experienced it.  Makes me wish that other stores had this feature.

The new 85W MagSafe Power Adapter is not shipping for 3-4 weeks according to the Apple Store.  So, if you are in a bind and need an 85W MacBook Pro Power Adapter immediately, you can use a 60W adapter or try to track down the adapter through an Apple reseller.


SC Norman

Please don’t send anyone to Tekserve anymore – they were good but now the tables have turned They are a surley group of “I’m so hip I don’t have to be nice” bunch. They out attitude anything the apple employees ever did. At least the apple people realized their employees were annoying and have retraines – I am afraid there is no hope for Tekserve and if you say anything security moves you out ala velvet rope club.

Billy Halsey

Heads up: I received my adapter two days ago (but I haven’t yet picked it up from the apartment office, so I can’t comment on its size, etc.). The 30-day estimate for shipping was way out there; I ordered it about a week after this story was published.

steve mcfarland

Former Apple employee here with a heads up: the first reaction when you return the 60w PA at your local store will be to charge you a 10% restocking fee but, yes, then give you your money back (all that if it’s within a month of your initial purchase). If you calmly explain to a Specialist the situation, they can get a manager to override the restocking fee for you.

And yeah – for over a year now Apple has been unable to put out enough 85w Power Adapters. I worked a mile from Steve’s house and we still always had to tell customers to order online. No idea what that’s about.


or you can go to an independent apple retailer and pick up the 85W charger like i had to last friday.



Next time you are in New York, visit TekServe on 23rd Street & 6th Ave. While I love Apple, their stores, and their employees, TekServe was the “original” place to get Apple products for NYC long before Apple thought of a store. They carry all types of Apple gear and you can even rent laptops from them if you need to so they will surely have what you are looking for.

My wife and I love supporting small businesses in NYC so we always go there for Mac products & accessories. I got my very first Mac there and she got her iMac there; we plan on getting her a laptop soon and will go right to TekServe to get it just because we like the independent guy.

Hope you visit NYC again soon.

Ronald Heft

My week 30 (made this week) MacBook Pro which I picked up on Thursday came with the new adapter. It’s nice having the smaller size, so I wish you luck on an easy exchange.

Bud Dickman

“I told him that I would hold him personally responsible if I was not allowed to return the product.”

You sound like a fun guy to be with. :)

Billy Halsey

What has been your experience with the 60W adapter? Do you find that it works well for powering the system as well as charging the battery? I keep forgetting my iBrick at home when I go out, and I definitely need a new adapter. This gives me hope, but I want to make sure that I can actually run on the 60W adapter.

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