Apple sometimes does some weird stuff, and I don’t understand how the biggest company could get the smallest of stuff wrong. I am talking about their cables that come attached to their MacBook chargers. It is such a small and basic thing but somehow Apple messed it up. So, How to Protect the MacBook Charger Cable? Read on to Find out!
These cables are thin and weak, they break very easily at the connecting ends. A thicker cable like the ones in most other laptops would have never caused this issue, yet Apple chose form over function here.
I can’t tell you how frustrated I have been after breaking these cables even under normal usage. And it is not cheap to replace these cables either as you have to replace the whole charger itself, unlike a USB cable.
There have been so many times I have been left scrambling for a charger when all of sudden the cable just breaks. This led me to think and I found a few hacks that can be used to save these charger cables from breaking so easily.
After having reviewed Apple’s official documents and having referred to credible sources; my team and I found that:
In addition to Apple’s official guide of protecting the MacBook Charger Cable, there are three other hacks. Match stick method that makes use of two matchsticks and electric tape to give the broken portion stability, A spring method that makes use of spring to protect the cable. And finally, the embroidery thread method that makes use of a thread braid to protect the fragile cable.
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How to Protect the MacBook Charger Cable?
Match Stick method
This method reinforces the cable coming out of the MacBook charger. You can use this for pretty much any fragile cable though, as it would work well and add support to the wire.
You will need a knife, some electrical tape, and wooden matchsticks or toothpicks. We are going to improve the support of the wire where it exits the power brick, this will reduce, wear and tear. Follow these steps to increase the life of your MacBook’s charger cable using this method:
Break the wooden matchsticks or toothpicks so that they measure approximately 1-inch in length. You will need two of these 1-inch sticks, one for either side of the cable.
Now, place these sticks on either side of the cable coming out of your charger. They should be flush with the cable and the charger.
Using the electrical tape, secure these sticks in place. Use small, multiple pieces of electrical tape so that it looks clean and neat when done. You will need to tape the sticks tightly so that the sticks don’t move around. And don’t forget to wrap the tape around the sticks all the way past them.
To make everything more secure and to protect your cable better, you should create a small loose loop on the thin section of the cable and tape this to the thicker section of the cable. Alternatively, you can use cable ties, but they might cause wear and tear, and tapes also look better in my opinion.
Use velcro or reusable cable ties and secure the rest of the cable in loops so that you don’t have them dangling or getting into a mess. This will also keep them safe during travel.
This method can be used for any cable, even smartphone chargers, and earphones making it a very good solution for cable fraying. It will be a little bulky for very thin wires and might look odd. But function over form is much better than form over function, at least for cables.
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This is similar to the matchstick method, but you will be using a spring instead of stick and tape. Since the point that is most susceptible to wear and tear is thin and weak, we will reinforce that using a spring.
For this method, you will need a ballpoint pen that uses a spring mechanism. You will also need a plier to assist you. And obviously your MacBook charger.
Follow these steps to secure and improve the durability of your MacBook charger.
Remove the spring inside the ballpoint pen. You will need to stretch it from one end to the other to make it fit around the cable. You will need a plier for this, as it will make it much easier and you won’t hurt yourself.
Fit the spring now onto the cable, use the extended end as it will be easier.
Now, wind the spring around the cable. It will be a little hard but once you are done, you will have an almost indestructible cable end during regular usage.
Use the plier and make sure that the spring is flush and fastened neatly. And voila, your cable is a lot more durable and strong at the ends now.
This method can be used for pretty much any cable, even your smartphones, and earphones making it a very good solution for cable fraying.
Apple instead of coming up with better more durable cable for its premium product, they have a guide on their support site. While it’s frustrating to receive fragile cables, we are stuck with it unless Apple realizes there is a better way to make cables like how most of the competition does. Anyways the guide is useful and can improve the life of the charger cables of your MacBook chargers.
This is more of a guide on how to maintain your MacBook charger cables so that they don’t get damaged.
Apple tells you to handle the cables of your MacBook charger the right way. For this, you need to unwrap the cable only when you’re supporting the weight of the adapter so that the cable doesn’t have to deal with unnecessary strain due to the weight of the adapter.
Apple also tells you to make sure that the wires don’t form any tight angles that could break them. Instead, make sure that the cables are in gentle curves instead of tight angles.
Apple tells you to use the longer three-prong, grounded connector if the cable of your MacBook charger is short. This will reduce the strain on your cables as you wouldn’t have to stretch or yank at them by mistake.
Apple says it’s best to route the adapter cable efficiently. You have to route the cable behind the MacBook instead of under it. Also, make sure to have a lot of slack on the connecting ends of the cables so that they don’t face any extra strain. Always maintain gentle curves. Apple also tells you to keep the area around the cable clear as items could damage the cable.
And finally, Apple advises you to disconnect the charger gently. You should also store that charger and cables safely and neatly. Use the wings on the adapter to roll up your cable and store them safely. You will need to make sure that you wrap them evenly and not too tight. This will reduce the footprint taken by the cables and it is designed to keep the cables safer, increasing longevity.
This is a simple hack that you can use to reinforce your MacBook charger cable. You will need 4 times the cable length of embroidery thread. Tie the thread at one end of the cable and start braiding it around the wire.
Make sure to leave no gaps so that it looks perfect. You can use different colors of threads to create patterns. This will improve the durability of your MacBook charger cable by quite a lot.
Wrapping the cable with Sugru
Sugru is this amazing putty-like substance. It is the worlds first moldable glue. What’s amazing about it is that you can mould it into any shape before it sets. Which is about 24 hours. Most importantly, it happens to be an insulator. After it sets, it becomes an extremely strong rubber-like material. Moreover, it can’t be priced easily, making it one of the best solutions to our cable issues.
All you need to do is wrap Sugru over the broken or weaker portions of the cable to prevent damage. The only issue is that Sugru can get pricey if your planning on wrapping the entire cable as a single-use pack is about $9.
However, its reliability makes it worth it. Now, we recommend you cover the ends of the wires as they’re the weakest portion and is susceptible to tears. However, you should definitely wrap the entire cable if it’s old or if you have a pet in the house.
The best way to wrap the cable with Sugru is to follow these steps:
- Open a single pack of Sugru and roll it around in a sausage shape and flatten it. slightly
- Now, place it around the cable and press it.
- Do this multiple times so as to shape it around the cable evenly.
- Once, it’s covered completely, smoothen the surface so as to maintain uniformity.
- Just let it sit overnight and your set.
Cable Savers and Cable Protectors
The wear and tear of cables is such a common problem there happens to be a wide range of products that can help prevent it. One of these happens to be the Cable Saver. Now, this common product is widely popular as it goes on the end of the cable to prevent it from snapping.
However, its advantage also happens to be its limitation. It’s precisely because it only protects the ends and not the rest of the cable that it can’t be a long term solution. Moreover, it also happens to be quite expensive as one is around $5. Which is one third the price of an actual lighting cable from Apple.
So, it’s not a great investment. That being said, it still does its job and can protect the ends for a long time.
Apple skimped out on making a charger with good cables for its MacBooks. This means that their customers either have to take extra caution and care of their charger cable or replace them once they are broken.
While Apple does have a guide on how to take care of the charger cables, those aren’t fixes. To fix or prevent cable fraying of your MacBook charger cables, you can use either the matchstick method, spring method or embroidery thread/floss method.
The above methods will reinforce the cables and will prevent them from breaking easily. So what are you waiting for, use the most convenient method and save your Macbook chargers. As always, better to be safe than sorry.
Why do MacBook Charger Cables Break?
While MacBooks are premium devices that are built like a tank, the same can not be said about their chargers. The adapters are built well, but the problem is here is the cables. Apple chose to go with thin cables that are prone to cable fraying. It is almost as if Apple designed these cables to break even under normal usage, they are so thin and weak.
These cables are similar to smartphone charging cables. While they are good enough for smartphones, MacBooks are much heavier products. Even the charging adapter is much heavier than an iPhone charger. This means that these cables tend to experience a lot more weight and strain making them prone to fraying much more.
Most other laptop manufactures include much higher quality cables that are thicker and can withstand more pressure. But Apple doesn’t, which is baffling since MacBooks are premium products. But don’t worry, we are here to help you with how to protect your MacBook charger cable.
Alan Urban is the Editor-in-chief of Stupid Apple Rumours and often proclaims that he’s ” Apple’s number one fan.”
In addition to keeping up with the latest Apple news, he also reviews Apple products and creates user-friendly guides. When not subjecting Apple Devices to crazy stress tests, he’s usually playing games on Apple Arcade