How MagSafe works

You recently bought an iPhone compatible with the MagSafe standard and now you want to know how to use it to charge your “iPhone by”? Do you have a Mac compatible with MagSafe technology and would you like to know why prefer the latter to charging via USB-C? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, you are in the right place!

In the following lines, in fact, I will be able to explain in detail how MagSafe works , clarifying both the functioning of this charging method and the various accessories compatible with this technology. I will focus mainly on the iPhone rather than the Mac world, since for the former there is a little more meat in the fire , as they say.

If you’re ready to get started, I’d say cut the babble and dig right into the heart of the post. Strength: concentrate on the contents of the next paragraphs and you will see that, after reading the article, you will no longer have any doubts about the functioning of MagSafe technology. Let it bet?


  • How MagSafe iPhone works
    • How MagSafe charging works
    • How MagSafe Battery Pack works
    • How MagSafe covers work
    • How MagSafe wallet works
  • How MagSafe Mac works

How MagSafe iPhone works

Let’s start by seeing how MagSafe works on the iPhone . Before actually going to see it, I want to tell you that this standard developed by Apple is implemented in the most recent iPhone models, starting with the iPhone 12 , which allows you to recharge “iPhone”s with a power of up to 15 watts , provided that you are using an appropriate 20 watt wall power supply . Having clarified this, let’s see how to use it.

How MagSafe charging works

Let’s start by seeing how MagSafe charging works . The best way to take advantage of the technology is to purchase Apple’s MagSafe power adapter, which allows you to wirelessly charge your iPhone.

On all compatible iPhones (12 and later models), the MagSafe charger automatically aligns itself with the built-in magnets on your iPhone , recharging the device without running the risk of charging not starting due to incorrect support of the device on the wireless base, with a power of up to 15 watts and more than appreciable speeds (even if not as fast as wired ones, with the same power).

In fact, all that needs to be done in this case is to bring the iPhone closer to the MagSafe charger and, as if by “magic”, this will “hook” on the smartphone, as it is attracted by the magnets present under its body.

Confirming that charging is in progress is the iconic MagSafe animation, represented by a green , yellow or red circle (depending on the current charge level of the device) within which a lightning bolt is represented (as you can see in the photo that I have shown below).

Qi chargers, therefore those that are not MagSafe certified, do not have this animation and, much more simply, show the battery being charged.

Apple’s MagSafe Power Adapter is also compatible with Qi charging , which means you can use it to wirelessly charge iPhone 8 (or later models), AirPods models with wireless charging cases, just like you can with any Qi certified base.

I want to clarify, however, that the MagSafe standard is not compatible with Apple Watches (which, for the record, are not even compatible with “simple” Qi chargers), as they require dedicated wireless chargers.

In addition to Apple’s MagSafe charger, there are also third-party ones: if you had to opt for the latter, make sure they are MagSafe certified and that they are not “classic” Qi certified chargers. Do you understand?

How MagSafe Battery Pack works

I mentioned earlier the many MagSafe accessories that have taken hold after Apple made its wireless charging standard official. One of the most popular accessories in this regard is the MagSafe Battery Pack .

What is it about? Basically it is a power bank compatible with MagSafe technology. This means that MagSafe automatically docks on compatible iPhone models (starting from iPhone 12), charging them wirelessly and thus extending their autonomy. It has a capacity of 1,460 mAh ( 7.62V ), therefore it cannot fully charge the iPhone Max models. It should be taken more as an emergency solution to give a little extra autonomy to the device rather than as a battery capable of fully recharging the iPhone one or more times.

Once docked to the iPhone, charging starts automatically and the device’s charging status is displayed on the lock screen.

Before using the MagSafe Battery Pack for the first time, make sure it is fully charged using a Lightning to USB cable with a minimum 20 watt power adapter – once fully charged, you will see a flashing green light . Also, make sure your iPhone is updated to iOS 14.7 or later.

Note that when using the MagSafe Battery Pack to charge your iPhone, you may get a notification that your iPhone will only charge up to 90% ; if you want to exceed this limit, you must open the Control Center by swiping from top to bottom starting from the upper right corner of the iPhone, press the “Energy Saver” mode icon (the half-charged battery ) and tap the Continue button .

If you want to recharge both the iPhone and the MagSafe Battery Pack, know that it is doable: just connect the Apple magnetic power bank to the power supply and then connect the latter to the iPhone. Note that using a 20 watt or higher power adapter, the MagSafe Battery Pack can charge iPhone with up to 15 watts of power.

Alternatively, you can charge both by hooking the MagSafe Battery Pack to your “iPhone” and then connecting the latter to a power source.

Naturally, the MagSafe Battery Pack is not the only magnetic power bank compatible with Apple’s MagSafe technology: there are also third-party ones, which not only allow you to charge your iPhone when you are away from home, but which also integrate additional functions (some for example can act as magnetic stands for iPhones or portable flashlights). Of course, before buying one, check that it is MagSafe certified and not simply Qi. Do you understand?

How MagSafe covers work

If you want to take advantage of MagSafe charging, you must prevent various cases and accessories from interfering with the correct functioning of the technology in any way.

In this respect it is important to use a cover compatible with Apple’s technology. Are you wondering how MagSafe case works ? In reality there is not much to understand: even on the latter, in fact, magnets are applied that allow you to apply the case to the iPhone in a simple and safe way, allowing you to recharge the device at the maximum possible speed via the MagSafe charger , the MagSafe Battery Pack , or through a certified third-party accessory.

Also in this case there are both original Apple (which once hooked to the iPhone play a nice animation that indicates the correct installation of the device inside) and third parties. In addition to verifying that they are actually compatible with MagSafe technology, you just have to give space to your good taste in choosing one.

Note: If you choose a leather MagSafe case , keep in mind that the magnets may become visible in relief over time. To be honest, from the tests I’ve done, something like this also happens on the official silicone covers marketed by Apple, albeit in a much milder way.

That said, take a look at my iPhone case buying guide , where you’ll also find some that are MagSafe-compatible.

How MagSafe wallet works

I conclude this section of the article dedicated to the iPhone by talking about how the MagSafe wallet works .

This leather accessory has been designed for iPhones compatible with MagSafe technology and, using a few magnets, is hooked directly to the back of the device or, if protected by a MagSafe case for iPhone , is hooked onto the latter.

Interestingly, in addition to being compatible with MagSafe technology, this accessory is equipped with a secure NFC chip that allows you to find it using the Where It Is Network (just like AirTags do).

The wallet is compatible with the leather or silicone cases for iPhone 12 and later and the iPhone 13 Clear Case. To be honest, it can also be used with the iPhone 12 Clear Case, but the iPhone 12 Clear Case is not supported in this case. Where is function. However, know that to use a card compatible with NFC technology, you have to take it out of your wallet.

Its operation is really simple: once the wallet has been hooked to the back of the iPhone, follow the instructions that appear on the screen, in order to configure the accessory and add it to the Where’s app, so as to be able to view its position, activate “Lost Mode” if it is stolen or lost, possibly receive alerts if it is unhooked from the iPhone, etc.

How MagSafe Mac works

I conclude the article by explaining how MagSafe works on Mac . Oh yes, the technology is also available for the computers of the Cupertino giant. And I’ll tell you more: it is precisely on the latter that he made his debut on the now distant 10 January 2006 at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco.

What’s special about the MagSafe connector for Mac? Being magnetically hooked to the power port of the computer (just bring the connector close to the port and let it be automatically hooked to the latter), in case of accidental tripping over the cable, this is removed without carrying the Mac, going thus to protect it from probable falls. Here’s a good reason to prefer this way of charging over the USB-C one available on newer Mac models.

Being arranged symmetrically, the pins of the MagSafe connector also allow you to insert it with extreme ease, as you don’t have to find the “right direction” to hook it up. Thanks to the status LED on the connector, then, you have the possibility to know the charging status: when the LED is orange, the battery is charging; when the LED turns green when the charge level has reached the maximum.

In 2016, Apple eliminated MagSafe charging on computers released after that year, reintroducing it in 2021 with the new generation MacBook Pros (while also continuing to offer USB-C charging).


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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