Older MacBooks with charging issue get an official fix from Apple

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)
(Image credit: Future)
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If you have a 2016 or 2017 model Apple MacBook, there's a chance that you've encountered a bug that stopped your device from charging properly – thankfully, there's an official fix for that.

As spotted by AppleInsider (opens in new tab), Apple has today released macOS 11.2.1 with an incremental patch to the larger operating system update it rolled out last week. It only features two changes, but one of them fixes the aforementioned charging bug.

Affected devices would still function with power plugged into them, but in a number of cases, the MacBook's battery wouldn't charge. Apple promises that macOS 11.2.1 remedies this issue.

The other change patches a flaw that potentially allowed hackers access to a user's MacBook via a Sudo vulnerability. Similar incremental updates that patch this flaw have also been released for macOS Catalina and Mojave.

As always, you can manually download the update by navigating to System Preferences > Software Update, or you'll find it installed automatically if you have automatic updates enabled.

Some Apple MacBook Pro models eligible for battery replacements

In addition to the software patch, Apple is saying (opens in new tab) that some MacBook Pro models are eligible for a complete battery replacement. The eligible models include:

  • MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)

To find out which model you have, navigate in the Apple menu down to "About This Mac." There, you should be able to identify if your MacBook Pro model qualifies for a battery swap.

If you are having issues with your 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pro battery, you can contact Apple Support (opens in new tab) and arrange to have it replaced. The servicing is free if your model is eligible, though an Apple technician will have to verify eligibility before giving you a new battery. 

John Loeffler
Computing Editor

John (He/Him) is the US Computing Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Twitter at @thisdotjohn

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