Hack Your Mac Laptop Power Cord

Hack Your Mac Laptop Power Cord

Gizmodo editor Brian Lam takes his MacBook with him everywhere, but he’s not a big fan of the bulky power cord that accompanies his laptop. Instead, he opts for a slimmer, ungrounded PlayStation power cord.

Where the Mac power cord is too thick to easily coil or toss in a bag — and has a ground prong so it’s limited to those types of AC outlets — the PlayStation cord is ostensibly perfect. It fits into the Mac power brick, coils up nice and small and has two prongs. Plus, you can leave your giant Mac cord at your desk back home and don’t have to deal with dust bunnies every time you get ready to go out the door.

You’re not limited to a PlayStation power cord, as any similar cord would fit the bill. Be warned: We’re not electricians, but we generally don’t recommend circumventing the safety of a ground if you can help it. Use this tip at your own risk.


  • I was in America for the first time last year, and your power outlets are downright weird 🙂 No switches or grounds?

    On the other hand, I met an American visiting Australia this year and he thought the same thing about ours “whats with all the on/off switches on the wall?”

  • I’ve been in the US my whole life. Our outlets have three prongs. Devices like a cell phone charger that do not need a ground, have two pronged plugs and the ground part of the plug in the outlet goes unused. Devices which use a lot of power (and thus require a ground), like appliances or computers, have a ground and must not be modified or you risk fire. If for some reason you are in a house in the US that is over I think probably around 80 years old (maybe 60 years old), then you might encounter the old outlets that do not have a ground. In this case, it is NOT safe to EVER attempt to force a plug which has the third ground prong, into a two-prong outlet. If you bought the old house, then you must get a professional to run ground wires through the house and replace all the outlets. This can be pricy and I recommend to buy a newer house instead, because your really old house with two-prong outlets probably also has lead paint in the walls (causes cancer), no central AC (air conditioning) or central heat, and it probably is lined with asbestos in the walls and floor tiles and such. Asbestos causes cancer – Mesothelioma, which is an incurable cancer that wraps itself around lung lining. It can take 20 to 30 years to appear, and then you die within 18 months. There are various other dangers of buying an old house; I suggest you buy a newer one.

    Overall, our electrical outlets (except in very old and usually abandoned buildings) are quite normal and modern.

    • New houses are not any better the hazards are just different, out-gassing of synthetic materials and composite wood products, (people have actually had serious reactions to plastic shower curtains), and new houses are loaded with cheap and untested materials. Radon is still a major problem, new products that have lead ie. window blinds etc.(especially from China).

      Where I live, there is no code that requires people to replace old outlets, unless they are being changed anyway. Most people just use an adapter that disconnects the ground prong, and disregards the polarity. May not be very safe, but common none-the-less.

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