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Can You Use a Battery Powerbank to Charge a MacBook?

Can You Use a Battery Powerbank to Charge a MacBook?

Now the battery life in the M1 MacBooks especially the M1 MacBook Air is already very very good. I'm getting on average at least 15 hours of just light use on a single charge. So I have absolutely no issues with the battery. Now, whenever I go traveling I usually take my MacBook with me. And if I'm gonna be on a plane or at an airport or somewhere where there's no power outlet I think it'll be a really cool thing to be able to charge my MacBook from a portable battery.

Now a couple of months ago I actually upgraded my aging battery to one of the new Anker ones. And so after a bunch of research, I ended up settling on the Anker Power Core 3 10000 milliamp battery which also had USB-C power delivery or USB-C PD. Now power delivery is a really cool thing and has only really become mainstream in the last few years and it actually lets you charge devices like a laptop from a small portable battery.

So the question I wanted to answer and that I'm sure you want to be answered as well is can you charge the new M1 MacBooks using a USB-C PD external battery?

Okay, so here we have the brand new M1 MacBook Air and I also have the M1 MacBook Pro which we will test second. And as you can see here we have the Anker milliamp battery and we just have the standard charger that comes with all the Mac. So what we'll do first is we'll just get rid of this power brick. We're not going to need that. And we're actually just going to directly plug the power Bank into the same USB-C cable that actually came with the MacBook Air.

And now if we plug this into the USB-C port on the MacBook Air and I'll actually reposition the camera now so you can get a better look.

So as you guys can see here it definitely does work at the moment. It's not charging the battery it's just acting as power. But as you can see there it's just changed so that it is actually now charging. Now, this is only an 18 Watt output so it's not quite as powerful as the 60 Watt charger that comes with the MacBook Air. But as you can see there it is charging but it will obviously charge a lot slower than the wall adapter that comes with the MacBook.

So after a few minutes, this will actually update and it will show you how long it's going to take to charge the battery to 100%. Now as you can see there we only have 62 % of battery so it's only just over half a charge and it's going to take about two and a half hours for that to charge fully which, to be honest guys is a pretty good achievement for such a small external battery.

Can You Use a Battery Powerbank to Charge a MacBook?

Now the aim of this external battery is not to fully charge a laptop. It's just not gonna do that. I mean technically it can but that's not going to be the use it's going to be to actually extend the battery life of your Mac. So for example if you're at a cafe doing work or you're at school and you forgot to charge your laptop the night before you can actually plug in your external battery and that will extend the life of your MacBook battery for a long time.

So what we'll do now guys is I'll plug it into the M1 MacBook Pro and we'll see if we have the same result.

Okay. So we have the exact same setup as before. We have the Anker external battery plugged in using the cable that came with the Mac. So we'll put the battery over to the side and we will plug in the external battery. There we go. That's now plugged in and you can see straight away. It says that it's not charging yet. It's just running off external power. But as I said before in a few minutes this will update and we'll start to charge the MacBook.

Can You Use a Battery Powerbank to Charge a MacBook?

Okay, guys after 2 minutes since I plugged it in. And as you can see there it's just changed to say that it is now charging and we have a 3:12 minutes charge time which makes sense because this does have a bigger battery than the MacBook Air. And so it's going to take longer to charge.

Can You Use a Battery Powerbank to Charge a MacBook?

Okay, guys so I've swapped to the MacBook Air and what we're going to do at this point is I'm actually going to shut the screen of the MacBook Air to put it to sleep. And I'm also going to plug in the external battery pack and we're gonna give it about 15 minutes to see how much charge we can get. And you guys can see there it is 11.20 P.M. And we're sitting at about 62 % charge.

Can You Use a Battery Powerbank to Charge a MacBook?

So Let's close the screen put it to sleep and come back in about minutes. Okay, guys. So it's just been over about 15 minutes at this point. So Let's open up the MacBook Air and Let's see what the percentage is at for the battery. So as you can see there we've gained about four 4 or 5% battery in the last 15 minutes actually more like 16 to 17 minutes at this point.

Can You Use a Battery Powerbank to Charge a MacBook?

So again it's not going to be Super quick but if you left this thing for a few hours you could probably get a fairly significant charge. Now I'm only using a 10000 milliamp-hour battery and there are a lot bigger batteries out there such as the 20000 milliamp one which is going to give you a lot of juice.


I am pretty happy with that. Obviously, you're not going to get a Super quick charge with this thing in. And if you're doing a lot of intensive tasks like editing or 3D modeling. You'll actually drain the battery quicker than it can charge. But again the point isn't to use this particular device as an external power source all the time.

It's just for things like emergencies or at the airport. Or if you forget to charge and you do have an external battery with you you can use it as an emergency power source and it will work totally fine. And in my opinion, it actually, works pretty well. And guys bear in mind you do need to have the USB PD version. So this is a USB-C PD version which means power delivery which means this is going to output about 18 Watts.

And that's going to actually allow you to use this to charge your MacBook Air or your MacBook Pro. If you just have a normal USB battery pack it's probably just not going to work at all. I hope you found this article helpful then share it with others and share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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