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Solve MacBook power problems

We'll show you how to solve some common MacBook power annoyances.

Any of the following issues can be truly annoying with your MacBook: the battery won't charge, the power adapter doesn't work, or, my personal favorite, the Mac won't go to sleep, or worse, won't wake up from it. Here's how to solve some of these power annoyances.

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First, try a basic restart. Click on the Apple in the menu bar and select restart. If the computer won't restart, try the following.

Use option-command-escape to force quit any programs that may be stalled. Press control-command and the power button to force a restart of the machine. Or, if that doesn't work, force a shutdown by holding the power button down for 10 seconds.

Once you've restarted the Mac, see if you're still having power problems. If you are, here's a last-ditch trick you can use on an Intel-based Mac to try to fix your Mac's sleep or other power-management problems. Thanks to joeyjoeyjoey in the #CNETFans chat room for this one.

First, shut down the system entirely. Use the power button trick if you need to.

Unplug the power and remove the battery.

Do you have a MacBook Air or 17-inch MacBook Pro? Yeah, they don't give you a way to easily remove the batteries on those. We'll get to you down below.

Once you have the battery out, press and hold the power button for 5 seconds, then release it.

Reconnect the battery and the power.

And power on the computer. Hopefully that fixed your problem.

Now if the battery doesn't come out of your particular Mac, you still need to turn the MacBook off, but make sure your power adapter is connected and plugged in.

On the keyboard press the left shift button, the left Control and left option buttons, along with the power button all at the same time, once. Only use the left side buttons, not the ones on the right.

Wait five seconds, then start the computer back up. And there you have it. If the problem was unstable settings in the System Management Controller, they should be fixed now.

A word about sleep issues. Before you resort to the power management, remember that connections can prevent the MacBook from going to sleep. Bluetooth connections, network connections, and even just playing music or DVDs can interrupt sleep. My MacBook Pro wasn't staying asleep because my EVDO card was in the slot and it kept checking the network connection, interrupting sleep.

See our Quick Tip on sleep problems for more information on troubleshooting the Mac sleep issues.