Abstract All halogen containing electrolytes for Mg battery are apt to corrode conventional metal current collectors. In this paper, a new type of halogen-free boron based electrolyte (Mg[Mes3BPh]2/THF) is designed and prepared. Electrochemical tests show that this electrolyte system possesses high ion conductivity (1.5 × 10−3 S cm−1) and good Mg deposition–dissolution reversibility. More importantly, the same electrochemical window (2.6 V vs. Mg RE) of the electrolyte on Pt and stainless steel electrodes indicates that halogen-free electrolyte indeed lessens the corrosion to conventional metal current collectors. The surface morphologies of stainless steel, aluminum and copper are further observed after their anodic potentiostatic polarization in 0.25 mol L−1 Mg[Mes3BPh]2/THF electrolyte solution for 2 days. A comparison with halogen containing electrolytes proves that the presence of halogen in electrolyte is the reason for corrosion. This work provides a stepping stone for developing new halogen-free electrolyte systems for rechargeable Mg batteries.