How to Fix “USB Accessories Disabled” Mac Error Message

Dec 15, 2021 - 1 Comment

USB Accessories Disabled Mac error

Some Mac users may see a “USB Accessories Disabled” error message when using their computer. This is often encountered with a USB-C hub that has many devices attached to it, but it can also occur when a Mac has connected an external USB drive, disk, camera, keyboard, controller, USB-C power cable, or other device to the computer, and then the USB devices are no longer usable or accessible.

The full text of the error message is “USB Accessories Disabled : Unplug the accessory using too much power to re-enable USB devices.”, which basically informs you the device is trying to draw too much power, and when this happens USB becomes disabled. The error message also offers a possible remedy to the error message.

If you encounter the “USB Accessories Disabled” error message, try the troubleshooting tips below to resolve the problem.

Disconnect & Reconnect USB Devices

  • Disconnect all USB devices from the Mac, then plug them back in again and see if the problem goes away.
  • If you aren’t sure which device is causing the problem, try disconnecting USB devices one at a time to see if the error message goes away.
  • Prioritize whatever USB-C devices may be drawing the most power, for example trying to use an external GPU through a USB-C hub may often trigger the problem.

Troubleshooting USB Hubs

  • If the USB hub is powered, be sure that it is connected to power directly.
  • If you’re using a USB-C hub, try plugging it into a different port on the Mac
  • Try disconnecting the most power-hungry device from the USB-C hub, and instead plugging that device directly into the computer instead using one of the built-in USB ports on the Mac.
  • Try using a different USB-C hub, the Satechi USB-C hub is a popular choice.

Miscellaneous Troubleshooting Tips

  • Connect the device directly to a different USB port on the Mac
  • Reboot the Mac with the devices connected
  • If you’re concurrently experiencing display issues with an M1 Mac, try connecting the display directly to the Mac USB port and use other devices through the USB hub (if applicable)

If you’re experiencing this error on an Intel Mac, sometimes resetting the SMC can resolve problems with USB as well.

If you’re experiencing the USB Accessories Disabled error on an Apple Silicon Mac with an M-series chip, there is no SMC to reset so simply rebooting and using the troubleshooting steps above is typically enough to resolve the problem. You can force restart an M1 Mac if need be, however.

If you’re still experiencing power issues and USB accessories and devices not working on the Mac, it’s always possible there is a hardware issue that can only be resolved through official Apple Support, so if the above tricks failed reaching out directly to Apple Support is a reasonable next step

.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

One Comment

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  1. Jerry Slaff says:

    I use an AC-powered 8-port USB-A hub for my external drives and accessories. I connect it to the USB-C port of my Mac Mini with anv adapter. Had constant disconnects when I connected it to the USB-A port.

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