Fix USB-C Ports Not Working on MacBook Pro / Air

Mar 9, 2023 - 1 Comment

Troubleshooting USB-C Ports on Mac not working

Rarely, you may discover the Thunderbolt / USB-C ports are suddenly not working on your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, or Mac Mini. Maybe you went to charge the Mac and it was not responsive, or maybe you plugged in a peripheral or external display and it is not working as expected.

If you have this experience, there are a variety of steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue and get your Thunderbolt / USB-C ports working again.

Troubleshooting USB-C / Thunderbolt Ports Not Working on Mac

Try out these troubleshooting steps to resolve issues with Thunderbolt / USB-C / USB-4 ports on a Mac, including a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Studio, or Mac Pro.

  1. First, check the physical connection to make sure the USB-C cable is securely attached to the Mac, and to the device that you are trying to connect. Some third party USB-C cables need to be given an extra push to make sure they’re inserted and connected
  2. Next, check for any damage to the cable, since a damaged cable can cause connectivity issues
  3. Restart the Mac. Often simply restarting a Mac can resolve random issues like spontaneous or inexplicable problems with hardware or software, and USB-C ports are no different
  4. Try a different USB-C port. Most Macs have multiple Thunderbolt/USB-C ports, and sometimes if a device doesn’t work on one port, it may work when connected to another
  5. Try different USB-C cables or adapters, since occasionally there are issues with the cables themselves
  6. If using a USB-C hub, try directly connecting to the Mac and unplugging the USB-C hub, dongle, or adapter
  7. Try using the same Thunderbolt / USB-C port with a different device, to rule out the problem is not device/peripheral specific
  8. If you are seeing a “USB Accessories Disabled” message you may have too many devices plugged into the Mac
  9. If all fails, contact Apple Support, go to an Apple Store, or check out an authorized service provider to have your Mac examined by a technician to determine if there is any hardware problem

By following these steps, you should be able to troubleshoot USB-C port issues on your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro, or Mac Studio, and hopefully resolve the issue.

This guide is geared towards USB-C / Thunderbolt / DisplayPort ports on Apple Silicon Macs or Intel Macs that are new enough to have USB-C/USB-4 ports rather than USB-A ports, but if you’re having problems with standard USB ports (USB-A ports) not working on Intel Macs you have some additional troubleshooting steps available, mainly resetting NVRAM and SMC resets.


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Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in Mac OS, Troubleshooting

One Comment

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  1. SoroS says:

    If all of this manipulations fail there are a lot of chances that there is a hardware problem with the ports or with the chip that manages USB-C (CD3215/CD3217)

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