When you cannot access a USB device on a Mac, you might jump to the conclusion that your MacBook Air/MacBook Pro USB ports are broken. Recently, I experienced USB crashes while traveling with the MacBook Pro, in which a mysterious number of Mac A MacBook Pro hardware functions failed at once, all USB ports stopped working with any USB devices, there was an “unavailable Bluetooth” error, the sleep failed, and fans were spinning like jet engines without a clear reason — all classic symptoms of something going wrong with the system management controller, which are all easily fixed with the resetting procedure described above and here. If you have ever experienced total USB failover on your Mac for no reason, give the SMC reset a shot, a reset probably works for you, too. If one or more of your ports are not working, the SMC reset will hopefully fix it.
It is unlikely all your ports would be failing at the same time, meaning that a repair is likely to be straightforward. If a device is not working on one of your ports, keep reading to find out about a few potential fixes. If two different USB devices are not working on any or all ports, then the problem is likely with your Mac, rather than the devices. If another device is connecting just fine, then the problem is your external hard drive, not the USB-C ports of your Mac.
Before you run off to a repair store, here are a few handy things that we can do if ports on a different Mac are working with the device you are discussing, but your Macs USB-C port is not. If you have done everything listed above in this troubleshooting guide, but your USB-C ports are still not working, it is time to contact Apple Support (opens in new tab). If the one you are testing is working now, then undoubtedly something is wrong with your other USB devices. Using those ports, you can plug in devices using USB-C cables on the Macbook Air.
The job becomes more significant if you are using a USB-C hub, so that you can plug in additional peripherals and accessories to the Mac. Using the USB-C ports on your MacBook is surprisingly similar to the older USB versions that you are probably used to. If you are not willing to purchase the adapter, and you prefer using the MacBook Airs older USB ports, you have got a lot of options on the used market.
For now, the only Apple computers with normal USB-A ports include the older MacBook Air, the newer Mac Mini, the iMacs, iMac Pro, and 2013s Mac Pro. Instead of a mix of Thunderbolt, USB Type-A, HDMI, and SD card ports, which earlier models included, 2016s MacBook Pro line includes the choice of either two or four USB Type-C/Thunderbolt ports, along with the headphone jack. The 24-inch iMacs couple of ports are for USB-C devices, which share the same plug-in form factor.
The other side is the standard USB-C plug you connect to a MacBook or a 24-inch iMac. Once you have your adapter, you plug the USB-C part into your computers matching port.
If you have a device that has a 4-pin FireWire 1394 connector–it is typically used in video cameras, and looks something like this–and need a way to plug in, you could try using the USB-A to FireWire 1394 4-pin cable ($8 at AmazonEdit) with Apples USB-C to USB Adapter. MacBooks do come with the Thunderbolt to FireWire adapterEdit Non-product linkRemove Non-product link$29, but it has an older Thunderbolt connector, which does not connect to the Thunderbolt port on the new MacBook Pro. Plug a Thunderbolt to FireWire AdapterEdit in to the Apples $49 Thunderbolt 3-to-Thunderbolt 2-USB-C AdapterEdit non-product linkRemove non-product link, then plug it in to MacBook.
To plug in a VGA display, Apple has the USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter ($66 at AmazonEdit non-product linkRemove non-product link). MacBook offers the USB-C Digital AV Multiport AdapterEdit non-product linkRemove non-product link, a $69 device that also provides a USB-A port and a USB-C port for charging only.
As it did with its recently refreshed MacBook Pro laptops, Apple has added USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports to its new MacBook Air line. Yes – while Apple changes ports on new Apple computers (as it has done with its iPhones), you can still get some functional MacBooks that come with the regular USB ports. USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports let users connect a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 adapter to plug in a variety of devices – including monitors, external hard drives, and even charging power – into one port on the new MacBook Air.
Its USB-C pass-through power and extra ports free up all your laptops other inputs, while charging the laptop and every other device connected to it. For those needing a little extra I/O in their lives, Apple is now selling its own USB-C adapter, which lets you convert this single port into a tri-headed Hydra, supporting HDMI-out, a full-size USB 3.1, and passthrough for powering this one port. The ability to instantly provide nearly any of your devices with additional ports, video-out options, and a power adapter using just a single USB-C port makes this hybrid portable dock one of the best USB-C hubs on the market, particularly for MacBook users.
With three USB 3.0 ports at 5Gbps, HDMI 1.4 connectivity that can support 4K resolution at 30Hz, and two SD card readers, there is not a lot more that the portable notebook user needs. With two USB 3.0 ports, 4K resolution at 30Hz, both kinds of SD card readers, and even gigabit Ethernet cable connectivity for those looking for faster Internet speeds, MacBook owners are in for no disappointment.
More recent iPhones and iPads include USB-C to Lightning cables, while the iPad Pro includes a USB-C charging cable, so adapters are not necessary with these devices. Now, a USB-C to Lightning adapter is available, thanks to folks over at Anker.
Needless to say, if Apple had to pick one USB type, it would be USB-C. The display uses a single Thunderbolt 3 cable for video, power, and data, as well as acting as a USB hub, thanks to the trio of extra USB-C ports.
How do I find my USB stick on my MacBook Air?
Open the Utility folder inside the Applications folder to access System Profiler. Select USB from the Contents column on the left, under the Hardware header, and all of the computer’s USB devices will be displayed in the panel to the right.
How do I connect a USB to my MacBook Air?
You may link apple devices and a variety of your usual USB peripherals to a Mac that supports Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) or USB-C with the USB-C to USB charger. Attach your memory stick, camera, or another USB-compatible gadget by inserting the USB-C side of the converter into the a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) connector on your Mac.