USB-C Ports Not Working On Your Mac? Here’s How to Fix The Issue

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 3 Apr 2021

MacBook USB-C ports not working

The MacBook Air lineup and lower-end MacBook Pro models ship with only 2 USB-C ports, while the higher-end MacBook Pro models feature 4 USB-C ports. Since there are no other ports on MacBooks and one needs to connect adapters and other devices using the USB-C ports continuously, it exposes them to a lot of wear and tear, which increases their chances of failure. If the USB-C port on your MacBook is suddenly not working, here’s what you need to do.

With most people working from home, their MacBook has become an integral part of their work lives. Many people have connected multiple monitors, external HDDs, and other accessories to their MacBook as a part of their work from home setup. Given the lack of USB-C ports on Macs, even if one port stops working, it could be troublesome for many users. In case the USB-C ports on your MacBook suddenly stop working, check out some possible solutions to fix the problem below.

How to Fix USB-C Ports Not Working On Your MacBook

1. Restart Your Mac

If the USB-C port on your MacBook suddenly stops working, the easiest way to fix it is simply restarting your Mac. In most cases, this should be more than enough to fix the problem at hand and ensure that the USB-C port on your MacBook is working again.

2. Update to Latest macOS Release

If your MacBook is running a particularly old version of macOS, it is recommended that you update to the latest release available. Apple has fixed several USB-C issues in recent macOS Big Sur releases, which could help resolve the USB-C connectivity issues you face on your Mac.

Here’s how to fix some common macOS Big Sur issues.

macos big sur mac update

3. Try a Different USB-C Port

If only one accessory is not working on your Mac, you should try connecting it to another USB-C port and see if that helps. In many cases, it is also possible that the USB-C hub you are using has gone faulty and causing issues.

So, make sure to try a combination of USB-C ports and accessories to get a proper overview of whether the ports on your Mac are working or not.

4. Unplug All Devices

The USB-C ports on your MacBook can only supply a limited amount of power. If you plug in multiple hard disks or devices that pull a lot of power, your MacBook could end up disabling its USB-C ports as a safety measure. In such cases, you should remove all connected accessories to your MacBook, switch it off for some time, and then see if the ports are working or not.

If you want to use multiple high-powered USB devices with your Mac, you should ideally connect them to an external USB hub with its own power supply. In many cases, it is also possible that a particular USB accessory you are using is faulty, leading to connection issues.


5. Clean the USB-C Ports

If you live in a particularly dusty environment or if your MacBook is particularly old, the USB-C ports on the machine may be clogged by dirt, causing connection issues.

In such cases, you should first use a cotton swab to clean the ports properly. That should help fix any possible connection issues that were being caused due to dirt clogging the USB-C ports.

6. Reset SMC and NVRAM

If the above methods did not help fix the USB-C port on your MacBook, you should try to reset its SMC and NVRAM to see if that helps. The method to reset the SMC of your Mac will vary depending on which MacBook you own. You can follow the steps mentioned on Apple’s support page to reset the SMC on your Mac.

If you wish to, you can also try resetting your Mac’s NVRAM to help fix the USB-C connectivity issues. NVRAM on Macs usually stores information related to sound volume, display resolution, startup disk, time zone settings, etc.

However, resetting it might help fix the USB-C ports on your MacBook as well. Shut down your MacBook and then press and hold the Option + Command + P + R keys simultaneously for about 20 seconds to reset your Mac’s NVRAM.

7. Go to Your Nearest Apple Service Center

If the above steps did not help fix the USB-C port on your MacBook, there’s likely a hardware issue. Either the USB-C port has gone faulty, or there is a problem with the logic board. Whatever the case might be, your only remaining option is to take your Mac to your nearest Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

If your Mac is out of warranty, such a repair could be expensive, in which case you can try out a third-party independent repair shop.

The above steps should help resolve whatever issues you are facing on your MacBook with the USB-C port. If not, your only option is to take the Mac to your nearest Apple shop or service provider and get it fixed since it is likely a hardware issue.