2020 MacBooks experiencing USB 2.0 issues

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What you need to know

  • The 2020 MacBook lineup is experiencing USB issues.
  • It seems users who have USB 2.0 accessories are seeing lost connections and more.
  • Specifically, the problem seems to be related to the use of hubs or adapters.

Apple's 2020 MacBook lineup seems to be having issues with USB 2.0 when used with adapters or hubs.

As reported by MacRumors:

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro owners who have one of the new 13-inch 2020 models released earlier this year appear to be experiencing problems with USB 2.0 accessories that connect to their machines through a hub or adapter. There are a number of complaints about the issue on the MacRumors forums, Reddit, and the Apple Support Communities. Affected customers appear to be seeing devices connected to the Mac randomly disconnect

One MacRumors reader noted that the USB devices connected to a Mac through a hub would just lose connection and stop working at random times, using two different USB-C hubs. Peripherals include external monitors and USB audio interfaces, as well as a mouse. With each instance, the monitor would continue to work, but the USB devices would fail.

As the report notes, many similar complaints note that USB 2.0 accessories seem to cause a multitude of freezing and disconnection issues, but that there's "no clear pattern" as to which devices are affected, or what might be causing the issue.

All of the usual avenues have not been successful in addressing the bug, and as the report notes Apple may need to patch this in an upcoming iteration of macOS. One possible workaround involves using USB hubs with terminating proxies, rather than transparent proxies, one Reddit user noting:

Transparent proxies take the USB 2.0 input and present it as USB 2.0 to the ‌MacBook Pro‌. The Mac or Catalina then will do something wrong and the USB 2.0 devices will freeze/become unresponsive at some point (minutes or hours after being attached).Terminating proxies take the USB 2.0 input, terminate it, and present it as a fresh input that is USB 3.0 to the ‌MacBook Pro‌. Everything is good in this scenario.

Have you been affected by this issue? Let us know in the comments or over on Twitter.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9