macOS Ventura gets new USB-C and Thunderbolt accessory security feature in beta

Close up of USB-C port on MacBook
Close up of USB-C port on MacBook (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A new macOS security feature has now been unlocked in the macOS Ventura beta.
  • The new feature will mean Apple silicon MacBooks are protected from nefarious accessories.
  • USB and Thunderbolt devices will require user permissions before they can communicate with macOS.

Apple has enabled a new macOS Ventura security feature in the latest developer beta that will ensure USB-C and Thunderbolt accessories must ask for permission before they can access your data.

In the release notes of beta 2 Apple has confirmed that the new macOS Ventura feature is now live. From Apple:

On portable Mac computers with Apple silicon, new USB and Thunderbolt accessories require user approval before the accessory can communicate with macOS for connections wired directly to the USB-C port. This doesn't apply to power adapters, standalone displays, or connections to an approved hub. Devices can still charge if you choose Don't Allow.

The feature, which will only work on Apple's best MacBooks featuring Apple silicon, will ensure that new USB and Thunderbolt accessories need permission before accessing data on your device. It doesn't apply to powered hubs or displays, and you can still charge a device even without permission.

The new system feature can be toggled in settings, with the default set to "Ask for new accessories", there is one accessibility Switch Control setting that can be used to turn the feature off, and approved devices can connect to a locked Mac for up to three days.

This is a welcome new security feature that should ensure Mac users are less at risk from potentially nefarious accessories or even from attempts to steal data should a device be lost or stolen.

Another new feature added to this week's round of betas is a new mail tool that can display the official logo of companies within emails so you know that the emails are from a trusted source. This is available on both macOS and iOS 16.

The macOS Ventura beta will be made available to the public next month and will be officially released in the fall.

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