Apple equips its Macs with Thunderbolt ports which might be suitable with USB-C. The MacBook Professional comes with both two or three of those ports, relying on the mannequin you decide. A brand new MacBook Air has a pair. A 24-inch iMac comes with two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports; some fashions additionally embody two USB-C ports. A Mac Studio has 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports. The Mac mini has two or 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports.
You in all probability have units that use USB-A, Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2, DisplayPort, HDMI, or one thing else. How do you join these units? With an adapter.
In case you’re planning to purchase a brand new 24-inch iMac, Mac Studio, Mac mini, MacBook Professional, or MacBook Air, be sure you put aside a substantial amount of money for the adapters you want. Apple doesn’t embody any within the field, aside from an influence adapter. Even in case you are getting a Mac Studio, Mac mini, or 14- or 16-inch MacBook Professional that has a whole lot of ports aside from Thunderbolt, you might want to show to an adapter, dock, or hub you probably have a whole lot of gear to attach.
Your finest guess is to get a mix dock, just like the Satechi Slim Aluminum Sort-C Multi-Port Adapter ($48/£70 on Amazon). It connects through USB-C and features a USB-C pass-through port, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI port with 4K (30Hz) assist. With this, you don’t have to hold round a number of adapters.
Probably the most elegant resolution is to make use of a docking station, which might have as much as 18 ports. Smaller multiport hubs are additionally out there. We’ve rounded up the perfect USB-C hubs and adaptors for Mac in addition to the perfect Thunderbolt and USB-C docking stations.
In case you don’t desire a dock, or you may’t discover a dock with the combo of connections you want, Apple or one other firm in all probability has an adapter for you. We’ve give you this information that will help you kind out what you want, and we hyperlink to the suitable adapter within the on-line Apple Retailer or on Amazon. Quoted costs are topic to vary with out discover.
Make sure you examine the return insurance policies; generally adapters from third events don’t work. Learn person evaluations at any time when potential, and skim the specs to verify the adapter can do what you want it to do.
If there’s a connection we missed, or you may have recommendation on what adapters to purchase, tell us on Twitter or Fb.
How one can join USB-C units
The Thunderbolt ports within the present Mac Studio, 24-inch iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Professional, and MacBook Air work with USB-C units, which have the identical connector form. If you wish to use a USB-C gadget, you may simply plug it into one of many Thunderbolt ports. No adapter is critical.
Now, there is a matter on whether or not a cable can carry information and supply sufficient energy to cost a tool. We’ve a separate article that explains how one can inform whether or not a USB-C cable can carry high-wattage energy and Thunderbolt 3 information.
How one can join USB-A units
USB-A is the USB connector with which you’re in all probability most acquainted. It’s the USB connector that was on the earlier MacBooks. (Phrases like USB 4, USB 3 and USB 2 seek advice from the pace at which information travels by means of the connector.)
You may get a dock, just like the before-mentioned Satechi. Or you will get Apple’s $19/£16 (Amazon) USB-C to USB-A Adapter cable. Anker sells a two-pack of house grey USB-A (feminine) to USB-C (male) adapters for $17/£11 on Amazon.
If that you must join a number of USB-A units, get a USB-C to USB-A hub. UGreen sells a USB-C to 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub ($14 on Amazon or £15 on Amazon UK) that gives 4 USB-A ports.
How one can join micro B SuperSpeed units
This connector is usually used with exterior storage units. You’ll want a brand new cable, just like the $16/£13 (Amazon) StarTech USB-C to Micro USB Cable.
The title of the cable is complicated as a result of it could possibly be mistaken for micro USB. However for those who examine the product web page on StarTech’s web site, you may see a transparent shot of the micro B SuperSpeed connector on the cable, which is sort of completely different from micro USB.
How one can join an iPhone or iPad
For the iPhone and iPad, in case you are nonetheless utilizing the USB-A to Lightning (or 30-pin for those who’re utilizing an older gadget) cable that got here along with your gadget, you will get the USB-C to USB Adapter talked about above within the USB-A piece.
Don’t need an adapter? Purchase a $19/£19 Lightning to USB-C Cable (1m). You can too get a 2-meter model for $29/£29.
Newer iPhones and iPads embody a USB-C to Lightning cable, and the iPad Professional features a USB-C charging cable, so that you don’t want the adapter for these units.
How one can join the Lightning EarPods
Anker makes a USB-C to Lightning adapter for $33/£27 on Amazon. This adapter has a feminine Lightning connector on one finish, so you may plug in your Lightning earphones. The opposite facet is an ordinary USB-C connector that you simply plug into your Mac.
How one can join headphones with a 3.5mm headphone plug
You’re in luck. The MacBook Professional, MacBook Air, Mac Studio, Mac mini, and 24-inch iMac have a 3.5mm headphone jack. Simply plug it in and also you’re good to go. That was simple.
Now, say you want a second headphone jack. You need to use a splitter, just like the StarTech Headphone Splitter ($6/£6 on Amazon).
How one can join Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 units
Older variations of Thunderbolt have a unique connector than the Thunderbolt connector on the present MacBook Air, MacBook Professional, Mac mini, Mac Studio, and 24-inch iMac. The adapter you want is Apple’s $49/£49
Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter.
How one can join an exterior show
This one can eat up a piece of your price range as a result of there are such a lot of several types of show connectors. Be ready to purchase a number of adapters.
We additionally cowl how one can join a show to a Mac right here: How one can join your Mac to an additional monitor.
Apple’s Thunderbolt Show and older shows
In case you’re a longtime Mac person, perhaps you invested in Apple’s Thunderbolt show some years in the past. You need to use Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter to attach these shows to an Intel Mac.
Nonetheless, folks on-line have reported issues with utilizing the Thunderbolt Show or Apple’s LED Cinema Show with Apple’s M1 Macs. As detailed by Macworld, these shows present a line of flashing pixels on the high proper of the display screen. Apple issued a repair for this in macOS Monterey 12.3, so for those who run into this drawback, replace macOS.
DisplayPort and mini DisplayPort
To hook up with a DisplayPort show, you want a USB-C to DisplayPort cable or adapter. Amazon sells the Cable Issues USB-C to DisplayPort Adapter cable for $19 (£18 on Amazon UK), and it helps 4K video at 60Hz.
To attach a show with mini DisplayPort, you want an adapter just like the StarTech.com USB-C to Mini DisplayPort adapter ($39 on Amazon; £29 on Amazon UK) .
When you have the 14- or 16-inch M1 Professional/Max MacBook Professional or Mac Studio, they’ve a full-sized HDMI 2.0 port. You need to use an everyday HDMI cable just like the Amazon Fundamental HDMI cable ($17/£12 on Amazon) and plug it in. Understand that the port helps HDMI 2.0, so the utmost decision and refresh price it will probably run is 4k at 60Hz.
The M2 Professional/Max 14- and 16-inch MacBook Professional has an HDMI 2.1 port and may run a 4K show at 240Hz, or as much as an 8K show at 60Hz. For an 8K show, you want an HDMI 2.1 cable with assist for 48Gbps bandwidth, such because the Belkin Extremely HD HDMI 2.1 Cable ($28/£42 on Amazon)
For different Macs, Apple provides the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter, a $69/£75 gadget that additionally supplies a USB-A port and a USB-C port that’s for charging solely. Be warned: Apple launched a brand new model of this adapter (mannequin quantity A2119) in August 2019 that helps HDMI 2.0. The older model (mannequin quantity A1621) helps HDMI 1.4. When buying, examine the mannequin quantity (at an Apple retailer, you seemingly will get the brand new mannequin). Apple has a assist doc that particulars the variations between the 2 adapters.
In case you don’t need to spend that a lot, you will get an adapter that’s only a USB-C to HDMI adapter, comparable to Anker’s USB-C to HDMI Adapter ($18/£20 on Amazon). When searching for such adapters, look out for not less than 1080p assist.
Cable Issues has a 6-foot USB-C to DVI Adapter ($22 on Amazon or £20 on Amazon UK). In addition they promote 3-foot ($19) and 10-foot ($23) variations.
To attach a VGA show, Apple has a USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter ($64/£42 on Amazon). Along with a VGA to USB-C connection, it additionally supplies a USB-A port for connecting a USB gadget, and a USB-C charging port to maintain your laptop computer battery completely happy.
On the extra reasonably priced facet however with out the USB ports is the Benfei USB-C to VGA Adapter, which is obtainable on Amazon for $12/£9.
A number of shows on M1/M2 Mac
Macs with an M1 or M2 processor can run two shows complete; on a MacBook, that’s the laptop computer show plus an exterior show. If you wish to run extra show, that you must look ing a dock or one other gadget. The Plugable USB-C Quad HDMI Adapter ($119/£140) lets these Macs run 4 1920×1080 shows at 60Hz.
How to connect with ethernet
You’ll in all probability use Wi-Fi more often than not, however utilizing an ethernet connection has its benefits. To hook up with an ethernet community, you want an adapter just like the Anker USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter, which is obtainable on Amazon for $23/£17.
How one can join SD playing cards
In case you use a DLSR or different kind of stand-alone digital camera, it might need a method to switch your information wirelessly. If not, you want an adapter to entry the SD card, like the SanDisk Excessive PRO SD UHS-II USB-C Card Reader ($21 on Amazon or £21 on Amazon UK).
When you have a USB-A card reader, you may attempt utilizing Apple’s $19/£19 USB-C to USB Adapter, or get a USB-C dock.
How one can join FireWire units
When you have a FireWire to USB-A cable, you may attempt utilizing Apple’s $19/£19 USB-C to USB-A Adapter. When you have a tool with a FireWire 1394 4-pin connector—it was generally used on video cameras and appears like this—and also you want a method to join, you may attempt utilizing a USB-A to FireWire 1394 4-pin cable ($8/£10 on Amazon) with the Apple’s USB-C to USB Adapter.
Attempting to attach FireWire 400 and 800 units will get iffy. Apple has a Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter for $29/£29, but it surely has an older Thunderbolt connector that doesn’t plug into the Thunderbolt port on a brand new MacBook Professional, MacBook Air, or 24-inch iMac.
You might attempt daisy-chaining adapters, however that’s all the time dangerous and should not work, to not point out probably unhealthy for the adapters. Plug the Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter into Apple’s $49/£49 Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter after which plug that into the Mac.
How one can join a printer with USB-B
Many printers these days have wi-fi assist, so there’s no want for a cable. However perhaps you may have an older printer, otherwise you discover wi-fi printing unreliable. Most client printers have a USB-B port. It’s a squarish connector, a lot completely different from USB-A or USB-C.
You want a cable just like the Cable Issues USB C Printer Cable, which has a USB-C to USB-B connection. A 1-meter cable is $8/£7 on Amazon; different lengths can be found.
If you have already got a USB-C to USB Adapter, you may take the USB-A to USB-B cable that got here along with your printer and plug it into the adapter. You then plug the adapter into the laptop computer.
How one can add a traditional MagSafe energy connector to the MacBook Air or MacBook Professional
The facility adapter that comes with the 13-inch MacBook Professional and M1 MacBook Air doesn’t have a breakaway MagSafe connector. MagSafe was a laptop computer lifesaver in situations the place somebody tripped over the facility cable.
However you may nonetheless add a MagSafe connector, and you’ll find a number of charging cables with magnetic connectors that may break free when the cable is yanked. A number of the adapters that you simply discover on Amazon appear to be the identical product however are labeled by completely different sellers. And with Amazon person overview fraud so rampant, it’s exhausting to depend on these evaluations for recommendation.
With out having examined these cables ourselves, the perfect recommendation we may give is to search for cables that assist Apple quick charging, have a size lengthy sufficient so that you can use (not less than 6 ft), and is made with good high quality materials (like a braided cable). Some cables will also be used for information transfers, so it’s best to examine the info price. Some have a right-angle connector; examine to make sure such a connector doesn’t block the port subsequent to it. And clearly, word the assure and return coverage.
Additionally, learn How one can add extra ports to a MacBook. In a separate article, we run by means of the completely different cables and connections that you must join an additional monitor to your Mac. We additionally talk about Which Mac has essentially the most ports and iPhone and iPad ports are included in our information to Mac, iPad and iPhone ports.