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How to Connect USB to MacBook Air or Pro: A Useful Guide

How to Connect USB to MacBook Air or Pro: A Useful Guide

How to Connect USB to MacBook Air or Pro

How to Connect USB to MacBook Air or Pro: A Useful Guide

Apple has upgraded its connectivity game with innovative USB ports, especially for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models. They bid goodbye to their USB-A and HDMI ports long ago. Most have upgraded to USB-C ports lately. This has raised a question for sure: How to connect USB to MacBook Air or MacBook Pro?

Undoubtedly, you might have to access older USB drives on your comparatively newer MacBook. In addition, you need to connect different devices with the help of USB ports when the wireless connection is not a stable option. 

For example, connect your existing MacBook-compatible accessories such as keyboards, printers, external displays, earphones, and more. Let’s check out how you can connect such USB devices to your MacBook with newer port options.

How to Connect USB to MacBook Air?

Before you dive into how to connect USB devices to MacBook Air or Pro models, it’s better to learn about the types of USB ports available on MacBook models in question. Recommendation of solutions will be more convenient with knowing the USB type your MacBook Air or Pro has.

Modern MacBooks are found with USB-C ports. They are rounded rectangular and reversible ports. The main difference between USB-C and USB-A ports is that you can plug the USB-C connector into your MacBook straight without the need to flip it. 

With USB-A cables or devices, you might need to get them inserted properly the first time. As a consequence, you need to flip it and try plugging it again into your MacBook. Not to mention, USB-C ports are a revolutionary innovation, and they reduce the struggle of users.

That’s why Apple has replaced the inferior technology of USB-A ports. Instead, it welcomed the convenient USB-C ports and introduced them to different Apple products.

Ways to Connect USB-A Devices into USB-C Ports of Macbook Air or MacBook Pro

Apple always takes care of the reliability of its users. This is why they leapt to USB-C ports from USB-A ports for MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and other similar devices. Apple came up with USB-C featuring MacBook Pro models back in 2016. Additionally, Apple got rid of the SD card slot and HDMI port.

These adaptations did a great job of making your MacBooks thinner and more compact. Moreover, USB-C technology is faster in terms of transmitting and charging. Still, the connectivity between your new MacBook and USB devices might be a problem with the advent of USB-C ports. 

What would you do when you need to plug in your old flash drive, keyboard, or printer that still uses a USB-A port? Well, USB-C still mentions the term ‘Universal’ in its name. Therefore, there must be a way to connect USB-A devices to USB-C MacBook Air or MacBook Pro models. The most suitable way how to connect USB devices to your MacBook Air relies on your setup.

For example, if you use a MacBook in an office environment with multiple accessories and you are not ready to upgrade all the devices at once, then all you need is a robust solution. A portable USB-C adapter is the best solution that you can get. It will make all your MacBook connections flexible, even with USB-A devices.

You can purchase Apple’s USB-C adapter to convert typical USB-A devices into USB-C ones. This USB-C adapter is available on Apple’s official site for purchase.

How to Use Apple’s USB-C Adapter to Connect USB-A Devices to Newer MacBooks?

Most external USB devices still utilise traditional USB-A ports. For instance, you will find the following accessories, mostly with USB-A ports:

  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Scanner
  • Printer
  • Hard drive
  • USB flash drive
  • SD Card reader
  • Pen Drive
  • Digital camera

If you want to connect a typical USB-A device to your MacBook at a time, then you must invest in Apple’s USB-C adapter. Here’s how to connect USB to MacBook Pro or Macbook Air to bridge the gap between your devices:

  • Buy a USB-C adapter from Apple’s official site. As an alternative, you can buy any third-party USB-C adapter for your MacBook. Make sure that the adapter is compatible with your MacBook build, model, and year of release.
  • Next, connect the USB-C port of the adapter to your Mac computer’s USB-C port.
  • Afterwards, connect the adapter’s USB-A port to your USB-A device’s port.

Now, you have successfully connected a USB-A device to your MacBook’s USB-C port. You can transfer files, charge your USB devices, and more with a dedicated USB-C adapter for your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro notebook.

You can easily access the external drive that you have plugged into your MacBook. Explore a Finder window on your MacBook Air. You can notice an additional external drive in case it’s just a storage device only. Otherwise, you need to set up the peripheral (printers, scanners, cameras, etc.) from the panel of System Preferences.

Other Gadgets for Connecting Your MacBook to Different USB Devices

Apple’s USB-C adapter might be a bit pricier than you expect. On the other hand, you might require something more powerful that offers support for different USBs, HDMI, and more devices other than only USB-A ones. 

In addition, you want that adapter to support multiple devices at the same time instead of converting a single USB-A port to a USB-C one. How to connect USB devices to MacBook Air in that scenario?

A USB-C hub is your go-to option. Most USB-C hubs offer support for at least 5 devices simultaneously. In addition, there are USB-C hubs that offer 7-in-2 features. It includes the following ports for a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro device:

  • 1 x multi-function USB-C port
  • 1 x USB-C data port
  • 2 x USB-A ports
  • 1 x SD card slot
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • And, 1 x microSD card slot

You can consider any one of the following options available for modern MacBooks:

  • HyperDrive PRO USB-C adapter (includes 4K HDMI port, Mini Display Port, and other required slots with Power Delivery)
  • Hieracool Adapter USB-C Dongle
  • Pluggable 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Hub
  • Dockteck 7-in-1 USB-C Hub

MacBook USB-C Docks to Consider

How to connect USB devices to MacBook Air or Pro when you have already tethered them to your desk? Then, you should consider a docking station to convert USB-A ports into USB-C ones. Such docking solutions contain support for Ethernet, multiple display ports, and more than a typical USB-C adapter can afford.

You might have to power these docking stations externally. Afterwards, you can connect its USB-C cable to your MacBook Air or Pro’s USB-C slot. Now, you can plug multiple devices into the docking station’s compatible ports at your convenience for mice, external keyboards, screens, and more.

A few recommendations regarding USB-C docks are:

  • CalDigit TS3 Plus
  • Kensington SD5700T

Replace Your Peripherals with MacBook-Compatible USB-C Accessories

If it’s just a USB flash drive, then it’s better to upgrade it to a USB-C flash drive for your Mac. You can make small replacements to make your file sharing faster and hassle-free with your MacBook Air. Therefore, you can replace such small accessories to keep your technologies up-to-date. 

However, this replacement process can hardly work with printers, scanners, external displays, etc. The entire replacement of these devices just for the sake of USB-C compatibility will cost you a fortune. Additionally, it will be a stupid move. Try a USB-C adapter, hub, or dock in that circumstances.

Is Thunderbolt 4 as Same as the USB-C?

As a beginner to MacBooks, you might stumble upon this question apart from how to connect USB to MacBook Air. For a MacBook, both Thunderbolt 4 and USB-C slots are almost identical. You can use them interchangeably on a MacBook Pro or Air.

However, a Thunderbolt 4 is only compatible with Apple MacBooks. On the other hand, prominent differences between these 2 ports are:

  • Data transfer speed
  • Power supply

Contact Macbook Repair India for Further Support

If you are still hustling with how to connect USB devices to MacBook Air, then book an appointment with Macbook Repair India. Their in-house technicians can clean the USB port and check the compatibility. 

Additionally, they can repair MacBook ports and replace them. Retain peace of mind with Macbook Repair India’s finest, affordable services.

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