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How To Fix Or Troubleshoot Unresponsive USB Ports On Your Mac


Mac PCs usually work perfectly, but sometimes very strange issues arise. One such issue is when the USB ports of your Mac all of a sudden stop working properly.

When your Mac’s USB ports stop detecting any of your devices, it can turn out to be a big problem for you because all your devices will then be unusable. Though there are numerous reasons (or no reason at all) for this issue, the good thing is that this problem is likely easy to fix.

There are a few ways to get this issue fixed all by yourself, so hopefully they’ll work for you and you won’t have the need to get professional help.

Update your Mac

Typically, users do not turn on the auto-update setting in their Macs, or sometimes they just skip some important updates that can cause USB port failure in their system. So, for resolving the issue, simply go to the Apple icon at the top left corner of your screen and check if there are any software updates. You can do this by going to the Apple menu > App Store > Updates section. Make sure to backup your system before installing any software updates. Next, insert your USB device into the port and check if the issue is resolved. You might have to restart after the update process.

Reset the SMC

Another solution for the random USB port failure on your Mac is resetting the SMC. The resetting process slightly differs depending on the hardware of your Mac. First of all, make sure that there aren’t any applications running on your Mac, and in case if there are, shut them down in the first instance. Next, you have to put your Mac to sleep and then wake it up again. Restart your system next, and once it has restarted completely and running properly, shut it down. After that, unplug the power supply from your system and from the socket as well and remove the battery. Insert the battery again and turn on your system. After you see that everything is running properly, check your USB ports again. In case if the issue still persists even after the SMC reset, you can try other solutions.

Reset the PRAM (Parameter Random Access Memory)

When your Mac’s USB ports tend to malfunction or aren’t responsive, one more thing you can do is reset the chips that responsible for these actions. This time, you have to perform the resetting in the PRAM. For this, first you have to shut down your Mac and press Command + Options + P + R keys. Next, restart your system and press and hold down these keys as your system starts-up. Once this is done, your system will restart again. After you hear the start-up sound second time, simply release the keys. Finally, when your Mac is properly loaded and running again, check the ports to see if they’re working fine.

Use a USB hub

There might be other considerations as well to fix this issue. If, even after the SMC reset, any one of the USB ports have failed to work but other ports are working properly on your Mac, then there is a possibility of an issue with that specific USB port. For this, you can either avoid using that USB port and use a USB hub instead for any one of the functioning ports, or you can allow Apple to run a hardware diagnostics test on your Mac to identify any type of hardware issues.