Have you ever faced the error “USB accessories disabled” while connecting your USB device to Mac? If yes, go through this article and understand the reason for the USB error, and know how to fix it.

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Why Does my Mac Show “USB accessories disabled”?

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Why Does my Mac Show “USB accessories disabled”?
Photo by Lasse Jensen

Whenever your Mac pops up with an error “USB Accessories Disabled. Unplug the accessory using too much power to re-enable USB devices.”, it means that a device with more power consumption (like a monitor, hard disk, etc.) than Mac is being connected to the USB port. 

On the other hand, if you are facing the same error while connecting low power consumption devices like keyboards, mice, etc., then there is definitely a problem with your USB port.

Here are a few quick things you can follow to fix the “USB accessories disabled” error on your Mac:

Use Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C Type) or Powered USB

You can connect the external USB devices to the thunderbolt 3 (USB-C type) or the powered USB hub. These ports can power to and fro connections from the devices. For any reason, if the USB port does not have any power, this method comes in handy.

Disconnect and Reconnect all the USB Devices

This is the basic thing to be done immediately after you notice the “USB accessories disabled” error on your Mac. Disconnect all the USB devices (if you are unable to find the exact USB device causing this issue), reconnect them back to the USB ports one by one and check if the error is popping up or not.

If you find any device is consuming more power, then do not connect it to your Macbook along with other devices connected to the USB ports.

Wake Up your Macbook After Putting it to Sleep

If you are constantly noticing the “USB accessories disabled” error, it is recommended to put your Mac to sleep for some time and then wake up. After your Mac wakes up, the notification should disappear automatically.

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Reduce Unwanted USB Devices

USB devices like cameras, monitors, external hard disks, etc., can take up more power from your Mac if they are connected for a long time. Hence, reducing the number of USB devices connected to your Mac is recommended. If there is no use of the USB device, disconnect it from your Macbook immediately.

Connect the External Device to a Different USB Port

Disconnect the external device and try connecting it to a different USB port. In case the error does not appear after changing the port, then there is an issue with your USB port.

Clean the USB port and make sure there is no dirt or junk piled up. Clean the port with a soft fabric. Using rough cloth can further damage the USB port.

Connect the USB Device Directly to the Macbook

In case you are using a USB connector to connect the external device with Mac, make sure that it is self-powered. If the USB connector is not self-powered, the chances of facing the “USB accessories disabled” error are high.

In the case of a non-self-powered USB connector, we recommend you disconnect the external devices from the connector and directly connect it to your Macbook.

Make Sure You Are Connected to a Right Port and Cable

Every external device comes with a set of instructions and specifications regarding the USB port requirements. Make sure to check the device specifications and connect it to the right USB port. When the device is connected to the wrong USB port, the connection is either unstable or consumes more power than required.

Check if the Thunderbolt Hub or Powered USB is connected to an AC Adapter

If you are using a self-powered USB connector or a thunderbolt hub, then make sure to check if it is connected to an AC adapter.

Try a Different Cable

Why Does my Mac Show “USB accessories disabled”?

Though the USB cables are designed on a standard note, some of them draw more or less power compared to other types of USB. For example, a USB-C type draws more power than a USB-A type. 

Now, if you connect a USB-C type cable to a USB-A type port, it draws more power from the Mac, resulting in the “USB accessories disabled” error.

Update the Firmware and the Driver

Most of the time “USB accessories disabled” error occurs when the driver or firmware of the USB device is outdated. To fix this issue, it is recommended to update the drivers on your Macbook.

For this, click on the Apple logo and go to system preferences and then click on the ‘Software Update.’ This should refresh the gadget driver and fix the “USB accessories disabled” issue.

Restart the MacBook

Why Does my Mac Show “USB accessories disabled”?

This is one of the simple and effective solutions to fix the “USB accessories disabled” error on your Mac.

To restart the MacBook, follow the steps given below:

  • Firstly, disconnect all the USB devices from the ports. Now, click on the ‘Apple Menu’ present in the top left corner of the screen and then click on the ‘Restart’ option.
  • Once the MacBook gets restarted, reconnect your USB devices and see if the issue has been fixed or not.

Reset SMC

SMC stands for System Management Control in Mac. This helps in managing the low-level device settings like USB connection, battery management, etc. In case if the SMC on your MacBook is corrupted, even then, you face the “USB accessories disabled” error.

To fix this issue, you need to reset the System Management Control on your Mac. You can do that by following the steps given below:

  • When your MacBook restarts, immediately press the shortcut Shift + Option + Control + R.
  • Hold the keys till you see the Apple logo.
  • Now, your Mac will boot normally, and the issue gets fixed.

If you have a Mac without T2 Chip, then follow the process given below:

  • Turn off the MacBook and unplug the power cord.
  • Now, wait for at least 15 seconds till the power drains off completely.
  • Plug back the power cord and now turn on the Macbook after a few seconds.

Reset NVRAM

NVRAM stores temporary data and recalls it quickly when needed. The settings and data stored in the NVRAM depend on the USB devices and Mac. If the NVRAM is corrupt, Mac cannot access the USB ports. To fix this error, you need to reset the NVRAM.

Boot into Safe Mode

If there are any temporary bugs or malware in your Mac, booting into ‘Safe Mode’ helps to clear them off. It also clears off third-party software logs that are causing the USB error on your system.

Scan for Malware

When there is malware present on your Mac, the chances of it interfering with the USB kernels are high. Sometimes it disabled the USB port connectivity. To fix this issue, it is recommended to download any trusted antivirus software and perform a malware check.

Replace I/O board data cable

In case you have done everything to fix the “USB accessories disabled” error but still could not fix it, then we recommend you replace the I/O board cable. A faulty I/O cable can limit the functionality of your MacBook.

Conclusion

These are some of the common fixes you can try to solve the “USB accessories disabled” error on your system. In most of the cases, the methods mentioned above have solved the issue for Mac users. In case the issue is not fixed for you, we recommend you seek the help of a Mac professional or visit the Apple store to get it fixed.

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