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Why is my Thunderbolt dock not responding on my MacBook Pro?

Apple MacBook Pro
Drop of port: docks seem to disappear occasionally on a MacBook Pro

If you’ve got a recent MacBook Pro, you’ll know that there’s not much in the way of ports on the thing. A smattering of Thunderbolt ports is all you get on the latest models, which is why most people end up shelling out extra for a dock such as the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock I reviewed earlier this year.

However, an odd problem has started to occur on my MacBook Pro 16in and others have reported similar issues on Twitter. Sometimes the Mac refuses to acknowledge the dock’s existence.

This has happened several times in the past couple of months with the dock I’m using currently, the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro. I’ll fire up the Mac with the dock plugged in, but the Mac refuses to believe it’s there. The power light on the dock remains orange, which indicates it’s receiving power but not plugged into the Mac.

I’ve changed the Thunderbolt cable, I’ve used different ports on the MacBook Pro, but the problem is reoccurring. Luckily, it’s very easy to fix.

All you have to do to get the Mac to acknowledge the dock is to plug it into a different Thunderbolt port.

I’ve no idea why this problem occurs and it’s hardly a showstopper, but it’s one of those frustrating little niggles that you think someone, somewhere should be able to fix. And when I say someone somewhere, I of course mean Apple and the gazillion engineers it’s got locked up in that big glass doughnut.

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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