How to Fix “USB Accessories Disabled” on Mac 2024

As a Mac user, you may have encountered the frustrating error message “USB Accessories Disabled” when trying to connect external devices to your computer. This error can be quite inconvenient, especially if you rely on USB accessories for work or personal use. In this article, I will guide you through various troubleshooting steps to help you fix the “USB Accessories Disabled” error on your Mac and get your devices connected again.

USB accessories are widely used to enhance the functionality of Mac computers. They can range from keyboards and mice to external hard drives and printers. However, sometimes when you connect these devices to your Mac, you may encounter the “USB Accessories Disabled” error message. This error can occur due to various reasons, such as software glitches, incompatible drivers, or hardware issues. Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve this problem.

What Could be Causing the USB Accessories Disabled Error to Occur on Mac?

Before diving into the troubleshooting steps, it’s important to understand the possible causes of the “USB Accessories Disabled” error on your Mac. One common cause is a temporary software glitch that can be resolved by simply disconnecting and reconnecting the USB devices. However, if this doesn’t work, there may be other factors at play. It’s also possible that the USB port you are using is faulty or that the USB or Thunderbolt hub you are connecting your devices to is not receiving enough power. In some cases, a hardware reset may be required to fix the error.

Disconnect & Reconnect USB Devices

The first troubleshooting step to fix the “USB Accessories Disabled” error on your Mac is to disconnect and reconnect the USB devices. This simple action can often resolve temporary software glitches that may be causing the error. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Safely eject any connected USB devices from your Mac.
  2. Disconnect the USB cables from your Mac.
  3. Wait for a few seconds, and then reconnect the USB cables firmly into the USB ports.
  4. Once the devices are connected, check if the error message persists.

Connect Your External Device to a Different Port

If disconnecting and reconnecting the USB devices didn’t resolve the error, the next step is to try connecting your external device to a different USB port on your Mac. Sometimes, certain USB ports may have compatibility issues or become faulty over time. Here’s how to connect your external device to a different port:

  1. Safely eject the USB device from your Mac.
  2. Disconnect the USB cable from the current USB port.
  3. Plug the USB cable into a different USB port on your Mac.
  4. Wait for a few seconds to allow your Mac to detect the device.
  5. Check if the error message still appears.

Connect Your External Device Directly to Your Mac

If connecting the external device to a different USB port didn’t resolve the error, it’s worth trying to connect the device directly to your Mac without using a USB or Thunderbolt hub. Sometimes, these hubs can cause compatibility issues or power-related problems. Here’s how to connect your external device directly to your Mac:

  1. Safely eject the USB device from your Mac.
  2. Disconnect the USB cable from the USB or Thunderbolt hub.
  3. Plug the USB cable directly into an available USB port on your Mac.
  4. Wait for a few seconds to allow your Mac to detect the device.
  5. Check if the error message persists.

Make Sure USB or Thunderbolt Hub is Connected to an AC Adapter

If you are using a USB or Thunderbolt hub to connect your devices to your Mac, it’s important to ensure that the hub is receiving enough power. Inadequate power supply can lead to the “USB Accessories Disabled” error. Here’s what you can do to check and resolve this issue:

  1. Disconnect the USB or Thunderbolt hub from your Mac.
  2. Check if the hub has an AC adapter port.
  3. If it does, connect the AC adapter to a power source and then connect it to the hub.
  4. Make sure the hub is receiving power by checking for indicator lights or any other signs of power.
  5. Once the hub is connected to power, reconnect it to your Mac.
  6. Check if the error message still persists.

Restart Your Mac

If none of the previous steps have resolved the “USB Accessories Disabled” error, it’s time to try restarting your Mac. Restarting your computer can help clear any temporary software glitches that may be causing the error. Here’s how to restart your Mac:

  1. Save any unsaved work and close all open applications.
  2. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen.
  3. Select “Restart” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Wait for your Mac to shut down and then start up again.
  5. Once your Mac has restarted, check if the error message still appears.

Reset PRAM and NVRAM (Intel-Based)

If restarting your Mac didn’t resolve the error, you can try resetting the PRAM (Parameter Random Access Memory) and NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random Access Memory) on your Intel-based Mac. These memory modules store certain settings and configurations that can affect the functionality of your USB devices. Here’s how to reset the PRAM and NVRAM:

  1. Shut down your Mac completely.
  2. Press the power button to turn on your Mac, and immediately press and hold the Option, Command, P, and R keys simultaneously.
  3. Keep holding the keys until you hear the startup sound for the second time (or see the Apple logo appear and disappear twice if your Mac doesn’t play a startup sound).
  4. Release the keys.
  5. Once your Mac finishes restarting, check if the error message is resolved.

Reset SMC on Your Mac (Intel-Based)

If the “USB Accessories Disabled” error still persists, you can try resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) on your Intel-based Mac. The SMC is responsible for managing various hardware components, including USB ports. Resetting the SMC can sometimes resolve issues related to power management and hardware functionality. Here’s how to reset the SMC on your Mac:

  1. Shut down your Mac completely.
  2. Disconnect the power adapter from your Mac.
  3. If your Mac has a removable battery, remove it.
  4. Press and hold the power button for at least 10 seconds.
  5. Release the power button.
  6. Reconnect the power adapter (or reinsert the battery if applicable).
  7. Wait for a few seconds, and then press the power button to turn on your Mac.
  8. Check if the error message has disappeared.

Reset SMC on MacBooks with T2 Chip

For MacBooks with a T2 chip, the process of resetting the SMC is slightly different. The T2 chip is responsible for controlling various aspects of your Mac’s hardware, including USB ports. Here’s how to reset the SMC on MacBooks with a T2 chip:

  1. Shut down your MacBook completely.
  2. Press and hold the power button for at least 10 seconds.
  3. Release the power button.
  4. Wait for a few seconds, and then press the power button to turn on your MacBook.
  5. Check if the error message has been resolved.

Reset SMC on Mac Desktops With/Without T2 Chip

If you are using a Mac desktop computer, whether it has a T2 chip or not, you can still try resetting the SMC to resolve the “USB Accessories Disabled” error. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Shut down your Mac desktop completely.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the back of your Mac desktop.
  3. Wait for at least 15 seconds.
  4. Plug the power cord back into your Mac desktop.
  5. Wait for a few seconds, and then press the power button to turn on your Mac.
  6. Check if the error message has disappeared.

Reset SMC on MacBooks with Removable Battery

If you are using a MacBook with a removable battery, you can follow these steps to reset the SMC:

  1. Shut down your MacBook completely.
  2. Remove the battery from the back of your MacBook.
  3. Press and hold the power button for at least 5 seconds.
  4. Release the power button.
  5. Reinsert the battery back into your MacBook.
  6. Press the power button to turn on your MacBook.
  7. Check if the error message has been resolved.

Reset SMC on MacBooks with Non-Removable Battery

For MacBooks with a non-removable battery, the process of resetting the SMC is slightly different. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Shut down your MacBook completely.
  2. Connect your MacBook to a power source using the power adapter.
  3. Press and hold the Shift, Control, and Option keys on the left side of the keyboard, along with the power button, for at least 10 seconds.
  4. Release all the keys and the power button.
  5. Press the power button to turn on your MacBook.
  6. Check if the error message has disappeared.

Update Software on Your Mac

If none of the previous steps have resolved the “USB Accessories Disabled” error, it’s possible that a software issue is causing the problem. Updating the software on your Mac can help fix any bugs or compatibility issues that may be affecting USB connectivity. Here’s how to update the software on your Mac:

  1. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on “Software Update.”
  4. If any updates are available, click on “Update Now” to install them.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the update process.
  6. Once the updates are installed, restart your Mac.
  7. Check if the error message is resolved.
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