Why Don’t the New Apple Macs Have USB Ports?

Why Don’t the New Apple Macs Have USB Ports?


The new Apple Macs have been released recently and they have generated a lot of buzz. One of the most controversial aspects of the design has been the decision to not include any USB ports on the machine. This is a move that has perplexed many users, as USB ports are an integral part of modern computing. In this article, we will examine why Apple decided not to include USB ports and what this means for users. We will also discuss potential solutions for those who need access to USB devices.

Why are USB ports missing on the new Apple Macs?

Design Simplicity: Apple aims to create sleek and minimalistic designs for its Mac lineup. Removing USB ports contributes to a cleaner aesthetic, with fewer visible ports on the device’s exterior.

Emphasis on Thunderbolt/USB-C: Apple has transitioned to Thunderbolt/USB-C ports, which offer multiple functionalities in a single port. Thunderbolt/USB-C ports are versatile, supporting data transfer, video output, charging, and peripheral connectivity through a single connection.

Advancement in Wireless Connectivity: Apple promotes wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for various peripheral connections. This allows users to connect devices like keyboards, mice, and printers without the need for physical cables.

Portability and Thinness: As Apple prioritizes portability and thinness in its products, removing USB ports helps reduce the physical space required within the device. This contributes to lightweight designs and slim form factors.

Adapter Flexibility: While it may inconvenience some users, the shift towards Thunderbolt/USB-C ports enables flexibility through adapters. Users can connect a wide range of USB devices, displays, and other peripherals using adapters or dongles, offering a solution to those who still rely on traditional USB connections.

Future-Proofing and Industry Trends: By embracing Thunderbolt/USB-C as a universal standard, Apple positions its products for compatibility with future technologies and aligns with industry trends that are moving towards a single, versatile port solution.

It is important to note that Apple’s decisions regarding port selection reflect their strategic vision and user experience goals. While the removal of USB ports may present challenges for some users, Apple aims to provide streamlined, wireless, and versatile connectivity options in their Mac lineup.

How does Apple address the concerns of users who prefer or depend on USB ports in their daily workflow?

  1. Adapters and Dongles: Apple offers a range of adapters and dongles that allow users to connect traditional USB devices to their Macs. These adapters convert Thunderbolt/USB-C ports into standard USB ports, enabling compatibility with a wide array of peripherals.
  2. Thunderbolt/USB-C Compatibility: Thunderbolt/USB-C ports on the new Macs provide versatility beyond USB connectivity. They support high-speed data transfer, video output, charging, and connection to a wide range of Thunderbolt and USB-C devices, reducing the need for multiple ports.
  3. Docking Stations and Hubs: Apple and third-party manufacturers offer docking stations and hubs that provide additional USB ports, HDMI outputs, SD card readers, and other connections. These devices expand the Mac’s connectivity options, allowing users to connect multiple peripherals simultaneously.
  4. Wireless Solutions: Apple promotes wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for peripheral connections. Users can connect wireless keyboards, mice, printers, and other devices without the need for physical cables, reducing the reliance on USB ports.
  5. Cloud and Wireless Data Transfer: Apple’s iCloud service enables seamless synchronization and data transfer between devices, reducing the need for USB connections for file sharing. AirDrop, Apple’s proprietary wireless file-sharing feature, allows users to transfer files between Macs and other Apple devices effortlessly.
  6. Third-Party Options: Apple encourages the development of third-party accessories and solutions to cater to diverse user needs. This results in a wide range of USB adapters, docking stations, and hubs from various manufacturers, providing users with more choices and compatibility options.

By offering adapters, dongles, docking stations, wireless connectivity options, and promoting the development of third-party solutions, Apple addresses the concerns of users who rely on USB ports in their daily workflow. These options provide users with flexibility, allowing them to connect their preferred peripherals and maintain productivity, even with the absence of built-in USB ports on the new Macs.

How to connect USB-C devices

USB-C is the new industry standard connector for transferring data and providing power to devices, and can be found in many of today’s Mac computers. Fortunately, this means that USB-C devices such as external drives, monitors, mobile device charging solutions, etc., are now able to easily connect straight into the Thunderbolt ports of the Mac Studio, 24-inch iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. No adapter is required; just plug it into one of the Thunderbolt ports across these different models.

However it is important to note that not all USB-C cables are created equal. It is entirely possible for a USB-C cable to carry data but not provide enough power to charge a device – such as an iPhone or other smart device – and vice versa depending on your cable’s specifications. Therefore it’s best to educate yourself about how high-wattage power and Thunderbolt 3 transfers work in relation to your desired end use so you can ensure complete compatibility of both power and data transfer requirements when connecting your chosen USB-C device.

Discover the methods for connecting Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 devices

Connecting a Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 device is not primarily difficult, but it does require an adapter. The Thunderbolt connector has undergone a stunning transformation, evolving from its older version to a sleek and innovative design that now graces Apple devices like the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Mac Studio, and the stunning 24-inch iMac. To connect these two types of devices, you will need to purchase the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter. This accessory costs £49  from Apple. It allows you to connect a ThunderBolt 2 device to any Mac with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports.

The adapter connection also works with other devices that use either Thunderbolt 1 edition or Thunderbolt 2 editions including displays , storage devices such as external hard drives, docks for connects multiple peripherals such as hubs or audio interfaces and Ethernet connections for networking. With the adapter installed in the USB–C port you can then plug in virtually any version of your favorite peripherals without having to worry about compatibility issues. The best part is it offers full compatibility between both old and new hardware making sure your investment will last you many years in the future without having to upgrade several components at once when introducing your new laptop or computer into your setup.


In conclusion, the new Apple Macs do not have USB ports due to their focus on Thunderbolt ports and USB-C connectors, as well as their encouragement of third-party solutions. With adapters and dongles, users can still connect their preferred peripherals while taking advantage of the more modern connections that come with the newer Macs. Additionally, users should be aware that not all USB-C cables will offer both power and data transfer capabilities, depending on their specifications. Finally, users with Thunderbolt 1 or Thunderbolt 2 devices must use an adapter to connect them to a newer Mac model.