Some users of the latest MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models available are complaining about a compatibility issue with USB 2.0 accessories, which causes the computer to freeze. According to the reports shared on the web, the problem seems to affect only the MacBook models introduced in 2020.
As noted by MacRumors, there are a significant number of complaints from users on Reddit and Apple Support Communities. In most cases, USB 2.0 accessories are randomly disconnected from the MacBook and sometimes the system crashes after that.
One of the affected customers said the connected accessories stop working after using the machine for a while, and the only known workaround is rebooting the Mac.
When I use an external USB-C hub in any port of my MBP, and connect USB 2.0 devices that include a Filco keyboard and a Razer DeathAdder mouse… after a while (minute or hours) the USB 2.0 devices will stop responding (keyboard dead, mouse not moving or clicking).
While there doesn’t seem to be a clear pattern as to how the problem occurs, most reports mention that USB 2.0 devices become unresponsive when connected to a USB hub. The MacBook works normally with USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 accessories, even through a hub.
Another user reported that he was able to fix the issue by using a Thunderbolt hub instead of a USB one, but Thunderbolt accessories are often more expensive and that’s certainly not the ideal solution.
I had this exact same issue when I returned my 2019 MacBook Air, which did not have the issue, for a 2020 MacBook Air. […] my solution was changing from a USB-C hub to a Thunderbolt dock, but I could not find any reference to this problem online.
Apple is yet to fix this problem, which appears to be a software bug, so owners of the 2020 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air will have to wait until the company releases a new macOS Catalina update.
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About the Author
Filipe Espósito is a Brazilian tech Journalist who started covering Apple news on iHelp BR with some exclusive scoops — including the reveal of the new Apple Watch Series 5 models in titanium and ceramic. He joined 9to5Mac to share even more tech news around the world.