Are your USB-C ports loose and repeatedly disconnect / stop charging? (MBP 2016)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mpt-matthew, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. mpt-matthew macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2010
    All four of the USB-C ports on my MacBook Pro 2016 are loose.
    No cables 'click' into place, like they do on other devices (including the actual power brick, which never comes undone).

    This is a really frustrating issue, as I'll find my computer not charging, or hard drives will unsafely disconnect.

    Apparently Apple have updated the USB-C ports on the 2017 MBP, so the USB-C cable holds in much better, or 'clicks' in.

    I have seen many other users with this problem, and my friend's 2016 MBP ports are exactly the same (so not an individual issue with my machine).

    1. Do you have this problem? Which model do you have?
    2. Since Apple have updated this on the 2017 machine (apparently), is there any chance that I could argue for a repair or replacement if I can demonstrate a difference. It's clearly a design flaw.
    3. Have the 2016 logic board replacements been updated with the new 'clicky' USB-C ports, so if the logic board is replaced the USB-C ports would be updated?
    4. If Apple won't replace it, how easy is it to lobby them to launch a replacement programme like they did with the keyboard issue?
  2. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    Nope. 2016 MBPr15
    Sure you could argue for a repair or replacement. Not clearly a design flaw. This is the first I've read of anyone complaining of it.
    Do not know.
    Contact your lawyer.
  3. mpt-matthew thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2010
    Ah this is interesting. When did you buy it? Which country?
    So your USB-C port clicks in just like the power brick does?
    Mine feels completely different to inserting the cable into the power brick.
  4. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    Not exactly sure, I believe a month or two after they were released.
    United States
    I've never 'unclicked' the power brick. I purchased an extra power cable / brick for the office and use the original that came with it for home.

    I also use a USB-C to USB standard adapter for the occasional hardware connection.
  5. mpt-matthew thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2010
    Ah ok. Thanks for this information.
    All the ones I've seen which are the same as mine are in the UK and purchased at a similar time.
    My USB-C to USB-A connector falls out too. Nightmare for Hard Drives disconnecting.
    While I was tying the above my power cable came out from the movement of me typing (although I'm not at a desk, so the computer does move while I type).
  6. kjvmartin macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2016

    My 2016 had 3 keyboard AppleCare visits before the USB-C came loose for no reason.

    This was a non touch bar base model. They were going to repair but I made noise about it and got a new unit. The 2017 is currently in the shop for a failed key. I’m tempted to exit the MacOS ecosystem and see if they’ll trade me for a loaded iPad Pro with accessories.
  7. Playfoot macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2009
    Yes, I wrote elsewhere that I was having this problem with the ports becoming loose.

    However, given the time it takes to repair a maxed out MBP late 2016 15" with parts backordered, I wait as long as possible before going to Apple.
  8. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    If you still have warranty coverage just return it for repair (AKA replacement.) This is clearly a hardware fault I'd say. Since you guys haven't brexited yet you should still have EU warranty protection at least, even though it's kinda crap AFAIK (having to prove you didn't cause the issue, somesuch nonsense IIRC.)
  9. mpt-matthew thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2010

    So I went to the Apple Store and plugged my original USB-C cable into the 2017 MacBook Pros in store.
    They all 'Clicked' when the cable was inserted, and had a good hold on the cable so it doesn't come loose.
    This was the same for a USB-C data cable for a hard drive.

    Below is a video comparing the 2017 (first) to my 2016 (second) MacBooks.
    It's hard to tell the difference in the video, but listen for the click.

    There was no "Genius" available to discuss it with, so I'm going back Thursday to have a proper appointment, now I've confirmed a difference.

    --- Post Merged, Jul 1, 2018 ---
    Yeh it is still under Apple Care.
    My point is all the 2016 versions I've seen are the same as mine. So they can't just replace it with a 2016 model unless somewhere in their production line they have updated the ports.
    I got mine in the UK within weeks of it coming out, an so did my friends who has the same issue.
    Hopefully they have updated it, or even better they replace it with a 2017 model.
  10. smbu2000 macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2014
    I'm guessing that they probably switched over those older 2016 I/O board parts for the 2017 I/O board parts when the newer models came out.
    I took my 2016 15" model (purchased 01/2017) in for service (11/2017) for usb-c port issues. My cables (video out, usb hub) would mess up/disconnect pretty often sometimes with only a slight touch.

    At the Apple Store, they tested out the Apple usb-c power cable and it seemed to stay in okay. Luckily I had taken a video of me causing the disconnections fairly easily at home. They sent it off to the repair center and they ended up swapping out those parts.

    I've had no problems related to the usb-c ports since then. After watching that video I tried out my usb-c ports (usb-c hub, usb-a adapter, apple usb-c to lightning cable and apple usb-c cable) and they made that "click" sound. Only my recently purchased usb-c to displayport cable didn't click, but it fits in pretty tightly. I don't remember what they sounded like before the repair though.
  11. Glockworkorange macrumors 68000


    Feb 10, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    Happened on my 2016 13 inch TB. Ports were loose and the machine had trouble charging. I brought it in within the warranty period and I think they end up putting in a new logic board. Whatever the fix was, they took care of it.

    I cannot speak to questions 2 through 4.
  12. BigMcGuire Contributor


    Jan 10, 2012
    I have a very loose USB C port on my 2017 MBP 13’ TB. It is significantly looser than the other 3 ports to the point that I can plug in a hard drive and it not recognize it unless I press the cable in further. But it did this out of the box and hasn’t gotten worse with usage, so I haven’t really given it much thought, but I do know I try to keep hard drives out of that port because just a tiny bit of tugging will disconnect them from the OS in that port.

    Maybe you lucked out and got all ports like that one? I find a lot of 3rd party cables are usually too small and don’t “click” like the Apple cables do (I bought an Apple USB C to Lightning Cable and use this to compare).

    I am not impressed with USB C in that aspect - love the power and speed throughput though.
  13. macsimcon macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2008
    I purchased a 2017 TB MBP in July, 2017. In the last four months, my external hard drives, flash drives, power cables, and drive docks have all had intermittent connections on all four ports.

    I noticed several months ago that my nightly clone job to an external drive had gone from taking a few hours to update the clone each night to sometimes not finishing until 12 or 14 hours had elapsed, and without adding much additional data.

    Initially, it was just the two ports on the left side, as those are the ports I use each night when I connect my MBP to my drive dock, but when those ports began to go, I switched to the two ports on the right side, and now they've started connecting intermittently as well.

    I can often plug in a device to any of my four USB-C ports and have the device not register the first time, so I need to unplug and reconnect again or a third time to get the device to register.

    I too am not looking forward to yet another week without my laptop while it goes to the depot for repair. The last time, Apple formatted my 2 TB SSD, wiping out both my Mac and Bootcamp partitions, requiring days of imaging to recover...all to replace a keyboard with a few bad keys.

  14. mpt-matthew thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2010
    Do your ports now 'click' like they do in the video above? Or are the ports just tighter fitting now?
    On the 2017 model in the store there is a distinctive 'click' when you insert the cable (you can hear it on the first Mac) - this is what I think would fix the issue?
  15. Glockworkorange macrumors 68000


    Feb 10, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    None of the ports behave and click like the first machine in the video. They sound/look like the second machine, only not loose.

    I use a 15 inch 2017 primarily and I can't notice a strong "click" with that machine either, although all the ports are pretty tight.

    I was just thinking--I had a 2015 MacBook that needed a keyboard and logic board replaced twice and a 2016 MB Pro 13 inch that needed a new logic board. I also had to take my 2017 27 inch iMac in because of extreme light leak---received a screen replacement.

    Every Mac I've owned in the past three years has had a serious hardware problem needing service and I'm clearly not alone. Knock on wood this 15 inch doesn't develop any problems!
  16. chris_b macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2017
    I had a 2015 rMB which had a USB-C port that never clicked. When I got my 2016 MBP (pre-order), I noted that it had a much better feeling when plugging in cables because of that click. However one of the four ports died on me and I took it in for repair. I can't recall if it stopped clicking but it did not charge and it did not recognize anything plugged into it, ever. No amount of wiggling the cable helped.
  17. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    USB-C ports are on a separate board and can be replaced independently of the logic board. I had mine replaced and they did mention it was a common complaint, so I think they may become a little loose with time.

    Anyway it's a simple and cheap repair, if you've got AC then just ask them to replace/adjust the ports. Mention that they have loosened over time. But I wouldn't try convince them that they should 'click' as you keep noting, mine have never clicked, no USB port I can think of has ever clicked. But it should hold the connector snugly.
  18. nylon macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2004
    I have loose ports on my 2016 15" rMBP as well. However, I don't have connection issues. I just make sure that anything I connect is properly seated. I have also noticed that some 3rd party USB-C accessories released around the same time (2016) are a poorer fit than newer ones.
  19. mctrials23 macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2013
    Never had any issues on my tbMBP 13" 2016 model. There isn't a proper click but there is a soft click when I plug in cables.
  20. mpt-matthew thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2010

    So I took my Mac to Apple who agreed the ports didn’t hold onto the USB-C cables as the new ones did.
    They ordered in a couple of the I/O components which are separate from the logic board. The computer took 7 days to repair (luckily I didn’t need it in those 7 days, this time was mainly due to my local stores backlog).

    It’s now back and the ports are excellent. The cables click in place, and are held there even if the computer moves.

    I assume there was a bad batch of USB-C I/O boards that were made when I got my Mac.
  21. jmarking1986, Aug 14, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018

    jmarking1986 macrumors newbie


    Dec 20, 2017
    Same issue on the phone now with apple to figure something out other than having to send in my mac every few weeks. Badly designed ports. 2015 models were reinforced with metal and 2016 was not. I think a class action suit should be started, they are not helping me out with this on the phone or chat. I am on my third supervisor right now.

    Attached Files:

  22. repack1 macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2018
    They want to charge me almost $600 to fix this and the computer is not 2 years old. No damage and was purchased for $2700 this is crazy
  23. mpt-matthew thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2010
    I had Apple Care so it was free. But $600 is outrageous!! Although I’m in the U.K., the pricing should be similar.

    I’m happy to send you my invoice, so you can show them what I was “charged”, and they should charge you the same.

    It was basically £13.00 for each I/O board (needed two, one for each side), and £69 labour. The total was £95, which is around $125.
  24. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    Sounds about right. No idea what the other poster is referring to but there will be more to the repair than they're letting on...
  25. booksix macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2009
    Yup, I have this problem - 15" 2016 Touchbar MBP. When using it like a laptop (cause, you know... it is a laptop) I have to be still like a damned statue to keep my hard drives from disconnecting (and it happens even if the plug is visually still plugged in). The ports are just loose and come disconnected SO easily. No click what-so-ever when plugging in, either. Not cool for a computer that was over $3300.

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94 June 30, 2018