Issues with peripherals waking MBP16 from sleep in clamshell mode.


macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 15, 2019
Hey all! Both a close friend and myself had and returned 16" MBPs due to this issue, and I figured we can't be alone- although I didn't see anyone appearing to have the same problems after a cursory glance at search results on this forum and Reddit. I was worried that the ghosting issue would bother me, so when I eventually caved and got the 16" I was happy to see that it didn't bug me at all... until I had something much worse for my use case.

My laptop remains plugged in at my desk to wall power, a USB-A hub (via the Apple USB-C to A adapter), and a display via DisplayPort over USB-C. My friend's setup is similar but with a different brand of USB hub and two UltraFine 5K displays. Both of us immediately had problems getting peripherals to wake the MacBook from sleep properly - clicking the mouse or a key on the keyboard for me would light up the LEDs on the peripherals indicating that they had begun to receive bus power, but the Mac wouldn't wake from sleep and the display wouldn't turn on. It wasn't until I physically opened the laptop and clicked the power button that it would jolt awake.

For my friend, not only could he not wake the machine with the keyboard or mouse but even after opening it and clicking the power button the displays would often flicker or one (sometimes even both) of them would refuse to wake up altogether until being physically unplugged and replugged into the MacBook.

Both of us ended up returning within the 14 days because this issue is kind of a show-stopper due to the way we use our machines. Having both of our previous personal machines on Mojave, it was also our first exposure to Catalina which I presumed to be the cause. I figured that if it's truly a software thing that gets ironed out in the fall I'll be happy to buy another 16 when it's sorted.

The problem then becomes- I can't find any other reports of this exact issue in what should be a very common use case for the computer. I want to find another thread so that I can watch for software updates, acknowledgements from Apple, etc.

Any insight would be much appreciated- whether I'm missing something, you're having the issue too, or can provide anywhere to get further information- thank you in advance.
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