marklcfc

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 5, 2007
60
7
I’m probably asking something here that’s been asked a lot, but I’ve not had a MacBook since my old one I bought back in 2009.

I notice USB ports are now just thunderbolt. I have 2-3 usb 2 devices I’d want to plug into, potentially one usb 3 and also I’d like to show my screen on a bigger monitor too sometimes so I need to plug that in too.

How can I achieve all this on the new MacBooks?
 

BootLoxes

macrumors 6502a
Apr 15, 2019
547
648
You will need dongles. There are ones that have multiple ports like usb, ethernet, and hdmi all in one. You can pick them up in most electronic stores or online if you arent in that big a hurry
 
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marklcfc

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 5, 2007
60
7
If I buy a laptop that only has 2 thunderbolt 3 ports can I fit what I mentioned in or do I need one with 4 ports?
 
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salamanderjuice

macrumors member
Feb 28, 2020
94
90
If I buy a laptop that only has 2 thunderbolt 3 ports can I fit what I mentioned in or do I need one with 4 ports?

You can do it with one port. Browse Amazon or your favorite retailer for USB C hubs. You'll find a number of devices that will give you multiple USB A ports, usually an HDMI, SD card slot or ethernet, etc. Some even have power passthrough so you can plug your AC adapter into the hub then like a USB keyboard, mouse and a monitor and have it all connected in a single cable. I kind of like this because it's super simple to get my laptop ready for transport. Pick the one that has the ports you'll think you'll need. If you do get one with power passthrough make sure it supports the wattage of your MB though.
 
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marklcfc

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 5, 2007
60
7
I see them, there's alot to choose from. I can see some attach to the macbook itself through using both ports. Can you still charge the macbook through this hub?
 
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leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
14,172
10,147
Your laptop comes with a bunch (depending on which one you own) of high-speed USB ports that use most recent USB standard connector. You can either upgrade the USB cables on your external devices (if they are detachable), or, as other have said, use a USB hub that offers legacy connectors. Each of the USB ports on your laptop natively supports DispayPort protocol (I am not sure whether they also support HDMI directly), so if your monitor does not support the newest standard you can always get a USB-to-DP cable or USB-to-HDMI adapter (depending on what your monitor uses). Or again, use a USB hub that integrates a HDMI port — most of them do.
 
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salamanderjuice

macrumors member
Feb 28, 2020
94
90
I see them, there's alot to choose from. I can see some attach to the macbook itself through using both ports. Can you still charge the macbook through this hub?

Yes, if they support Power delivery. Read the specs and see what they say. Usually they'll say something like Power Delivery Port or USB-C pass-through charging with some wattage rating next to it like 45W or 60W or 100W. Get one that corresponds to the wattage of your MacBook's charger (e.g. 16" MBP would need 100W). I don't think there's much benefit to getting one of the ones that attaches to the MacBook through both ports, it's less flexible on what devices it'll support and unless you're running a ton of power hungry, speed hungry devices using both ports is overkill IMO.
 
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marklcfc

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 5, 2007
60
7
I don't think there's much benefit to getting one of the ones that attaches to the MacBook through both ports, it's less flexible on what devices it'll support and unless you're running a ton of power hungry, speed hungry devices using both ports is overkill IMO.
You’re probably right it just looks a bit of a mess when it isn’t
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,501
8,417
"I notice USB ports are now just thunderbolt"

NO.
STOP RIGHT THERE.


They are NOT "thunderbolt" ports.
They ARE "USBc ports" that also support thunderbolt connections.

Words mean things.
Repeat the above to yourself 15 times in succession, so that you remember this from now on.

What you need:
You can get short "dongles" like this that will enable you to connect USBa type cables to them:

Or... if your drives have removable cables "at the drive end", you could get cables with a USBc connector on one end, and a USBa connector on the other, like this:
 
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