How to Connect an iPhone, iPad, External Display, and Hard Drive to MacBook Pro

Thunderbolt ports have been a big part of Apple MacBook lineup for years. This year’s MacBook Pro has four Thunderbolt 3 ports with support for charging and Displayport. But the adoption of Thunderbolt 3 means that you will need a bunch of modern accessories with USB-C ports to plug into your Mac.

Also read: Top 5 USB-C Hubs for your MacBooks

In reality, you can buy a combination dock from a reliable provider out there to add more ports to your laptop. However, if you don’t want to spend some extra cash on a USB-C hub, then you can use an adapter. Indeed, there are tons of adapters out there for your MacBook, but not all of them are worth your money.

In the section below, we will show you the steps on how to connect a hard drive, display, iPhone, and iPad to a MacBook Pro.

How to Connect a USB-C Device to Your MacBook Pro

All modern MacBook Pro and Air models now have Thunderbolt 3 ports that work seamlessly with USB-C accessories. If you now have a USB-C device like an external hard drive or display, you are welcome to plug it into one of the Thunderbolt 3 ports on your laptop.

USB-C is the future as it makes transferring data much easier. Tech experts say that most of the current wired interfaces like HDMI, Displayport, or USB-A will be replaced by USB-C ports in 2020. That makes sense, as Apple is believed to switch to USB-C on 2020 iPhones, just like how the firm made it available on the iPad lineup.

How to Connect a USB-A Device to Your MacBook Pro

USB-A is insanely popular and you can find it on every computer and electronic device out there, like game consoles, TVs, displays, and many more. In 2018, Apple officially removed the regular USB-A ports in its MacBook lineup in favor of USB-C, which offers faster data transfer speeds.

If you still rely on a USB-A device, then grab a USB-C to USB Adapter. The good news is that Apple has its own USB-C to USB Adapter, which is a better option for those who don’t want to buy a third-party adapter out there.

Buy: Apple USB-C to USB Adapter

If you want to connect to multiple devices, the best shot is to get a 4-Port USB-C to USB 3.0. A USB 3.0 4-Port Hub lets you continue to use your existing USB-A devices with your new Mac.

Buy: Belkin USB 3.0 4-Port Hub + USB-C Cable

How to Connect an iPhone or iPad to a MacBook Pro

With 2018 iPad Pro, Apple officially ditched the Lightning port in favor of the USB-C port. This brings a lot of advantages to the iPad Pro lineup, including the ability to charge faster and transfer data at much quicker speeds.

However, the existing iPhones still rely on the Lightning port for charging and data transfer. In this case, you can get the USB-C to USB Adapter from Apple. Alternatively, you can grab a USB-C to Lightning Cable that lets you connect your iPhone or iPad to your USB-C or Thunderbolt 3-enabled Mac.

Buy: USB-C to Lightning Cable

How to Connect Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 Devices to a MacBook Pro

A lot of users still stick with Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 devices. In this case, you should grab Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter from Apple. This adapter lets you connect devices with older versions of Thunderbolt to any Thunderbolt-enabled MacBook models out there.

Buy: Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

How to Connect an External Display to a MacBook Pro

Connecting an external display to a MacBook Pro may be a little bit confusing. With that in mind, we are here to help.

If you want to connect your Mac to a DisplayPort display, you need a USB-C to DisplayPort Cable. Apple is now selling the Moshi USB-C to DisplayPort Cable for $49.95.

If you don’t want to spend that much, you can get the Cable Matters USB C to DisplayPort Cable for only $17 and it supports 4K video.

To connect a display with HDMI, you need a USB-C to HDMI adapter. You can grab one from UGreen for $17 or Nonda for $25.

Bonus: If you want to connect your MacBook Pro to an Ethernet network, you need an adapter like Anker USB C to Ethernet Adapter or StarTech USB C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.

Wrapping Up

Apple MacBook Pro is one of the most powerful laptops on the market. In May, Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup with 8-core processors, new butterfly keyboard, and smarter Touch Bar.

Also read: Apple MacBook Pro 2019 review

To be honest, I’d love to see USB-A ports return to the MacBook. After all, USB-A is now outdated and slow when it comes to transferring files or data. Apple is right to switch to USB-C as it is smaller but much faster.

Got any questions? Let us know in the comments below.

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