How to Fix USB Accessories Disabled on Mac

Have you ever tried to connect a USB device to your Mac and been met with an error message that says, “USB Accessories disabled. Unplug the accessory (or device) that is using too much power to re-enable USB devices”? This error message is a common issue that Mac users experience, and it can be frustrating to deal with. Fortunately, there are several solutions to fix USB accessories disabled on Mac, and we’ll outline them below.

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s first understand what causes this error message to appear. Essentially, this error message indicates that the USB device you are trying to connect is drawing too much power from your Mac. When your Mac detects that a USB device is using too much power, it disables all other USB accessories connected to it to prevent any damage.

Why am I Getting The USB Accessories Disabled Error Message?

There are several reasons you may be getting the USB Accessories Disabled message. To begin to fix the problem, let’s take a look at them and see if you can find the reason for yours.

  • The USB device needs more power to properly function.
  • Compared with reading data on the USB device, it requires more power to write to the drive.
  • The USB port is damaged or faulty.
  • The USB cable is damaged or broken.
  • The device driver is outdated.
  • The Mac firmware is outdated.
  • The USB device is not turned on.
  • The USB device is not recognized by your Mac.

Now, let’s look at the different solutions to fix USB accessories disabled on Mac.

1. Disconnect all USB devices and restart your Mac

The first solution is to disconnect all USB devices from your Mac and restart it. Sometimes, simply disconnecting all USB devices and restarting your Mac can resolve the issue. This is because restarting your Mac can help to reset the USB ports and clear any errors.

2. Unplug the Unnecessary USB Devices

Another solution to fix USB accessories disabled on Mac is to unplug any unnecessary USB devices. Sometimes, having too many USB devices connected to your Mac can cause the error message to appear. Unplugging any unnecessary USB devices can free up power for the USB device you are trying to connect, potentially fixing the issue.

To unplug any unnecessary USB devices, simply disconnect any USB devices that are not currently in use. You can also try connecting the USB device you are trying to use to a different USB port on your Mac. This can help distribute power more evenly across the USB ports and prevent the error message from appearing.

3. Use a powered USB hub

If the first solution doesn’t work, you can try using a powered USB hub. A powered USB hub is a device that allows you to connect multiple USB devices to your Mac. Unlike regular USB hubs, a powered USB hub has its own power supply, which can provide additional power to your USB devices.

By using a powered USB hub, you can bypass the power limitations of your Mac’s USB ports and avoid the USB accessories disabled error message. Simply connect your USB devices to the powered USB hub and then connect the hub to your Mac.

4. Check the USB device for damage

If you’re still experiencing the USB accessories disabled error message, the next step is to check the USB device for damage. Sometimes, a damaged USB device can draw too much power and cause the error message to appear. To check for damage, inspect the USB cable and connector for any visible signs of wear and tear.

If you find any damage, try using a different USB cable or connector. If the USB device is still not working, it may be damaged beyond repair and will need to be replaced.

5. Reset the SMC on your Mac

Another solution to fix USB accessories disabled on Mac is to reset the SMC (System Management Controller) on your Mac. The SMC controls various hardware components on your Mac, including the USB ports. By resetting the SMC, you can potentially fix any issues related to the USB ports.

To reset the SMC, follow these steps:

  • Shut down your Mac
  • Press and hold the Shift + Control + Option keys on the left side of the keyboard and the power button at the same time for 10 seconds
  • Release all the keys and turn on your Mac
  1. Update your Mac’s software


Another solution to fix USB accessories disabled on Mac is to reset PRAM (Parameter RAM) or NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory). PRAM or NVRAM stores information such as display resolution, time zone, and sound volume, which can affect the USB ports’ functionality. By resetting PRAM or NVRAM, you can potentially fix any issues related to the USB ports.

To reset PRAM or NVRAM, follow these steps:

  • Shut down your Mac
  • Press the power button and immediately press and hold the Option + Command + P + R keys
  • Hold the keys until your Mac restarts and you hear the startup sound twice
  • Release the keys

Note that the steps for resetting PRAM or NVRAM may vary depending on the model of your Mac. You can refer to Apple’s support website for more specific instructions.

7. Update your Mac’s software

Finally, if none of the previous solutions work, it’s possible that your Mac’s software needs to be updated. Apple regularly releases updates to its operating system, which can include bug fixes and improvements to hardware components like the USB ports.

To update your Mac’s software, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen
  • Select System Preferences
  • Click on Software Update
  • Follow the instructions to install any available updates
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Categories Mac
About S. Santos

I am a tech columnist and blogger by trade, but I'm also an avid tennis player. In my spare time, I enjoy reviewing gadgets and gizmos from the world of tech.

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