Apple releases macOS update to prevent damage from third-party docks and dongles
Apple is once again releasing an update to prevent a charging problem from killing MacBooks — this time it’s to fix a problem where 2019 and later MacBook Pros, and 2020 and later MacBook Airs were being damaged when connected to third-party USB-C hubs and docks (via MacRumors).
It’s unclear how widespread the issues are, but a poll on Reddit had 74 out of 221 respondents report that their M1 Air or Pro had failed after using a hub. As with all polls, it’s best to take the results with a grain of salt, but there’s an indication that some people were experiencing issues.
Most of the issues seemed to come from using a third-party dock, and while some of them seem to be from pretty obscure brands, there are a few recognizable ones that are reported to have killed laptops. For its part, Apple calls them “non-compliant powered USB-C hubs and docks” in the new update’s notes.
It seems like Apple has been having some issues with power delivery recently. The last update, 11.2.1, was released to fix an issue where some users were unable to re-charge their computers if they drained to 0 percent battery, it issued a recall for other MacBook Pro batteries that wouldn’t charge past one percent, and another recall for “a very small number” of Apple Watches that wouldn’t charge after an update. Hopefully this is the last power bug Apple has to work out.
If you plug your MacBook into a dock or hub of any kind, it’s probably best to download this update as soon as you can, especially if it’s one of those affected models. Oh, and if you see this message, maybe just make sure you’re plugging it in to an official Apple power brick while you do.