MacBook Pro and MacBook Air users who have the new 13-inch 2020 models seem to be facing issues with USB 2.0 devices that connect to their laptops via a USB-C hub. There are a number of users talking about the issue they are facing on Reddit and the Apple Support Communities.
Connectivity Issues with USB 2.0 accessories on 2020 MacBooks
In their complaints, users claim that when connected to MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, USB 2.0 devices that are connected to the machines through the USB hub stop responding. The number of complaints on different social media platforms hint at the possibility of a widespread macOS Catalina bug rather than the issue being isolated.
One user discussed the issue they were facing, on Reddit:
“When I use an external USB-C hub in any port of my MBP, and connect USB 2.0 devices that include a Filco keyboard and a Razer DeathAdder mouse… after a while (minute or hours) the USB 2.0 devices will stop responding (keyboard dead, mouse not moving or clicking).”
The user tried to fix the problem by trying multiple USB hubs and even unplugging and connecting them back again, but the devices still remained unresponsive. However, the USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 devices continued to function normally.
SMC resets, reinstalling the operating system, safe mode, and Disk Utility repairs solutions were tried by the users but every attempt was unsuccessful in fixing the bug. This suggests that the problem may be on Apple’s part and they may need to fix this with a software update, if no other cause is found.
There are similar complaints on Apple Support Communities about connectivity issues of USB 2.0 accessories to 2020 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro through a hub. But there is no clear pattern so far about which accessories are impacted or when this issue occurs, since the disconnection issue has only affected a small number of users. This makes it harder to isolate the cause of the issue.
In the meantime, customers have been contacting Apple so that they could get their devices fixed. Apple has been replacing the faulty MacBooks with new models, but according to users, the problem is still prevalent in the new machines.