Almost every time that I put my macbook pro late 2016 (touch bar) to sleep while the USB-C adapters are plugged they stop responding when I wake up the laptop.

All my adapters have multiple ports (i.e usb, hdmi, ethernet). If I unplug them and plug them again in different ports only the hdmi works again, and the only way i found so far to make USB and Ethernet work again is rebooting the laptop.

PS: I have have Sierra (10.12.6 (16G29))

  • 1
    I have a similar problem - when I leave my Macbook plugged in at the office over the weekend, and come in on Monday, I wake the laptop up (no problem yet) - several hours later it dies without warning because it had stopped charging, I assume when I woke it up. I've learned to check the status of the battery when waking but it requires a re-seed of the USB-C plug which is kind of annoying and, IMHO, should be unnecessary. Have you discovered anything else about this issue elsewhere? I agree that resetting NVRAM / SMC shouldn't have anything to do with the ability to charge. I miss MagSafe. Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 19:59
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    For me charging always works. But nothing else... The only way I found to "bypass" the issue is by unplugging everything before putting the laptop to sleep, if I do so, then everything is fine when I wake it up.
    – edgarstack
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 1:07
  • Putting a laptop to sleep turns off nearly all functionality until it wakes up again. Why do you need to use ports while the laptop is sleeping? If you are trying to dock your MacBook then close the laptop (do not put it to sleep, just close the lid), then plug in the power adapter and give it a few seconds and it should display to an external monitor and your peripherals should also work.
    – Tom Hood
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 14:43
  • I'm having the same issue with a M1 Max. I transport my laptop between home and office. Each time I plug in USB devices, I need to be sure the laptop is already awake first. Otherwise, I need to unplug and replug the devices.
    – Noel Yap
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 14:56

3 Answers 3


The first things I'd try is resetting both the NVRAM and SMC.

Before following the steps below, ensure you have no external hardware connected and that you're using the built-in keyboard.

Resetting the NVRAM on Late-2016 MacBook Pro models

Older Macs had what's called Parameter RAM (PRAM), newer Macs use Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory (NVRAM). To reset the NVRAM on all Late-2016 MacBook Pro models (with and without Touch Bar) follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your machine. Yes, a full shut down, not just logging out.
  2. Press the power button and then immediately press the commandoptionpr keys.
  3. Keep these keys pressed down for at least 20 seconds!
  4. Let go of the keys and let your Mac reboot normally.

Note 1: When you log back in you may need to readjust some of your system preferences (e.g. speaker volume, screen resolution, startup disk selection, time zone information, etc).

Note 2: These steps will also work to reset the NVRAM (or PRAM) for all Macs. However, the late-2016 and 2017 MBP models actually required the commandoptionpr keys to be held down for 20 seconds, while earlier Macs did not require this, but doing so does not cause any problems either.

Reset the SMC

There's a couple of ways you can reset the SMC on your MBP, however I prefer the following steps:

  1. Shut down your MBP
  2. Keep the power cable plugged in
  3. Press at the same time shiftoptioncontrol (on the left side of the keyboard) and the power button
  4. Let go
  5. Turn your computer back on with the power button

After resetting both the NVRAM and SMC, use your MBP to determine if the problem still occurs. Let me know how you go.

  • Thanks for the fast response. When you say that I will lose my system preferences, will I lose everything or just some of them ?
    – edgarstack
    Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 12:03
  • No, not everything, but you may lose some. The NVRAM stores a number of preference settings and resetting it can cause some of these to be lost.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 12:09
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    The problem remains.
    – edgarstack
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 18:35

There is no misbehavior on the part of the MBP; resetting SMC etc will not address this problem.

When the MBP goes to sleep, the ports are powered off and communication stops as intended. When the computer wakes, RealTek ethernet chips are powered back on, but they do not resume communication. My work gave me an unbranded usb-c to ethernet adapter which uses a RealTek chip according to System Information > USB. If the computer sleeps, I can't get the connection back without unplugging the adapter, like you described.

However, when I use a Lindy #43164 adapter (which uses an ASIX chip), my connection is fine after sleeping. If you are quite annoyed by this problem, I would recommend buying this adapter, or another which does not use a RealTek chip. (Sadly, RealTek chips are very common.) One downside of the Lindy is that it requires a driver.

This has been my experience on 2017 and 2018 15" MBPs running High Sierra and Mojave.

  • Is there some driver we can get for RealTek to fix this issue? Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 15:35
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    Same here, multi-port USB-C adapter ("Adam Casa Hub A01") with RealTek chip. After sleep HDMI works, but I need to unplug and plug back in for Ethernet to connect again.
    – Frans
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 11:50

The USB drives on the Macbook don't support "Charge While Sleeping" feature. I've tested this out by leaving my iPhone charged while the Mac is on and then when I put it to sleep it turns the power off.

Some Windows laptops support this but Apple hasn't as of yet. Maybe in the future. This is why you are having issues with your adapters. You can't force the USB-C ports to charge while sleep, that is a BIOS feature that is often built into the motherboard.

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    That's not exactly what my complaint is. My complaint is that when I wake the laptop up, the USB-C never starts charging again. So I end up running out of battery by the end of the day, even though the thing has been plugged in all day. So I'm not concerned about charging while sleeping, but surely when the laptop wakes up, USB-C should wake up too, without me having to unplug it and plug it back in again. And really, power should be able to charge the battery regardless of the state of the OS (sleeping or turned off completely). All other MacBooks have worked that way. Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 19:06

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