I have several FireWire 800 Hard disks full of data/video/images I need for work. Last week I bought a brand new iMac and only today I realized that Apple is not selling any Thunderbolt 3 to FW800 adapter?

I couldn't believe it, and I hope there is a solution otherwise I will switch away from Apple forever.

  • 2
    It seems like a bit of a stretch of dump Apple because they no longer support a long since obsoleted technology (Firewire). This is like getting angry with them because Apple Desktop Bus is also, no longer supported.
    – Allan
    Dec 5, 2018 at 18:06
  • 1
    You are a victim of Technology evolution. .....Designer Apple Inc. ... ...Designed 1986; 32 years ago ...Produced 1994–2013 Superseded by Thunderbolt and USB 3.0
    – Ruskes
    Dec 5, 2018 at 18:07
  • Amazon has Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter for $30. its here: amazon.com/Apple-Thunderbolt-to-Firewire-Adapter/dp/B00SQ2CJUS/…
    – Natsfan
    Apr 17, 2019 at 19:07

4 Answers 4


Buy a drive caddy for $22.00 (USB3). Take all your old Firewire drives apart pull each disk out, and slip them into your modern caddy. Plug the caddy into USB and pull your data off as needed.

Don't toss the drives. You can use them for backup media etc. through the caddy. Be sure you do a modern reformat on the drives, and run Disk First Aid.

  • I've got 3 of the Sabrent caddies around. They are darn useful. Dec 6, 2018 at 5:38
  • This way the speed of the disk is reduced to the USB3 speed... Dec 6, 2018 at 18:09
  • 2
    @FabioMarzocca - Firewire 800 is 800Mb/s while USB 3 is 5Gb/s; in other words, USB 3 is 6x faster than Firewire.
    – Allan
    Dec 7, 2018 at 11:32
  • @Allan, you're right. My bad... Dec 7, 2018 at 16:44

After a quick search I found out there is a solution:

Have an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Apple Thunderbolt 2 cable

Then you can have an Apple Thunderbolt 2 to Firewire 800 cable

I do not think there is a way to connect it directly.

  • 1
    Yes, I knew that "solution", but I wouldn't define exactly as a solution. Does a 2,000 $ computer need such a patched cable to work with FW800 disks (which is an Apple protocol!)? I feel cheated by Apple. Dec 5, 2018 at 17:53
  • 2
    @FabioMarzocca Yeah I agree. I do not like what Apple has done
    – user310476
    Dec 5, 2018 at 17:54
  • 1
    FireWire was made obsolete by Thunderbolt 1 and USB 3.0. which is now almost a decade since inception. The market is very small for Thunderbolt 3 to Firewire adapters and makes no sense to continue the development.
    – Allan
    Dec 5, 2018 at 17:59
  • 2
    Thunderbolt ports are stupidly scarce resources on most Macs. Include the option for Docks with FW (although even more expensive) and I'll +1. ("Superseded" 'obsolete' are spits in my face as well…, but hey, this is the Appleverse.) Dec 5, 2018 at 18:10
  • Does it matter if you need to put two adapters together to get what you want? Both adapters are made by Apple. Apr 18, 2019 at 8:11

Slightly different -- but the title makes this question comes up in Google for audio gear as well: if you have Firewire gear you can't convert and want to connect, OWC has a Thunderbolt 3 dock with a Firewire port. Noone else has such, AFAIK. https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/docks/owc-thunderbolt-3-dock/firewire

  • 1
    OWC has now discontinued the Thunderbolt 3 dock with the firewire port.
    – TerryJ
    Feb 17, 2019 at 14:13
  • Would like to add to the OWC dock comment that it was a great dock for professional audio, where there are still many FW interfaces and converters (as opposed to storage) still the primary hardware in studios. However I am currently with one that just died after about 6 months of use, and am unable to replace with anything similar. Although it remains the only TB3 to FW dock one might run into on craigslist or the back shelf of a big box store, sadly I don't recommend it.
    – spigmu
    Apr 17, 2019 at 17:33
  • Apparently still available at Amazon: amazon.com/OWC-Port-Thunderbolt-Dock-Space/dp/B01N51P3BB Apr 17, 2019 at 20:25

Just take the drives out of their enclosures. They're going to be standard SATA Drives on the inside. You can then just put it into a Thunderbolt or USB 2/3/C enclosure (~$25 online).

Oops, didn't see @Wayfaring-Stranger's post. Yes. That.

  • How is this any different from what the accepted and highest voted answer already says? If you wish to agree, please up vote and/or leave a comment.
    – Allan
    Dec 28, 2018 at 14:16

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