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I am trying to connect my laptop, MacBook Pro (2019) Ventura 13.4, to my external monitor using a ThinkPad Thunderbolt 4 docking station. The external monitor is connected to the docking station using an HDMI cable and the MacBook is connected to the docking station using a Thunderbolt 3 cable.

I see the white light on my docking station and my laptop is charging so it doesn't seem like an issue with the docking station.

However, it fails to detect the external monitor. I hear the beep sound and my laptop monitor freezes for a few seconds when I connect the docking station to my laptop, however, after that nothing.

Also, I have no issues connecting my MacBook Air (2019) Ventura 31.1 to the same external monitor using the same docking station and the same USB-C cable.

I can connect to an external monitor using a HDMI to USB-C converter to my MacBook Pro.

The back of the ThinkPad Thunderbolt 4 docking station showing the different ports

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    Are you using the same cable going from the Mac to the dock in both instances (Air and Pro)? Have you tried a different TB port on the Pro? What if you bypass the dock and connect the monitor directly to the Pro?
    – Allan
    Jul 20, 2023 at 13:59
  • yes, same cable. and I tried all the four ports on my MacBook Pro. Jul 20, 2023 at 14:15
  • And bypassing the dock altogether?
    – Allan
    Jul 20, 2023 at 14:16
  • @Allan that works. if I use dongle in connect HDMI directly. Jul 20, 2023 at 14:37
  • You might have a compatibility issue with the dock. Can you post an edit with these new details plus how you you’re connecting from the dock to the monitor (i.e. HDMI to HDMI, DisplayPort to HDMI, etc.)
    – Allan
    Jul 20, 2023 at 14:41

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I would probably be sure I use a new thunderbolt 3 or ideally future proof yourself with an OWC Thunderbolt 4 cable for that dock instead of a USB cable.

There are still enough differences between USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4 that it's worth the cost and hopefully you can balance where you buy the cable with a place that offers either advice or returns that mean the investment won't be for nothing. I'm assuming you've already exhausted support from the vendor of the dock or can't use that for reasons.

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  • Nice to know the difference. my cable is thunderbolt 3. I see a thunderbolt icon and 3 digit on it. based on connector I thought it's usb-c. Jul 21, 2023 at 12:39
  • @GaurangShah It's quite painful to be clear what connector type vs what data rating and internal cabling exists. Thunderbolt uses the same connector now as USB-C and mini DisplayPort in the past. Even if your cable is the correct type - another cable is always something I check as it's a likely failure point and usually the cheapest to test in terms of time and expense.
    – bmike
    Jul 21, 2023 at 16:52

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