I have an external SSD in a multi-port box that has a power in/out feature. I use it to power my MacBook Pro on a normal basis. The "power out" socket on the aux box is connected by USB-C to USB-C on the laptop, and that works. Usually. Every once in a while, for reasons unknown, the laptop doesn't think it's getting power, and I have to jiggle things randomly until it's happy again.

My question is this: can I use a "normal" Mac power cable (with the fancy magnetic power plug) for data from an aux box like this (a couple of USB ports, Ethernet, etc)? Well, data plus power of course.

I have tried this, and things partially work; for example the Ethernet adapter in the aux box seems to be alive, however the USB ports and the embedded SSD don't work. However maybe there's something I need to set up to allow data over the power port?

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    Under the Technical specs of your device, does it make any mention at all of the MagSafe connector and its data throughput? Also the best way to understand things and their capabilities, is to read up and research, not just post a question about the "the fancy magnetic power plug". This shows you've done no research.
    – Allan
    Oct 13, 2023 at 20:26
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    @Allan I did in fact do some amount of research, but as you almost certainly know it is quite difficult to find non-garbage information about topics like this, especially now with all the worthless ad farm "technical" sites out there.
    – Pointy
    Oct 13, 2023 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


No, the MagSafe 3 power cable cannot be used for data transfers. It does not work for data transfers for for example Ethernet adapters, USB ports or SSD in docking station or the like.

You need to use a USB C data cable to charge and communicate with one cable from your hub to your Mac. Save the MagSafe cable for pure charging needs or to double up if you find the USB C connection to be flakey.


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