One of the two USB ports of my Macbook Pro stop working frequently.

Once I reboot the computer, then two USB ports work well. But one of them (always the same one makes the problem) stops working. I don't know when exactly it occurs and why it occurs.

How can I fix this?

  • 1
    I have experienced a similar issue with my MacBook Pro (early 2011), and I could narrow the cause down to a USB-powered harddrive. When I plug the drive in sometimes the USB port (usually the one closer to the display) stops working, I guess the drive, under some circumstances, is drawing too much power. Is this your case? The obvious solution is to use a USB hub (one that takes its power from an external power supply, of course).
    – jaume
    Apr 3, 2013 at 19:06
  • No, I only tried a cell phone charger and a mouse, neither worked while the other USB port works well with both devices.
    – user67275
    Apr 3, 2013 at 19:29
  • I would wonder about hardware failure (perhaps heat-related?) Apr 5, 2013 at 5:41
  • Try running Apple Hardware test.
    – Ruskes
    Apr 7, 2013 at 18:11
  • Two people I know with 2011 macbook pro's have had problems possibly related to USB port power with their MacBook Pro's in the last few months. In one case, an external USB hard drive would work only when the MacBook Pro was plugged in (presumably due to voltage/power related issue at the port). I wonder whether this could have anything to do with the laptop batteries wearing out. Def hardware issue so tough to diagnose without taking it to the shop.
    – Colin
    Apr 14, 2015 at 17:13

2 Answers 2


The ports are designed to shut down when an over current situation is detected. It stands to reason that this circuit is reset at boot, so there could be damage to the sensor or damage / fault to the logic board or it could be a result of actual over current from whatever's connected.

Have you considered taking it in to a shop for a diagnosis?

Also, look in the Console app - all messages - and search for USB. You might be able to see the time when the over current (or other error condition is logged) since the system should notify the logging subsystem when a USB port gets shut down.


A proper diagnostic will make it clear if it is the software or hardware problem. You should take it to your local Mac repair Store.

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