As great as the latest MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models are, their lack of ports is a major weakest. That's where a USB Type-C hub or docking station comes in handy, but the problem with that? It's turning some user's MacBooks into bricks. Yikes.
Apple has issued a macOS Big Sur update that claims to prevent these Macs from bricking when third-party USB Type-C hubs and docking stations are plugged in. In other words, download and install the Big Sur 11.2.2 update now before plugging anything in.
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“macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 prevents MacBook Pro (2019 or later) and MacBook Air (2020 or later) models from incurring damage when they are connected to certain third-party, non-compliant powered USB-C hubs and docks,” Apple states on its support page (opens in new tab).
Several users have experienced the problem over the past few months, with one Reddit user posting about their experience with an M1 MacBook Air connected to a ZMUIPNG USB-C hub. The MacBook's screen "flashed for a brief second" before bricking, with the laptop refusing to turn back on.
More users took to Reddit describing similar experiences, with many stating it wasn't just M1 MacBooks, but Pro and Air models with Intel chips also experiencing the problem (as spotted by BGR).
For now, the new Big Sur 11.2.2 update will fix the issue; this can easily be done by heading to System Preferences on the MacBook, selecting Software Update, and clicking on Update Now.
While ports may not currently be a MacBook's strong point, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects 2021 MacBook Pro models to feature an HDMI port and an SD card slot. We have our fingers crossed, but for now, some of the best USB Type-C hubs and docking stations more than make up for any lack of ports.