Best USB-C Adapters, Chargers and Cables for MacBook and Mac

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USB-C is a newish standard of USB that allows transfer speeds of 10Gbps, as opposed to the current 5Gbps rate available with USB 3.0, while it also offers faster charging times. It’s no one-trick pony, either – USB-C handles data transfer, video output and power input. 

You’ll find Type C on the 12in MacBook, and a faster variant of it (called Thunderbolt 3) on the MacBook Pro (13in and 15in) and newer (post-2018 models) of the MacBook Air.

Thunderbolt 3 Macs can use USB-C accessories, but may lose some of their extra bandwidth (T3’s 40Gbps vs USB-C’s 5-10Gbps).

Similar to Apple’s Lightning connector, USB-C doesn’t have to be plugged in at a certain orientation, which means that you can wave bye-bye to the age-old USB guessing game of “Which way does it go in?”

Fortunately for those without a full range of USB-C gear, Apple will provide you with an adapter to extend the functionality of this port… for a (high) price. Other companies offer more budget-friendly alternatives, along with a range of other USB-C cables, chargers and accessories. You can also add extra USB-C ports to a MacBook using Apple adapters, but these are not the most affordable on the market, as you might expect.

For more detail on USB-C, take a look at our guide to Mac and iPhone ports.

You’ll likely need some old non-reversible USB-A ports, and most adapters and hubs have at least one for your non-USB-C memory sticks and drives. Look for at least USB 3.0, which has a speedy bandwidth of 5Gbps compared to the sluggish USB 2.0’s 480Mbps.

Other ports to look for include Gigabit Ethernet for faster wired Internet access, and an SD or microSD Card reader for adding inexpensive portable storage to your system.

If you’re after a full desktop setup for your MacBook, look out for our recommendations for the best USB-C and Thunderbolt docking stations for MacBooks.

With adapters that offer passthrough charging (so you can charge your laptop even though you are using up one of the laptop’s USB-C ports), look for the charging power it offers. 12in MacBook and MacBook Air charge at 30W; the 13in MacBook Pro at 61W, the 15in MacBook Pro at 87W; and the 16in MacBook Pro at 96W. You can certainly use a charger at a lower power, but remember that it will power up slower than when using a higher-wattage charger, and if too low your laptop might run out of juice altogether when maxed out on power-hungry apps and devices.

Most of these adapters include older USB-A (3.2) ports for older devices (although plenty of accessories still use this standard). if you want to use these older USB slots for charging your phone, look out for chargers that include IQuick Charge 3.0 ports. If your smartphone is compatible, you can charge your phone up to 80% in just 35 minutes.

Most of the products tested here work with non-Apple USB-C laptops too, but you can read our more general roundup of the best USB-C hubs.

Many hubs and docks aren’t compatible with Apple’s SuperDrive CD/DVD drive. We’ve found only one USB-C dock that is compatible with the SuperDrive, the Caldigit USB-C Pro Dock (£189.99/US$199.99)

Also read our roundup of the best USB-C to Lightning cables and best USB-C and Thunderbolt cables.

UGREEN USB-C Hub – Best hub for USB-A ports

UGREEN USB-C Hub with 4 USB-A ports

Twelve South StayGo – Best portable USB-C dock

Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub

Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub with HDMI – Best lightweight adapter with pass-through charging

Plugable 7-in-1 USB-C Hub

Kingston Nucleum 7-port USB-C Adapter – Most robust USB-C adapter

Kingston Nucleum 7-port USB-C Adapter

Satechi USB-C Multi-Port Hub Adapter

Satechi USB-C Multi-Port Hub Adapter

Satechi USB-C Dual Multimedia Adapter – Best multiport adapter for 4K HDMI

Satechi USB-C Dual Multimedia Adapter

Satechi USB-C Dual 4K HDMI Adapter – Best adapter for dual 4K displays

Satechi USB-C Dual 4K HDMI Adapter

Plugable USB-C to HDMI Multiport Adapter – Best alternative to Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

Plugable USB-C to HDMI Multiport Adapter

Moshi Symbus Q – Best adapter with Qi wireless charging

Moshi Symbus Q USB-C Dock

Satechi Type-C 75W Travel Charger – Best 2x USB-C travel charger

Satechi 75W Dual USB-C PD

Satechi Stand Hub for Mac Mini – Best USB-C hub for Mac mini

Satechi Stand Hub for Mac Mini

Syncwire Nylon-Braided USB-C to USB-A Cable

Syncwire Nylon-Braided USB-C to USB-A Cable

Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport

USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

Apple USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter

USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter

Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Card USB-C Reader

SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Card USB-C Reader

Nonda USB-C to USB-A adapter

Nonda USB-C to USB-A adapter

Moshi Integra USB-C Charging Cable

Moshi Integra USB-C Charging Cable

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