Thu. May 23rd, 2024
Reset USB Ports Mac Without Restarting


How to Reset USB Ports Mac Without Restarting?

USB ports are the unsung heroes of our Macs, facilitating connectivity with a range of devices from flash drives to printers. However, encountering issues with these ports is not uncommon, leading to frustration and disrupted workflows. One common solution is to restart your Mac, but what if there was a quicker way to resolve these problems without the inconvenience of a full system restart? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how to reset USB ports on your Mac without the need for a reboot. We’ll delve into the reasons behind USB port issues, provide a step-by-step guide to the non-restart method, troubleshoot common problems, and offer preventive measures. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to keep your Mac’s USB ports running smoothly.

How to Reset USB Ports Mac Without Restarting?

Before delving into the solution, it’s crucial to understand the issues that can plague your Mac’s USB ports. These problems can range from devices not being recognized to slow data transfer rates. When USB port issues arise, it can disrupt your workflow and lead to productivity losses. For instance, your external hard drive might not show up on your desktop, or your mouse and keyboard could intermittently disconnect. These are symptoms of USB port problems that can occur for various reasons, including software glitches, driver conflicts, or hardware issues.

The Non-Restart Method 

The good news is that you don’t always have to resort to a full system restart to fix USB port problems on your Mac. Here’s a step-by-step guide to resetting USB ports without the inconvenience of restarting your computer:

  1. Open Terminal: Launch Terminal on your Mac. You can find it in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder.
  2. Identify USB Controller: In Terminal, enter the command “system_profiler SPUSBDataType” and press Enter. This will display detailed information about your Mac’s USB ports and controllers.
  3. Unload USB Kernel Extensions: To reset the USB ports, you’ll need to unload the USB kernel extensions. Enter the command “sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBHostFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBFTDI.kext” and press Enter. You’ll be prompted to enter your administrator password.
  4. Reload USB Kernel Extensions: After unloading the USB kernel extensions, it’s time to reload them. Enter the command “sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBHostFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBFTDI.kext” and press Enter.
  5. Check USB Ports: Your USB ports are now reset. Test them by plugging in a USB device to ensure they are functioning correctly.

This non-restart method allows you to reset your USB ports swiftly and effectively, saving you time and minimizing disruptions.

Troubleshooting Common USB Port Issues

While the non-restart method can resolve many USB port issues, it’s essential to troubleshoot common problems before attempting a reset. Here are some steps to troubleshoot and identify the root causes of USB port issues:

  1. Check Physical Connections: Ensure that your USB devices are securely connected to the ports. Loose connections can lead to intermittent problems.
  2. Inspect USB Cables: Examine the USB cables for any visible damage or fraying. Faulty cables can cause connectivity issues.
  3. Test with Different Devices: Try connecting different USB devices to the same port to determine if the issue is device-specific.
  4. Restart Your Mac: Sometimes, a simple restart can resolve transient USB port problems. If the issue persists after a restart, consider the non-restart method.
  5. Update Drivers: Check for driver updates for your USB devices. Outdated drivers can lead to compatibility issues.
  6. Scan for Malware: Run a malware scan on your Mac using reputable antivirus software. Malware can interfere with USB port functionality.

By systematically troubleshooting USB port issues, you can identify and resolve the problem efficiently.

When to Consider Seeking Professional Help? 

While the non-restart method and troubleshooting steps can address most USB port issues, there are situations where seeking professional assistance is warranted. If you encounter any of the following scenarios, it’s advisable to consult a Mac technician:

  1. Physical Damage: If your USB port is physically damaged, such as bent pins or a loose port, professional repair may be necessary.
  2. Persistent Issues: When USB port problems persist despite repeated resets and troubleshooting, it could indicate underlying hardware issues.
  3. Complex Repairs: Some USB port issues may require specialized tools and expertise to diagnose and repair.
  4. Warranty Coverage: If your Mac is under warranty, seeking professional help ensures that any necessary repairs are covered.

Professional technicians have the knowledge and tools to diagnose and resolve challenging USB port problems effectively.

Preventing Future USB Port Problems 

Prevention is often the best strategy when it comes to USB port issues on your Mac. Here are some best practices to help you avoid future problems:

  1. Handle USB Devices Carefully: Treat your USB devices gently, avoiding abrupt insertions and removals that can damage ports.
  2. Use High-Quality Cables: Invest in high-quality USB cables to minimize wear and tear.
  3. Keep Your System Updated: Regularly update your Mac’s operating system and drivers to ensure compatibility with USB devices.
  4. Scan for Malware: Run regular malware scans to protect your Mac from potential threats that could affect USB port functionality.
  5. Backup Your Data: Always maintain backups of your important data to mitigate the risk of data loss in case of unforeseen USB port issues.

By adopting these preventive measures, you can reduce the likelihood of encountering USB port problems in the future and enjoy seamless connectivity.

How to Enable a Disabled USB Port on Mac?

Discovering that a USB port on your Mac is disabled can be frustrating, as it can disrupt your workflow and connectivity with essential devices. Fortunately, re-enabling a disabled USB port is often a straightforward process. Here’s how:

  1. Check for Physical Issues: Before assuming software problems, ensure there are no physical issues with the port or connected devices. Inspect for bent pins, debris, or loose connections.
  2. Restart Your Mac: Sometimes, a simple restart can re-enable a disabled USB port. This clears temporary glitches in the USB controller.
  3. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC): If restarting doesn’t work, resetting the SMC might help. The process varies depending on your Mac model, so consult Apple’s official guide for the correct steps.
  4. Review System Preferences: Go to “System Preferences” > “Security & Privacy” > “Privacy” > “USB” and check if the port is blocked due to privacy settings. Adjust as needed.
  5. Check for Software Conflicts: Sometimes, third-party software or drivers can disable USB ports. Investigate recently installed software or drivers and uninstall or update them if necessary.
  6. Visit an Apple Store: If all else fails, visiting an Apple Store or authorized service provider may be necessary for a thorough hardware inspection and repair.

Remember, safety and precision are crucial when handling hardware-related issues. Always refer to official Apple resources or consult a professional if you’re unsure.

USB-C to USB Adapter Not Working on Mac 

The USB-C to USB adapter is a handy accessory for Mac users, enabling compatibility with standard USB devices. However, encountering issues with this adapter can be frustrating. Here’s how to troubleshoot and resolve problems when your USB-C to USB adapter isn’t working on your Mac:

  1. Check Physical Connections: Ensure both ends of the adapter are securely connected, as loose connections can result in connectivity issues.
  2. Inspect Adapter and Cable: Examine the adapter and cable for visible damage, such as bent pins or frayed wires. Damaged components may require replacement.
  3. Try Different USB Devices: Test the adapter with various USB devices to rule out device-specific problems.
  4. Restart Your Mac: A simple restart can often resolve adapter-related glitches.
  5. Update macOS: Ensure your Mac is running the latest macOS version, as updates may include driver improvements for adapters.
  6. Check System Preferences: Go to “System Preferences” > “Security & Privacy” > “Privacy” > “USB” and ensure that the adapter is allowed access if prompted.
  7. Test on Another Mac: If possible, try the adapter on another Mac to determine if the issue is with the adapter or your Mac.
  8. Contact Apple Support: If the adapter continues to malfunction, consider reaching out to Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store for further assistance.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you can identify and resolve issues with your Usb-C to USB adapter on your Mac, ensuring seamless connectivity with your USB devices.


USB ports are the gateways to connectivity on your Mac, and encountering issues with them can disrupt your daily tasks. Thankfully, you don’t always have to resort to a full system restart to resolve these problems. The non-restart method allows you to reset USB ports swiftly and efficiently. Additionally, by troubleshooting common issues and adopting preventive measures, you can maintain trouble-free USB connectivity on your Mac. Remember that while these solutions are effective for most situations, seeking professional help is advisable for complex or hardware-related problems. With this comprehensive guide, you’re equipped to take control of your Mac’s USB ports and enjoy seamless connectivity without the hassle of a full restart.