connecting a USB-C drive to an older Thunderbolt 2 MacBook Pro

Just purchased a USB-C ext. drive that I want to use for my Time Machine B/U with an older MBP 15 that uses TB2. The new drive will connect to my USB-2 port but I want the faster TB2 speed. What adapter can I buy that will connect the USB-C to the TB2 port on my mac?

Thank You!

Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

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1 Answer from the Community

  • You did not specify the model of your USB-C external drive, so I can't determine if it's USB 2.0 (480 Mbps), USB 3.1 gen 1 (5 Gbps), USB 3.1 gen 2 (10 Gbps), or Thunderbolt 3 (20 or 40 Gbps), or what connections it allows.

    If you're drive is Thunderbolt 3, then use the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter. This will work only if your drive has a female Thunderbolt 3 connector. If it does not, then you also need to have a Thunderbolt 3 device with a second Thunderbolt 3 port. Then you connect your to the end of the Thunderbolt chain.

    The Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter only works with Thunderbolt devices and computers. This does not include USB-C only devices.

    The MacBookPro 2015 has USB 3.0 ports that work up to 5 Gbps. If your drive is not Thunderbolt and has a USB-C female connector, then use a USB-C male to USB-A male cable. Do not use USB-C female to USB-A male adapters because they do not comply with the USB Type-C specification.

    If your drive supports USB 3.1 gen 2 (10 Gbps) and can actually go faster than 5 Gbps (for example, it is a raid with 4 or more HDDs, 2 SSDs, or a NVMe), or your drive only has a USB-C male connector, then you can get up to 10 Gbps if you have a Thunderbolt 3 device with two Thunderbolt 3 ports and the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter. Connect your USB-C drive to the Thunderbolt 3 device's second Thunderbolt 3 port. Some Thunderbolt 3 docks also have one or more additional USB 3.1 gen 2 ports. USB ports that are controlled by an ASMedia ASM1142 USB controller have a max USB 3.1 gen 2 speed that is 80% of the speed provided by the second Thunderbolt 3 port.

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