Will Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad power a portable USB 2.0 hard drive when used with a MacBook Air?

Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

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1 Answer from the Community

  • Answer

    Not likely.

    The maximum power output of the USB ports on the keyboard are 500 mA for the first connected port, and 100 mA for the remaining port. And even that is only when the keyboard is plugged directly into the special 1100 mA-capable USB ports on a Mac. if you plug the keyboard into a standard USB port, you will get even less power.

    If your USB 2.0 hard drive gets all of its power through the USB ports, then it will never work if it exceeds 600 mA. Most USB hard drives that lack a separate power cord have two USB connectors, and each connector draws the maximum USB 2.0 power limit of 500 mA. So even if you do manage to stretch both USB cords from your hard drive around to the USB ports on opposite ends of the keyboard, the total power draw will be 1000 mA, which will overload the keyboard. At which point the keyboard will stop working, and you will have to unplug the whole keyboard and plug it back in to get it functioning again.