Apr 06

When I unboxed my new MacBook Pro I booted it up and followed the prompts to connect my old MacBook Air to transfer my old files across. For some reason it did not recognise my old MacBook Air. I used the USB-C cable that came with my new MacBook Pro to connect the two computers together. It didn’t work.

The next day I tried again, this time with a different cable, and it worked. The USB-C cable that is supplied with new MacBook Pro is NOT a thunderbolt cable. So you cannot use it to transfer data. Apple saved themselves some $$$ by throwing in a cheaper cable that you can only use to charge. Read on and I’ll explain the differences.

A not thunderbolt cable.

This is what a USB-C Thunderbolt cable looks like. It’s also what a NOT Thunderbolt cable looks like. They look exactly the same! Some of Apple’s cables USB-C cables are Thunderbolt and some are not. The ends looks the same, the cable looks the same, but they are not the same.

Have a look at these 2 items in the Apple Store:

These cables are both USB-C. (That refers to the shape of the connector on the end). But one is a ‘Charge Cable’ and one is a ‘Thunderbolt Cable’.

The one on the left will charge your computer. That is all it will do. The one one the right will charge your computer and it will also allow you to connect to another computer, or a SSD drive, iPad or any other Thunderbolt device.

They will both charge your computer.

It gets even more confusing if you head down to JB HiFi and but another USB-C cable because it’s possible to get a USB-C data cable that has a slower charging rate!

When you buy a USB-C cable you can get ones that charge fast, charge slowly, transfer data fast, transfer data slowly, or don’t transfer data at all. Apple’s charging cable does not transfer data at all.

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