Jul 01, 2014

USB 2.0 devices may have problems connecting to Mac USB 3.0 ports

Recently released Macs have USB 3.0 ports, that can also work with USB 2.0 peripherals.

Elgato Game Capture HD, and other hardware from Elgato, are USB 2.0 devices.

In rare cases, USB 2.0 devices may have problems connecting to USB 3.0 ports on Macs. 

For example, Elgato Game Capture HD might show up in the System Information application under "USB 3.0 High-Speed Bus", but won't be properly connected.  It will list its speed as "Up to 12 Mb/sec".

A proper Elgato Game Capture HD connection would show up under "USB High-Speed Bus", with a speed of "Up to 480 Mb/sec".

This sort of problem can also happen with other USB devices from various manufacturers, using USB 3.0 ports under OS X.


In some cases, using another USB port on the Mac, or via a connected peripheral like a display, will result in a proper connection.

Apple offers an "Using USB 3 devices on Mac computers FAQ" that mentions various troubleshooting steps, including using a powered USB hub.


USB 3 devices are not activating or not appearing on the USB 3 bus. What could be wrong?
▪    Be sure you've installed the latest software updates available for your computer. To check, choose Software Update from the Apple () menu and see if any updates are available.
▪    Sometimes unplugging and plugging the device back in can resolve the issue.
▪    Try plugging the device into another USB port on the computer.
▪    Check to see if there is a firmware update available for your device from the manufacturer.
▪    If it came with an AC adapter, use it.
▪    Try restarting your computer.
▪    Try a different USB 3 cable.
▪    Try a different USB 3 hub.

Right now, if you see a problem with the connection to an USB 3.0 port, the best solution we recommend would be to use your device with a powered USB 2.0 hub, which is connected to a USB port of a Mac that supports USB 3.0.