USB connection to macbook not working


Hi guys

I bought a new 2018 ipad pro (with usb c connection) yesterday, and astropad won’t connect via usb through my macbook pro. I’ve tried deleting and then downloading and installing the program on my computer, but it was the same. The usb c cable and connector works fine as the ipad charges whilst it is plugged in. Any idea how I can sort this problem out, as the reason I bought this is I work as an illustrator and the wifi connection doesn’t have a quick enough response time.


Hello sugscott!

I’d be happy to help you troubleshoot through this.

While having your iPad connected to your Mac via Wi-Fi, plug in the USB C cable. Then bring up the Luna sidebar, at the top, what does the connection display? It should either say USB or low/med/high Quality connection.

Also, just so we can get a better idea, can you tell me what type of Mac you have?


Hi there

The connection display says medium/low/high quality connection even if I have the usb plugged in. Then if I go into settings it says it is connected via wifi, it doesn’t recognise that the usb is plugged in.

I am using a macbook pro 13inch, 2017 with two thunderbolt 3 ports (usb c).

the ipad is a 64gb 12.9 inch 2018 ipad pro


I may be wrong, but I recall reading somewhere that the USB-C cable provided with the iPad Pro is a charge cable and not a proper USB data cable.


Hi Andrew

Really!? If thats true then thats pretty low of apple, if you spend that much on an ipad pro you would expect to be able to transfer data on the cable :-1:, you don’t have any examples of UBS C cables that are data cables do you? Do you think I should get in contact with apple as well?


I think I got it wrong. Apple’s supplied USB C cable is capable of USB 2 speeds. It just can’t do high bandwidth. This is an interesting article:


Confusing scenario! I’m not the most tech savvy guy, but it seems from reading your article I might need a better cable. Any idea which ones might work?

My friend also sent me this piece, which lists the ipad pro as having a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port. It also says the cable in the box with the ipad pro can’t connect to monitor displays to mirror your ipad screen and that you need to buy a cable that supports ‘high-bandwidth connections’. Do you think this means I’ll need to buy a better cable to use astropad on usb connection?

Is it worth going into apple as asking them?


@sugscott Interesting that you bring up that. The I’ve been using the cable that was supplied with my iPad and am still able to make a connection and display to an external. It wouldn’t hurt to use another cable though.

To check that that is the case, with your cable plugged into your iPad, could you try opening up iTunes on your Mac and see if you get a prompt to authorize transfer to your iPad?

Something to check for as well is making sure that both ports are not dirty (usually not the case, but it sometimes happen that there is big ol’ dust bunny on the inside).

On the other super rare case, you could also have a faulty USB-C cable.

Let me know if the suggestion works!


The cable that apple provided did turn out to be the problem. I borrowed a friends cable for a hard drive and was able to connect to it using the usb. Happy days! Shame I’ll have to buy another cable, but at least I can get on with work now.

Cheers for the help!


So out of curiosity, was it a faulty cable, or the wrong type of cable?


I think it was just the wrong type of cable, the one that apple provided charged my ipad but didn’t seem to work with astropad.


That’s interesting. It seems there are several types of usb-c cables. 3.0, 3.1, and 3.1 2nd generation.
From an articles on 9to5mac -
“Unless you want a cable only for charging purposes, beware of cables labelled ‘charge cable’ as that’s an immediate giveaway that they don’t support data transfer. This includes the charge cables Apple supplies inside product boxes.”


USB-C is a confusing mess of parallel specifications. :slight_smile: I’ve had the best luck with the Amazon Basics cables in general, although I haven’t yet gotten one of the new iPads so I don’t know how well they work with AstroPad.


Cheers for all the help!


So glad to hear you got it straightened out!