Apple releases macOS update to fix USB-C ‘bricking’ issue

The issue affected recent MacBook Pro and MacBook Air devices that used "unauthorised" USB-C accessories

A close-up shot of a MacBook keyboard

Apple has released a new macOS Big Sur update following reports of MacBooks becoming ‘bricked’ when connected to certain USB-C devices.

Like previous Big Sur updates, version 11.2.2 aims to improve the stability, performance, and compatibility of Apple Mac computers. However, in a description of the new release, the tech giant specified that this latest macOS release aims to prevent recent MacBook models from “incurring damage when they are connected to certain third-party, non-compliant powered USB-C hubs and docks”.

The device models affected are MacBooks Pros released in 2019 or later, as well as all MacBooks Airs released since last year. However, only those that had been connected to unauthorised accessories - such as USB-C chargers and hubs - have been affected by the issue, according to Apple. 

When ‘bricked’, laptops become unresponsive to any commands, with the issue being most often impossible to fix.

One Swedish user recounted on a MacRumors forum how they “woke up and took the power cable out of the computer and it just wouldn't start”. This user reached out to Apple Support, which advised them to turn in the device to their local Apple Reseller. However, the user was then told that the computer “was completely bricked” and that repairing or retrieving the hard drive would be impossible. 

“The whole logicboard needs to be replaced,” they added. “Apparently they say that the replacement part is not even close to being shipped to Sweden since the computer is so new.”

Users are advised to update their MacBooks as soon as possible. In order to do so, it’s recommended that they should first check the compatibility of their device with Big Sur 11.2.2 as well as back up its contents using tools such as Time Machine. A stable network connection and power supply is also advised, preferably using an accessory that has been authorised by Apple.

When ready to update, users should click on the Apple menu > System Preferences, and then select Software Update. They can also click here to open the macOS Big Sur page on the App Store and click on the Get button or iCloud download icon.

Apple recommends that users let the installation process complete before turning off their MacBooks or closing their lid. 

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