Doesn't work with Apple MacBook air


When plugged into an Apple 3.0 USB port, Apple returns message “A USB devise needs more power. A USB device can’t draw enough power to operate properly.”

Any ideas?


Hi Rick-

Thanks for posting with your issue, I’ll be happy to help.

To be able to assist I’ll to know which of your products you have. If you can provide your Amazon order ID in an email to with a link to this thread that is helpful, or just take a look at our products page here and let me know what you have:

Any observations you can offer about whether this issue is seen when plugging a certain device in is also helpful. The more I know the better able I’ll be to help!

Best wishes-

Jeff Everett
MCITP Enterprise Support Tech
Plugable Technologies


Thanks for the response. I should have included more detail in the first post.

The product is the USB 3.0 7 port powered hub -81X. I intend to use it with a 13 inch apple MacBook Air. The MacBook Air has 2 USB 3.0 ports.

The hub works fine when the external devices require very little power (flash drive) or the devise has its own power supply.

I get the message “A USB device needs more power” when I plugged in my Apple SuperDrive or my Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive, neither have their own power supply.

I intend to use the MacBook Air connected to an external monitor, 2 printers, the Seagate portable hard drive (as the time Machine backup) and the SuperDrive. The Mac will sit in a Henge docking station with the 7 port hub connected to the Henge.

Do you have a solution?

Rick Evans


Hi Rick-

Thanks for the details.

To begin, I’d like to mention the following warning posted on our Amazon sales page for the product, however I’ll follow up with some details on why we have the warning so you can make an educated decision about whether to keep the hub:
“Not recommended on Mac because of power issues.”

We’ve seen the issue with the SuperDrive before, and unfortunately since it requires more than the standard amount of power for a USB device, your only option will be to connect that directly to your Mac. If you’re interested I can dig up the Apple support forum link where other users have verified this, however I can at least quickly verify that this will require a direct to Mac connection. You may find the error was related only to the SuperDrive once you move it to a direct connection.

If the error persists after moving your SuperDrive off the hub, to begin troubleshooting the Seagate drive, one possibility is that using a USB “y-cable” to pull bus power from 2 USB ports rather than one would help. Many USB external hard drives were initially supplied with a “y-cable” and users switch to using a “normal” USB cable. If this is the case switching back to a Y cable may help.

Please let me know if the issue seems to be specific to the SuperDrive and if you’ve any other questions. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were good to go after simply moving the super drive to a direct connection.

Best wishes-

Jeff Everett
MCITP Enterprise Support Tech
Plugable Technologies