MacBook Pro 16 inch problems with Messages loading older texts via Ethernet

The issue is Messages cannot load older texts when MacBook Pro 16 is connected to internet via TBT3-UDZ ethernet. Older texts load when using Wi-Fi or a stand alone Ethernet adapter, just not with the TBT3-UDZ. The symptom is when scrolling up in a message thread you reach a point where more texts need to be loaded from iCloud (as I have Messages enabled in iCloud) and a spinning gear appears. Using Wi-Fi or an Ethernet adapter the gear disappears immediately and the older texts load, with the TBT3-UDZ the gear continues to spin. I have unplugged all cables attached (USB, Ethernet, power) to the TBT3-UDZ to attempt to reset the device but this did not solve the issue. Ethernet though the TBT3-UDZ seems to work fine otherwise.

Hello Peder,

Thank you for contacting Plugable support! Sorry to hear about this issue. I’d be more than happy to assist you.

What version of macOS is your system running?

Please don’t hesitate to let us know of other questions.

Thanks again for contacting Plugable support and best wishes!

Joshua Henry

Senior Engineer | Product Owner
Plugable Technologies

Joshua - I am running Big Sur 11.1

Thanks for the information!

There are some known issue with the Apple provided built in macOS Ethernet drivers for the Realtek RTL8153 USB 3.0 Ethernet chipset used in our dock (and many other docks and USB Ethernet adapters on the market) for both macOS Catalina and Big Sur.

Unfortunately, for macOS Big Sur 11.x users, at this time there is no updated driver available due to Apple’s change in driver models from “KEXT” to “DEXT”. Realtek is currently developing new drivers to support this new macOS version but we do not yet have an estimate for when the new drivers will be available.

These issues may manifest in the following ways:

  1. When put to sleep, the problematic driver creates an Ethernet broadcast storm which can overwhelm some Ethernet routers. (This issue can be bypassed by disabling sleep if it is encountered.)
  2. Some users have reported packet loss. (This would likely explain your issue with Messages not loading correctly.)

For now, it may be best to use the WiFi or external Ethernet adapter until the new drivers are available for the dock Ethernet. We can notify you once these drivers can be downloaded if you would like.

Best wishes,

Thanks, Joshua. I will use an Ethernet adapter until the new drivers are available.

This topic was automatically closed 20 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.


I just wanted to let you know (if not already aware) that macOS Big Sur 11.3 was just recently released by Apple on 4/26/2021. Early testing results by our team and some customer reports have indicated that the prior unstable built in Ethernet drivers have been updated in this OS version. Upgrading to macOS 11.3 should correct problems with the Realtek Ethernet in the dock that users have been experiencing and waiting for the release of a driver directly from Realtek should no longer be necessary.

I recommend to update to this new version as soon as you are able and verify if the Ethernet is working correctly for you.

If you need further assistance just let me know.



Joshua - thanks for the heads-up. The update to macOS Big Sur 11.3 did fix the issue I was having. I did need to power off then on the dock first before the issue was resolved.

Thanks again!

1 Like