New TBT4-TDZ dock stops working spontaneously with Macbook Pro 2019 16"

I am using a TBT4-TDZ with a 1080p monitor and 4K monitor, both connected via HDMI. I also have an Apple keyboard, external speaker/microphone, and wireless mouse dongle plugged into the dock. I have a 2019 (non-M1) Macbook Pro 16". I am using the power supply provided by the TBT4, and I am using the Thunderbolt 4 cable provided with the TBT4 to connect to my Macbook. Everything works fine most of the time.

Every now and then, maybe a couple times a day, spontaneously it will appear as if I unplugged the dock from my Macbook. All devices will disconnect. Nothing is touching the cord, nothing is touching the dock or Macbook, so the cord could not have moved. I will have to power cycle the dock, and sometimes unplug it to let it cool before it will restart.

I have felt the dock, and it appears very hot. To me, this seems like something is overheating and disconnecting as a result. Is there any way to work around this?


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

Thank you for having confirmed using the provided dock accessories, so we know that’s likely not an issue on that front. We wouldn’t expect heat to be causing such an issue in most cases as it’s expected for these docks to run quite warm due to the high power USB-C Power Delivery charging circuitry inside. However, it is possible that the dock is defective in some way and we’ll need to replace it given the behavior you’re seeing, especially if you have found that letting it cool off helps.

I can say that for the Intel based MacBook Pros (I use a 2019 i7 15" model) that occasionally these can experience some instability over Thunderbolt/USB-C and in times that I’ve encountered problems an SMC and NVRAM/PRAM reset can often help. We’ve also seen this help for other customers using Intel Macs as well when facing some odd dock behaviors.

I would suggest before trying a replacement dock to try the following steps if able:

  1. Perform an SMC reset:
  2. Perform an NVRAM/PRAM reset:

If these steps haven’t helped and the disconnecting still happens then I’d like to send you a pretested (known-good) replacement dock under warranty and we can see if the behavior is now improved.

If the replacement dock helps then we’ll know something is wrong with the original unit and I’d want to send you a prepaid return shipping label so we can get that back for inspection.

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

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