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This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple may provide or recommend responses as a possible solution based on the information provided; every potential issue may involve several factors not detailed in the conversations captured in an electronic forum and Apple can therefore provide no guarantee as to the. Global Nav Open Menu Global Nav Close Menu; Apple; Shopping Bag +. If you download and install apps from the internet or directly from a developer, macOS continues to protect your Mac. When you install Mac apps, plug-ins, and installer packages from outside the App Store, macOS checks the Developer ID signature to verify that the software is from an identified developer and that it has not been altered.

Your MacBook Pro comes equipped with many different functions and features that make it a really great computer to have. All of the high-end tech that is built into these computers can allow you to accomplish many different tasks quickly and Apple products are well-known for their intuitive interface and ease of use.

The safest place to get apps for your Mac is the App Store. Apple reviews each app in the App Store before it’s accepted and signs it to ensure that it hasn’t been tampered with or altered. If there’s ever a problem with an app, Apple can quickly remove it from the store.

If you download and install apps from the internet or directly from a developer, macOS continues to protect your Mac. When you install Mac apps, plug-ins, and installer packages from outside the App Store, macOS checks the Developer ID signature to verify that the software is from an identified developer and that it has not been altered. By default, macOS Catalina and later also requires software to be notarized, so you can be confident that the software you run on your Mac doesn't contain known malware. Before opening downloaded software for the first time, macOS requests your approval to make sure you aren’t misled into running software you didn’t expect.


Running software that hasn’t been signed and notarized may expose your computer and personal information to malware that can harm your Mac or compromise your privacy.

View the app security settings on your Mac

By default, the security and privacy preferences of your Mac are set to allow apps from the App Store and identified developers. For additional security, you can chose to allow only apps from the App Store.

In System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then click General. Click the lock and enter your password to make changes. Select App Store under the header “Allow apps downloaded from.”

Open a developer-signed or notarized app

If your Mac is set to allow apps from the App Store and identified developers, the first time that you launch a new app, your Mac asks if you’re sure you want to open it.

An app that has been notarized by Apple indicates that Apple checked it for malicious software and none was detected:

Prior to macOS Catalina, opening an app that hasn't been notarized shows a yellow warning icon and asks if you're sure you want to open it:

If you see a warning message and can’t install an app

If you have set your Mac to allow apps only from the App Store and you try to install an app from elsewhere, your Mac will say that the app can't be opened because it was not downloaded from the App Store.*

If your Mac is set to allow apps from the App Store and identified developers, and you try to install an app that isn’t signed by an identified developer and—in macOS Catalina and later—notarized by Apple, you also see a warning that the app cannot be opened.

If you see this warning, it means that the app was not notarized, and Apple could not scan the app for known malicious software.

You may want to look for an updated version of the app in the App Store or look for an alternative app.

If macOS detects a malicious app

If macOS detects that an app has malicious content, it will notify you when you try to open it and ask you to move it to the Trash.

How to open an app that hasn’t been notarized or is from an unidentified developer

Running software that hasn’t been signed and notarized may expose your computer and personal information to malware that can harm your Mac or compromise your privacy. If you’re certain that an app you want to install is from a trustworthy source and hasn’t been tampered with, you can temporarily override your Mac security settings to open it.

In macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave, when an app fails to install because it hasn’t been notarized or is from an unidentified developer, it will appear in System Preferences > Security & Privacy, under the General tab. Click Open Anyway to confirm your intent to open or install the app.

The warning prompt reappears, and you can click Open.*

The app is now saved as an exception to your security settings, and you can open it in the future by double-clicking it, just as you can any authorized app.

Privacy protections

macOS has been designed to keep users and their data safe while respecting their privacy.

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Gatekeeper performs online checks to verify if an app contains known malware and whether the developer’s signing certificate is revoked. We have never combined data from these checks with information about Apple users or their devices. We do not use data from these checks to learn what individual users are launching or running on their devices.

Notarization checks if the app contains known malware using an encrypted connection that is resilient to server failures.

These security checks have never included the user’s Apple ID or the identity of their device. To further protect privacy, we have stopped logging IP addresses associated with Developer ID certificate checks, and we will ensure that any collected IP addresses are removed from logs.

In addition, over the the next year we will introduce several changes to our security checks:

  • A new encrypted protocol for Developer ID certificate revocation checks
  • Strong protections against server failure
  • A new preference for users to opt out of these security protections
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*If you're prompted to open Finder: control-click the app in Finder, choose Open from the menu, and then click Open in the dialog that appears. Enter your admin name and password to open the app.

Before we get into the software fixes, let’s start with the simplest solution of all: restarting your Mac. Switch the Mac off and back on again. You’ll be surprised at how many problems a quick restart solves.

Next, check the USB device. There’s a chance that it could have failed, particularly so if you’re using a cheaper cable. Inspect the device visually, looking for damage to the connector and any signs of frayed wiring. If there is no apparent damage, take two different USB devices and test them against different ports. If the devices aren’t working on one or all of the ports it’s more likely to be an issue with your Mac and not the device.

A USB device that works on one port but not another is a sign of a faulty port. If this is the case, the only real solution is to contact an authorized Mac specialist for a hardware diagnostics test and have the port repaired.

If the device doesn’t work in any of your ports, then continue reading for some potential fixes.

What to do if Mac USB devices are not working

All of your Mac or MacBook USBs not working is actually better news than one failing. It’s unlikely that all of your ports would fail at once which means the fix is probably an easy one.

Here are three things to try, starting with the most common fix.

1. Reset the SMC

Resetting the SMC (System Management Controller) is a simple fix that cures a wide range of hardware issues. How this is done depends on whether you’re using a MacBook or Mac desktop.

Resetting the SMC on a MacBook

  1. Shutdown your MacBook.
  2. Connect the power adapter.
  3. Hold Shift+Control+Option and the Power button at the same time.
  4. Release all the keys at the same time.
  5. Let your MacBook boot up as usual and the SMC will be reset.

Resetting the SMC on an iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Disconnect the power cord.
  3. Press and hold the Power button for 5 seconds and release.
  4. Reconnect the power cord and switch the Mac back on.

2. Check for updates

Outdated firmware and software results in various hardware issues, including... Yep — Mac USB ports not working.

Check for system updates by opening the App Store and clicking on the Updates tab. If updates are available, click on the Update button next to each application that you want to install.

3. Reset PRAM/NVRAM

The PRAM (Parameter RAM) and NVRAM (Non-Volatile RAM) hold information about various USB components. Resetting them could be the solution to your USB woes.

It’s a slightly different process to resetting the SMC, but no less difficult.

  1. Shutdown your Mac.
  2. Restart it, holding down Command+Option (ALT)+P+R as you do.
  3. Hold down the keys until you hear a sound and see the screen flash.
  4. Listen for the chime sound and let the Mac boot up as usual.

4. Uninstall potentially conflicting apps

If the USB ports not working on your MacBook Pro or iMac is a recent issue and there doesn’t seem to be any problem with USB devices, it could be that an app is conflicting with USB functionality. If you’ve downloaded an app from an unknown source there is the potential for it to contain malware, which could also be the cause of the problem.

In any case, it’s worth uninstalling recently downloaded and installed apps. If they aren't the reason for the USB ports acting up, you can easily reinstall them from the App Store.

One way to remove apps is to use Launchpad or Finder. Or you can use a quicker, more effective method: CleanMyMac X.

To completely remove an app and every file associated with that app, use CleanMyMac.

CleanMyMac’s Uninstaller tool scans your entire system for every trace of an app and completely removes it. Using the tool is every bit as easy as deleting an app manually.

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  1. Download and launch CleanMyMac (free download).
  2. Click on Uninstaller from the sidebar menu.
  3. Select the app that you want to remove from the list.
  4. Click Complete Removal in the Smart Selector panel.
  5. Hit Uninstall.

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While CleanMyMac lets you uninstall apps in bulk, in this case, you should delete apps one at a time until you find the culprit. CleanMyMac also lets you clean up unwanted junk, declutter your Mac and improve performance.

One way to uninstall apps manually is by using the Launchpad:

  1. Open the Launchpad.
  2. Find the app that you want to remove and click and hold the icon until it starts to jiggle.
  3. Click on the X that appears in the corner of the app, then click Delete.

You can also uninstall apps from the Finder:

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  1. Open the Finder and go to Applications.
  2. Find the app that you want to remove and drag its icon to the Trash (you might need to enter your admin credentials to confirm you want to delete the app).
  3. Click on the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Having one or more USB ports not working on your Mac can be hugely frustrating, especially if you rely on those ports for data backup and external peripherals. That said, USB problems are quite rare and are usually easy to fix. Work your way through these troubleshooting tips until you find the one that works and restore your Mac to its full glory.

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