How to fix Mac Thunderbolt bridge not connected error

If the Mac Thunderbolt bridge not working even after you plug in the Thunderbolt cable? This may be due to various reasons, such as faulty cable, corrupted firmware, etc. But don’t worry. As long as it’s not a hardware issue, we will let you know different troubleshooting tips to resolve the Mac Thunderbolt bridge not connected error. 

Free Solutions to fix Mac showing a Thunderbolt bridge not connected error

Here are 12 ways to fix Thunderbolt Bridge not working on your Macs running the latest macOS.

Solution#1. Check the device

Double-check if your Mac Thunderbolt port is working correctly. If the Thunderbolt device isn’t working and is showing a problem, then try connecting the same Thunderbolt device to another laptop and see if it works for you. Besides this, ensure that your device is enabled and its cables are correctly attached. Also, if your device requires a power cable, ensure it’s plugged in. Plus, if a device is in a chain of devices, detach it and connect it directly to your Mac computer to check if it works.

Solution#3. Clean the Thunderbolt port on your Mac

If the Thunderbolt bridge not connected error on Mac doesn’t go away, there is a possibility that the dirt and debris inside the port won’t allow the creation of a connection between the devices. In this scenario, all need to do is clean the port using the cotton swab dipped in Isopropyl solution.  

Solution#4. Make sure the connection between devices proper

It is also essential to ensure that the Thunderbolt cables fit snugly on your Mac computer. Often, Thunderbolt cables and ports are lost over time. For instance, a few Mac computers in our office have loose, wobbly ports. It takes some extra effort to ensure they won’t experience even the slightest of tugs.     

Solution#5. Verify that you’re using the right cable

If the Mac Thunderbolt bridge is not working, take a few seconds to check that you’re using the right pair of cables. Yes, you need to check whether you’ve connected your Thunderbolt device using the Thunderbolt cable, not a Mini DisplayPort cable. Remember, the Thunderbolt cable has a Thunderbolt symbol on the connector. If you don’t have one – purchase one from Apple.  

Solution#6. Verify that you’re using the correct port

If Mac Thunderbolt bridge not connected error continuous, then ensure that you are connected to the Thunderbolt cable is connected to the Thunderbolt port and not a USB port. To identify what port your Mac has, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Click on the Apple Menu at the top left corner.

Step 2: Select About This Mac from the menu. Next, double-click on your device’s serial number and press Command + C to copy it.

Step 3: Now, navigate to Tech Specs Page, click the Search Tech Specs bar, and then press Command + V to enter your Mac serial number, atlast click on Search.

Step 4: Go through the specs page for your Mac. 

Solution#7. Update your macOS

Another helpful troubleshooting tip to resolve Mac Thunderbolt not connected error is to update your Mac to the latest macOS version. That’s because some updates are released to improve the communication between the peripherals. To do so, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Go to the Apple Menu from the left top corner of the Mac screen.

Step 2: Click on the System Settings… from the menu.

Step 3: In the left pane, select General.

Step 4: Choose Software Update from the right side.

Step 5: Now let your Mac check for updates. If available, click on Download Now.  

That’s It!

Solution#8. Check chained devices

If the device is in a chain of Thunderbolt devices, each connected to another, with only one connected directly to the Thunderbolt port, simply unlink the device from a chain and verify whether it works. After this, ensure all devices except the one directly connected to the Mac include the Power Cable. Also, if there is a Mini DisplayPort device, ensure that it’s in the last and connected with a Mini Display Port cable.

Solution#9. Verify if the device appears in System Information

You can also verify if the Thunderbolt port of your Mac is faulty by going into System Report. For that, click the Apple Logo on the left top and select About This Mac > More Info… > System Report Button… Then, in the Hardware menu, select Thunderbolt/USB4 and verify if it detects the external peripheral. If it detects, it should show something as mentioned in the below image. 

Solution#10. Reopen Apps

Try closing and reopening the applications on your Mac. For that, Select Apple Menu > Force Quit > press Command + A to select all apps, atlast click on the Force-Quit Button. 

Solution#11. Restart your Mac

At this point, one of the best solutions you must try is restarting your Mac computer. Yes, it may sound petty, but sometimes it may work wonders. For that, click on the Apple Menu from the left top corner and choose Restart… > Restart for confirmation. Once the restart procedure is finished, try creating the Thunderbolt bridge connection between Apple computers. For that, you can refer reading Apple’s article

Tip: If normal Restart doesn’t work for you, press the Control + Command + Power Buttons simultaneously until the device turns off. 

Solution#12. Contact Apple Support

If none of the mentioned solutions work for you, then it’s high time to contact the Apple Support Team. That’s because we have tried all the possible solutions, and they are the only ones who can help diagnose the reason behind the issue and accordingly offer you a solution. There are different ways to contact the Apple Support Team; for that, you can read our article on how to contact the Apple Support Team. 

Final Verdict!

That’s It! This is how you can quickly fix Mac Thunderbolt bridge not connected error. Further, if you have relatable queries regarding the Thunderbolt bridge, drop them in the comment box below. 

Besides this, if you want to know about Mac ports, don’t forget to read our article about Mac Port.

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Karly Wood

Karly Wood, a Wellington-based journalist, excels in covering Apple and tech trends. With a diverse background in public safety, government, and education reporting, her insights bridge multiple disciplines, offering readers a well-rounded perspective on today's technological advancements. Contact Her Team:- [OR]

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