Apple USB SuperDrive on MacBook with USB-C?

Apple Mac computers like the MacBook late 2016 are not made to do this per se Apple USB SuperDrive to use. In addition, the SuperDrive with USB-A connection, which serves as an external optical drive for CDs and DVDs on Macs without a drive, is not compatible with all adapters, hubs and dongles. Apple always thinks forward-looking and tries to get rid of unnecessary things, but backward compatibility is often neglected. Therefore, here is a guide to the Apple USB SuperDrive on Macs with USB-C.

Apple USB SuperDrive on MacBook Pro with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3?

Apple USB SuperDrive on MacBook Pro with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3? This is only possible with an Apple adapter! Therefore, prefer a third-party drive with better compatibility!

Pair Apple USB SuperDrive and MacBook with USB-C

The Apple USB SuperDrive is designed so that users of Macs and MacBooks without a corresponding drive can also use CDs and DVDs - either by reading them out or by writing to them. Now the trend of not offering an optical drive in the Apple laptop has been maintained, while a new trend has arrived: the elimination of USB-A ports. Instead, be Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C ports are offered. And Apple points out that the solution to both problems can only be realized with certain adapters.

15,03 EUR
External CD and DVD drive from Apple
The Apple USB SuperDrive is intended for MacBook Pro Retina, MacBook Air and Mac Mini. There is no direct compatibility with USB-C. In addition, USB hubs are not supported per se.

On corresponding support page Apple can also read the following note on the subject: "If you want to connect your SuperDrive to your MacBook (Retina, 12 ″, early 2015) and newer or your MacBook Pro (2016), you can use one of the following adapters"- then the following Apple adapters are listed:

The USB-C to USB-A adapter from Apple alone costs around 25 euros, which is why I would only recommend pure Apple purchases to those who have too much money when it comes to the topic of “external drives”. There are inexpensive alternatives, including those for reading and writing Blu-Ray discs. I would like to link some further articles to you.

SuperDrive alternatives with USB 3.0, hub compatibility, Blu-Ray, etc.

With today's demands on such a drive, which is hardly used for burning countless data discs, but which is used for software and films, you need more than Apple has to offer. And in addition to functionality, there should also be a certain degree of compatibility. Or who wants to use a € 25 adapter to block a Thunderbolt port that could also have a dongle with umpteen connections and a drive?

So here are two more posts with alternatives to SuperDrive and Apple hubs:

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13 comments

  1. Erwin Spreizer says:

    Hallo,

    I have a MacBook Air (2018) and want to connect my Apple USB Superdrive to it.

    For this I bought the i-tec USB-C Metal Nano Dock 4K HDMI with LAN.

    When I connect the Apple USB Superdrive to the i-tec Dock, the message appears:

    USB accessories require power
    Connect "Apple USB Superdrive" to a USB port on these Macs.

    Can you help me fix this?

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen
    Erwin Spreizer

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Erwin! The same message came up with my USB-C Dock (other brand). I now have the Apple SuperDrive directly with a USB-C adapter from AmazonBasics (here is the link to the product) connected to my MacBook Pro and then the message has disappeared. VG! Jens

      • Erwin Spreizer says:

        The purpose of buying a hub / dock was to only need cables for all of the peripherals.
        An additional USB-C adapter would unfortunately contradict this goal.

        Is there currently no hub / dock that can connect an Apple USB Superdrive and a MacBook Air via USB-C?

        • Sir Apfelot says:

          Hello Erwin! I can understand that, but currently I don't know of any hub on which the Superdrive would work. And since the Superdrive is certainly not always plugged into the MacBook Air, I would see the adapter as the best compromise in this case.

    • Erwin Spreizer says:

      The purpose of buying a hub / dock was to only need cables for all of the peripherals.
      An additional USB-C adapter would unfortunately contradict this goal.

      Is there currently no hub / dock that can connect an Apple USB Superdrive and a MacBook Air via USB-C?

  2. Paula says:

    Hi,
    How can I watch a DVD loaned from the video library on my Mac OS High Sierra version 10.13.6? I tried an external CD drive that played the rental jingle, but then stopped working.
    What to do?
    Thanks for help and best regards,
    Paula

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Paula! Depending on which program you use to watch it, it may be that this only plays the first video file on the DVD ... This is the jingle from the rental company. After that, the menu on the DVD should actually appear, but this is where your program is probably on strike. I would recommend the following programs to you:
      - DVD player (found in the Utilities folder)
      - VLC player (here in my post are the download links)

      Please let me know if this has solved your problem. Otherwise let's see what else could be the cause.

  3. Paula says:

    But I use the DVD player, it is preinstalled. What did you think what program I was using?
    And you don't think it's the external drive?

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Paula! Ok, that's weird. But if it were the external player, it wouldn't even be able to play the intro. Reading is apparently not the problem. I suppose it is either due to a copy protection or maybe due to the DVD menu. Do you want to test it with the VLC player?

  4. Paula says:

    Thanks. Now I've put in my own DVD, the same cheap player - and it works, even on the DVD player. So it was due to the DVDs, they were borrowed (library) - I have to ask there. Unfortunately I had to hand it in again today, so another round tomorrow.

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