Suddenly, my Anker 7 in 1 stopped charging my 2020 MacBook Air (Apple Silicon). I noticed this a day or two after the upgrade to Big Sur 11.2.2 which apparently has added some functionality to protect Macs from cheaply made USB-C hubs with PD.
Previously, I was able to charge via the PD port, plugging in my Mac power adapter into the Anker. Now, I can’t and have to go direct. When plugged through the Anker, macOS tells me that it’s running on power adapter, but not charging. When plugged directly, it charges as expected.
Seems like too much of a coincidence. If anyone knows, and wants to comment, please do.
@Aleksander_Lesniak I would suggest reaching out to email@example.com for assistance, as they might be aware of and/or have a workaround in light of Apple’s recent update.
Unfortunately while updates for either Windows or MacOS are intended to improve or resolve issues, they can have a tendency to create their own new ones with devices which were working fine up to the time of the update.
I would investigate the charger and cable.
When you insert a hub between the charger and the laptop, the hub takes some power for itself and offers up less power out.
Power Delivery is in profiles, 5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V. 20V is only at 60W. Hence if your charger is at or slightly above 60W (say 65W) then after the hub takes its power there is less than 60W out, and also the hub has to step down the voltage to the next level down 15W which is only capable of 45W. So even if the hub only needs say 5W for itself, the charger being just on the cusp of 60W forces 15W to be taken.
So you look at a more powerful charger, 85W-100W, and look at the cable between charger and hub and ensure it is rated for 100W (most are 60W rated only).
Personally, I avoid hubs like the plaque, the only ones the laptop maker tests before pushing software updates is their own product “docking station” and so hubs other than their own are very easy to end up not working. If you mix in Power Delivery, profiles, you’re creating an inherently long-term problem.
It is not your fault, so I’m not venting this at you but more to Apple and consumers in general, if you need a hub then why didn’t you buy a laptop with all the ports you need. A hub adds immense complexity, the hub chip, and Power Delivery is a negotiation, and added secondary/tertiary screens is asking a lot for software to make it all work perfectly for the life of the laptop. I’d prefer if laptop designers ditched the few-ports paradigm so consumers not forced into, basically, luck to keep everything working. Barring laptop designers not getting better, consumers should avoid laptops with so few ports it needs a hub as it’s not a matter of if, but when, the hub doesn’t work or a peripheral doesn’t work when a software update untested (on generic hubs) is pushed.
Upon further investigation, it seems to have been a different issue: After recharging directly overnight it appears that charging is working once again. It looks like after the last Big Sur update, battery drain has increased due to Spotlight reindexing, enough that PD in the 7 in 1 could not supply enough current to charge the Air, during that period.
BigSur seems to have caused the issue but not by disabling charging. I’ll keep monitoring the problem and will report back with any insights.
Investigate a more powerful charger and 100W cable(s). Laptops usually are designed for their maximum possible Wattage input to be balanced with their maximum needs.
Above 60W needs 100W cables and you have to check the hub supports it too. e.g. 100W charger 100W cable into a hub supports 100W input should give out 80W to laptop, assuming all the parts support it.