Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter - TB3 Laptop to TB2 Displays & Devices - Thunderbolt 2 20Gbps or Thunderbolt 1 10Gbps Converter - Thunderbolt 3 Certified- Windows/Mac

Use first-generation Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 devices with your new Thunderbolt 3 computer

Product ID: TBT3TBTADAP

3.2 stars (11 reviews) |
  • THUNDERBOLT 3 TO THUNDERBOLT ADAPTER: This converter lets you connect older TB2 (20Gbps) and TB1 (10Gbps) peripherals to a TB3 host; connect TB1/TB2 devices like docks or external storage drive bays
  • THUNDERBOLT 3 CERTIFIED: Compatible w/ TB3 certified laptops like MacBook Air & MacBook Pro, Dell XPS 13 & 15, Latitude, Precision, Lenovo ThinkPad X1, P series, HP EliteBook; requires TB3 host
  • COMPATIBLE WITH THUNDERBOLT DISPLAYS: This TB3 to TB2/TB1 adapter enables use of older Thunderbolt monitors (27" Apple Thunderbolt Displays/LG Ultrawide TB2 display) w/ certified Thunderbolt 3 laptops
Your price
$119.99USD

In stock: US: 322 | CA: 53

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With this adapter, you can connect Windows and Mac based Thunderbolt™ 3 computers to older Thunderbolt devices, such as external hard drives, Thunderbolt displays, and older Thunderbolt capable Mac computers.

A Thunderbolt 3 laptop connected to a Thunderbolt 2 drive enclosure, using the TBT3TBTADAP adapter

Because this adapter is backward compatible, you can connect to first-generation Thunderbolt devices at 10Gbps speed. With Thunderbolt 2 devices, you can connect at 20Gbps. The adapter satisfies all requirements for bi-directional data transfers and simultaneous power for bus-powered devices.

Thunderbolt 3 Logo

The TBT3TBTADAP is backed by a 2-year warranty for guaranteed reliability.

Learn more about Thunderbolt

Your computer's Thunderbolt 3 ports might not function properly until you update one or more of the following on your computer:

  • BIOS
  • Thunderbolt firmware
  • Thunderbolt 3 controller drivers
  • Thunderbolt 3 software

The required updates will vary depending on your computer.

For an up-to-date list of affected computers and instructions, visit http://thunderbolttechnology.net/updates. If your manufacturer isn't listed on the Thunderbolt website, contact your manufacturer.

Applications

  • Connect Windows and Mac based Thunderbolt 3 computers to older Thunderbolt devices, such as external hard drives, Thunderbolt displays, and older Thunderbolt capable Mac computers

Partner Numbers

  • Tech Data 11986125
  • Ingram Micro USA 3B6605
  • ASI 178598
  • D&H TBT3TBTADAP
  • SYNNEX US STA-TBT3TBTADAP
  • UPC 065030864138

Compatibility

  • macOS Sierra (10.12) logo
  • Windows 10 logo
  • Windows 8 logo
  • macOS High Sierra (10.13) logo
  • macOS Mojave (10.14) logo
  • macOS Catalina (10.15) logo
Windows 8.1, 10
macOS 10.12 - 10.15

Specifications

Warranty Information Warranty 2 Years
Connector(s) Connector A 1 - Thunderbolt™ 3 USB-C (24-pin) (40Gbps)
Connector B 1 - Thunderbolt™ 2 (20 pin)
Hardware Connector Plating Nickel
Cable Jacket Material PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride
Cable Shield Material Aluminum-Mylar Foil with Braid
Packaging Information Package Height 1.0 in [25 mm]
Package Length 7.0 in [17.8 cm]
Shipping (Package) Weight 0.2 lb [0.1 kg]
Package Width 3.2 in [8.2 cm]
Performance Maximum Data Transfer Rate 10 Gbps (Thunderbolt 1)
20 Gbps (Thunderbolt 2)
Physical Characteristics Weight of Product 2.0 oz [58 g]
Color Black
Cable Length 7.9 in [200 mm]
Product Length 11.0 in [28 cm]
Product Width 2.3 in [59 mm]
Product Height 0.6 in [1.6 cm]
Software OS Compatibility Windows 8.1, 10
macOS 10.12 - 10.15
Special Notes / Requirements Note This adapter is compatible with Thunderbolt™ displays only. It will not work with Mini DisplayPort (mDP) or DisplayPort (DP) monitors.
This is an 'Active' adapter cable. Any host system that doesn’t provide the full 15W of bus power won’t work with this device. Consult the manufacturer of your host system to determine how much bus power your host system provides.
TBT3TBTADAP can pass 12W of power through the Thunderbolt 2 port
What's in the Box Included in Package 1 - Thunderbolt™ 3 to Thunderbolt Adapter

Drivers/Downloads

Talk to an Advisor

We are always ready to assist you with any questions you may have.

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Support Material(s):

  • thunderbolt 3_insert_rev2.pdf

    • IMPORTANT
      Your computer’s Thunderbolt 3 ports might not function properly until you update one or more of the following on your computer:

      • - BIOS
      • - Thunderbolt firmware
      • - Thunderbolt 3 controller drivers
      • - Thunderbolt 3 software

      The required updates will vary depending on your computer.

      For an up-to-date-list of affected computers and instructions, visit https://thunderbolttechnology.net/updates. If your manufacturer isn’t listed on the Thunderbolt website, contact your manufacturer.
    • Language: EN

Datasheet

Product Support

Talk to an Advisor

We are always ready to assist you with any questions you may have.

Live Chat (opens in new window)

Frequently Asked Questions

Troubleshooting

If your computer is not detecting your Thunderbolt™ 3 device, try the following:

  • Update the Thunderbolt software on your Thunderbolt 3 host device.
  • Update the Thunderbolt controller NVM firmware on your Thunderbolt 3 host device.
  • Update the Thunderbolt controller drivers.
  • Update your motherboard BIOS or UEFI.

For more information about how to update the software, firmware, drivers, and BIOS or UEFI, refer to the website of the manufacturer of the Thunderbolt 3 host device. The following website includes links to some of the manufacturers of Thunderbolt 3 host devices: https://thunderbolttechnology.net/updates. If the manufacturer of your host device is not listed, you should contact the manufacturer or refer to their website for more information.

For more information about how to check which version of the Thunderbolt software and firmware you are currently using, see the following FAQ: https://www.startech.com/faq/thunderbolt-3-check-software-firmware.

For more information about Thunderbolt 3 host system and motherboard compatibility, refer to the Thunderbolt 3 Compatibility and Troubleshooting guide.

If you are only getting a single display to work with your Thunderbolt™3 device, make sure that your Thunderbolt 3 host device can support two separate DisplayPort lines over Thunderbolt 3. 

While Thunderbolt 3 supports dual monitors over a single connection, not all Thunderbolt 3 host devices are designed to meet this requirement. If your Thunderbolt 3 host device does not meet this requirement, you cannot troubleshoot this issue with software, firmware, or driver updates, and you cannot use this device to achieve dual displays over Thunderbolt 3. If you are not sure whether your Thunderbolt 3 host device supports dual monitors, contact your Thunderbolt 3 host device manufacturer.

If you confirmed that your Thunderbolt 3 host device does support dual monitors and you are only seeing a single display, see the following FAQ: https://www.startech.com/faq/thunderbolt-3-update-software-firmware.

For more information about Thunderbolt 3 host system and motherboard compatibility, refer to the Thunderbolt 3 Compatibility and Troubleshooting guide.

If you receive an error message that your Thunderbolt device is not certified for PC use, try the following to resolve the issue:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Type Thunderbolt and click the search result.
  3. In the system tray, right-click the Thunderbolt icon.
  4. Click Settings.
  5. Clear the Only allow Thunderbolt Devices that have been certified for PC check box.

How To

To check which version of the Thunderbolt™ software, NVM firmware, and drivers you are running, do the following:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Type Thunderbolt and click on the search result.
  3. In the system tray, right-click the Thunderbolt icon.
  4. Click Settings > Details.

Review the versions of the software package, NVM firmware, PD firmware, and drivers.  If you are not running the latest versions, navigate to the manufacturer’s website and download the latest versions. 

When you connect a Thunderbolt™ device to any Windows operating system that can support Thunderbolt 3, a pop-up message appears. To use your device, complete the following:

  1. In the New Thunderbolt devices have been attached pop-up message, click OK.
  2. In the User Account Control pop-up message, click Yes.
  3. In the Approve Thunderbolt Devices pop-up message, do one of the following:
    • If you want to authorize your Thunderbolt devices every time that you connect them, select Connect Only Once in the drop-down list.
    • If you want to authorize your Thunderbolt devices only once, select Always Connect in the drop-down list.
  4. Click OK.

If you accidentally set your Thunderbolt device to Do Not Connect in step three above, refer to the following FAQ: https://www.startech.com/faq/thunderbolt-3-denied-authentication.

If you accidentally set a Thunderbolt™3 device to not connect to your computer when prompted by the system, you can force the software to prompt you again for authentication. To do so, complete the following:

  1. Right-click the Thunderbolt icon.
  2. Click Approve Attached Devices.
  3. Select the Thunderbolt 3 port that you want to authenticate.

You can use the Thunderbolt™ software to manage your Thunderbolt 3 devices on a computer running a version of Windows. To manage your Thunderbolt 3 devices, complete the following:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Type Thunderbolt and click on the search result.
  3. Right-click the Thunderbolt icon.
  4. Click Manage Approved Devices.

Before You Buy

Thunderbolt 3 uses the USB-C connector, but not all host connections, cables, and devices with a USB-C connector support Thunderbolt 3. This means that a USB-C device is compatible with a Thunderbolt 3 host connection, but a Thunderbolt 3 device is not compatible with a USB-C host connection. Therefore, it is essential to know whether you have a USB-C or a Thunderbolt 3 host, cable, or device.  

To determine if your component is a Thunderbolt 3 device, look for the Thunderbolt 3 symbol. USB-C devices do not include this symbol.  For more information about USB-C, see the following FAQ: http://www.startech.com/faq/usb-c-port-capabilites

Components

Thunderbolt™ 3 is the latest version of the Thunderbolt standard for connecting computers and electronic devices. It is capable of the following:

  • Total bandwidth up to 40Gbps. Data transfer speeds are dependent on the other features that you are using in your setup.
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 support.
  • 4K 60Hz video on one or two separate displays.
  • 5K 60Hz video on a single display.
  • A 10 GbE network connection between two Thunderbolt 3 compatible computers.
  • Up to six devices daisy-chained from a single Thunderbolt 3 port.
  • Alternate modes, such as DisplayPort Alternate Mode (DP Alt Mode).
  • Bi-directional power delivery up to 100W (not all Thunderbolt 3 devices support power delivery).

USB-C and Thunderbolt 3

Thunderbolt 3 uses the USB-C connector, but not all host connections, cables, and devices with a USB-C connector support Thunderbolt 3. This means that a USB-C device is compatible with a Thunderbolt 3 host connection, but a Thunderbolt 3 device is not compatible with a USB-C host connection. Therefore, it is important to know whether you have a USB-C or a Thunderbolt 3 host, cable, or device.

To determine if your component is a Thunderbolt 3 device, look for the Thunderbolt 3 symbol (shown below). USB-C devices do not include this symbol.  For more information about USB-C, see the following FAQ: https://www.startech.com/faq/usb-c-port-capabilites.

Thunderbolt symbol: https://sgcdn.startech.com/005329/media/products/gallery_large/TBLT3MMXM.B.jpg.

Backwards compatibility

If you use an adapter, Thunderbolt 3 host connections are compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 devices. You can use the StarTech.com TBT3TBTADAP to make a Thunderbolt 3 host connections backwards compatible.

Thunderbolt 3 devices are not backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 host connections.

Although the Thunderbolt™ 3 standard is capable of data transfer speeds up to 40Gbps, not every cable can support this bandwidth. For example, cables over a certain length or made with certain materials are only capable of data transfer speeds up to 20Gbps. 

To confirm the capability of your Thunderbolt 3 cable, refer to the information provided by the manufacturer. StarTech.com lists the capabilities of the Thunderbolt 3 cables on the individual product pages.

There are two different Thunderbolt 3 cable symbols: the 20Gbps symbol and the 40Gbps symbol. The 20Gbps symbol is composed of the Thunderbolt 3 symbol, and the 40Gbps symbol is composed of the Thunderbolt 3 symbol and the number three. These images are shown below.

Thunderbolt 3 uses the USB-C connector, but not all host connections, cables, and devices with a USB-C connector support Thunderbolt 3. This means that a USB-C device is compatible with a Thunderbolt 3 host connection, but a Thunderbolt 3 device is not compatible with a USB-C host connection. Therefore, it is important to know whether you have a USB-C or a Thunderbolt 3 host, cable, or device.

To determine if your component is a Thunderbolt 3 device, look for the Thunderbolt 3 symbol (shown below). USB-C devices do not include this symbol.  For more information about USB-C, see the following FAQ: http://www.startech.com/faq/usb-c-port-capabilites.

Thunderbolt symbol: https://sgcdn.startech.com/005329/media/products/gallery_large/TBLT3MMXM.B.jpg.

This device requires that the Thunderbolt 3 host system provides 15W of bus power to the Thunderbolt 3 port. Thunderbolt 3 host systems that do not provide the full 15W of bus power will not work with this device.  

Refer to the information provided by the manufacturer to confirm the power delivery capabilities of your host system.

No, this device has an intended source and destination, and does not convert in the opposite direction. For more information about the order that this device converts in, refer to the title on the product page.

No, this device will not pass through the full wattage of bus power from the host Thunderbolt 3 port. This adapter uses up to 4.5W of power, which prevents devices that require the full wattage of bus power from working.

No, this device doesn't work when connected directly to an MST hub, a DisplayPort display, or a Mini DisplayPort display.

If you need to connect multiple displays to your Thunderbolt™ 3 system, you should use a Thunderbolt 3 adapter. StarTech.com offers a Thunderbolt 3 to Dual HDMI adapter (TB32HD2) and a Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort adapter (TB32DP2).

Note: To use the TB32HD2 and TB32DP2 adapters, your Thunderbolt 3 system must support dual displays. For more information, refer to the following FAQ: https://www.startech.com/faq/thunderbolt-3-dual-monitor-adapter-single-display-only.

Compliance and safety

Compliance letters

Safety Measures

  • If product has an exposed circuit board, do not touch the product under power.
  • If Class 1 Laser Product. Laser radiation is present when the system is open.
  • Wiring terminations should not be made with the product and/or electric lines under power.
  • Product installation and/or mounting should be completed by a certified professional as per the local safety and building code guidelines.
  • Cables (including power and charging cables) should be placed and routed to avoid creating electric, tripping or safety hazards.
*Product appearance and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Customer Reviews

(11 reviews)
3.2 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 (1)
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1 - 11 of 11 Reviews
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(5 Stars)

Great Adapter

By: BobbyG - 06/30/2016
Works out of the box and does exactly what the product description says it will do. I ordered this as soon as it was available, and it has solved my problem of connecting TB2 devices to my TB3 port on the Dell XPS computer.
| Helpful?

By: anonymous - 09/26/2016
Does not work to connect to imac thunderbolt port as display adapter. Tried off my dell xps 13, and cannot get the Imac to go into target display mode.
| Helpful?
(4 Stars)

Continue using Thunderbolt 2 with new PCs

By: joevt1 - 05/04/2017
Allows using Thunderbolt 2 devices with newer PCs that have Thunderbolt 3 ports. I've tested it and it just works. This adapter does not allow using Thunderbolt 3 devices with Thunderbolt 2 computers though, unlike the much less expensive Apple adapter. Note: For mini DisplayPort, use a USB-C to DisplayPort cable instead.
| Helpful?
(5 Stars)
By: bradF - 11/29/2017
| Helpful?
(1 Stars)

Doesn't Work For Me

By: BobEvenson - 01/27/2018
Tried to connect a BMD video capture device (T-Bolt2) to a new iMac 27 (T-Bolt3) and will not read the capture device. Updated all firmware and still a no go. Should have gone with the Apple TBolt3 to Tbolt2 dongle.
| Helpful?
Sam, Customer Service on 1/29/2018 3:01:04 PM
Thank you for sharing your feedback on our TBT3TBTADAP. We apologize that it hasn't worked for you and would like to help. We recommend contacting us directly so that we can find out the problem and get your setup working as quickly as possible. You can reach one of our Technical Advisors 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, at 1-800 265-1844 or www.startech.com/chat
(5 Stars)
By: Daskeladden - 04/15/2019
| Helpful?
(2 Stars)

Kind of works, but...

By: JeffMc - 06/02/2019
If external device (I use audio interface) is powered after computer is booted up, it's not recognized and there is no way to rescan for attached devices. Have to either restart the computer or unplug and re-plug StarTech device. Annoying.
| Helpful?
Matt, Customer Support on 6/4/2019 2:08:11 PM
Hello Jeff, We're sorry to hear about the difficulties you're having with our TBT3TBTADAP. It sounds like there may be an issue with hot-swapping the adapter or audio equipment. One of our Technical Advisors will be reaching out to you with the email provided to troubleshoot further.

By: Hartmans - 09/21/2020
We are having the same issue as another person commented about... If external device (I use Presonus interface) is powered after computer is booted up, it's not recognized and there is no way to rescan for attached devices. Have to either restart the computer or unplug and re-plug StarTech device and it recognizes it for 30 seconds then off again....
| Helpful?
(1 Stars)

Does not Work

By: edgarmontez - 07/21/2019
I got this, because UAD say is compatible to plug to a Windows pc, hours i been trying to get it work, does not
| Helpful?
Matt, Customer Support on 7/23/2019 12:22:44 PM
We're sorry to hear about the difficulties you're experiencing with our TBT3TBTADAP. This adapter converts a Thunderbolt 3 port on a computer to a Thunderbolt 2 device. It is compatible with both Windows and macOS, however, it will not work if the port on your computer is basic USB-C and not true Thunderbolt 3. We'd be happy to look into this further with you. Please contact us at www.startech.com/support where our Technical Advisors are available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week to provide support.
(1 Stars)

Not Working on WIndows10?

By: Hanzo - 08/06/2019
I have Dell XPS surely equipped with TB3. After connecting, it shows the device as "legacy adapter" but it does not connect me to the TB2 devise connected to the adapter as if it does not exist. There is no manual nor any information which I can refer to judge whether if it is working properly or not....
| Helpful?
Matt, Customer Support on 8/8/2019 10:14:24 AM
We're sorry to hear about the problems you're having with our TBT3TBTADAP. Often this can be solved by checking your Thunderbolt software and ensuring the adapter is set to be connected. You may also need to update the drivers and firmware for the Thunderbolt 3 controller in your PC. If you require assistance, please feel free to contact us at www.startech.com/support where our Technical Advisors are available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week to provide support.
(1 Stars)

Doesn't work with UAD Apollo Twin though highly

By: perkdaddy - 11/11/2019
I purchased the TBT3TBTADAP to connect my UAD Twin Apollo audio interface to my iMac iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017) PROCESSOR 4.2 GHz Intel Core i7,16 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 USB-C computer. There is.a bevy of individuals who have USB-C computers that want to use their UAD Twin Apollo's. UADcommended you guys? I bought but.......No Go? Can't rate the quality of this product because I haven't been able to get it to work and it may be "outstanding?" I'll wait to hear from you guys before commenting on the quality. Thanks!
| Helpful?
Matt, Customer Support on 11/15/2019 3:23:31 PM
We always try to ensure our customers have exceptional experiences with us and our products and we apologize that our TBT3TBTADAP is not working with your iMac and UAD interface. The TBT3TBTADAP requires a computer that has a True Thunderbolt 3 port and is not compatible with computers that only use simple USB-C without Thunderbolt capabilities. However, the 2017 iMac does have Thunderbolt 3 capabilities and should be compatible with our adapter. If you require assistance we'd be happy to help get this working for you. You can contact us directly at www.startech.com/support where our Technical Advisors are available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week to provide support.
(5 Stars)

Works great

By: Coerdt - 12/29/2019
Works great with Apple Thunderbolt display and a P50 Lenovo. Thank you!
| Helpful?
(5 Stars)

It just works (But upgrade your BIOS and drivers!)

By: RogerB - 07/06/2020
Bought one back in December to use my old Apple Thunderbolt monitor with my Dell laptop. Once I went through the process of updating *ALL* the drivers and the motherboard BIOS, it worked perfectly. And then, tragedy struck. My laptop decided to give up the ghost and I opted to get a lighter HP, so I returned my Dell docking station to work and waited for the wheels of corporate bureaucracy to churn until I got a new one for my HP. It took 7 months, but I got it this past weekend. AND IT STILL WORKED! I fired it up connected to the TB Monitor and it came right up, even before updating everything (which I did). Come Monday morning (today), I have a MASSIVE 27" monitor to work off of.
| Helpful?
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