StarTech.com

Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt Adapter - Windows and Mac

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

Product ID: TBT3TBTADAP

  • Cost-effective solution for connecting older Thunderbolt peripherals to newer Thunderbolt 3 laptops or computers
  • Compatible with first-generation Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 devices
  • Thunderbolt Certified
  • Supplies power for bus-powered devices
$2,572.87 MXN inc VAT
Not Available
May be in stock with partners
Where To Buy

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Overview

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

Technical Specifications

Warranty Information
Warranty 2 Years
Hardware
Cable Jacket Type PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride
Cable Shield Type Aluminum-Mylar Foil with Braid
Connector Plating Nickel
Performance
Maximum Data Transfer Rate 10 Gbps (Thunderbolt 1)
20 Gbps (Thunderbolt 2)
Connector(s)
Connector A 1 - Thunderbolt™ 3 USB-C (24-pin) Male
Connector B 1 - Thunderbolt™ 2 (20 pin) Female
Software
OS Compatibility Windows 8.1, 10
macOS 10.12 - 10.13
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
Physical Characteristics
Cable Length 7.9 in [20 cm]
Color Black
Product Height 0.6 in [16 mm]
Product Length 11 in [280 mm]
Product Weight 2.3 oz [64 g]
Product Width 2.3 in [59 mm]
Packaging Information
Shipping (Package) Weight 3 oz [86 g]
What's in the Box
Included in Package 1 - Thunderbolt™ 3 to Thunderbolt Adapter

Compatibility

View full OS compatibility
Windows 8.1, 10
macOS 10.12 - 10.13

Certifications

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Product Support

Drivers & Downloads

Data Sheet(s)
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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before You Buy

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.

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.

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.