USB-C Connectivity Issues


The information provided in this article addresses concerns related to connectivity issues with USB-C devices, computers, and cables. 


Note: USB-C ports and cables include a range of protocols available to host computers and mobile devices. This includes but is not limited to USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1/3.2, USB4, Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4. Please check your computer, peripheral device and cable for specifics on the protocol for your USB-C connection. 


If you are experiencing fitting issues when connecting your USB-C device and concerned that either the connection is too tight or too loose, here you will find information that helps to address these concerns.  

It’s important to know that the cables and connectors included with LaCie or Seagate storage devices comply with USB standards and are fully tested to ensure quality and functionality.   

During the qualification process cables and connectors are tested to ensure that all mechanical connections have no structural or electrical failures. Part of this evaluation is done throughout the mechanical cycling tests that measure insertion and extraction forces as well as several insertions and removals.  

Beware of charging cables:

Some USB C cables are designed exclusively for providing power, for example cables for use with phone chargers. These cables do not handle data processing, so the drive would not mount if connected using these cables.

USB4 provides labeling standards for these cables and the cable will have a battery symbol, which indicates it for charging only and does not provide data capability. However, cables following older standards may not be labeled, so be sure to use data cables when connecting an external drive.

Connection is loose 

When connecting the USB-C cable to the computer, you may notice that the USB-C cable is loose or does not snap into place anymore. These may be an indication that either the cable or the connector itself has worn out or debris are trapped inside the connector. 


Debris inside the connector:  

When debris accumulates inside the USB-C connector or inside the USB-C port the cable can't fully connect and starts to slip out of the connector causing connectivity issues.  


Connector worn out:  

Cables and ports may wear out over time due to multiple insertions and extractions. Depending on how often a cable or a device is plugged and unplugged from the port you may notice that the port or connector will loosen up a bit. 

In this case, it’s important to test the cable by connecting it to a different port, and possibly a different computer. You can also test the same port by connecting a different cable.  

If you concluded that the computer port has worn out, we recommend contacting the computer manufacturer for assistance. It’s possible that the USB-C port needs to be replaced.   


Cleaning out the connector:  

Use a flashlight to inspect the connector for dust, dirt, or any other debris potentially trapped inside. If you see any debris, try cleaning it out carefully. You may use a compressed air duster, the same as used to clean keyboards.  

IMPORTANT! We don’t recommend using sharp or pointy objects as these may damage the connectors. When cleaning out the port, avoid using tools made of metal, such as safety pins, paperclips, etc. Use instead, a non-conductive material.  

Remember, there is no need to force, apply adequate pressure on the entire connector in order to scrape off debris from inside.  


Connection is too tight 

Newer cables may seem too tight, some may even produce a clicking sound when it latches in place.  

If you are experiencing this, please know that it’s expected. Cables are designed to fit snugly to the connector mainly because as you plug and unplug it from the port it will loosen up over time.     

Our cables are made respecting the USB-IF requirements meaning it’s safe to connect the cable even if some pressure needs to be applied.    


Tips to preserve USB-C connectors  

  • Avoid using non-original cables  

  • Check for debris periodically  

  • Avoid pulling from the middle of the cable. Instead, grab the hard shell of the cable and gently pull away from the connector.  

  • If you have a USB-C laptop, then it may be a good idea to store it in a sleeve when not in use. It not only helps to protect your laptop, but it prevents dust build-up inside the ports.   

  • Depending on the environment the device is used it’s important to prevent debris from accumulating inside the connector. Anti-dust plugs are a good option to avoid debris being trapped inside the computer port while it’s not being used.