I Have Been Using the Dock for a While on My Windows System and Everything Was Working Properly. Spontaneously, the USB Ports, Audio Port or Ethernet Port in the Dock Stopped Working but My Video Outputs Still Work. Why Is This?

Last Update: November 20th, 2020
Article ID: 736349

In most cases, this type of behavior is caused by the dock to not being properly Authenticated/Approved as a Thunderbolt 3 device (Apple systems do this automatically, and as such do not apply here). 

If not approved, the USB ports, Ethernet port and audio port within the dock will not work (video outputs always work regardless of Approval status). In most cases, this is caused by the Intel Thunderbolt software that handles the authentication process not working properly. 

Should this occur, the best practice is to remove and reinstall the Intel Thunderbolt software to ensure it is in a good state and reset the dock, the procedure for doing so is below:

  1. Disconnect the Plugable Thunderbolt 3 dock from the system and remove its power cable so it turns off completely. Please keep it disconnected until prompted.
  2. Uninstall the Intel ‘Thunderbolt Software’ present on your system via the Control Panel -> Programs and Features.
  3. Restart the system, even if not prompted.
  4. Download and install the latest version of the Intel Thunderbolt Software published by your system manufacturer.
  5. Restart the system once again, even if not prompted.
  6. Reconnect the power cable to the Plugable Thunderbolt 3 dock, and then reconnect the Thunderbolt 3 cable from the dock to your system.
  7. You should be prompted to authenticate/approve the dock by the Intel Thunderbolt Software. Please approve the device using the ‘Always Connect’ option. * There is a chance the approval prompt will not pop-up automatically. If that is the case please just proceed with the next step for now. *
  8. Please test any non-functioning ports in the dock again.

In rarer cases, this can be caused by an incorrect setting within the Thunderbolt options within the system’s BIOS. System manufacturers typically enable ‘User Authorization’ or ‘No security’ Thunderbolt options in the BIOS by default. As their names imply, the respective options indicate that a Thunderbolt device must be authorized in order to work, or no authorization is needed. If other options such as ‘DisplayPort Only’ (Dell terminology) or ‘DisplayPort and USB only’ (Lenovo terminology) are selected, no Thunderbolt 3 devices will work. These options turn the port into a USB-C only port. Please ensure that the BIOS options are set as intended using your system manual as a guide.