Here are the best MacBook Pro accessories for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 MacBook Pro models. If you’ve bought a new MacBook Pro in 2020, these are the accessories you need to connect devices to the USB C and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
These are my must-have accessories for anyone that owns a MacBook Pro. All the current MacBook Pro models use USB C ports, so if you upgrade from an older model you will need new cables and adapters. If you own the entry-level MacBook Pro 13, you may need a few more accessories since it comes with fewer ports.
With two to four USB Type C ports, you will need MacBook Pro accessories to connect your phone, SD card, monitors, and more. There’s simply no way around buying some cables and adapters. There are also some great accessories that can charge your MacBook Pro on the go without being tethered to an outlet.
Apple sells a number of official accessories, but you can save and get more selection by looking at Best Buy, Amazon, eBay, and B&H Photo. You get more options, better prices, and some cool options that Apple won’t stock. We also help you find the best new MacBook Pro cases, covers, and skins.
You should invest in one USB C to USB dongle, but for the rest of the items, you are better off buying a USB C version directly so that you don’t need to connect multiple cables and adapters together for simple tasks. This also cuts down on the chance that you will lose the adapter and be out of luck.
Here are the best MacBook Pro Accessories you can buy in 2020;
- USB C to Lightning Cable – $19
- MacBook Pro SD Card Adapter (USB C) – $14.99
- MacBook Pro Cases. Covers & Skins – $14.99 and Up
- External MacBook Pro Battery – $129
- AirPods & Headphones – $159
- USB C Dock – $299
- Yohann MacBook Pro Stand – $179
- MacBook Pro Car Charger – $29.99
- MacBook Pro Stand – $49.99
- Magic TrackPad 2 – $124.99
- Magic Keyboard – $87.99
- A Great Monitor – $329 and Up
- Sit Stand Desk – $299 and Up
- USB C to USB Adapter – $7.99
- USB C MacBook Pro HDMI Adapter, VGA or DisplayPort – $17.99
- MacBook Pro Charger & Cable – $69 and Up
- Dongle and Cable Organizer – $15
- Aukey USB C Hub – $35.99
- USB C to Micro USB – $6.99
- USB C to USB C Cables – $7.49 and Up
- USB C Ethernet Adapter – $22.99
- USB C Thunderbolt Adapter – $49
- USB C Flash Drive – $9.99 and Up
- USB C to Mini Displayport Adapter – $19.99
You don’t need everything on this list, but it’s a good starting point to figure out what you need before you are on a business trip or vacation and realize you don’t have the right adapter. If you plan to replace your desktop with a MacBook Pro, you will want to look into more options including a keyboard, mouse, monitor, monitor arm, standing desk, and speakers. Keep reading for more information about each of these accessories.
USB C to Lightning Cable
When it comes to connecting your iPhone to your MacBook Pro, the best option is to buy a USB C to Lightning cable instead of using an adapter that is more likely to get lost or left at home. Sure, an adapter would double as a USB adapter for other devices, but we’re looking to remove adapters as possible.
I own two of these cables and I love them. Not only can I connect my iPhone directly to the Mac, but if I plug this cable into my MacBook Pro charger I can fast-charge my iPhone 11 Pro Max. This also works for the most newer iPhones. When fast charging the iPhone charges up to 50% in 30 minutes.
Apple sells two official USB C to Lightning cables.
You can use this to charge your iPhone or iPad, sync to iTunes.
MacBook Pro SD Card Adapter (USB C)
There is no SD card slot on the MacBook Pro. That is frustrating to many users who rely on connecting a SD card to the MacBook Pro to transfer photos.
Apple offers a SD Card USB C adapter for $39.99 that is a good option, but you can find a cheaper adapter.
We’ve been using the Satechi Aluminum Type C Micro SD and SD card reader for two months and love it. We can use a regular SD card from our camera and the Micro SD card that is in our Go Pro and DJI Mavic Pro. You can buy this on Amazon for $14.99.
We like the Sanyo HyperDrive 7-in-1 hub that includes a Micro SD card reader for your Drone or Go Pro and a full-size SD card reader as well as USB Type C and two USB 3.0 ports. If you buy this one adapter you can handle a variety of connection needs with one purchase. This is available in Space Gray and Silver colors to match your new MacBook Pro.
MacBook Pro Cases, Covers & Skins
In addition to all the adapters and dongles that you need, we also recommend a MacBook Pro skin or a MacBook Pro case to keep your device looking like new.
Another sleek looking option is the Moshi Codex for the MacBook Pro. This sleeve has a carry handle and a clamshell design so you can still use your MacBook Pro without taking it out of the sleeve.
External MacBook Pro Battery
One thing that you may find yourself needing is an external MacBook Pro battery. Thanks to USB C and Power Delivery, this is possible, but you need to be kind of picky if you buy the 15-inch MacBook Pro that needs more power to charge when in use.
You can buy a USB C PD charger to charge up the MacBook Pro on the go. This same charger can fast charge your iPhone with the USB C to Lightning cable and it can charge other gadgets. The Omni Mobile charger also includes a wireless charger built-in.
- Omni Mobile 12,800mAh – $69
- Omnicharge Omni 20+ – $199
- Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD – $129.99
- RAVPower 26800mAh PD Portable Charger – $75.99
- mophie powerstation USB-C Power Delivery XXL – $149.99
These will all work great for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but with the 15-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro, you will need one that chargers at 85W to charge fully while using it. The Omni Mobile charger can output 60W, which isn’t the full 85W, but it can add battery life while using it and does a great job charging when you are done.
AirPods & Headphones
- Active noise cancellation for immersive sound
- Transparency mode for hearing and connecting with the world around you
- Three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for a customizable fit
- Sweat and water resistant
- Adaptive EQ automatically tunes music to the shape of your ear
The MacBook Pro has a headphone jack, but it’s 2020, and Bluetooth is where it’s at. This is especially important if you are on the go or if you don’t want to risk pulling your new MacBook Pro off the table when you stand up with wired headphones in. As a bonus, these same headphones will work with your iPhone and iPad with no adapters needed.
Three headphones top my recommendations,
- AirPods – $159
- AirPods Pro – $249
- Jabra Elite 75t – $179.99
- Jabra Move Style Edition – $83.99
- Bose QC35 – $349
If you don’t want AirPods, you need to check out our best AirPods alternatives for more options.
USB C Dock
If you plan to use your MacBook Pro at a desk all the time, you need to invest in a USB C dock or a Thunderbolt 3 Dock. This accessory lets you plug a MacBook Pro into one cable to charge and connect to external storage, monitors, and other accessories. Three models stand out to us in 2020.
The Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock is a USB C dock that is perfect for power users and professionals. This supports two monitors at up to 4K and a ton of connectivity options. Read our Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock Review for more on what this dock does right and the limitations. $299 at Amazon.
The OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock comes with loads of ports, support for multiple monitors and there are front-facing ports, plus a Micro SD card and SD card slot. This is my favorite Thunderbolt 3 dock for the MacBook Pro. A full review is coming soon. It features 14 ports and can charge the 15-inch MBP at full speed. $299 at OWC and Amazon.
The Moshi Symbus USB C dock is a small, one cable connection that lets you connect a 4K monitor with HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB ports and supports USB C charging at 65W. This is perfect for MacBook Pro owners who don’t need multiple monitors connected or a ton of accessories. It’s much cheaper than many USB C docks that cater to power users or businesses. One catch is that this charges the 15-inch MacBook Pro slower than the standard charger, but it will still charge. Check out our Moshi Symbus review for more details. $164.95 at Amazon.
Another excellent option is the OWC USB-C Travel Dock, which includes two USB 3.1 ports, 60W Pass-Through, HDMI, and an SD Card slot. It’s only $39.99 and it also works with your iPad Pro.
Yohann MacBook Pro Stand
The Yohann MacBook Pro stand looks like a piece of art on your desk. When it’s in use your MacBook Pro is at eye level for a better position during work. The stand uses the weight of your MacBook Pro to stand up. When you take your MacBook Pro off the stand it lays down and looks like a desk decoration. You can also use it to stand your MacBook Pro up while closed if you are just charging, or if you have your MacBook Pro docked. It is versatile and it looks great.
MacBook Pro Car Charger
One of the accessories that have saved me on long trips is a MacBook Pro car charger. My favorite is this $29 72W car charger from Satechi.
This won’t charge at full power, but it is enough to keep the 15-inch MacBook Pro going strong even with full brightness. This charges at 60W, so it’s full speed for the 13-inch but not full speed for the 15 or 16-inch models. You’ll still gain some battery life while using your MacBook Pro and if you put it to sleep it will fully charge pretty quickly.
MacBook Pro Stand
Ergonomics are important, and if you use your MacBook Pro at a desk, a stand is a great option. The Curve MacBook Pro stand brings your laptop to the perfect level for long sessions.
This stand looks great and keeps your MacBook Pro 6.5 inches off your desk so that you aren’t hunched over or looking down at your screen all day. You can type on this if you need to, but it is designed to be used with your MacBook Air on the stand and a mouse and keyboard on the desk.
We love the build quality and looks, plus the price is spot on for the quality.
Magic TrackPad 2
If you want to do more with your MacBook Pro, like connect to a monitor or put on a stand so that it is more ergonomic, you should invest in a mouse or trackpad.
If you don’t like trackpads, check out the Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX for $48.99 at Amazon.
While I am not a huge fan of the MacBook Pro keyboard, I like things to be in the same spot when I am typing, so I choose the Magic Keyboard as my go to MacBook Pro keyboard at my desk. You get the exact same key placement and movement, so typing for long periods feels the same at your desk or on the go.
Now that I upgraded to the MacBook Pro 16, I’m going to look for another option that matches the new keyboard layout and travel.
I go with the Apple Magic Keyboard, $87.99 at Amazon. This saves me time when typing lots of words every day and ultimately works best for me.
If you want a more comfortable keyboard look at options from Logitech like the Logitech K811 which includes the ability to quickly switch to your iOS device as well. If you need something cheaper, look at the K380 for $27.99,
A Great Monitor
I switched to a 34-inch widescreen monitor instead of two monitors side-by-side and I love not having a bezel in the middle of my setup. You can find some great options with a widescreen monitor for about $350 on Amazon with great specs, and you can spend a lot more.
The LG 34UM69G-B is a great option at $329 and it includes a 34-inch display, HDMI, DisplayPort, and even USB C, which lets you directly connect with a USB C to USB C cable. It offers a 21:9 aspect ratio and a 2,560 x 1080 resolution.
Another excellent option is the BenQ PD2720U. This is a 27-inch 4K display that connects with ThunderBolt 3 and looks incredible. You get a variety of color modes, it looks great and you can connect your accessories right to it. Here’s our review.
- 27 inch, 4K, 3840x2160 resolution IPS monitor with wide viewing angle and stunning images
- AQCOLOR TECHNOLOGY: 96% DCI-P3 and Display P3, 100% sRGB color space, 10-bit color shows one billion hues
- LIGHTNING FAST THUNDERBOLT 3 CONNECTIVITY: Daisy-chain two 4K monitors for fast data/audio/video transfer, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, USB
- PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER MONITOR CAPABILITIES: View files side-by-side with DualView. Easily compare/edit photos and videos in specialized CAD/CAM, Darkroom, or Animation display modes next to each other on one screen; HDR10 support; Out-of-the-box factory calibrated with report
- PRODUCTIVITY BOOSTS: Keyboard Video Mouse (KVM) Switch to display files, photos or videos from two computers on one screen. Hotkey Puck G2 enables you to switch modes quickly and easily with preset and customizable options
If you can afford it and you are willing to pay a premium, you can get a QHD resolution from LG. The LG 34UC80-B is the upgraded model with 3,440 x 1,440 resolution and great color with over 66% sRGB coverage. This is the better option, and it includes a Quick Charge port to plug in a charging cable for your phone. It’s $549 at Amazon.
Sit Stand Desk
The desk you put your MacBook Pro on is one of the most important accessories that you can buy. We are huge fans of standing desks and there are several that stand out to us after long term testing. With a standing desk, you can sit or stand based on your activity and your mood. Standing at work can help you lose weight, power through the afternoon, and be healthier overall.
You can buy a full standing desk or buy one that you set on top of an existing desk. I personally like a full sit-stand desk with an electric motor, but you can get manual options and save. If you’re using one at work and have to bring your own a model that stacks onto your desk is a good option.
- Ergotron Workfit TX – $499 at Ergotron – Easy to set up, put on your existing desk, 20″ of travel, keyboard, and mouse tray.
- Autonomous AI Desk – $299 and up at Autonomous – Motorized adjustment, easy to assemble, memory for 4 positions
I use the Autonomous SmartDesk 2 every day and I’m testing the WorkFit TX. Both of these are great options and also work with monitor mounts and a range of accessories.
USB C to USB Adapter
Even if you can replace most of your cables with USB C versions, you will need to buy at least one USB C to USB adapter. This will allow you to plug-in anything with a normal USB connection.
You’ll need this for external hard drives, for a thumb drive and other devices of the like that you want to connect to your 2016 MacBook Pro.
- Amazon Basics USB C to USB Cable – $7.99 at Amazon
- Monoprice USB C to USB Cable – $7.99 at Monoprice
- Apple USB C to USB Cable – $19.99 at Apple
Two options we suggest are from Monoprice and from Apple. The Monoprice cable works just as good, but you will need to wait for delivery which may push some users to go to Apple. Best Buy also routinely stocks similar USB C to USB cables for $10 to $20.
USB C MacBook Pro HDMI Adapter, VGA or DisplayPort
If you travel or speak at all you will at some point need to connect your MacBook Pro to a TV, projector, or monitor. An Apple TV with AirPlay is a handy way to do this, but not every conference room or hotel will support this.
You can buy the USB-C Digital AV Multiport adapter direct from Apple for $69, which includes a pass-through USB C port, HDMI connection, and the USB port you are used to using.
You can buy the same connectivity from Monoprice for 29.99 with three connections, but if you just want to connect to HDMI, the Select Series USB C to HDMI adapter is a better value.
Amazon sells the Cable Matters USB C to HDMI cable for $17.99 or you can buy a USB C to HDMI, USB, and SD card adapter for $31.99 at Amazon.
Users looking to connect to a VGA monitor should look at the $14.99 USB C to VGA adapter from Monoprice. When it comes to Displayport, the USB C to Displayport Male cable from Monoprice at $34.95 is the best option.
MacBook Pro Charger & Cable
You can get by with the one charger that comes with your notebook, but it’s a smart idea to pick up a spare MacBook Pro charger to have on hand if you aren’t using a dock at home or the office.
While USB C is a standard, you can’t use just any cable and adapter to charge the MacBook Pro with USB C. This is especially true for the 15-inch MacBook Pro that requires more power.
Don’t mess around with charging your MacBook Pro. At this stage, it’s smart to go with the official MacBook Pro USB C chargers.
- 13-inch MacBook Pro Charger – $69 at Amazon
- 15-inch MacBook Pro Charger – $79 at Amazon
- 16-inch MacBook Pro Charger – $79 at Apple
- 1.8-Meter USB C Charge Cable – $7.49 at Amazon
If you need a longer extension you can pick up the extension anywhere that one is sold. Amazon offers one for $8.75 that will let you extend your charging capabilities. You can also use one you already own.
Dongle and Cable Organizer
With this many cables, adapters, and dongles in your bag, you need a keep them organized. The Grid-it Organizer is a slim organizer that includes a bunch of loops to keep your adapters in the right place, but still easy to get to.
The Grid-It Organizer comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors so that you can find one that fits your needs perfectly. The company makes some that even include a slot for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it will be larger than you need for the new model.
Aukey USB C Hub
If you want to connect multiple items to your MacBook Pro without hauling around a trio of adapters you can pick up this single adapter to keep in your bag.
With the Aukey USB C Hub, you get four USB 3.0 ports that will allow you to plug in your iPhone, flash drives, and other devices to the MacBook Pro. You also get an HDMI port so you can connect your computer to a monitor or projector at the same time.
Finally, there is a USB C port so that you can charge your MacBook Pro while using the adapter even if your other ports are occupied.
USB C to Micro USB
In addition to a lightning cable, we also recommend buying a USB C to Micro USB cable. This will allow you to connect a variety of accessories and Android devices to the MacBook Pro without the need to use an adapter to plug these in.
This will allow you to connect an Android phone, charge a Bluetooth headset, connect a camera or other device directly to your 2016 MacBook Pro.
There are many of these available, but we suggest going with the Palette Series from Monoprice or the Amazon Basics from Amazon unless you want to buy direct from Apple where you can spend $19.99 on a Belkin USB C to Micro USB cable.
The cable we recommend is available in 3 ft, 6 ft, 10 ft, and 13 ft options.
USB C to USB C Cables
You will need some USB C to USB C cables. You can use these to charge the device and to connect to other USB C accessories.
Here’s another area where we suggest going straight to Apple or to a reputable vendor on Amazon. You can use the official Apple USB C charge cable to connect USB C devices to your MacBook
Apple also sells a Belkin Thunderbolt 3 cable that looks like a USB C cable, but it actually supports faster data transfer speeds when connecting Thunderbolt 3 devices. If you are using these devices, you should purchase one of these cables instead.
- 0.5 Meter Thunderbolt 3 cable – $29.95 at Apple
- 2 Meter Thunderbolt 3 cable – $69.95 at Apple
- 2 Meter Thunderbolt 3 cable – $22.99 at Amazon
You don’t need a Thunderbolt 3 cable to connect to standard USB C devices, even though the connection looks the same. A Thunderbolt 3 cable allows you co connect up to daisy chain up to six Thunderbolt 3 devices.
USB C Ethernet Adapter
Users who need to connect to a network cable often will want a USB C to Ethernet adapter that allows you to plug-in directly without using any adapters.
There are two options that stand out in this area, allowing you to plug a network cable into the MacBook Pro.
- Belkin USB C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter – $34.95 at Apple
- Anker USB C to Ethernet Adapter – $22.99 at Amazon
Choose one of these options and make sure you test this out before you go out in the field and need to use it.
USB C Thunderbolt Adapter
If you need to connect to a Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt device you will need to get a USB C to Thunderbolt adapter.
The best bet is to get the official Apple option and pay $49 for the Apple USB C to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.
This will also work with Thunderbolt 1 and is the best way to connect directly to the Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt devices you own.
USB C Flash Drive
It’s a good idea to switch to a USB C flash drive that you can plug directly into your MacBook Pro, but it’s also smart to get one that includes a normal USB plug as well. With this setup, you can plug it into any computer you need, including your other computers or a client computer.
The top option is from SanDisk. You can get a 128GB USB C flash drive with normal USB connection also built-in for $24.46 or you can go for a smaller option and get 32GB for $9.99.
USB C to Mini Displayport Adapter
This is the adapter you need to connect the 2016 MacBook Pro to the Apple Cinema Display. The official Apple USB C to Thunderbolt adapters will not work to connect to the older Cinema Display.
Thankfully, this USB C to Mini DisplayPort handles the job with ease and is only $19.99 on Amazon. You can find other adapters, but we know this one will get the job done.
This only works with the older Cinema Display with Mini DisplayPort and a Magsafe. If you have the newer Thunderbolt Cinema display, you will need to buy an official adapter.
Last update on 2020-07-06. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API
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