Thunderbolt 3 dock not working in Windows 10 after the April 2018 update? We can help!

On April 30th Microsoft released a large update to Windows 10 known as the ‘Windows 10 April 2018 Update’. Since the release, we have had a handful of reports from customers using our Thunderbolt 3 docking stations (such as the TBT3-UDV and TBT3-UD1-83) that after the update the dock’s video outputs would continue to work, but the dock’s USB ports, Ethernet port or audio port would stop functioning. (Note that this behavior can happen with all brands of Thunderbolt devices, and is not specific to Plugable devices.)

In all the cases we have seen so far, the cause was determined to be that the Thunderbolt device lost its authentication status in Windows during the OS update. To expand further, in Windows there are security measures in place which require Thunderbolt 3 devices to be authenticated or ‘approved’ before certain elements will function. While video outputs will always function regardless of authentication status, the USB ports, Ethernet port and audio port will not work if they are not properly authenticated.

If things stop working as expected, the best path forward is to uninstall and reinstall the Intel Thunderbolt software (with an updated version if available) to help ensure that the Intel Thunderbolt software that controls the authentication process is in a good state. To do so, follow the steps 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. If you are unable to obtain this download from your system manufacturer, you can download a version directly from Intel here ->
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, similar to what we show here -> Please approve the device as shown in the example 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.

If that does not help and you are using a Plugable Technologies product, please reach out to us directly via with a PlugDebug file ( and we will be happy to help.

35 comments on “Thunderbolt 3 dock not working in Windows 10 after the April 2018 update? We can help!”

  1. Vincent Griffith Reply

    Followed your list here. My computer is crashing when I have my Thunderbolt 3 devices connected.

    • Kim Reply

      Thank you! Been having USB port issues for a while and then after a Windows Update a few weeks ago (~September 2019), all remaining live USB ports stopped working on both my docks (home and work). Lenovo forums were no help. This solution solved it! I was not prompted to authenticate the dock but it did not matter. One thing to add: I had to unplug each USB device and plug it back in. Every one of my USB ports is functioning now, and all in use at once.

      • Bob Boerner Reply

        Thank you for sharing your experience with us Kim, and glad we could be of help!

  2. Ian Reply

    I have a new ThinkPad and Thunderbolt docking station. a couple days ago my pc had an issue where it looked like I needed to update the firmware. I did so. Now it is operational but If I shut down and then power up, USB’s do not work. If I then restart, the USB’s do work. Any thoughts? Should I uninstall and reinstall the software as above? Seems odd to have to restart all the time.

  3. Daniel Furrer Reply

    I came across this post and it helped me solving the same problem after the Win 10 1903 Upgrade.

    Thanks for sharing

  4. Tom Reply

    Thanks for posting this article. I fumbled around for an hour on lenovo’s site trying to figure out why my new Thunderbolt 3 workstation doc wouldn’t work with my P72 laptop. This solved it!

  5. Jimbo Reply

    I can’t even complete the firmware installation. The install itself insists I plug in the dock, but it can’t detect it even when it is plugged in and switched on.

    • Bob Boerner Reply

      Hi Jimbo,

      The procedure outlined in our post does not describe updating any firmware, so afraid we are not quite sure what specifically you are attempting. If you are using a Plugable Thunderbolt 3 docking station, please reach out to us directly via and we will be happy to help. Please also include the Amazon Order ID number for your Plugable purchase and a PlugDebug file (

  6. Joshi Reply


    This helped a ton, tried looking everywhere and this actually worked so kudos to the nicely written instructions.


    • Bob Boerner Reply

      Glad we could be of help Joshi, and thank you for the kind words they are much appreciated.

      • Chris Brock Reply

        Bob, I have an HP EliteBook and the Plugable USB-C Triple display docking station will not recognize the 2 external monitors nor the ethernet plug in. USB works.

        • Bob Boerner Reply

          Hi Chris,

          Our USB-C Triple Display Docking Station is not a Thunderbolt 3 device, so the information in this blog post does not apply. Given your description of the behavior, our next step is to get some additional information. Please reach out to us directly via with your Amazon Order ID number and the output of our PlugDebug utility ( while the dock is connected to your system (even though not working) and that will help us determine the next steps.

  7. Cecilie Fløe Reply

    I cant get the driver to work and the dock doesnt regestrate the computer when connected. The computer is able to charge, but the dock lights yellow and nothing else. What to do?

    • Bob Boerner Reply

      If you are using a Plugable Technologies branded docking station and are running into problems, please reach out to us directly via with the Amazon Order ID number for your Plugable purchase and the output of our PlugDebug diagnostic utility –> and we will be happy to help.

      ** Please be aware that we cannot provide support for other manufacturer’s products, and we appreciate your understanding in this regard **

  8. Marcos G Reply

    This was an incredibly helpful article, THANK YOU! I was able to connect my Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Gen 2 docking station to my Lenovo C930 (2019, glass version) perfectly using this method. I was able to use the dock for my extra monitor, but all of the USB ports were diabled. Once I followed this method, I was able to see the USB 3.1, USB 2.0, ethernet port, and other functions enabled in W10. Awesome!

  9. Hedgepig Reply

    I purchased a Belkin Thunderbolt 3 dock plus, and had this issue on my Gigabyte Aero 15x laptop. I am really grateful that you guys wrote this support page in a general manner so as to help everyone, as Belkin and even Dell did not provide readily accessible information regarding issues with Thunderbolt authentication.

    I would like to note that it was not sufficient for me to just install the manufacturer driver as instructed on this webpage, but I also had to install the Thunderbolt control center. I avoided the M$ Windows universal app as it had relatively low ratings, and used the Dell link for the control center (use Google, I would link but I’m afraid of the spam filter). From there, I had to explicitly find the device under the control center and approve it (launch the application and right click the icon in the system tray).
    ** END **
    It’s quite ironic that Belkin advertises their product as plug and play, when there’s clearly additional steps (despite the fact that Thunderbolt 3 security has demonstrably insecure features shown recently) in Intel’s “authentication” process.

    I am in the market for a KVM switch, and given plugable’s competent support, have definitely been steered towards this company.


    • Bob Boerner Reply

      Glad we could be of help! Thank you for sharing your experience with our readers, and for the kind words they are much appreciated.

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