Update 3/1/2019 To ensure the best performance of USB peripherals attached to the TBT3-UDV on Windows 10 systems, we recommend installing updated Asmedia USB 3.0 drivers here. For additional details, please see the FAQ below.
If any questions about the driver installation or other setup issues, please reach out to us directly via email@example.com and we will be happy to help!
TBT3-UDV Specific FAQ
General Thunderbolt 3 FAQ
Installing & “Authenticating” dock on Windows and Mac
Plugable’s TBT3-UDV Thunderbolt™ 3 Single Display Docking Station offers high-performance expansion of your Thunderbolt 3-enabled Mac or compatible Windows Thunderbolt 3 system while also providing up to 60W of power to charge the host. Connect a single display up to 4K 60Hz (4096×2160@60Hz) via the integrated DisplayPort output, or an HDMI display using the included Active DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. Thunderbolt 3’s massive 40Gbps bandwidth enables you to run your high resolution display connected through the dock at the full native performance of your system’s graphics processor while also enabling access to your wired network and existing USB peripherals.
Supports connection to wired gigabit Ethernet networks using the integrated 1Gbps i210 Intel network adapter and 10Gbps peer-to-peer networking when directly connected to a second Thunderbolt 3-enabled system. Provides a combined analog audio input and output jack for connecting stereo headphones and microphone. Provides five extra USB 3.0 Type-A ports for device connectivity (one in front supporting BC 1.2 charging, four in back). Is positioned vertically to save space, and has a removable stand that also allows the unit to placed horizontally.
Thunderbolt 3 compatibility is complex, and some features like PCI-E bandwidth, support for 2 displays over Thunderbolt 3, and the necessary firmware updates for docking compatibility (BIOS and NVM) are system-specific. Apple and Dell Thunderbolt 3 systems are currently the best-performing, best-supported systems with this docking station.
For details on supported monitor configurations and what components are needed to add a second display, and non-Apple and Dell compatibility, please see additional details below. The dock can provide up to 60W of power to charge the host system, assuming the system supports being charged via its Thunderbolt 3 port. Windows systems require updated NVM firmware, system BIOS, and Thunderbolt/GPU drivers from the system manufacturer (Apple systems provide this automatically). The ability to add a second display depends on design decisions made by your system manufacturer and requires additional hardware, sold separately. Some Thunderbolt 3 systems support a maximum of 20Gbps Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth. The docking station will not function if attached to a non-Thunderbolt 3 capable USB-C port.
Compatible with Apple Late 2016/Mid 2017/2018 MacBook Pro, 2018 MacBook Air and iMac Mid 2017 models and many Dell systems which have Thunderbolt 3. Other brands of Thunderbolt 3 systems may work, but not support all of the functionality offered by this dock. Please see important details regarding system compatibility, frequently asked questions and more in the sections below.
Thunderbolt 3 is a powerful new technology, and system manufacturers have substantial discretion in how they implement various technical elements and features. As a result, compatibility information is complex, and many currently available Thunderbolt 3 systems do not support all the features offered by this Thunderbolt 3 docking station.
Some systems support a second display using a USB-C Alt Mode adapter or cable, sold separately. To support a second display through the dock, the host Thunderbolt 3-enabled system must meet the following requirements:
- System manufacturer must have physically routed two DisplayPort lines to the Thunderbolt 3 port. Currently all Thunderbolt 3 systems from Apple and Dell meet this requirement.
- DisplayPort implementation from HP, Lenovo, MSI, Gigabyte, Acer, Razer, Clevo, Alienware and Intel varies.
- Requires updated system UEFI BIOS, Thunderbolt 3 drivers, Thunderbolt 3 NVM firmware and graphics (GPU) drivers from system manufacturer
- If you have a Thunderbolt 3 host system which supports two video outputs, a separate purchase of one of the following Plugable adapter models is required: USBC-DP, USBC-HDMI, USBC-DVI, USBC-VGA Please see the FAQ section below for more information.
For a list of known systems see the below compatibility chart:
Important Note Regarding Dell Thunderbolt 3 systems – While some Dell XPS and Precision models (such as the XPS 13 9360 and Precision 5510) include Thunderbolt 3 support by default, other models such as the XPS 12 9250, Precision 3520 and Latitude 7370 to name a few must have been configured with optional Thunderbolt 3 support at the time of manufacture and purchase. Dell has more details about the various models and how to tell if your system has Thunderbolt 3 in their Knowledge Base article here. Please check that your Dell system has Thunderbolt 3 support prior to making a purchase of our Thunderbolt 3 Docking station.
Other Thunderbolt 3 systems may be compatible, but have not been confirmed by Plugable. Please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information prior to purchase if your system is not listed above.
In the Box
Thunderbolt 3 TBT3-UDV docking station, 0.5 meter (20 inches) Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps cable, DisplayPort to HDMI active adapter, quick installation guide and UL certified 20V/6.75A (135W) power adapter (US AC Wall Outlet Plug, 100-240V 50/60Hz) Units sold in the UK or the EU will come with the appropriate power cord.
As with any new technology, as Thunderbolt 3 evolves there is always the possibility things may not work as expected or that things may behave inconsistently. When using our Thunderbolt 3 dock with a supported system and the latest publicly available Thunderbolt NVM firmware with a single connected display things work as expected during normal use and transitioning to and from the various power states (on, off, sleep, resume, hibernate).
However, when two displays are connected, the first via the internal DisplayPort output and the second via an optional USB-C HDMI, DVI or VGA adapter, the second display connected via the USB-C adapter may not always work as expected when resuming from sleep or hibernation. In almost all cases this behavior can be resolved by unplugging the USB-C adapter and then reconnecting, or rebooting the host system. This behavior is much less frequent when using a USB-C to DisplayPort cable.
TBT3-UDV Specific FAQ
Q: When I connect the dock to my Windows 10 system, I see a ‘Unknown USB Device’ error within Device Manager and/or the two USB 3.0 ports on the back of the dock (closest to the Ethernet port) do not always recognize any devices attached to them. How do I fix this?
A: When the TBT3-UDV is used with certain eighth generation Intel processor-based Windows 10 (version 1809) systems, there is a possibility that the two USB 3.0 ports on the back of the dock (closest to the Ethernet port) may not be recognized properly by the operating system. This problem is not present when the TBT3-UDV is used with an Apple Mac system running macOS, or with previous versions of Windows 10.
Should this occur, please install the updated Asmedia USB 3.0 Host controller driver from here and reboot the system. If that does not resolve the issue, please reach out to us directly via email@example.com and we will be happy to help.
Q: Does the TBT3-UDV charge/power my system?
A: Not all Thunderbolt 3 systems support charging via their Thunderbolt 3 port. But for systems that do support this, yes, the dock can provide up to 60W of power to charge the host system. In order to charge, the system must be connected to the Thunderbolt 3 port on the back of the dock labeled with the ‘Computer’ icon. If your system is able to be charged via Thunderbolt 3 and is not charging, please ensure you have the system connected to the proper port.
Q: How much power is provided via the two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the back of the dock?
A: The Thunderbolt 3 port labeled with the ‘Computer’ icon can provide up to 60W of power. The other Thunderbolt 3 port can provide up to 15W.
Q: I don’t like the vertical orientation of the dock, can I use it in a horizontal orientation?
A: Yes, the dock stand is removable without tools to allow the dock to be placed horizontally.
Q: What do the two lights on the front of the dock signify?
A: The solid green light indicates that the dock is receiving power from its power adapter. The solid blue light indicates an active connection to a Thunderbolt 3 host.
Q: My Mac system included a 87W power adapter, will the dock’s 60W output charge my system?
A: Yes, but at a slightly slower rate compared to the 87W power adapter
Q: Do any of the TBT3-UDV’s USB 3.0 ports offer any special charging capabilities? Can any of the USB ports provide power to charge devices when the dock is not connected to a host laptop?
A: Only the single front-mounted USB 3.0 port of the TBT3-UDV dock supports BC 1.2 charging. For example, a mobile phone that supports BC 1.2 charging will charge when connected to the front USB 3.0 port of the dock, even if the dock is not connected to a laptop. The remaining four USB 3.0 ports on the back of the dock will only provide standard USB power to USB devices (up to 900mA) when the dock is connected to a host laptop. They do not provide any special charging capabilities, and they will not provide power if the dock is not connected to a host laptop.
Q: Is the TBT3-UDV supported in Operating Systems running in a Boot Camp environment?
A: Not at this time.
Q: Is the Apple Super Drive supported?
A: The Apple Super Drive is not supported.
Q: When I connect the dock to my Apple Mac system, I receive a warning that states, “Cannot Use Thunderbolt Accessory: Connect accessory to a Thunderbolt port on this Mac.” How do I fix this?
A: This typically occurs because the cable being used to connect the dock to the system is not a Thunderbolt 3 cable, but rather a USB-C cable (the white cable included with MacBook Pro laptops for charging is a USB-C cable, not Thunderbolt 3). Please use only the Thunderbolt 3 cable we include in the box with the dock to connect it to your system. For additional information about this issue, please see this demonstration video -> https://youtu.be/YJKKOjFc6zE
Q: I connected the dock to my Apple Mac system and everything except the Ethernet port in the dock is working. I checked within the ‘System Report’ application (Apple Menu, About this Mac, System Report…) and there is no Ethernet device listed under the Hardware -> Ethernet Cards category. How do I fix this?
A: Typically this is caused by the system not correctly detecting the Ethernet device in the dock. In most cases, completely resetting the dock and ‘cold booting’ the system by following this procedure can help:
1. Disconnect the dock’s Thunderbolt 3 cable from both the dock and the system, and disconnect the dock’s power cable so it turns off completely.
2. Shutdown the Mac system completely (do NOT just restart).
3. Power on the Mac system and login.
4. Reconnect the power cable to the dock, and then reconnect the Thunderbolt 3 cable to both the dock and the system.
5. Test the previously non-working Ethernet port.
Q: I connected the dock to my Apple Mac system and everything except the Ethernet port in the dock is working. I checked within the ‘System Report’ application (Apple Menu, About this Mac, System Report…) and there is an Ethernet device listed under the Hardware -> Ethernet Cards category and the link and activity lights on the dock’s Ethernet port are lit, but my Ethernet connection is not working. I performed a reset of both the dock and my system as described above and it did not resolve the issue. How do I fix this?
A: The symptoms described above most often indicate that the Ethernet port device is being detected, however macOS is not automatically creating a new network service for the device. In most cases manually adding the service by following this procedure can help:
1. Click on ‘System Preferences’ (gear icon in the Dock).
2. Click on the ‘Network’ Application (globe icon).
3. In the bottom left-hand corner of the ‘Network’ application, click on the “+” (plus) sign to add a new service.
4. Click on the ‘Interface’ drop down and select ‘Thunderbolt Ethernet Slot 1’.
5. Leave the ‘Service Name’ populated with the default name and then click the ‘Create’ button.
6. Click the ‘Apply’ button in the lower right-hand corner of the application to apply the changes.
7. Wait a few moments to see if the Ethernet adapter in the dock starts working.
Q: 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?
A: In most cases, this type of behavior is caused by a failure of the dock to be 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 jack 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. The best first step 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 here -> https://plugable.com/2018/05/18/thunderbolt-3-dock-not-working-windows-10-april-2018-update-can-help/
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.
Q: Do I need to install any drivers to use the dock?
A: With macOS and Windows 10 and 8.1, the operating system will download and install the necessary drivers. When using Windows 7 64-bit (32-bit systems are not supported), you will need to install a separate Intel Network Adapter driver and a driver for the Asmedia USB 3.0 Host Controller.
Q: What type of USB host controller chipsets are in the dock, and how are these routed to the dock’s five USB ports?
A: The dock includes both a Fresco FL1100EX USB 3.0 Host Controller and an Asmedia ASM1042A USB 3.0 Host Controller. In terms of routing, when the dock is in the vertical position the two USB 3.0 ports on the top of the back of the dock and the single USB port on the front are connected to the Fresco controller. The lower two USB 3.0 ports are connected to the Asmedia controller.
Q: What type of audio chipset is built-in to the dock, and what are its specifications?
A: The TBT3-UDV has a CMedia CM6533 Audio chipset. For detailed specifications, please see the Cmedia website here
Q: Does this docking station pass object-based multi-channel audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X through the included DisplayPort to HDMI adapter?
A: The DisplayPort to HDMI active adapter is based on the Parade PS176 chip. This chip does not support bit-streaming/pass-through of Dolby or DTS. However, it does support up to 8 channel audio via LPCM output.
Q: I have my headphones/speakers connected to the analog audio output on the front of the dock, but I do not hear any sound. Why is this?
A: Please check to ensure that the default audio playback device is set to ‘Plugable TBT3-UDV Dock Audio’
Q: Why does my wireless mouse or keyboard appear sluggish or not work properly when used with the dock?
A: Most USB receivers for wireless mice and keyboards operate in the 2.4Ghz band. When connecting the receiver to any USB 3.0 port there is potential for interference that can affect the device’s performance. The most effective method is to add a short USB 2.0 extension cable between the dock and the receiver to mitigate the effect, and many wireless keyboards and mice come with such a cable for this reason.
Q: I connected a standard analog microphone (one without headphones) to the combination audio port on the front of the dock and it is not working. Why is this?
A: The TRRS combination audio input and output jack is not compatible with a standard analog microphone.
Q: Is Wake-on-LAN supported via the Ethernet adapter within the dock?
A: No, Wake-on-LAN is not supported.
Q: Can the dock be used in conjunction with KVM switches?
A: Using the dock in combination with a physical KVM switch is not supported, as we have found that their performance varies widely and cannot be guaranteed.
Q: Can I add a second display through the second Thunderbolt 3 port on the docking station?
A: As noted above, some Thunderbolt 3 systems support two displays, while others only support one. This behavior is entirely based on engineering decisions from your system manufactuer.
Q: I’ve confirmed my system supports two displays via Thunderbolt 3. What type of monitors are supported?
A: The docking station includes a pure DisplayPort output, which means you can connect a DisplayPort monitor via a DisplayPort cable. If you wish to connect an HDMI monitor, please use the included Active DisplayPort to HDMI converter which supports monitors up to 4K@60Hz refresh. If using a DVI or VGA monitor, separate Active DisplayPort to DVI or Active DisplayPort to VGA adapters can be used. ** Active adapters are required, passive adapters will not work **
Q: Does the docking station work on Linux?
A: The docking station does not currently support Linux.
Q: Which Plugable USB-C Alt Mode Adapters or DisplayPort adapters are compatible with the dock?
A: To convert the dock’s internal DisplayPort output to HDMI: Please use the included Active DisplayPort to HDMI adapter (maximum resolution of 4K@60Hz refresh). To convert the DisplayPort output to DVI or VGA, please purchase separately an Active DisplayPort to DVI or VGA adapter. The adapter MUST be of the Active type, Passive adapters will not work.
For systems which support a second display output through the docking station via USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 Alt Mode, please make a separate purchase of one of the following:
USB-C to DisplayPort (6′ cable): Plugable USBC-DP Alt Mode Adapter Cable
USB-C to HDMI (6′ cable): Plugable USBC-HDMI-CABLE Alt Mode Adapter Cable
USB-C to VGA (6′ cable): Plugable USBC-VGA-CABLE Alt Mode Adapter Cable
Q: Does the docking station support Dual-Link DVI output?
Q: Does the docking station support DisplayPort Multi-stream Transport (MST) setups?
A: DisplayPort MST setups are not supported.
Q: Can the dock be used with a Thunderbolt 2 system using a 3rd-party Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter?
A: Our dock requires a host system with a Thunderbolt 3 port built-in in order to work. Using a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter is not supported.
Q: Is there a recommended DisplayPort cable for use with this dock?
A: We suggest using DisplayPort cables which are certified for DP 1.2 operation, and shorter cables will generally produce the best results.
Q: How can I tell if my system supports 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3, or 20Gbps Thunderbolt 3?
A: Please check with your system manufacturer regarding Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth on your system.
Q: Do all the Thunderbolt 3 ports on my 2016/2017 MacBook Pro offer the same features and performance?
A: Per Apple’s documentation:
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016) delivers full Thunderbolt 3 performance on all four ports.
- MacBook Pro (13-inch,2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) supports Thunderbolt 3 at full performance using the two left-hand ports. The two right-hand ports deliver Thunderbolt 3 functionality, but have reduced PCI Express bandwidth. Always plug higher-performance devices into the left-hand ports on MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) for maximum data throughput.
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports) delivers full Thunderbolt 3 performance on both ports.
Q. Are there any best practices in regard to connecting USB 1.1 devices to the dock?
A: For the most consistent performance, we recommend that USB 1.1 devices (such as keyboards are mice) be directly connected to the docking station’s integrated USB Type-A ports.
Q. My USB devices connected to the dock are not initially working as expected when the host system is booted from being completely off or when it is restarted, but do function properly once Windows is loaded. Why is this?
A: Thunderbolt 3 Windows host systems can have security settings with the System BIOS that affect if Thunderbolt 3 devices or USB devices attached via a Thunderbolt 3 device like our dock will work prior to Windows being loaded. While each manufacturer’s systems can be different, within the system’s BIOS there should be an option to enable ‘Thunderbolt Adapter Boot support’ which will allow the devices to work as expected prior to Windows loading. ** It is important to understand the security aspects of making this change, as this will preempt the security choices made within the Thunderbolt application within Windows **
General Thunderbolt 3 FAQ
Q: Can a Thunderbolt 3 dock or adapter work in any system with any USB-C (USB Type C) port?
A: No. Thunderbolt 3 docks and adapters will only work with Thunderbolt 3 USB-C computers and ports. Connecting to a USB-C port without Thunderbolt 3 capability will not work. Note that computers and docks may have a mix of Thunderbolt 3 and other USB-C ports that look very similar. Look for the Thunderbolt icon on both sides of the connection to ensure compatibility.
Q: How can I identify the NVM version on my system?
A: See “Identifying the NVM” section below.
Q: What if a newer compatible NVM is not available from my system manufacturer?
A: Unfortunately the only option is to contact your system manufacturer and ask when a newer version will be available, and to let them know that until it is, certain accessories you are looking to use will not work.
Q: How can I identify if my system has the necessary two DisplayPort lines to provide dual display output through the Thunderbolt 3 port?
A: Unfortunately in many cases this information is very hard to discern based on the manufacturers published specifications. If your system is not among those listed in our compatibility table above, please contact your system manufacturer for confirmation of how many DisplayPort lines are routed to your Thunderbolt 3 port.
Q: I connected my Thunderbolt 3 dock or dual display adapter and my monitor configuration changed by itself.
A: This may occur and is considered normal. You can change the main display back to your desired screen through the “Display settings” control panel.
Q: I connected my Thunderbolt 3 dock or dual display adapter with two attached monitors and am only getting a single output.
A: Depending on what Thunderbolt 3 equipped system you have, it may only support a single output because of the DP Alt Mode line configuration.
Q: I connected my Thunderbolt 3 dock or dual display adapter for the first time and my system crashed (hard lock).
A: Check to see if your system is running the latest Thunderbolt 3 software, NVM, UEFI BIOS, and all other updates from your system manufacturer. If everything is updated, unplug the adapter, reboot the system, and then reconnect.
Q: I connected my Thunderbolt 3 dock or dual display adapter and am not getting any output to either display.
A: If your system has hybrid graphics (combination of built-in Intel GPU and AMD or NVIDIA discreet graphics) make sure the Intel GPU is set to be the primary GPU in the UEFI BIOS.
Watch Our Video Demo
Authenticating a Newly Attached Device
When first connecting a Thunderbolt 3 device to a Windows system, the device must first be authenticated through Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 software (this is not necessary with Apple macOS systems). To do so you can use the below instructions as a guide:
After connecting a Thunderbolt 3 device the first thing that you should see (assuming that the system NVM, BIOS, drivers, etc are up to date and compatible) is an automatic notification above the system tray notifying you that a new device has been attached. You will want to click OK:
After clicking OK, you may get a Windows User Account Control (UAC) popup asking if you “want to allow this app to make changes to your PC?”. Click Yes:
After clicking yes you should see an application window appear where you will approve the Thunderbolt 3 device that was just attached:
Click on the drop down menu where it says “Do Not Connect” and select “Always Connect”. Then click OK:
To view and manage the approved devices you can find the program sitting in the system tray. You may need to click the caret (up arrow icon) to show all of the running programs then right click on the Thunderbolt icon it and select Manage Approved Devices:
You may again get a Windows UAC prompt, click yes. After clicking yes the below window will open and you can see any approved devices and remove them if you choose.
How do I check which version of Thunderbolt 3 software and NVM firmware I am running in Windows?
To determine what version of NVM firmware your system has, the first step is to ensure you have the latest Thunderbolt software version which varies depending on the system manufacturer. You should be able to download it from your system manufacturer’s website.
Once installed you can open the software by searching the start menu for Thunderbolt:
Once open you can find the program sitting in the system tray. You may need to click the caret (up arrow icon) to show all of the running programs then right click on the Thunderbolt icon it and select Settings:
Now you should see the settings window. Click on Details to find out all of the Thunderbolt software and controller information:
If a Thunderbolt 3 device has been connected to the system the Thunderbolt software will show you information about the controller. Below you can see the details from our Dell XPS 13 9350 system:
Unfortunately if a Thunderbolt device has not yet been connected to the system, the information about the NVM firmware may not be available within the utility:
Intel is working on an updated version of the Thunderbolt software that should provide the firmware information without needing to connect a Thunderbolt device, and we’ll be sure to update this post once it is available.
If you have any questions feel free to contact our support team and we will be happy to help!
Thunderbolt and the Thunderbolt logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries