If you bought an LG 32UN880-B to go with your M1 Mac Mini and you’re noticing issues with the USB-C connection, you’ll be glad to know that you’re not the only one.
After facing USB-C issues with the LG 32UN880-B monitor with my M1 Mac Mini, I decided to test it further. In this post, I’ll share my findings so that they may help you understand what’s causing the issues and what you can do about them.
USB C issues with LG 32UN880-B and M1 Mac Mini – You’re not alone
Like many people out there, I upgraded to the 32” LG Ergo 4K HDR on my workstation. I love LG displays (I have two other LG panels at home) and the ergo stand that comes with the LG 32UN880-B was to fit in perfectly with my new desk setup.
Apart from the ergo stand, the USB-C connectivity was the biggest attraction for me. Being able to connect a single cable to a MacBook or Mac Mini and then using the USB ports on the back of the display was going to be a huge convenience for me, especially with a webcam on top and a wired mechanical keyboard in front.
Things were great for a while. And then I started noticing issues with the USB-C connection between my LG monitor and the M1 Mac Mini. Sometimes, the connection would just die. As in, nothing would show up on the display even when the USB-C is connected and the Mac Mini is powered on.
I was using the USB-C cable that was provided in the LG box, so I knew the problem wasn’t in the cable. I tried unplugging the cable several times, switching one end to the other, and nothing would help. But then, it would start working again randomly.
I believed that something was wrong with the display itself. I thought for sure some circuitry inside was broken or something. It wasn’t until I searched on Google and found that the issue with LG 4K display and M1 Mac Mini was pretty widespread.
In a strange kind of way, it made me feel better that it wasn’t my unit, and I wasn’t alone. But at the same time, it made me frustrated. So I put my ‘customer support’ hat on (that’s what I do at my job) and got down to troubleshooting this. I had to figure out a reproducible pattern so that I could at least avoid the issue.
What causes the USB-C connection to die between LG Ergo Display and the M1 Mac Mini
Thankfully, it didn’t take too long to find a pattern. After all, it was not random as I had first thought. The USB-C connection between the M1 Mac Mini and LG 32UN880-B dies every time I restart the Mac Mini while the cable is connected.
That’s it. That was the main trigger. I could put the Mac Mini to sleep and it would wake up just fine with the display working and everything. But as soon as I restarted the Mac Mini while the LG display was connected via the USB-C cable, the display would no longer connect to the Mac Mini.
I’m not sure whether it’s an Apple issue or an LG issue, because I found that when the connection dies, it doesn’t work with any other device. I tried connecting the USB-C cable to a 13” MacBook Pro with M1, a 16” MacBook Pro with M1 Pro, and an Intel MacBook Pro running Windows. The USB-C wouldn’t work with any of those. It wouldn’t even charge those laptops.
What to do when the LG 32UN880-B wouldn’t connect via USB-C
The simple solution to this problem was to restart the LG display. I could do it via the power strip, but a simpler way was to use the control button beneath the display to power it off, wait for a second, and power it back on.
While it’s not an ideal solution, it does fix the dead USB-C connection. Once I restarted the LG display, the USB-C cable started working again on all of those devices, including the M1 Mac Mini itself.
What happens if you restart another Mac while connected to the LG 32UN880 via USB-C?
Next, I wanted to find out how big of a problem this was.
Online, I found several people mention that they had this problem with other Mac laptops as well.
So I connected the USB-C cable from the LG display to my 13” MacBook Pro with M1 and restarted the laptop. Thankfully, the laptop restarted and the LG monitor kept working fine. The USB-C connection didn’t die.
I tried this several times, and the result was the same each time. I even put the lid down and tried restarting that way to see what would happen if the built-in display was not on. You’ll be pleased to hear that the LG remained reliable with both the 13” MacBook Pro with M1 and the 16” MacBook Pro with M1 Pro.
So, the problem is just with the LG 32UN880-B and M1 Mac Mini?
I can’t say that for sure, but for me, the USB-C connection would die (and wouldn’t work until the LG display is restarted) only when I restart the M1 Mac Mini while the USB-C is connected to the display.
I was going to say that this seems to be an issue with just the M1 Mac Mini, but I’m sure something happens on the LG end as well.
If I restart the Mac Mini while the USB-C is connected to the LG display, the LG display stops working (it also stops delivering power through the USB-C cable), and until I restart the LG display, the cable won’t work any other laptop that I tried.
All that makes me think when I restart the Mac Mini with the LG connected via USB-C, something gets borked on the LG monitor as well which leads the connection to stop working completely, even with other devices, until the display is restarted.
Is it an LG problem or an M1 Mac Mini problem?
Given the reproducible nature of the problem, I’m going to say it’s a combination of both. People have been reporting this issue for some time now, and I think LG and Apple should get together to understand what’s causing this and fix the underlying problem.
FAQ – LG 32UN880-B USB-C connection issues with the M1 Mac Mini
LG 32UN880-B doesn’t connect with the M1 Mac Mini via the USB-C cable
This seems to happen if you restart your M1 Mac Mini while the LG display was connected via the USB-C cable.
How to fix the USB-C connection not working between M1 Mac Mini and LG 32UN880-B
While it’s technically not a fix, you can restart the LG display and that should make the USB-C connection work again.
LG 32UN880-B is not delivering power via USB-C to MacBook Pro/Air
Try restarting the display to see if that works.
USB-C connection not working between LG 32UN880 and other Macs
In my testing, the problem only occurs when the LG display is connected via USB-C and the M1 Mac Mini is restarted. Once this occurs, you need to restart the display so that the USB-C connection starts working again.
How to avoid USB-C connection issues with the LG 32UN880-B and M1 Mac Mini
I wasn’t able to find any solution to the problem that occurs when restarting the M1 Mac Mini. You can use an HDMI cable instead or restart the LG display every time you restart your Mac Mini (between these, I’d prefer the HDMI cable route).
Does LG 32UN880-B have USB-C connection issues with MacBook Pros?
In my testing, the USB-C connection issue only occurred after restarting the M1 Mac Mini. However, if there is no Mac Mini involved, the problem doesn’t occur at all.
That means, when the USB-C connection is working properly, I can use it with the 13” MacBook Pro with M1 and the 16” MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip just fine. Even restarting these laptops doesn’t cause any USB-C connection issues.
Understandably, it’s not a fix. But I hope knowing how to reproduce this error and what you can do to avoid it might save you some stress and time. While I’m frustrated with this experience, I’m somewhat happy that the LG display works without any issues, even when restarting, with my other Macs.
Over to you
Are you facing issues with the USB-C connection on your LG 32UN880-B display? Did the problem occur on a device other than the M1 Mac Mini? Let me know your experience below.