Can you plug in the MacBook Air Superdrive to one of the USB ports?

I would still like to use my SuperDrive if possible.

QA Apple 27-inch LED Cinema Display

QA Apple 27-inch LED Cinema Display

Product No Longer Available

7 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    Yes it works fine. I just installed software packages just fine with it plugged into the USB port on the monitor

  • The previous poster is wrong - the 24" LED Cinema Display (recently discontinued) DID work with the Air Superdrive. I don't see why the 27" version wouldn't also have that functionality.


    While the above poster is right in that the USB port will fit, the superdrive will not work as a drive on your Macbook Air. If you do a google search for using the Air Superdrive on a USB hub (which is essentially what the ports on the back of the display are) you will find many reports of people finding that their drives do not function while on the USB hub. This means the Air Superdrive ONLY works when plugged into the USB port on the Macbook Air itself! This is a limitation of the Air Superdrive, which about 2 years ago was thought to be that the Air Drive required too much power for a normal USB port (500ma max current, when burning a DVD the Air Drive needs 950ma current), however, more recently it was found that the computer chip that converted the signal from the drive to a USB signal was doing a "handshake" with the Macbook Air, and that it would not do this handshake when plugged into another computer, or a USB hub, including the USB hub built into the display.

  • It didn't work on the USB ports on my 30" Apple Cinema Display. It had to be plugged into the computer directly.

  • I have a Mac Mini 2011, and the drive 'works' with the 27" Thunderbolt display with one hiccup.

    When I insert an Audio CD (both commercially purchased and burned) the system reports that it is a blank CD. I have to eject the disk, re-insert it, and then the system reads the CD fine. Its rather annoying and I hope it isn't a sign the drive is failing, I've only had it a couple of months and I haven't used it heavily.

  • Thanks for the responses so far. Has anyone actually tried the Air Superdrive with the new 27" model yet?

  • Sure! You can plug pretty much everything into the USB ports at the back.