By getting the best dock for MacBook Pro you can give your Apple laptop a serious upgrade without having to remortgage your house. The MacBook Pro is fantastic in many ways, but a frequent criticism is that it doesn't have enough ports for connectivity; so if you need to connect external monitors, a mouse, keyboard, an external storage drive and sometimes more, you'll need a dock to link all those peripherals to your MacBook Pro.
If you're using your MacBook Pro for video editing or photo retouching, you'll really need to connect it to a full-size monitor so that you can see what you're doing properly, and the best way to do this without sacrificing precious ports is to use a dock with fast transfer ports that can handle large volumes of data. You'll also find that many docks pack in useful extra features such as 3.5mm audio jacks, which are ideal as both headphone connectors and mic sockets, as well as working as power sources both for your MacBook Pro and other devices.
Most docks tend to offer standard USB-A ports as well as faster USB-C ports, and many also provide you with lightning-fast Thunderbolt 3 or 4 connections, which are especially useful on new MacBook Pros that you might want to use with big 4K displays or for transferring huge amounts of data around.
We've put together a selection of the best docks for MacBook Pro available right now, with a range of options and at various price points. We've assessed them in terms of connectivity, performance and price, as well as checking out online reviews to ensure that they do the business. And once you've found your perfect dock, if you need something else to plug into it, why not take a look at our guide to the best 4K monitors, as well as the best MacBook Pro accessories to further kit out your computer.
The best dock for MacBook Pro available now
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The Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station is currently our top pick as the best dock for a MacBook Pro, including the recent models with M1 processors. With four Thunderbolt 4 ports (one up; three down), three fast USB-A ports, and one for 7.5W charging, it's generously specced, and also has extras like an SD slot, a Gigabit Ethernet port and an audio jack, as well as an 180W power supply that allows you to juice up multiple devices at once. It's difficult to imagine needing much more than that.
Vesa mounting holes make it easy to mount the dock to get it out of the way, and the three-year warranty provided by Kensington is a nice bit of peace of mind that should soften the blow of the not-inconsiderable price tag. Given that MacBook Pros themselves already cost a bundle, this could be too much for some, but if it's within your budget, this is a superb dock.
Fans of CalDigit's comprehensive TS3 dock, which you'll find further down this list, will be immensely pleased by the TS4, which is the most well-specced dock a MacBook Pro owner can get right now (and comes at a price reflecting that fact). Its 18 ports give you all sorts of options, and allow you to charge multiple devices at once even when the laptop isn't connected.
The Thunderbolt 4 connections ensure that all transfers are speedy and efficient, and being able to output to as many as two 6K 60Hz displays, or a single 1440p 240Hz display, gives you real flexibility when it comes to display options – check out our guide to the best monitors for MacBook Pro if you need some pointers on which to pick.
The CalDigit TS4 is an expensive dock, so if you don't need all of its many ports and options, a cheaper alternative may suit. Also, like many electronics in recent times, it has been hit by stock issues, and can be hard to get hold of. If you're after one, and you see it available, snap it up.(opens in new tab)
While it's not a visual match with your MacBook Pro, what with it being a striking black colour with the distinctive silver HP branding emblazoned across the top, this USB-C-laden dock has exactly what your Apple laptop needs: ports, lots of ports.
With both HDMI and DisplayPort connections, it can connect up to two monitor to your MacBook Pro, for that valuable extra screen real estate if you're working on a demanding visual project, be it 3D modelling, graphic design or video editing. It has fast-charge ports to charge your phone while you work, links up fuss-free with a cable attached to the front, and its neat dimensions will tuck nicely in on even a compact desk (or underneath a laptop stand (opens in new tab)).
Another dock from Kensington, this is a suitable dock for older MacBook Pros, as it sports a Thunderbolt 3 connection rather than the newer, faster Thunderbolt 4. The SD5200T Dual 4K docking station will still work with Thunderbolt 4 connections, as they're backwards compatible, you just won't get the extra speed.
You may be wondering what exactly "Dual 4K" means – this refers to the fact that the dock allows for the attaching of two 4K monitors, both of which can be running at 60 Hz, via the Thunderbolt 3 port and DisplayPort. A mounting plate can be bought separately to mount it to the back of a VESA-compatible monitor.
Another great dock for hooking up a pair of 4K monitors to your MacBook Pro, the Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock offers a broad range of connections. It's got the usual Thunderbolt 3 and USB-A ports, as well as the aforementioned HDMI ports for monitors, and a reader for a UHS-II SD card. There's also Gigabit Ethernet and 85W charging – all the hits, essentially.
The Corsair TBT100 is still quite pricey, especially for a Thunderbolt 3 dock. Still, if you want to output your MacBook Pro to dual displays at 4K resolution in 60Hz HDR, there aren't a lot of options for doing so. It's a well-made piece of kit with sleek design that will complement your MacBook Pro.
Want ThunderBolt 4 but not convinced by the price of the Kensington dock at number one in our list? Then the Anker PowerExpand 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Mini Dock is a good option at a more economical price, although that does mean sacrificing some features.
It has a premium, very compact design that takes up little room on a desk, and it offers 85W power delivery and support for a single 8K monitor or dual 4K. The downside is that there's only one USB-A port and no SD card reader or HDMI. Still, it's a worth companion to give the M1 MacBook Pro the extra ports you need, high transfer speeds, charging and the ability to connect external monitors with just one port.
For a highly portable dock for your MacBook Pro, Belkin has the perfect option in the form of the Thunderbolt 3 Dock Core. This dinky piece of kit delivers 40W of charging power and it doesn't skimp on connectivity despite its compact size.
With its assorted ports you can attach up to two 4K monitors at 60Hz via DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0, and for other devices there's a pair of USB-A ports and a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port for fast data speeds. We're not so keen on the tethered Thunderbolt 3-cable – if that breaks then that's your dock ruined – but apart from that this is a great little dock.
The CalDigit Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock is a neat, compact MacBook Pro dock that's similar in appearance to the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Core mentioned earlier (even down to the tethered Thunderbolt 3 cable, which you'll really want to ensure doesn't get damaged).
This dock offers another lightweight and portable solution to get more ports out of your MacBook Pro, giving you a USB-3.0 and USB-2.0 port and Gigabit Ethernet as well as a pair of video ports – you can choose between HDMI and DisplayPort. It's bus-powered so it won't charge your MacBook Pro, but it's ideal for attaching a pair of 4K displays and gaining some extra connectivity while you're at it.
The reality of having one of the best docks for MacBook Pro will be that you end up using it to charge most of your portable devices. But why plug them in if you can charge them wirelessly? The Moshi Symbus Q has a Qi-EPP-certified wireless charging pad built into it, so if you want to keep your iPhone or AirPods Pro charged without running cables all over your desk, you can simply pop them on top of it. That keeps things a lot neater, and the Symbus Q will also charge your MacBook Pro at 40W. It features a pair of USB-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet and an HDMI port that supports 4K HDR too.
The sleek Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Dock isn't quite as chock full of ports as some of the other docks on this list, but it still offers impressive connectivity with five standard USB 3.0 ports and a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, which should allow you to connect pretty much everything you might want to. With a DisplayPort output thrown in for good measure, you'll be able to expand your desktop with a pair of 4K monitors (there's a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter included too), and it'll charge your MacBook Pro with a steady 60W of power.
If you're the proud owner of a shiny new 16-inch MacBook Pro and want to plug literally everything into it, the monster CalDigit TS3 Plus is a great choice. The predecessor to the 18-port Caldigit TS4 featured further up the list, this dock comes with 15 ports in total, seven of which are USB, which means that you ought to be able to attach everything your design studio needs. Dual 4K monitors? A stack of USB hard drives? Graphics tablet? Digital audio devices? A load of files on SD card? It'll take all of that with room to spare too, and it'll keep your MacBook Pro topped up with 87W of power in the process.
How do I choose the best dock for MacBook Pro?
The best dock for MacBook Pro will depend somewhat on the model you have and what you want to do with it. If charging is a priority, look for at least 90W for charging at a decent rate. What you most need to consider, however, is what connections you want. Do you want to hook up multiple monitors? And do you need Thunderbolt 3 or 4?
The latest MacBook Pros (the 14in and 16in M1 Pro and M1 Max model released in October 2021) have Thunderbolt 4 ports rather than Thunderbolt 3, and even if you have an earlier model, you might still want a Thunderbolt 4 dock since the TB4 is backwards compatible. Functionally, there's not a huge difference, but TB4 docks can have up to four, rather than two, Thunderbolt ports, including the upstream port that connects to your laptop.
There's also an improvement when it comes to daisy-chaining devices since with Thunderbolt 3, a device chain can be disrupted when any but the final device is removed. Note that the M1 13in MacBook can only connect to one external display, while the 14in and 16in can support multiple displays.