USB-C versus USB 3.1 for iPad Pro

I have a windows PC with USB 3.1 ports. I’m getting an iPad Pro, and am confused if I need a converter cable, and if so what kind. I can’t find a photo of the cable that comes with the iPad Pro to know exactly what’s needed. With my current iPad Air 2 (and iPhone) I connect to my computer both for downloading any photos on them and to backup and/or synch using iTunes. My current iPad and iPhone have “normal” USB cables, with the lightning (?) end going into each apple device.

My guess (but please help!) … I assume something plugs into the iPad Pro (a lightning cable end?) and this cable has a USB-C connector at the other end. I assume this is a “male” USB-C connector. So I think I need something that has a “female” USB-C connector and a “male” USB 3.1 connector.

Any corrections or suggestions?


This link will take you to the apple site and you can see what connectors the ipad pro has and what it comes with. HTH…doc

iPad Pro - Technical Specifications - Apple

I believe this is the sort of thing you are looking for. One end is the USB-A connector, the other is the USB-C connector, and it is rated to handle USB C 3.1.

physician and RHinCT,

Thank you very much for the replies!

I’m still confused. The link RHinCT graciously offered seems to show cables that are “male” on both ends, although I may not understand that correctly. Don’t I need a “female” USB-C at one end to accept the USB-C “male” connector coming from the iPad Pro?

Go to and read the tech specs on your iPad – if it is an iPad Pro the only port is a a USB-C – which is physically the same as Apple’s Thunderbolt. (Thunderbolt refers to a Spec with band width and charging capacity.). The other end of the cable you want will have to plug into your charger — whatever that may be.

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I’ve never seen a male connector on a PC, tablet, or phone. Such devices have sockets. Cables plug in.

EDIT… I may finally see the point of confusion. You use one cable at a time. You need a different cable for connecting the Pro to a PC. There might be an adapter, but I would avoid such things.


It looks like it takes the thunderbolt / usb4 connector whatever that is…doc

USB 4: Everything We Know, Including Apple Support | Tom’s Hardware (

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Thanks again for the thoughts (now including GWPotter). Here’s my current understanding (any of which could be wrong, so please correct if needed!):

The iPad Pro comes with a 20W USB-C power adapter and a USB-C charge cable. Both ends of the cable are “USB-C” male connectors, one going into the iPad Pro (in the Thunderbolt / USB 4 slot, which accepts a USB-C connector?) and the other into the power adapter.

To connect to my PC, which has USB 3.1 A slots, I either need something like this:

  1. A stand-alone cable, replacing the one provided:

    (I think the items RHinCT linked to do the same thing and may even be better.)


  1. Something like this attached to the end of the charge cable before going into the PC’s USB 3.1 A slot:

    That doesn’t seem perfect since it doesn’t show the iPad Pro for compatibility, and it shows USB 2.0, rather than USB 3.1.

And for either of these, based on what I’ve read I’d prefer to have apple-brand cables/adapters or at least have “MFi compatibility”. I don’t see that on either of the above.

Have I come closer to understanding what I need to hook up an iPad Pro to my windows PC with only USB 3.1 A slots? Again, thank you for the help so far, and any additional help will be appreciated!


You have the right idea now. I would definitely go with the cable rather than the adapter. I’ve used Amazon Basics cables without problems, but not this cable. For what it is worth - I don’t know how much - I have been going with cables with the woven cover for while now. They feel more substantial, which may well be an illusion. The prices are about the same at your link as at the one I gave, but the later gets you two cables. I am a big believer in having spares!

(Which is a good idea until they become obsolete, then you end up with a pile of useless…)

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