Everything You Need to Know About the T2 Chip

Everything you need to know about the T2 security chip by Apple. Its various uses and drawbacks and the list of models that use the T2 chip. The chip enhances security and performance.

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Jul 15, 2021 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

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The following article is dedicated to the Apple T2 security chip in MacBook devices. Ever since its inception, it enhances the security and performance of your device in many ways and makes sure the data is protected.

After 2017, all MacBook models come fitted with the T2 security chip. We will know about the various drawbacks and issues that users face also. Keep reading to get familiar with the T2 chip and understand its role and other things related to it.


What is a T2 Chip?

Apple T2 Chip

The T2 chip is a security chip developed by Apple for its laptops and computers. It is a second-generation custom chip developed by Apple for MacBook to give better security and enhance the performance of the device. It has various uses like encrypted data storage, Touch ID data security, better signal and image processing, and better hardware security also.

The T2 chip is not just a security chip but is a little processor in its own right. For all those who are looking to buy a MacBook or desktop, the obvious choice should be any model which is fitted with the T2 chip. It has a visible and astonishing effect on your PC and also enhances security invisibly.

A regular Mac is not that much in demand anymore just because of the fact that it lacks the T2 chip. iMac Pro has a T2 chip since it came out, and Apple will surely use it in all upcoming devices also. iMac still does not have the chip, and this should be changed soon by Apple. We have patiently waited for all MacBooks and iMacs to get the T2 chip because the benefits are worth waiting.


How does a T2 Chip Increase Your Security?

The T2 chip is a custom silicon piece that is made using multiple hardware controllers. Thus, it enhances security but also makes the performance of your Mac better than before. The T1 chip in earlier models helped manage the Touch Bar and its fingerprint sensor. It helped in detecting hardware that was not Apple-made and helped in System Management Controller’s Integration.

There are basically four ways by which the T2 chip increases your computer’s security and performance. Only two of these functions happen in MacBook Pro and Air.

Secure Boot

Secure Boot

The T2 chip makes sure that everything used in the boot process of your Mac, like kernel extensions, firmware, macOS kernel, is Apple verified. A hacker will not be able to control your Mac by entering any malicious code. Secure Boot only works through codes that are verified by Apple. There is one exception, a bootloader that allows you to run Windows 10 on your Mac device.

When all settings are default, it is impossible to use an external drive for booting. This makes it difficult to troubleshoot internal problems. You can control all this through Startup Security Utility found in macOS Recovery. This will help decrease security if you want to install old macOS versions or boot from an external drive.

Encrypted Storage

Storage by T2 chip

The T2 chip has an SSD controller as well as a crypto engine and allows instant decryption and encryption of data on the SSD. It makes use of the same technology that runs File Vault, and you have to enter a password when starting it. When you encrypt data using the T2 chip, it is impossible to decrypt without using the correct password.

If your Mac has external and internal hard drives, T2 protection does not work, but you can use File Vault. The best part about storing data via T2 and encrypting it is that you can’t decrypt without using the valid password.

Even if your MacBook is damaged or lost, you can stay assured about the safety and privacy of your data because no one can get the data without using the right password. The main disadvantage is that if you forget the password, you cannot recover lost data and files.

The T2 chip also has a control over a wrong password and multiple attempts. You can try for the first 14 times right away without any wait, but after that, you have to wait when making attempts 15 to 30. The last 3 attempts can be made after waiting one hour between each attempt.

When you make 220 attempts, then you will not be able to make any more attempts of entering the passcode, and any request to decrypt data after that will not be entertained by the chip. As a result, your data may go missing forever, and it is really important to keep a valid backup at all times.

Touch ID

Touch ID

The Mac Touch Bar has a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and it can be used to enter or log into your Mac device. You don’t need to enter the password, and the T2 chip will identify your fingerprint. When you restart or turn on the device, then entering the password is mandatory. If you have not unlocked the Mac for more than 48 hours, then also the T2 chip won’t take the fingerprint, and password is needed.

If you have not made use of the password even once in 156 hours or if you fail to use the right fingerprint 5 times or used your fingerprint to login for the past four hours, then the T2 chip won’t accept the fingerprint, and you have to enter the password in such cases.

Mic Drop

This is not something that is directly related to the T2 chip, but if your MacBook has a T2 chip, then the hardware disconnect feature helps disconnect the microphone whenever you close the lid of your MacBook. This makes sure that no software turns on the microphone and hears or stores any voice data.

Disconnection of the mic is essential, but when you close the lid, the Face Time HD camera does not turn off because the camera cannot capture anything when the lid is closed instead of a black screen. The view of the camera is totally obstructed, and this also enhances security. Even though security features increase, you cannot run external boots or make use of other operating systems.


List of Computers that have the Apple T2 Security Chip

There are many Mac devices that make use of the T2 Apple security chip. Let us take a look at these devices

MacBook Air 2018


Issues Linked to the Security Chip

The Chip also caused an audio glitch issue on using USB2.0, but it does not affect USB 3.0. T2 chip allows limited softwares to run, and it intervenes if you try to install any other operating system. When you hold Command+R Key upon Mac startup, it launches Startup Security Utility. Here you can disable the security to run other OS or perform booting from an external drive.


How to Identify Mac Models with Apple T2 Chip?

Identifying T2 Chip


The Bottom Line

Well, the Apple T2 Security chip has a lot of great effects on your MacBook when it comes to security and performance. There are different ways to influence your device, and in the above article, we took an in-depth look at the security chip.

This is the future, and almost all MacBooks come fitted with it. We knew about its features and drawbacks on your device and the various models that use the chip.


People Also Ask

How do I know if I have the T2 chip?

Open System Information and click on Controller or iBridge to check if your device has the T2 security chip.

Does MacBook Air 2017 have a T2 chip?

No MacBook Air 2017 does not have the T2 chip.

How do I disable the Apple T2 chip?

You need to open the Startup Security Utility and click No Security to disable the Apple T2 chip.

When did Apple start using the T2 chip?

Apple started using the T2 chip in 2017, and it comes in every new model since then.

Does MacBook Pro 2015 have T2 chip?                     

No MacBook Pro 2015 does not have the T2 chip.

Do M1 Macs have T2 chip?

Yes, an M1 Mac has a T2 security chip.

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