We’ve all been there. You want to charge a device, and the most conveniently located USB port is on your computer. You plug in, only to remember that once you shut down your system for the night, those ports go dormant. But what if there was a way to keep those USB ports alive and kicking, even when your PC is off?
It’s entirely possible to have your USB ports powered on, even when your computer takes its nightly rest. This magic lies in tweaking a few settings and understanding how your system’s power management operates.
Ready to harness this power? Stick around as we navigate the steps to make this a reality.
Keeping USB Ports Active: Powering USB Even When Your Computer Is Off
At the heart of this endeavor lies power management. Modern computers are designed to conserve energy, which means when they’re off, most onboard systems, including USB ports, power down. But, thanks to advancements in motherboard technology and BIOS settings, we can override this default behavior.
Steps to Keep USB Ports Powered On
Method 1: From BIOS/ UEFI Settings
Step 1: Dive into the BIOS/UEFI Settings
When starting your computer, press the BIOS or UEFI key (commonly Del, F2, or F10) repeatedly until you enter the motherboard settings. Navigate to the “Advanced“, “BIOS Setup Utility” or “Power Management” menu. The naming might vary depending on your motherboard manufacturer.
Step 3: Locate USB Settings
Look for options like “Always On USB”, “USB Wake Support“, “USB Power Management“, or “Power On by USB“. Again, the exact naming might differ.
Step 3: Enable Power Supply to USB Ports
Once you locate the right option, change the setting to allow the power supply to the USB ports when the computer is off.
Step 4: Save and Exit
Don’t forget to save your settings before exiting the BIOS/UEFI. Typically, there’s an option labeled “Save & Exit“.
Method 2: From Device Management Settings
If you’re experiencing difficulties waking your computer from sleep mode and finding that your mouse and keyboard stop working during sleep, it’s possible that Windows is disabling your USB ports. To resolve this issue, follow these steps:
Step 1: Access Device Manager
Right-click on the Windows Start Button and choose “Device Manager.”
Step 2: Navigate to USB Controllers
In the Device Manager window, expand the “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” category.
Step 3: Configure USB Hubs
Double-click on any devices labeled as USB Hubs and in the device’s properties window, go to the “Power Management” tab.
Step 4: Disable Power Management for USB Hubs
Uncheck the box that says “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.”
By following these steps, you can ensure that your USB ports remain active during sleep mode, preventing issues with waking your computer.
Benefits of Always-On USB Ports
- Device Charging: Easily the most prominent advantage. Charge smartphones, tablets, and other devices without needing the computer to be running.
- Wake-On-USB: Some peripherals, like keyboards, can be set to wake up the computer from sleep mode or even start it up if the feature is enabled.
A Word of Caution
While this feature is undoubtedly handy, remember that keeping USB ports powered continuously will draw a small amount of power. If you’re keen on conserving energy or ensuring there’s minimal wear on your PC’s power supply, use this feature judiciously.
By unlocking the potential of always-on USB ports, you enhance the versatility of your computing environment. Whether it’s for late-night charging or specialized tasks, this feature is a testament to how customizable modern PCs truly are.
Can All Computers Have Their Usb Ports Powered On Constantly?
Most modern PCs with updated motherboards support this feature. However, very old systems might not offer this option.
Does This Feature Affect The Computer’s Overall Lifespan?
While there’s a minor power draw, it shouldn’t significantly impact your PC’s lifespan. Just ensure your power supply unit (PSU) is of good quality.
Can I Choose Which Specific Usb Ports Remain Powered?
This largely depends on your motherboard. Some advanced motherboards allow granular control over individual ports, while others have a blanket setting for all.