How to Disable Charging when Connected to a PC

How to Disable Charging when Connected to a PC

It’s truly convenient that you can transfer data and charge using the same USB cable that connects your phone and your PC. But things can quickly go south when this connection only serves to charge your mobile device exclusively.

In general, charging your phone via your PC’s USB port is not an ideal way to fill it with juice due to various issues you may encounter. Here are some common problems you may deal with:

  • The current for USB connectors does not provide sufficient voltage to effect a smooth and fast charging
  • It may take longer to charge using your PC than using a power outlet
  • This could negatively affect the smartphone’s ability to hold a charge 
  • You expose your smartphone to the possibility of viruses

So the question is, can you disable charging when your phone’s connected to your PC? Why, yes you can! 

In this guide, we will walk you through four proven ways so you can seamlessly connect your iPhone or Android phone to your PC without worrying about potential issues. Read on!

How to Stop an Android Phone from Charging When Connected to a PC

Most USB cables (especially the ones that come with your phone) have an automatic feature that charges the mobile device when attached to the USB port of a PC. This is mainly due to the charging port inside the micro USB cable.

That can be a problem, though. Not only will you be unable to transfer data to and fro your PC, but you put your smartphone in a compromised situation, as listed above. 

FIX 1: Check on your PC Android USB Driver 

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps7
Time to Perform Fix60 to 90 seconds
Things NeededAny Android phone

Generally, Android phones should work with Windows-based PCs, no matter their OS versions. However, drivers must be activated and upgraded to the latest version.  

These drivers act as the go-between or bridge between your smartphone and PC, allowing both devices to interact. There are many options out there but the Universal ADB Driver is one of the most trusted for Android devices. 

ADB stands for Android Debug Bridge and is a fave tool for people who want to factor fixes for their Android phones via PC. The tool allows you to send tons of terminal, shell, and specialty developer commands. 

For this example, we are looking into the device drivers in a Windows 10 PC. While there are other versions of Windows, the process here should guide you and suffice it to say that installing one should help you take control of your Android via a PC. 

Step 1: Right-click This PC on the PC main menu. 

Step 2: Select Properties

Step 3: Select Device Manager

Step 3: Select Device Manager

Step 4: Click Portable Devices on the pop-up.  

Note: Click on your device name under Portable Devices and see if there are any yellow or red marks. If so, it means your device is unreadable without a proper driver. 
Step 5: Google Universal ADB Driver.

Note: Use this step if you don’t have a proper device driver for USB transfer. 
Step 6: Download Universal ADB Driver.

Step 7: Follow the prompt and install the file on your PC. 

Once installed on your PC, the Universal ADB Driver should allow communication between your Android device and your PC. It’s a one-size-fits-all solution to data transfer between Windows and Android devices. 

If you’re having trouble finding the driver, click here. The file should work for all Windows-based PCs, acting as a bridge to Android devices.

Sometimes, your Android phone may not recognize ADB. That can certainly put you in a bind, but there’s a workaround to turn things around. 

To do that, you need to enable the Developer Options menu. This tells your Android device you’re a developer and will use the ADB bridge to put things in order. 

FIX 2: Activate Media Transfer Protocol

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps7
Time to Perform Fix40 to 60 seconds
Things NeededAny Android phone
A working internet connection

To stop your USB from charging your Android, you may have to disable charging in the options given on your phone and specify the data transfer protocol instead. Change the setup to USB Mass Storage or MTP mode (Media Transfer Protocol). 

The example below uses a Motorola Android phone, but the steps should be helpful for all Android users. The method to set your phone to deactivate charging via USB cable should apply to all Android phones connected to a PC. 

Take note that for the operation to happen, you must use USB Debugging and activate the Developer options. This system app on an Android phone allows communication between a PC running the Android SDK (Software Developer Kit). 

Step 1: Tap Settings

Step 2: Tap About Phone

Step 3: Tap Build Number 7 times to open the Developer Option. 

Step 4: Tap the Developer Option. 

Step 5: Toggle USB Debugging to on. 

Step 6: Tap on Select USB Configuration.

Step 7: Select Media Transfer Protocol on the pop-up. 

Activating MTP tells your phone that you’re prioritizing data transfer nixing charging. Alternatively, you may have a loose USB connection, so make sure your USB connection fits the port snugly. 

It’s why cleaning the charging port using compressed air or a brush. If the connection doesn’t work after all the solutions, you may have to visit a local repair center. 

FIX 3: Disable USB Audio Routing

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix10 to 15 seconds
Things NeededAny Android phone
A working internet connection

USB Audio Routing is a handy feature that manages signals and minimizes interference when it comes to USB communication. 

The problem is USB Audio Routing allows your Android to charge quickly. As this could facilitate USB charging, you must disable this to stop your phone from charging when connected to your PC via USB. 

For the example below, we are using a Samsung S20 phone. The process should be similar for other Android brands and is a useful guide; please refer to your phone’s manual for the specifics so you won’t run into complications. 

Step 1: Tap Settings
Step 2: Scroll down and tap Developer options

Step 3: Scroll down and go to Disable USB audio routing

Note: The feature is located at the lowermost portion so you may have to scroll down more than usual. 
Step 4: Toggle Disable audio routing to on. 

You can’t disable USB audio routing if you’re not in Developer Mode. So, make sure you have turned on Developer Mode first before you can toggle the feature. 

How to Stop An iPhone From Charging When Connected To A PC

If you’re looking for one definitive solution to stop charging while USB tethering, you may have to think again. As prevalent as the issue could be, there’s no one-shoe-fits-all solution for such a predicament. 

The OS on iPhones has been upgraded significantly throughout the years, so older models may not be as equipped to deal with the issue at hand. It’s fair to say the latest iOS 16 is more robust than its predecessors. 

FIX 1: Disable USB Restricted Mode

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix15 to 30 seconds
Things NeededAny iPhone

USB Restricted Mode is a nifty security feature that was introduced to iOS 11.4.1. In simple terms, this makes it an uphill climb for hackers to gain access to an iPhone if the device has been locked for over an hour. 

So, USB accessories or the Lightning port won’t be able to access an iPhone or an iPad under USB Restricted Mode. It’s one feature that Apple introduced to bulk up the security feature of its flagship products against data theft or cyberattacks. 

Essentially, USB Restricted Mode shouldn’t have anything to do with charging. However, many users have reported that their iPhones fail to charge when USB Restricted Mode is turned on. 

Thus, a proven hack is to use a third-party USB cable instead of Apple’s standard USB cable. This way, the phone won’t charge even in USB Restricted Mode, or you can disable the feature if you want data transmission to flow to and fro a PC. 

Step 1: Tap Settings.

Step 2: Scroll down and select Face ID & Passcode

Step 3: Enter your Passcode

Step 4: Toggle USB Accessories to on. 

The USB Restriction Mode is turned off when the USB Accessories option is on. Allowing the USB option means you’re letting input from USB, be that data, via a USB cable or charging. 

You might wonder why there’s no USB port on an iPhone. Still, that shouldn’t be a problem as tons of USB adapters can connect with the device and allow communication to a PC. 

FIX 2: Disable USB Power Management on Windows

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix30 to 60 seconds
Things NeededAny iPhone

When you talk about how to stop charging a mobile when connected to a PC, the solutions that apply to an Android phone, as stated above, are also applicable to an iPhone. So, checking those proven hacks should be wise on your part. 

For instance, you should also check on the USB port and the USB connector itself. The port must be in tip-top shape, and the USB connector should not only be for charging but also allow data transfer. 

But a good recourse you can try to stop your iPhone from charging is to disable power management on your Windows PC. This is especially helpful if you’re running out of options and the charging issue persists. 

WARNING: Disabling USB power management mode is tricky. It may stop your phone from charging but it will also cut power to all USB ports which means your USB-connected keyboard and mouse may not work
Step 1: Right-click the Windows icon on your PC. 
Step 2: Select Device Manager.
Step 3: Select Universal Bus Controllers.

Step 4: Tap USB Root Hub and uncheck it. 

Step 5: Uncheck other USB Root Hubs you wish to disengage from the PC. 

Again, remember that unchecking these USB Root Hubs means they’ll be cut off from the PC and will not have power. Thus, if your mouse and keyboard are USB-connected, they will not work once you deactivate them.

FAQs about Phone Charging When Connected to a PC

How can I prevent my phone from charging when connected to a PC?

To prevent your phone from charging to a PC, do not choose charging once a pop-up on the smartphone gives you an option on what kind of connection you want. Instead, pick USB tethering or file transfer to proceed as planned. 

Also, check on the USB connection. If you’re using a USB connector that is only meant for charging, you won’t be able to transfer files or send pictures to and fro your PC. 

How does continuous charging impact battery lifespan and performance?

Battery health can be affected if you charge your phone continuously. Charging a phone overnight is not recommended as most smartphones use Lithium-ion batteries, and prolonged exposure to heat could effectively lower the battery life.  

It’s best to keep your battery level close to the middle (about 30% to 70%) to maintain optimal battery life. This is why iPhones have optimal battery charging which keeps the battery at below 80%. 

Are there any additional tips to preserve phone battery life during PC connections?

Do not habitually charge your smartphone to a PC to preserve battery life. Doing so is slower to charge than plugging the device into a wall impacting your battery negatively, not to mention it puts your data at risk to malware. 

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