Gadgets for humans

How to plug in your USB cable first time, every time

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.

Before we start talking about USB cables, I know some people will read the headline and go bonkers. I am expecting, “This is not true journalism,” “You are a clickbaiter,” and “Everyone knows this, shut up.” Now that we’ve established that, let’s move on.

Plugging in a USB cable should be an easy task right? But there are countless times I’ve flip-flopped USB cables to fit them into the slot perfectly. You might tell me, “Ah you just need to flip it, what’s the big deal?” But wouldn’t it be great to fit the USB connector in the slot in the first try every time?

The trick is simple: look at the square ‘holes,’ and if you see metal connectors inside, that is the ‘Up’ side of the USB connector. If you see the colored plastic through these holes, that’s the ‘Down’ side of the connector.

Credit: peakpx

You can also look at the tiny USB logo to determine which side is up, but the above trick helps when there’s no USB logo. Now, that you know which side is ‘Up,’ it’s easy to plug in the USB cable without flipping it, every time.

The world would be a much happier place if everyone used USB-C, so there’s no chance of plugging a cable in a ‘wrong’ way.

Go on and impress people!

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Published July 9, 2020 — 11:04 UTC