How to Check the Power Output of USB Ports

Usb Power Featured Image

Are you worried that your USB ports are either underperforming or out of spec? Does it seem like you are not getting the amount of charge you need from these ports? You can use the built-in capabilities of Windows, a third-party app, or a voltmeter to detect the amount of power available in one of three ways.

Using Windows

You can check the power capabilities of the USB ports using the device manager in Windows. To find the data in Windows 10:

1. Type Run in the search box in the taskbar.

2. Type devmgmt.msc in the window that opens.

3. Double-click on the Universal Serial Bus controllers branch to expand it.

Usb Power Expand Usb

4. Right-click one of the entries that are named USB Root Hub or Generic USB Hub and choose “Properties.”

Usb Power Usb Root Hub Right Click

You will find the total amount of power available to that USB listed under “Hub Information.” If there are devices attached to the port, you will see the energy that is being pulled by that device listed under “Attached Devices.”

Usb Power Usb Root Hub Properities

Using Software

There are different third-party software programs online that you can download to get information about your USB ports. USB Deview is free software that provides the user with the power specs of the USB ports on a computer. It is a portable program, and you do not have to install anything on your computer.

To use USBDeview:

1. Download the software from http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/usb_devices_view.html.

2. Extract the files and run the application file.

Usb Power Run Exe

3. Locate the USB ports. An easy way to do this is to click on the Description label to sort the devices by description. This will group all the USB ports and make them easier to find in the list.

4. Click on the one you want to check to highlight it.

Usb Power Usbdeview Screen

5. Scroll over until you find the column heading that says power. Clicking here will tell you how much energy the port is using.

Using hardware

One more way to find out the power output of your USB ports is to use a physical USB voltmeter. These devices detect input voltage, current, power, capacity, and energy of the port. Unlike the two methods listed above that only work on a computer or laptop, you can use a voltmeter to detect the energy capabilities of other devices such as phones, power banks, and car chargers.

Usb Power Usb Voltimeter

There is a wide selection of voltmeters available for low prices, and they come with a variety of features. Once you have purchased one, it requires just a simple connection to display the power information for the port.

You can test your USB ports in one of these three ways if you suspect a problem. Whether you think it’s not working correctly or wondering if it has enough power to perform a task, one of these methods may be helpful to you.

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2 comments

  1. When using a hardware device, make sure that it has the connections you will use. . Most all will have USB-A, but you might need a USB-C, or a mini-USB-A, or a micro-USB-A. They are not very expensive, so I have several and the connector cover all the USB connectors. A lot of the time a USB-A cable is plugged into the power source, and the other end of the cable will be one that matches the device using the power. Just insert the tester between the power source and the cable and you will be able to see the Voltage and amperage draw, and some other characteristics.

  2. “you can use a voltmeter to detect the energy capabilities of other devices such as phones, power banks, and car chargers.”

    Not to mention that use of a voltmeter doesn’t depend on what OS a person is using…whereas the first two methods absolutely require Windows :-)

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