How To Plug In A USB Cable The Right Way The First Time

1 minute read

Ever gone to plug in a USB cable, couldn't get it in, and flipped it over and tried again, only to discover that you had it the right way the first time? What's that? You do it every day? Fortunately, this is a surprisingly easy annoyance to fix.

1: Getting The Cable The Right Way
Ever noticed that nearly all USB cables have a little USB logo on one side of the plug (picture)? That logo is on the same side of every USB connector--unplug one of your USB cables and see for yourself. Flash drives, unfortunately, don't have the logo; however, this can be rectified by memorizing which way is which, or you can put a little sticky dot, Sharpie mark, or correction fluid on that side.

2: Which Way Do I Plug It Into the Port?
There aren't any guidelines that are right 100% of the time, but most equipment does conform to a couple of standards. On laptops, the logo will face up, and on desktops it will face the far side of the case (the side that is furthest away from the ports). On the sides of monitors, the USB logo will face you. As for everything else, like hubs, the best thing to do is to try it and see.

Rather than remember all these rules, I take a labelmaker, print out a neat label that says something like "LOGO LEFT", and stick it on my hub/case/other device. That way you don't have to think about it. The result is something like this.

Soren "scorchgeek" Bjornstad

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Copyright 2011 Soren Bjornstad.
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