What Each Colored Wire Inside a USB Cord Means

Updated on January 5, 2016
USB Color coded wire
USB Color coded wire | Source

USB Color Coded Wires

Most hardware pieces today connected to our CPUs are USB-driven, meaning that they require use of a USB cord or wire. This includes your keyboard, mouse, webcam, memory flash drive, some speakers, the external hard drive, camera or digicam, video cam, and more.

So what is inside it, exactly? USB stands for Universal Serial Bus, and there are four wires inside of it — usually, it's a red, green, white, and black cord. Each of these wires has a corresponding code:

  • Red color indicates the positive wire with 5 volts of DC power.
  • Black has always been the ground wire in almost all electronic devices.
  • White is the data as a "positive" wire, while
  • Green is also for the data , but as the negative wire.

Common USB wires inside
Common USB wires inside | Source

Other Colors

Some USB cords have different wire color combinations, like orange, blue, white, and green. In this case:

  • Orange is the positive, with 5 volts of power in the DC (direct current).
  • White indicates a ground wire, meaning the negative wire.
  • Blue corresponds to the negative data
  • Green as the positive data.

USB color wires with corresponding codes
USB color wires with corresponding codes | Source

Important Things to Note about USB Cords

These are generally the types of different USB color coded wires out there. So, if you are asked or asked about the color codes in the wiring of a hardware device, you can reference this article.

  • Note that the wiring inside a webcam has four wires, but check if your webcam has microphone built in inside. You can trace the wire if so.The Nokia USB pinout has the same code if we skin the wires.
  • Now that you know about the inside of a wire, the next question is: should you use a shield on your USB pin out? Yes, you should. Shielding is very important for protection.
  • You also cannot have a USB cable without the positive and negative, or the ground. The most important wires inside are the positive and negative wires. These are the paths of electric power needed to run your device. Also, you now know what color they are!

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have questions or suggestions. I hope you learned something today. Thank you!

Poll on USB cable defects:

What is your common USB problem?

See results

© 2012 Mark Johann

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    • profile image

      Christian kemp 

      2 weeks ago

      I cut the usb 4 wire cord one mine to wire up with a 2 wire.... now the 2 wire was white and green , I used the white and green on the 4 wire. Will this charge up my drone?

    • profile image

      chandresh 

      4 weeks ago

      there is also a copper wire in my samsung data cable. what is the use of it... ?

    • profile image

      Saad 

      5 weeks ago

      Not working only red light work and my mouse has got damaged now.....................................................HELP

    • profile image

      mal 

      2 months ago

      Thanks for the explanation. Most helpful

    • profile image

      MARK MANN 

      2 months ago

      Please be careful with generalized comments as in the article, "Black has always been the ground wire in almost all electronic devices." Terms like "almost" are too subjective" and this is a technical article correct? Moreover, the statement is false! CHINA the worlds largest producer of consumer electronics uses BLANK and DARK BROWN for the POSITIVE (Non-Ground) side for AC Circuits. I understand USB is 5V DC typically around .5A with Smart Phones Fast Charging with as much as 2A, however never the less, CHINA is taking over, at least by the numbers, and they do NOT subscribe to our colors that were made popular by the American Automotive Industry. Incidentally CHINA likes BLUE for negative and YELLOW/GREEN for Earth Ground. CHINA also does not follow the AWG. In CHINA wires are ALWAYS "under specification" when an AWG is called out. They will commonly misstate raw materials particularly "copper" and "Oxygen Free Copper." Economically, FALSE STATEMENTS from CHINA "always" or let me say "Unequivocally" is in their Economic Favor (i.e. they benefit by the false statement in terms of universal value and exchange). Thank you for reading, Mark Mann M2TECHNOLOGY

    • profile image

      Cody 

      3 months ago

      The USB plug came off my flash drive motherboard while I was trying to modify it to fit into my xbox.

    • profile image

      Kevin van den Broek 

      3 months ago

      Is it posible to only use the black and red wire? I don't need to transfer data but only electricity. (Sorry for my bad english

    • profile image

      wambodra 

      3 months ago

      what do the colors blue, brown, white and grey do in a USB????

    • profile image

      Jose Louize 

      3 months ago

      I have red , white, , green, light yellow

      Is the light yellow also wire ?

    • profile image

      Shreesh Shukla 

      3 months ago

      I have a usb with wires red, green, white, black and the other one usb kable with wires red and white .

      How can I connect them both?

    • profile image

      Steve 

      3 months ago

      Device charging slowly...

    • profile image

      Xavier 

      4 months ago

      I opened my usb extension cord because I am trying to connect usb to solar panel for my solar power pack idea, But to test my usb after cutting in half and striping the wires I connect both peices back together only using the red and black wire but nothing worked after I connected them. I have no idea what is wrong

    • profile image

      Lee 

      5 months ago

      Trying to wire red,black,white,green to light pink,light green, light grey, white. What colors do I connect together? Both are standard android chargers.

    • profile image

      Thomas 

      5 months ago

      How USB can be connected to a Head Phone (Includes microphone also)

    • profile image

      blablabnbanana 

      5 months ago

      mine has 1 red wire, and all the others are white wtf

    • profile image

      Stephanie if I have only 3 wires red green an white what color is what 

      5 months ago

      I'm trying to convert. Into a positive an negative battery charger

    • profile image

      Dale 

      5 months ago

      Can I put red and white together and green and black together and convert it down to a two wire plug in

    • profile image

      Rod Mayall 

      6 months ago

      Poor connection on micro usb connectors!

    • profile image

      Heavy TrplD 

      7 months ago

      Two white wires, a grey wire and a light brownis maybe pink

    • profile image

      George 

      7 months ago

      Thanks much

    • profile image

      will Hart 

      8 months ago

      friends, I have a usb wire unlike most.

      it has the Red/white, Green. but in the grouping it also has 2 bare naked wires, and the shield.

      can anyone help me find out

    • profile image

      seeker9969 

      8 months ago

      what I want is a USB cord where I pull the power from a high speed phone charger and the data transfer cables go to a computer, so I have the ability to quickly charge the phone while transferring data

    • profile image

      barbara 

      8 months ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      Christian 

      8 months ago

      Am modifing the micro of phone part if the USB cord to a line out. So need to know which wire goes to Whats.

    • profile image

      bisael 

      9 months ago

      Thanks

      We have wire A and B

      Colours of A are Blue, White, Green, Orange

      Anf of B are Red, Green, Black, White

      Connect

      A B

      Blue Green

      White Black

      Green White

      Orange Red

      Connect with corresponding color

    • profile image

      ruwan alahakoon 

      9 months ago

      your post is great bro.tnx for support:)

    • profile image

      Tre 

      10 months ago

      Have USB cable charger with white green and red wire no black which is power an ground

    • profile image

      Naseeb Zada 

      10 months ago

      Thank You so much.

      I had to join two USB cables, the one was of the common color coded but, the second was Orange, White, black and blue.

      So, thanks again.

    • profile image

      Gage 

      10 months ago

      So could it be possible to double up each wire where they originally connect to get "double", or faster charge ?

    • profile image

      Eashan 

      10 months ago

      I have a gamepad with red white green and orange wire what to do then

    • profile image

      Ankit4252 

      11 months ago

      Hi Mark

      1.I have a USB cable (I-phone 6) which has three wires light Red,White & Green, other than this it also has a Non- insulated wire wrapped around these three wires. Could you please let me know the order in which i need to join it with USB connector.

      2.I have another USB cable (I-phone 6) which has three wires i.e. Two white (One is bit thicker than other) & one Gray wire other than this it also has a Non- insulated wire wrapped around these three wires. Could you please let me know the order in which i need to join it with USB connector. Many Thanks !!

    • profile image

      Kyle 

      11 months ago

      I have a USB with the wire colours of,

      White

      Green

      Blue

      Black

      Where can I get the USB end to fit this?

      Thanks

    • profile image

      eloxim300.000.000€ miria_gia_ti_xwra 

      11 months ago

      Hi there!

      I have RED 5+ wire BLACK is ground WHITE is data + and GREEN.

      Here I have another one naked wire I suppose is Ground as BLACK wire. Am I correct ?

    • profile image

      Samuel 

      12 months ago

      My charger has four wires, red, green, white, black. There is also a bare wire leading from the front of the plug itself. What is that for?

    • profile image

      Matthew 

      12 months ago

      USB doesnt connect to aux, without an active adaptor, at least not in the sense of transmitting audio directly, as AUX carries an analogue signal encoded completely different from USB's UART digital encoding.

    • profile image

      Kyle m 

      12 months ago

      So how do u make a USB to aux where does the green wire hook up to

    • profile image

      greg 

      13 months ago

      how do you wire up the battery in your phone useing the wires and usb on t5he other end

    • profile image

      Luke 

      13 months ago

      Me too Luca! Gotta jumpstart these devices!

    • profile image

      Aravindhari 

      13 months ago

      my keyboard is having in orange,white,green,blue and board is having clock,date,gnd,vcc. so which wire is connet to which place, what i do

    • profile image

      moht 

      13 months ago

      why we use red(5v) wire here?

    • profile image

      Luca 

      13 months ago

      Wiring up a snapped USB cord to the battery of a mobile phone that has the USB port dissoldered, so can’t charge itself up.

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Simon 

      14 months ago

      Color are different

    • profile image

      Jessica 

      14 months ago

      My wires are bkack white. Second charger i spliced there was 2 white and 2 blue wires. One blue wire has silver wire and the other 3 wires are copper. What wires do i use to charge my s5 as the charging port is broken.

    • profile image

      14 months ago

      Need small cell phone u.s.b color code and tv audio and video color code

    • profile image

      Phil 

      14 months ago

      I was "fixing" my phone charger and it has 2 red wires? Lg 5

    • profile image

      Vijay 

      14 months ago

      What if data cable has only 2 wires red and black. My charger Cable has 2 wires only

    • profile image

      abhi 

      14 months ago

      amazing its very usefull for me thanqq

    • profile image

      Krishnakumar 

      15 months ago

      My wire has only two wires : Black and Red

      I want to use it for some other purpose

      What is the circuit???

    • profile image

      kagula 

      15 months ago

      i gt keyboard usb icant match the color and symbol, my usb wire color are blue,green,white and orange. symbols are D,C,G and V help me which color to which symbol

    • profile image

      Yvonne Davis 

      15 months ago

      Need to splice 3color coded wires to 2wires not color coded, both refriderators. I can't get it right keep blowing my circuit.

    • profile image

      Meran 

      15 months ago

      The USB plug on my Mp3 Player charging cord broke off! I cannot tell which side of the plug is meant for the positive or negative

    • profile image

      Ted Askin 

      16 months ago

      Which wire is the charging line. Red probably eh?

    • profile image

      Nita 

      16 months ago

      What wires do i connect if one USB cord has red n orange & light green n white wires and the other USB cord has red n white & green n black wires

    • profile image

      Leo Esch 

      16 months ago

      I would like to connect an External WIFI antenna directly to my tablet. Does anyone know which two USB wires must go from the antenna to the USB plug so it will function.

    • profile image

      Jennifer 

      16 months ago

      Can a USB white no green and white wire still be used?

    • profile image

      Shivam Thakur 

      16 months ago

      Thank you so much for your help

    • profile image

      Aphixsos 

      16 months ago

      Pls hw will i connect game pad with 5 wires red white green yellow black

    • profile image

      Emeterio Jimenez 

      16 months ago

      I have a galaxy note 5 i use for experiments with root which fascinates me to no end for some reason. But the wires from the connected battery broken off ( which is why it was given to me) and the battery is no where to be found. Ive grown tired of being bound to a wall so im trying to test out how i can use a usb cable and batteries such as the little 9v square batteries to keep it on while i walk around. Anyone that can help give me some ideas please email me with note 5 in the subject line i would really appreciate it. Thanks.

    • profile image

      chirag 

      17 months ago

      Sir my USB has pink white yellow and grey I want to make a wireless charger what wires should I use

    • profile image

      Bram 

      17 months ago

      i have an tomtom with an small monitor i want to use the end(what is used for in the car) to connect it to an usb so i can charge my cellphone, but an usb has green in it and the tomtom doesnt, is it important?

    • profile image

      Mikey 

      17 months ago

      I have a usb cord three wired copper white an red which r which

    • profile image

      Pranjal Trivedi 

      17 months ago

      My USB has 4 wires and now I can tell which has positive and which has negative charge . Thank you for information

    • profile image

      Daniel Gonzalez 

      17 months ago

      i have 4 cables a pink yellow white and light grey

    • profile image

      kinot 

      17 months ago

      hello sir .i have a logitech speaker without head connection.my mean is it is 3.5mm or usb male but its same own 4 wires.blue,green,black and white..i am aimmed blue is v+ and black is v- and connect it to power supply and led indicator work.white and green yes is data. But i found 2 extra wires coloured white and red bulked.what is it sir?

    • profile image

      Kent 

      17 months ago

      I have a USB cable with the colors Black,Brown, Orange and White. I want to connect to a 2.5mm female Jack. which two colours do I connect please.

    • profile image

      John Galoon 

      17 months ago

      I like the topic I need to learn more on USB cabling. I needed yo replace the usb socket / plug but failed because I needed to understand the color codes. Thanks. But I'm still having the same challenge.

    • profile image

      Abdul Shakoor 

      18 months ago

      Hi Mr Mark.

      Hope you're doing well.

      I have a small problem. Having read this post I thought you might help me.

      I have a laptop table below which are fixed two 5-volt fans that receive power from the USB port in the laptop.

      The problem is that the metallic piece of that USB cable that is inserted in the laptop is corroded. So I cut that corroded USB cable metallic piece and tried to attach another one. But I have failed in doing so when though I have connected the right type cords. i-e green with black and red with white and tried to test it with a battery as well. But that didn't work.

      Please help

    • profile image

      bjayanaresh 

      18 months ago

      How to check positive and negative

    • profile image

      Ronald 

      18 months ago

      Yes it is important to have positive and negative known wires ,but the ground is vital

    • profile image

      Amber 

      18 months ago

      I have a USB cable with pink light green and white. Very confused. Connecting to a new end with white red black and green?

    • profile image

      Boakye Barnabas 

      18 months ago

      Hi Mark, my USB cable wires are,yellow,white,light green,and ash colors.what is meaning?thank you

    • profile image

      Aman 

      18 months ago

      I have a headphone which has blue white red and blue color wires. So please tell me that which is positive and negative

    • profile image

      Tommy Anderson 

      18 months ago

      I'm trying to connect a micro USB (female to female), in order to connect my bluetooth controller to my cellphone, because the bluetooth isn't working. Firstly, is this possible? My problem is, I have one female end with red, green, white and black wires. The other female end has red, green and white wires, but there is no black wire. But there are two exposes wires without a color coding. Do you have any idea as to which ones I should connect? Do the two uncolored wires matter? Thanks for the help.

    • profile image

      Rajat C 

      19 months ago

      Hey i wanted to know can i use normal wires if i'm making my own USB cable

      thanks

    • profile image

      John 

      19 months ago

      i got a question. wiring a mouse from PS2 to USB. i manage to get power on butt he mouse doesn't receive data.

      ps2 wires are Black, Green, Yellow, Red. The USb wires are Green, Blue, Orange and white.

      the connections are Red-Blue, Black-orange, Green-Yellow, Green-white.

    • profile image

      Agterbosch 

      21 months ago

      None of this is right.. Blue is usually ground, not data-, green is always data+ in any color scheme, and white is data-..

      The correct scheme if you want to connect these 2 different colored wires together would be this:

      Red or orange = 5 V

      White or gold = Data−

      Green = Data+

      Black or blue = Ground

      So in other words, orange to red, white to white, green to green and blue to black

    • profile image

      Ycar 

      21 months ago

      Hi is it applicable to charger... my charger has 2ampere the wires are red and black only, but the charging pin is broken so i decided to change to other pin but the pin i was have are 4 color which is red black green and white ... how can i connect it

    • profile image

      Walt 

      21 months ago

      Hello Mark,

      My usb only has red, white, and green. Could you please tell me what the positive and negative are? I am trying to turn my childs swing from battery operated to wall charge.

    • profile image

      Walt 

      21 months ago

      Hello Mark,

      My usb only has red, white, and green. Could you please tell me what the positive and negative are? I am trying to turn my childs swing from battery operated to wall charge.

    • profile image

      Brandon Walker 

      21 months ago

      Hello mark, I'm looking for a temporary solution to my phone charging problem until i get it fixed. It's a Galaxy Note 3 and it seems that one of the pins inside the charging port has been bent/pushed back i think. I can see it near the back of the port when I look. Anyways, it currently charges if i use a wall charger and even charges when plugged into my PC as well as transfers files, but it charges significantly slower than it use to and it will not recognize most external power banks. They charge other phones but nothing happens when plugged into mine and the power banks eventually just turn off because they arent being used.

      In short, I'm wondering if I can modify one of my cables by removing a wire or rerouting the wire in order to either fix the external power bank issue or to increase the speed my phone charges back to it's normal speed. 2 questions in 1 but I've searched for days and asked in other places. this hub seems very informed and even if It my problem cannot be fixed, any insight would help alot, and I've already bookmarked this to read other articles. Thanks in advance

      (side note - some power banks work on the phone and some do not, even ones from the same brand.)

    • profile image

      Glenn 

      22 months ago

      I have a USB type C cable... Trying to do a power project. The four wires I have are loght Grey, Pastel Pink, Pastel Green, and White. Can you help me determine which two are the 5v Positive and the Negative colors? Plz and Thank You... :)

    • profile image

      mohd syazwan sahar 

      22 months ago

      hello, im want a ask.how i want to connect if their is 2 wire as red and black.. and i want connect with usb ports. which is black , red, green and white color. how i want to consider this to correctly connect it. hope for ur reply. thanks!

    • profile image

      louisianna 

      22 months ago

      i had a white usb cable and when i cut it open i have a pink wire and a white wire.

      which is which??

    • profile image

      Seth Tyler 

      22 months ago

      Hey I have a little problem. My Dog chewed my iPhone charger cord and I need to replace it with an old wire they were both iPhone. The one that my dog chewed was green red and white and the other charger is greeen red and black . Do I splice the white and black together ? Thank you!

    • profile image

      Argeneus 

      23 months ago

      My "other" proplem

      Is that after 2-3 months of modered use, my caple starts charging slower and slower... soon yes i end up with

      (Not detected - Detected - Not detected -Detected and so on) and always ends with Not detected

      I think the proplem is just whering down the copper by use.

      I think it's cutting corners on prize by manifactural proses..

      Maybe they need a better metal or metal mix or maybe use just a little more copper in the tupes... they know chargers and most Usb with mini usb end will move around alot more now day's

      *Hope u understood this, dont have time 4 spellcheck now

      cheers from Iceland

    • Mark Johann profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Johann 

      23 months ago from Italy

      Cloth wire is the support lace only and not a conductor. Please check your wires. I must be four wires. Red and Green are power wires. Red for positive and green for negative.

    • Mark Johann profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Johann 

      23 months ago from Italy

      I always believe green is the negative. Sometimes, it is black. Then pink wire is the positive which may sometimes be red.

    • profile image

      Mysteryneophyte@gmail.com 

      23 months ago

      hi mark,

      I have a usb cable with red, green, white and cloth like white wire. It also has a unshielded wire. I am wondering if I can make this cable a charge only cable? I want to get ride of the data cables, which are they?? Thanks, im lost here. Its for my samsung note 10.1...trying to see if I can get rid of the red x while charging so it doesn't take 24 hours.

    • profile image

      Michelle Weaver 

      23 months ago

      I bought a charger that is like 4ft. long for my cell phone. It has on the outer side's yellow & pink wires, the center has Lt blue (maybe Lt.green) and white.

      What is positive and negative?

    • Mark Johann profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Johann 

      23 months ago from Italy

      Hello there! Data wires are used to view videos from usb devices. Of course, you need power wires for that.

    • profile image

      RPierce 

      24 months ago

      I'm trying to hook up a security camera going usb, I would like to know what colors I can use to get video from my camera to my pc. The only wires I have from my camera are typical shield ground and one positive the wires I have on the usb are red, green, black and white along with the shielded

    • profile image

      Mikeshaver92 

      2 years ago

      I have a flat micro USB phone charger that has 4 wires 1 white and 3 clear I want to splice a normal charger on it with a red and black wire... how do I do that

    • profile image

      devin 

      2 years ago

      I have a I pod nano I'm trying to splice the wires and wire it back up using another USB but there are 3 wires in the charger to my I pod and only 2 to my USB witch ones are hot out of my I pod

    • profile image

      Ian bumoskey 

      2 years ago

      I have an hp keyboard model 9009. The end was torn or chewed off. I had a printer cord that was bad and I seen the keyboard had yellow and not black. Any tips

    • profile image

      jyhnas 

      2 years ago

      worked

    • profile image

      omf 

      2 years ago

      Hi Mark i ahve a very simple problem i hope. I have a modern speaker which you can sit the ipod on top but it also as rca jack if i want to connect a device to it: the device iwould like to connect to it my mac book but rca jack is not working. is there a way that i can splice a usb cord connect it to my computer and then splice that into the port for the ipod or even splice it into an rca jack

    • profile image

      mayo 

      2 years ago

      hello mate, i have a white usb cable with four cables inside, the colors are orange, white, brown and green i would like to connect them to a creative speakers model SB5250, I would like to know which is the positive, ground and data, how bout any ideas to hook them up via USB to power them up and to avoid that large power connection heavy cord

    • profile image

      Maurice Patterson 

      2 years ago

      I have a phone charger cord that I,m trying to connect ,that broke, but one side of the cord,have a red and black wire on one side and the other side have a red, white, black, green and white on the other side that I,m trying to connect them together can you help me ? Please

    • profile image

      Myoshi 

      2 years ago

      I would like to know how to connect my phone to my tv I've been trying to invent my own cord so I cut my end off my HDMI and exposed. The color cords then I cut the end off of my USB cord and tried to connect them together I'm trying to watch tv using my phone data I don't have wifi. But do I need a power cord also please help me I'm always trying to do something hook up a gadget. But I want to do it right

    • profile image

      Chiamaka 

      2 years ago

      Plss mark I want to connect 2 USB CODES. android charger. One of it has green red black nd white wires. D oda has yellow, thick Grey, light grey nd white

    working

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