What Each Colored Wire Inside a USB Cord Means
USB Color-Coded Wires
Today, most hardware 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, external hard drive, camera or digicam, video cam, and more. They all need a USB.
So what is inside the wire, 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:
USB Cable Colors and What They Mean:
- Red color indicates the positive wire with 5 volts of DC power.
- Black is always the ground wire in almost all electronic devices.
- White is a "positive" wire for data as a "positive" wire, and
- Green is also for the data, but as the "negative" wire.
Other Colors in a USB Cable
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 is the "negative" wire for data.
- Green is the "positive" data wire.
Frequent Questions About USB Cords
What about the wiring inside a webcam?
Note that the wiring inside a webcam has four wires unless it also has microphone built in. If so, you can trace the wire to the mic. If you look, you'll notice that the Nokia USB pinout has the same code.
Should you use a shield on your USB pinout?
Yes, you should. Shielding is very important for protection.
Can you have a USB without a ground wire?
You can't have a USB cable without the ground.
Are the white and green wires important?
The most important wires are the positive and negative wires. These are the paths of electric power needed to run your device, so you now know what color they are!
What is the fifth wire found in a printer cable?
It could be the ground wire. Identify which are the power wires, identify the two data wires, and the fifth should be your ground.
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?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
How can I connect a two-wire mobile charger to a four-wire USB adapter?
Check for the positive wire and the negative one. Use a tester.Helpful 57
My USB cable has a red, green, black, and white, which wires do I put together in order to power something?
It could be the ground wire or any. Just focus on the power wires and have trial and error on both data wires.Helpful 48
Can I hook the green wire to the black wire, and the white to the red ? Will it work?
It could be the ground wire or any. Just focus on the power wires and have trial and error on both data wires. You can also check my other wires colors in my articles.Helpful 34
Since the red and the white are both + & the black and green are - can you splice the black and green together and do the same with the red and white?
It could be the ground wire or any. Just focus on the power wires and have trial and error on both data wires. You can also check my other wires colors in my articles.Helpful 18
I have a 6 wired USB cable. Can you advise which is the data wire and which is the power wire?
It could be the ground wire or any. Just focus on the power wires and have trial and error on both data wires. You can also check my other wires colors in my articles.Helpful 15
© 2012 Mark Johann