Plug In A USB Cable The Right Way, Every Time

Plugging in a USB cable is often an exercise in frustration, involving multiple jiggling and flipping attempts when really this should be a straightforward connection. Avoid this annoyance going forward: Look to the USB connector's seam.

We've mentioned before that the USB symbol on cables can tell you which way is up and thus help you plug it in the right way every time, but sometimes that symbol isn't there (eg, on a flash drive).

In lieu of making your own marker on the cable or drive to note which way to plug it in, look for something that is on every USB connector: the seam. Lifehacker reader coren tipped us off to this. The seam should be facing down when you plug the USB cable or flash drive into a horizontal port.

Apartment Therapy confirms this and says that for vertically-orientated ports, the seam should be facing left. So, remember, seams down or left and goodbye USB frustrations.

Clever USB Connection Solutions and Tips [Apartment Therapy]


    Although I was aware of this, there is still one problem that doesn't stop the endless flipping: it seems that every second computer I use has the USB ports installed upside down :(
    Still, people need to know this trick :D

    What if there are no seams, like on my Cruzer Blade?

    My last job, all the Dell monitors we used had two vertical usb ports that were actually upside down so this is not always guaranteed to work :P

      Yeah, the front ports on my two home office PC's the USB ports are different. One is up, one is down.

    It's uncommon but occasionally, some devices have their seam on the top.

    Seriously Melanie? I mean I get that you guys aren't actual journalists and are just bloggers working for Allure but seriously?! This actually needed to be written? Is there nothing else on Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon for you to repost?!

    To be a dick, I'd make a USB that doesn't plug in at all.

    The last two lots of Dells we've thru the office have the USB ports upside down... when compared to every other USB device I've ever used. Why Dell, why... ???

      Revenge of the Chinese assembly line worker!

        Chinese version of 'PC Load letter'. LOL.

    imagine how good usb4.0 would be if it could fit either way, and worked itself out accordingly.

      That would make waaaaaay too much sense. Whoever came up with the idea of a completely rectangular port with a right and wrong way to insert should be shot.

    Of all the four USB's I have on my desk at this very moment none have a seam... BaaBoowww

    Holes go up if the ports are horizontal. Holes towards you if the ports are vertical.

      For the vertical case, that all depends on what side of the port you're standing on.

      It's really simple guys. See the plastic part with the contacts in your USB cable/stick? See the plastic part with the metal contacts in the USB port on your host machine? Don't try to make them occupy the same space, make them sit next to each other.

    Yes all very well unless you have a Dell. My verticle slots are back to front at home and my work Dell horizontal slots are also upside down. Trouble is how do you know. Seems that as nearly every PC is different so we are back to square one.

    Maybe an old habit and not for everyone but I make a spot with a whiteout pen on all usb plugs so don't have to think or look too hard each time.

    I've already memorised my usb port layout so its just a matter of plugging in a usb (or usb mouse) the right way. My tip is to look at the holes, if they are empty (or hollow) then the plastic is away from you and it will go in. However if they're not hollow (as in the plastic is right up against the metal) then ...... you get the idea.

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