In this guide, we :
- define some common USB-related terms
- explain the different types of USB connector, port and cable
- answer some FAQs around USB types and how they work
Click on a link below to jump to the relevant section:
USB type and USB version—what’s the difference?
Reading: Identifying your USB connector
The human body of the USB connection or port
Examples : USB Type-C, USB Type-B Micro
The engineering that allows data to be transferred along a cable from one device to another
Examples : USB 2.0, USB 3.0
Read more about USB versions on our page about USB compatibility .
USB types explained
The condition “ USB character ” can mean three different things :
- The connectors at the end of a USB cable
- The ports the cable is plugging into
- The cable itself (and sometimes this will have two types in its name)
In the sheath of 1 and 2, the type describes the forcible form of the connectors or ports .
This cable would plug into two ports that have these shapes :
Although a cable television has two differently shaped connectors, it takes the name of whichever connection is not USB Type-A. That ’ mho because USB Type-A is the most normally used USB port and connection so an option type is the most distinguish feature .
For example, this cable would be considered a USB Type-C cable .
USB cable types are explained in more contingent below .
Types of USB connector
USB connectors are sometimes referred to as “ male ” connectors, as they plug into a “ female ” interface .
The unlike types of connector—shown by USB version—are as follows .
USB Type-A Mini
- Developed to allow On-The-Go (OTG) peripheral devices such as smartphones and tablets to function as host devices for keyboards and mice
- Superseded by USB Type-B Mini and Type-B micro connectors
USB Type-B Mini
- Found on digital cameras, external hard drives, USB hubs and other equipment
- Used by USB 1.1 and 2.0
USB Type-A Micro
- Found on USB On-The-Go (OTG) devices such as smartphones and tablets
- Doesn’t have a dedicated port but instead fits into a special AB port which accommodates both USB Type-A Micro and USB Type-B Micro
- Mostly superseded by USB Type-B Micro
USB Type-B Micro
- Used by modern Android devices as their standard charging plug and port
Types of USB cable
USB cables are named in one of two ways :
1. As a single type
For model, a USB Type-C cable .
With these cables, the type is whichever conclusion of the cable international relations and security network ’ t the standard USB Type-A connection. sol, for exemplar, a cable with both a USB Type-A and a Type-C connection is a USB Type-C cable television .
If both connectors are USB Type-A, it would be a USB Type-A cable ( or a USB male to male cable or, just, a USB cable ) .
An iPhone cable is described as an Apple Lightning cable, to correspond with the iPhone ’ s alone Lightning connection .
An Android cable is called a Micro-USB cable .
2. As one type to another
For exemplar, a USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable television .
If the cable television has a Type-A connection at one end ( as in the above trope ), that will normally be the first type. The moment will be the shape of connection that will plug into your device .
Some cables have the same connection at both ends and are named accordingly—for exemplar, a USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable .
Types of USB port
The port ( besides called a socket, jack or receptacle ) is the part of your device the USB connection plug into. USB ports are sometimes referred to as “ female ”, as they accept a “ male ” connection .
The different types of port—shown by USB version—are as follows :
- Classic flat, rectangular shape
- Used by the following devices:
- Almost all computers (desktops, laptops etc.)
- Most tablets
- Games consoles (PlayStation, XBox etc.)
- Smart TVs
- DVD and Blu-Ray players
- Peripherals (e.g. keyboards, mice)
- Flash drives/memory sticks
What is USB Type-A male and what is USB Type-A female?
Connectors and ports are sometimes referred to as “ male ” and “ female ”, as a way of showing which ones are compatible .
A USB Type-A male connection plugs into a USB Type-A female port .
What is USB 3.1 Type-A?
This refers to a USB Type-A connection or port that uses the USB 3.1 standard and is able to achieve that interpretation ’ south fast speeds for transferring data .
Is there a USB Type-A to Micro-HDMI?
Yes. You might use one of these cables when connecting a smartphone or pill to a larger display, such as a calculator monitor, high-definition television receiver or television projector .
Micro-HDMI is besides known as HDMI Type-D, and is a very like shape to the USB Type-B Micro connection .
What is USB Type-B used for?
You ’ ll typically find USB Type-B ports on larger devices you connect to your calculator, such as printers and scanners. You might besides have external storage devices or drives that use them .
Most USB Type-B connectors are at one end of a USB Type-B to USB Type-A cable. You plug the Type-B connection into the printer, scanner or other device and the Type-A connection to the criterion USB port on your computer.
Can I play video through USB Type-B?
Yes, if you have a video projector equipped with a USB Type-B port, and a computer with the necessary capabilities .
Simply connect the two devices using a USB Type-B to USB Type-A cable, and adjust the settings on the projector so it knows it ’ s receiving data via USB .
Be aware, however, that USB is not constantly the best format for playing video, and that HDMI might be a better option .
- Symmetrical oblong shape
- Still fairly new (2014), so used by only a limited number of devices, such as:
- Apple MacBooks (for charging, transferring data and playing video)
- some of the latest laptops
- Nintendo Switch games console
What is USB Type-C used for?
USB Type-C is still quite new, and is yet to be incorporated into most of the devices we use from day to day. presently, you can only find USB Type-C in Apple MacBook computers, some Chromebooks and other fresh models of laptop, and some flash drives. It ’ s besides used on the Nintendo Switch games console .
Does my laptop have USB Type-C?
If it ’ s an Apple MacBook, more than likely. If it ’ s a Chromebook or an up-to-date model made by another manufacturer, possibly .
It ’ mho easy enough to find out—does your laptop have a port that looks like this ?
Be mindful though : your laptop might have a USB Type-C port, but might not be able to charge through it. MacBooks can, but other computers might entirely charge with their own charger. The manual that came with your computer should tell you whether this is possible, or you can check the manufacturer ’ s web site .
Does my Mac have USB Type-C?
It depends on the model. The comply Mac models have Thunderbolt 3 ports, which support USB Type-C .
- iMac Pro
- iMac models from 2017
- Mac mini (2018)
- MacBook Pro (2016 or later)
- MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018)
If your MacBook has only one port, it ’ s a USB Type-C port .
How do I connect a USB Type-C device to a PC?
inaugural, check your personal computer has a USB Type-C port —not all of them do ! If it does, you can connect a USB Type-C device to it using a USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable, or a USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable .
How do you tell the difference between USB Type-C and Micro-USB?
These connectors do have some physical differences that allow you to tell them apart .
USB Type-C has an oblong-shaped plug and is slightly bigger than Micro-USB. It can be inserted either side up .
Micro-USB can only be plugged in one way and has two hooks at the bottom to hold the cable in plaza .
Can you charge a USB Type-C device with a Micro-USB charger?
Yes, but you ’ ll need a limited adapter. USB Type-C and Micro-USB ( Type-B Micro ) are not the same, and will not fit each other ’ randomness ports on their own .
expect for a USB Type-C to Micro-USB arranger. This will have a USB Type-C connection that plugs into your device and a Micro-USB larboard into which you plug the charger .
Does USB Type-C work with Mini-USB?
Mini-USB ports tend to be found on USB On-The-Go ( OTG ) peripheral devices such as smartphones and tablets, to enable them to function as horde devices .
With a USB Type-C to Mini-USB cable, you can connect these devices to any calculator equipped with a USB Type-C ( or Thunderbolt ) port, whether it ’ randomness to charge the device or transfer data .
What is USB 3.1 Type-C? What is USB 3.0 Type-C?
It ’ s a USB Type-C connection or port that ’ s compatible with USB 3.1 or USB 3.0 .
Read more about those USB versions on this page .
Is USB Type-C the same as Thunderbolt?
Although USB and Thunderbolt were once compete standards, the most holocene interpretation of Thunderbolt ( Thunderbolt 3 ) changed to adopt the same human body as USB Type-C and much of its capability .
This means every Thunderbolt 3 port besides works as a USB Type-C port and every Thunderbolt 3 cable television works as a USB Type-C cable .
Any USB Type-C device plugged into a Thunderbolt 3 port will work as normal, but Thunderbolt 3 devices won ’ thyroxine work if plugged into a USB Type-C port .
Is USB Type-C reversible?
Yes. The connection is designed so it can be plugged in either direction round .
Does USB Type-C take USB OTG?
Yes, USB On-The-Go ( OTG ) works with USB Type-C connections .
USB OTG allows compatible devices ( most Android smartphones and some early models, although not Apple ) to read data from a USB device without first having to connect to a calculator .
This enables those devices to connect to :
- external hard drives or USB flash drives, to expand their storage capacity
- keyboards, mice or games controllers
- digital cameras
How fast is USB Type-C?
USB Type-C was created intentionally to take advantage of the USB 3.1 standard, which is able of transferring data at 10 Gbit/s ( known as SuperSpeed+ ) .
Are USB Type-C cables compatible with USB 2.0?
Yes. USB Type-C is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and 3.0 devices. however, you ’ ll need an adapter because the USB Type-C connection has a different form to the connectors on USB 2.0 and 3.0 cables .
Is USB Type-C the same as Firewire?
No. USB and Firewire are different standards, though they do the same job of transferring data. Once quite popular, Firewire has declined in late years as USB emerged as the diligence standard .
Can I charge my phone with USB Type-C?
The follow smartphones have USB Type-C charging ports :
Pixel 3, Pixel 3 forty
Exodus 1, U11, U11 Plus, U12 Plus, U Ultra
Mate 20 Pro, Nexus 6P, P20
G7 ThinQ, V40 ThinQ
Moto G6, Moto Z3 Play
8 dust storm
Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, Galaxy Note 9
Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Compact
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