Differences between a USB charge only cable and a data charge cable

Article ID: KB31810

Type: Support Content

Last Modified: 10-03-2012


Product(s) Affected:

  • BlackBerry 7 OS and earlier
  • BlackBerry PlayBook tablets
  • BlackBerry Desktop Software for Windows
Jump to: Environment | Overview
  • BlackBerry smartphone
  • BlackBerry Playbook
  • Microsoft Windows Operating System
  • BlackBerry Desktop Software

This procedure explains when a BlackBerry Device is connected to a computer with the cable specified to connect.

USB charge-only cables are not different than traditional USB cables in terms of looks, they both looks same.

When plug a charge-only USB cable into a computer it doesn’t recognize the device because there is nothing making contact to the data pins, which are the two middle grooves that make up the four if look inside a Type A socket.  The two pins on the outside (pins 1 and 4) are the ones actually being used which simply supply the 5 volts of power coming from the USB port on your computer .

Note: A faulty data cable may charge but will not establish a data connection between the device and computer. Further observed, when a data connection is established a Windows based computer may generate a USB connection sound which may not be heard if the cable used is a charge only cable since no data connection is being established.

To help understand connection issues due to Power Management Settings please follow KB13331



By downloading, accessing or otherwise using the Knowledge Base documents you agree:

   (a) that the terms of use for the documents found at www.blackberry.com/legal/knowledgebase apply to your use or reference to these documents; and

   (b) not to copy, distribute, disclose or reproduce, in full or in part any of the documents without the express written consent of RIM.

Visit the BlackBerry Technical Solution Center at www.blackberry.com/btsc.