Guide for Different USB Port Colors

πŸ‘€Β Diwas Poudel Β Β  πŸ•’ 13 Sep 2023 Β Β  πŸ“ TECH

When you see your laptop or desktop USB ports you will find the different colors of the USB ports. Also sometimes your friend suggests a blue one is better than a white/black one. Think to yourself Is it correct? While in this article I will try to clarify this concept.

Actually, USB port color is one of the general ways of identifying the types of USB but it is not a standard and recommended method for identifying the USB type.USB port color is not reliable or consistent among motherboards. It differs from Motherboard manufacturers and you have to identify them by reading the motherboard manual but in general motherboard manufacturers also follow a similar color pattern to remove confusion among general.

Benefits of using different USB port colors

You can consider these as benefits and here are some:

  • Helps you to prevent users from accidentally connecting incompatible devices.
  • Helps users to identify different types and capabilities of USB ports.

Drawbacks of using different USB port colorsΒ 

You can consider these as drawbacks and here are some:

  • It creates confusion for users to remember all those color codes.
Note that the color code that we see in the USB is just plastic, if we replace that plastic with any color then it doesn't impact the performance of the USB port.

In the market, we generally found USB ports in 4 different colors: White, Black, Blue, Teal Blue, etc. But there is more than that.

Color Port USB Standard Speed
White USB 1.0, USB 1.1 up to 12 Mbps
Black USBΒ  2.x High Speed up to 480 Mbps
Blue USB 3.0 SuperSpeed up to 5 Gbps
Red USB 3.1 Gen 2
USB 3.2
up to 10 Gbps
Yellow USB 2.0 or USB 3.0
  • USB 3.0 then up to 5 Gbps
  • USB 2.0 then up to 480 Mbps
Orange USB 3.0 up to 5 Gbps

Let's explain each of them in detail

White USB Port / Connector

Generally, White color USB Ports are Type A USB 1.x.It is the oldest USB standard which was introduced in Jan 1996. Speed ranges from 1.5 Mbit/s to 12 Mbit/s and the data transfer rate is only available in one direction. It was initially developed only for low-speed devices like Keyboard and Mice. From initial data, Transfers support both synchronous as well as asynchronous. Also, hot plug-and-play features are available in white-colored USB ports.

White Color USB
fig. White Color USB Port

Cable length supports from computer/laptop white USB port to devices is 5 meters. A shorter distance will have a better transfer rate.

Black USB Port /Connector

Generally Black Color USB Port are Type B USB 2.x.It is the second specification of USB introduced in 2000. Its max speed is 480 Mb/s and data transfer is available in one direction. They are called High-speed USBs.It is physically backward compatible with USB 1.1 which means that when you connect USB 2.x devices to USB 1.1 then it will function as it used to do. It contains all the features that the White USB port provides. It is more reliable than the White USB port.Β 

Generally saying Black Color USB port is 40 times faster than the White Color USB 1.x port. Black Color USB port supports a large variety of devices like Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Microphones, external HDD, CD-RWs, DVDs, Tap Drives, Digital Cameras, etc.

Cable length supports from computer/laptop black USB port to devices is 5 meters.

Also read:Β USB Cable vs OTG Cable

Blue USB Port / Connector

USB 3.x port is the Third Specification of USB. USB 3.x has two versions.USB 3.0 and 3.1. Blue USB Port is typically a USB 3.0 Port that was released in 2013. USB 3.0 port is also called a SuperSpeed (SS) USB port. It has a double S (i.e. SS) near the USB port in your CPU casing and laptop. Its theoretical maximum throughput is 5.0 Gbps which seems to be around 10 times faster than USB 2.0. But practically it doesn't give 5 Gbps and will surely give 5 Gbps in the near future with the development of hardware technology.

Fig Blue Color USB Port

Blue USB 3.0 Port is backward compatible with USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 devices. This port supports duplex communication which means data transfer in both directions can happen at the same time. In other words, it can read and writeΒ 
at the same time.

If you have USB 2.0 (Black) and USB 3.0(Blue) in your computer then always connect high-speed devices supporting USB 3.x like a high-end External HDD to a USB 3.x (blue) port to achieve better high performance of the HDD. And use low endless performance requirement devices like Mouse and Keyboard to USB 2.0

Also Read: Computer / Laptop ports and their functions

Teal USB Port or Connector

Teal USB Port is typically a USB 3.1 Port. It is also called a SuperSpeed+ (SS+) USB port. It seems to be a purple or green color to someone. It has a double S with a + sign like SS+ near the USB port in your CPU casing and laptop. Its theoretical maximum throughput is 10.0 Gbps.

This USB port is backward compatible with the previous versions like USB 3.0, USB 2.0 USB 1.1, etc. This port also supports duplex communication.

To achieve transfer rates of any USB say USB 3.1 you must have USB cables, host connection, and devices must all support the same specification .ie. USB 3.1

Red USB Port or Connector

You will only find a few computer motherboards having red USB ports. They are USB 3.1 Gen 2 and USB 3.2 Normal ports like Blue Color, Blue Color, and Black Color USB ports don't provide/deliver power when your laptop/desktop is power-off or sleeping or hibernating. But these red-colored USB port gets power even if your laptop is power-off or sleeping or hibernating. Due to this, these USB Ports are called Sleep and Charge Port or Always On ports.

They have a high transfer rate of up to 20 Gbps, making them the fastest USB port available to date.

fig. Red Blue Yellow Black USB Port (source)
πŸ“š The yellow USB port is the one that is most frequently seen on laptops because the yellow port indicates that it is always on, which means that it will continue to draw power even if the computer is turned off or put into sleep mode.

So, now you can charge your phones, tablets, wireless gamepads, or any electronic device that supports USB ports at any time even if your laptop is turned off. They provide a high power supply from the previous version of USB. It can provide 1.8 Amperes * 5 Volts of power to connected devices so that devices can be charged faster than using in normal USB port.

Also Read: How to check Phone Processor?

Yellow USB Port or Connector

The yellow USB port is also the same as the Red USB Port. Only the color is different. Some motherboard manufacturer uses a Yellow USB Port some uses a Red Charge Port for Sleep and Charge Port. They come with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 Specifications.

Yellow Color Port
fig. Yellow Color Port

Charge and Sleep USB Port will be powered by the laptop battery even if the laptop lid is closed, hibernated, or turned off.

Orange USB Port or Connector

The orange USB Port is also the same as the Red USB Port. They come with USB 3.0 specifications. They are also "Sleep and Charge" ports.

USB-PD and USB-BC Port or Connector

USB-PD is used in notebooks and laptops, and it has the ability to deliver anywhere from 10W (5V * 2A) to 100Watts (20V *5A) at 5A, with a range of voltages including 5V, 12V, and 20 V. The standards are intended to supply more adequate power than the original USB BC, which they are compatible with and which they eventually replaced. They are red in color.

The USB-BC standard is used by smartphones and tablets. They are also red in Color.

Type Released Date Voltage(V) Ampere(A) Max Power(W)
USB-BC 2010 5 1.2 7
USB PD 1.0 2012 5/12/20 1/2/3/5 100
USB PD 2.0 2014 5/9/15/20 3/5 100
Also read: What is the USB upstream/downstream port on the monitor?


Is there any Green Color USB Port?

Ans: Razer Blade's ports are made of USB port green in color as they match the same shade as the company's logo and keyboard backlighting.

fig. Green Color USB Port
Difference between Normal USB 2.0 Port vs. Red/Yellow USB 2.0Β 

Ans: The standard USB 2.0 port is available in white or black. It has a current of 0.5 amps and a voltage of 5 volts. As a result, it is suitable for devices that require a power of (5*0.5) = 2.5 W. The red color USB port will carry a current of 1.8 amps and a voltage of 5 volts, companies make those ports because some external devices may require more power than a conventional USB 2.0 port can provide, this port can deliver 1.8 * 5 = 9 watts to external devices.

However, the speeds are the same in both normal and red color USB 2.0 ports. 480 Mbps is equal to 60 MBps.

The same scenarios might happen for standard 3.0 USB and Red/Yellow USB 3.0

Is USB 3.0 as fast as SSD?

Ans: Yes: you can connect SSD to USB 3.0.

What is the Sleep and Charge Port in Laptop?

Ans: The sleep and Charge Port is one of the special USB ports that is used to charge external devices and those ports are normally in red, orange, and yellow colors.

Does Mac Air have a Sleep and Charge Port?

Although the MacBook Air lacks an asleep and charging port, it can charge a phone while closed and asleep. You must first turn on the computer, then plug in your phone, and your phone will continue to charge even if you close the laptop lid.

Are all USB 3.0 ports Blue?

Generally, all USB 3.0 ports and connectors are blue in Color.