Request : disable USB charging

So, I’m in Kyiv. We get power cuts. When the power goes out, wifi goes out.

I have a mobile phone, I’ve bought a SIM, I have mobile broadband.

I can hook that up to the laptop via USB, and that works just fine…


…the phone has a lovely fully charged battery, which it could and should be running from, but it’s actually now being charged up by the laptop. As you can imagine, this is not what I want in this situation; both should be running off their own batteries.

Why not just broadcast a WiFi signal from your phone as a hotspot and use that as the connection? Or Bluetooth a connection?

Presumably as that uses more power on both the phone and laptop.

@Xenophon What OS are you using?

This has been discused before

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Which phone do you have?

If you have an android phone and root is available, then you might be able to control charging from the phone side using Battery Charge Limiter (BCL). If the default control file doesn’t work you may have luck searching for your device’s name in the xda-developers thread for the original app or in it’s github issue tracker.

I’ve been using these for years on multiple devices.

it looks like the only way to do it with the phone is rooting it.

however, is it really an issue? if the phone is charged surely not much power must go through the cable constantly? you could try the tradeoffs with wifi and bluetooth. it is true that wifi sucks much power out of the phone but it might still be a better option if you want to maximise laptop charge.

From the above link

adb shell dumpsys battery unplug


adb shell dumpsys battery set usb 0
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USB (I assume!) uses less power. No need for radio in both the phone and laptop.

Debian 11.

I read the quoted thread. Nothing useful came of it, far as I can see, not yet at any rate.

[quote=“MJ1, post:4, topic:25547”]
Which phone do you have?

If you have an android phone and root is available, then you might be able to control charging from the phone side using Battery Charge Limiter (BCL).[/quote]

Ha. Lovely, but it’s a case of so close but yet so far. I have a very old Samsung - rooted of course - but it’s 4.4, and BLC needs 5.0.

I’m not going to buy another Android device - Android to my eye is completely and utterly untrustworthy. We have no idea what’s Google is doing behind the scenes.

So I need a Linux based phone-type form-factor. That’s about non-existant, I think. Librem made theirs, but I had the impression they were stretching the truth rather a lot in their press released about it, which put me off.

Those adb commands look good. I’ll try them, and report back.

Regarding charging, I’ve not measured it. I shall do so. However, I suspect it’s non-trivial - the phone is running, the screen is on, the broadband radio is running. Even if it’s a single watt, it’s crazy - the phone has a battery, it should be using it.

Yes. Bingo - hopefully! I will report back. I side-load of course, the idea of being logged into Google on a phone is screaming horror, so adb is familiar.

The original app, which BatteyChargeLimiter was forked from, is suppose to support Android 4.0 or later. That app still works fine, I still use it on some devices, BCL just has an updated look and a couple extra features.

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Buy a pixel and wipe it. Load up GrapheneOS and enjoy a deGoogled phone.

That’s the way to go, for sure. Something like that has been on my mind, but there’s more to it, alas - I want a small phone, with a screen under five inches. Right now that doesn’t exist, far as I can tell.

As a man who once rocked a iPhone 12 mini, I feel your pain. The (relatively) poor battery life didn’t bother me too much but I loved the size.

Maybe this could help you.

The data only USB might be the way forward.

I tried the ADB commands. The first does nothing, but the second cause the “lightning bolt”, indicating charging, shown on the phone, to go away.

However, with the phone plugged in, I’m still seeing 8w drain, rather than 4w, and the phone battery remains at 100 (I need to double check this, though).