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USB PowerShare Feature on Dell Laptops

Summary: This article describes the PowerShare (Power Share) feature on Dell laptops, that allows the user to charge USB devices cellular phones, portable music players, etc. when the system is on battery power. ...

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NOTE: The easiest way to identify systems with this feature is to look for either the lightning bolt or battery USB symbol beside the USB port on the chassis of the system.  

On many of the new notebook systems, the Default setting in the BIOS for USB PowerShare is  = Disabled.

Only the USB connectors with either a lightning bolt icon or a battery icon as seen in the images below can be used.

SLN155147_en_US__21370522875108.usb_powershare SLN155147_en_US__3PowerShare_BatteryIcon_BK_01

(Fig.1 USB PowerShare lightning bolt Icon)
(Fig.2 USB PowerShare battery Icon)


NOTE: To enter the BIOS tap the < F2 >  key on the keyboard after turning the system on at the Dell logo.

USB PowerShare BIOS setting

This functionality is enabled in the system set up under the On-Board Devices heading. You can select how much of the battery's charge can be used (pictured below). If you set the USB PowerShare to 25%, the external device is allowed to charge until the laptop battery reaches 25% of full capacity.

(e.g. 75% of the portable's battery charge is used up).

NOTE: Depending on your systems BIOS revision the below settings menu may differ. Look for 'Onboard Devices' or 'System Configuration' in the BIOS settings menu. The two screenshots below show differing menu layouts and wording of the USB PowerShare settings options. Look for either USB PowerShare or USB Configuration options.


(Fig.3 USB PowerShare BIOS Screen)

When this option is set to Disabled, the USB PowerShare feature will be turned off and devices attached to the USB PowerShare port will not be charged when the system is in a low power state. Selecting any of the other settings enables the feature and specifies the system battery capacity at which charging of a USB device attached to the USB PowerShare port will be terminated.

NOTE: Powershare will only power devices while the system is in a 'low power state' (Standby) mode when the system is running on battery power only.

S1 (powered on) - USB power is on by default with either AC or battery only.
S3 (Standby) -  Battery or AC.
S4/S5 (Hibernate/Powered down) -  AC only.

Depending on the model of system and BIOS revision the system will only allow the battery to discharge down to 50% at which point the Powershare feature will become disabled.

Also check that the USB configuration options are enabled and ticked. (depending on the model of the system and the BIOS revision should look like the screen below)


(Fig.4 BIOS USB Configuration screen image)

NOTE: The Latitude E6510 does not support the USB PowerShare feature.

At the time of release, the online documentation and the BIOS may show the feature as available. It is not supported on this model and the documentation and Bios will subsequently be updated to reflect this.

For newer Dell systems using the Dell AgS BIOS, you will need to enable the USB PowerShare/Enable USB PowerShare setting located under the Power settings menu in the BIOS (Figure 5):
Enable USB PowerShare setting
Figure 5: Enable USB PowerShare setting in BIOS

Run the Diagnostic Test on USB Ports

Browse to the Dell USB Diagnostics page and follow the prompts, to help if you have any issues with USB ports.

Additional Information

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Article Properties

Last Published Date

01 Dec 2023



Article Type

How To