How to Properly Configure Power Options for USB Devices

How to Properly Configure Power Options for USB Devices

When setting up your computer for reporting work using USB sound devices such as a USB microphone, USB speaker, or a USB audio interface device, we strongly urge you to change the power option for "selective suspend" in your USB settings.  

The reason why Windows may selectively suspend power to USB ports
Many external devices, accessories, and peripherals draw power from your PC when you plug them into a USB port. If your computer runs on battery power, these external devices will deplete your battery faster than usual. That’s why Windows temporarily suspends idle USB devices to conserve battery power.  There are many devices that are actually USB devices that we don't even realize.  For example a fingerprint reader on your computer is actually a USB device.  Consequently, Windows selectively hibernates passive USB devices to save battery power. That’s all there is to the feature. 

The problem with this Feature
We can see that as described above, it is clear that USB selective suspend has immense benefits on your PC's battery life.  But there is a downside and potential problem with this, especially for court reporting.  Unfortunately, there are instances when the setting causes some USB devices to freeze or become unresponsive—mainly when your PC stays idle for too long.

USB selective suspend is enabled by default on all Windows devices.  Given that everything we do for court reporting depends on those USB ports to stay active and free from potential issues at all times. we recommend that you disable this feature.   There are two ways to accomplish this.  

Disable USB Selective Suspend From the Control Panel

Disabling it from the Windows power settings is an easy way to accomplish this, but not always available in some Windows 10 and 11 versions.  If when trying this method you do not receive the options depicted in the below instructions, scroll down to From the Device Manager for an alternative method.  

1. Launch the Windows Control Panel and set the “View by” option to Category.  

2. Open the System and Security menu and select Power Options.

3. Select the Change plan settings option next to your current power plan — Balanced or Power Saver or High Performance.

4. Select Change advanced power settings. That will open a new “Power Options” window.

5. Expand the USB Settings section and then expand USB selective suspend setting.

If you’re using a laptop or tablet, you’ll find two options in the USB selective suspend settings: “On Battery” and “Plugged In.” Ideally, you’d only want to enable the feature when your PC is on battery power since USB selective suspend is designed to extend battery life. However, Windows gives you the liberty to disable USB selective suspend for both power options.

6. Click the drop-down arrow next to the power plan you want to customize (“On battery” or “Plugged in”) and select Disabled.

7. Select Apply and then OK to save the new USB selective suspend setting.

Note that the USB selective suspend configuration is unique to your current/preferred power plan. If you switch plans (say from “Balanced” to “Power saver”), you’ll need to repeat these steps and disable USB selective suspend for the new power plan. 

From the Device Manager

You can also disable USB selective suspend by modifying the power management setting of the drivers powering your PC’s USB ports. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Right-click the Windows icon () and select Device Manager on the Quick Access menu.

2. Expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers section, right-click any of the “Generic USB Hub” or “USB Root Hub” drivers, and select Properties.

Note: The “USB Root Hub” manages your PC’s USB ports for compatibility with low and high-speed devices/connections. On the other hand, “Generic USB Hub” powers USB hub devices and accessories. 

3. Go to the Power Management tab and un-check “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.”

4. Finally, select OK to save the setting. Repeat these steps for all relevant USB hubs on your computer.