When I'm on the go, I want to use internet tethering and debugging over USB to develop mobile apps with my Pixel 3A, but I don't want to charge the phone, because I want to waste energy on my MacBook as little as possible.

Is it possible to disable charging when the device is connected to my laptop, if so how? I know that I can set up debugging over WiFi and use a mobile hotspot, but I can't stand my hotspot performance and WiFi drains energy from my laptop as well.

  • If your phone is rooted there are apps which can disable charging while the phone is connected via USB. On an unroofed device the only possibility I see is to manipulate the USB cable by cutting the +5 V power cable inside the USB cable.Not sure if t!his would really work and then it needs to be an USB-C cable makes it much more complicated. An USB adapter could also do the trick, unfortunately I only know the opposite (charge only no data connection).
    – Robert
    Jul 30 at 19:38
  • @Robert I'm using USB-C which allows me to reach high data throughput (LTE). Unfortunately, the device is not rooted, but I would also welcome answers that require a rooted device as well (for future reference). However, it would not help me right now, unless I decide to get GrapheneOS in the near future (something that I have in mind for a while, already). Jul 30 at 20:07
  • 1
    Some details on how charging can be disabled on some rooted device can be found here: android.stackexchange.com/questions/54902/disable-usb-charging There are also read-to use apps that make use of this and e.g. allow to limit charging to 40-60% so that the phone never runs out of power, e.g. this open source app: Battery Charge Limit - ROOT
    – Robert
    Jul 31 at 16:43

I was looking for a solution that doesn't require root and I came across one. When USB tethering is on, I can get into its settings by touching on the notification:

swipe down and tap on the "USB tethering turned on" notification Toggle "Charge connected device"

There is a toggle that allows me to disable charging for this session.

Funny thing is I had to enable the toggle to disable charging, the option should be called "Don't charge connected device" instead.

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