Does Chromecast Need Power?

chromecast with plug, adapter, and smartphone on the deskchromecast with plug, adapter, and smartphone on the desk

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A Google Chromecast is a great way to get smart features on your TV. It can connect to your Wi-Fi and then be completely controlled with your phone on the Google Home App. One cord plugs into an HMDI port onto the back of your TV with a cable. But a second cord exists to plug the device into an outlet. This may leave you wondering if the Chromecast has to have power to work.

A Chromecast needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet to work properly, just like many other devices you would use with a smart TV.

You might be wondering why a Chromecast has to be plugged into an outlet if it’s already plugged into the TV. Shouldn’t it be able to get power from that connection? In this article, we’ll explain why your Chromecast device requires both connections, as well as how to set your device up with the power cord to start streaming.

Does Chromecast Have to Be Plugged into Power?

When you purchase your Chromecast, it should come with everything you need to get started; this includes a supplied power block and a USB cable. The Chromecast will need to stay plugged in to an outlet with this cord anytime it is used.

To get started with your Chromecast, use these simple steps:

  1. Take the supplied power cord and put the small end into the micro-USB port of the device.
  2. Plug the other end into a free outlet in your wall.
  3. Plug the other cable into a free HMDI input on your TV, connecting the other end to the device.

Using USB Ports for Power

Many people say they use their USB port on the TV instead of the HMDI input to get power this way, while others say they do not have the Chromecast plugged in, and it still works just fine. However, neither of these actions are recommended by Google.

Google claims it can work for a short amount of time if your TV uses low mileage and low power. It will also depend on your Chromecast model, your TV model, and the USB port. However, you risk ruining the Chromecast if you are not using it correctly; this could permanently damage your device and void your warranty.

Google says that the Chromecast works best when plugged into an outlet with the original wall charger. It will offer the best performance and ensure that your Chromecast lasts longer.

You may be wondering what will happen if you try to just choose the USB port anyways. However, Google has created a system where this won’t be allowed:

  • A warning on the TV will say, “a nearby electrical outlet is needed.”
  • A help link will show up as “”
  • A picture will show on the TV saying that the Chromecast needs to be plugged into the wall.

These new messages that appear on the TV are ultimately safety features set up by Google to ensure that their devices are being used correctly.

Can Chromecast Get Power with HMDI?

Some people are confused when they hear the Chromecast needs a power supply since it is already plugged into the HDMI port. HDMI can indeed power some devices, but Chromecast is not one of them.

Here’s why Chromecast can’t be powered solely by HMDI:

  • The HMDI output is only 5 volts. Unfortunately, Chromecast needs a higher voltage than that.
  • Chromecast is not MHL. MHL stands for Mobile High-Definition Link. Some devices, like Android phones, support MHL and can therefore be powered with HDMI.
  • It needs more power. The HMDI is meant to read data, not supply power. So, the Chromecast will need additional power from the wall.

Since the Chromecast does not get power through the HDMI cable, it will need to be plugged into the wall. The HMDI cable is meant to only send multimedia information in and out.

USBs, however, are data and power transferable ports. This is why the Chromecast needs external USB power to function adequately.

With many plugs and not as many outlets, having other things to find wall space for can be frustrating. Consider buying an extension cord or a power strip with multiple plugs. You also want to ensure that the Chromecast is close to the Wi-Fi router, so you get the best connectivity for your streaming.

In Conclusion

Even though the Chromecast has a USB port and older models seem to work fine with no power supply, always keep your device plugged into the outlet on the wall. This will ensure the Chromecast is performing at its best.

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