Archived - Some Apple computers provide power over the FireWire port even when the computer is off

Many Apple computers provide power over their FireWire ports even if the computer is off or asleep. This is normal and expected. This feature enables:

  • FireWire-based iPods to continue to charge even if the computer is asleep or off
  • FireWire bus-powered drives to be used as Startup Volumes
  • Additional features that may require power when the computer is plugged in but not turned on


This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Computers that provide this feature include:

  • Power Mac G5 (Late 2005)
  • iMac G5 (Ambient Light Sensor) and later models of iMac G5
  • iMac (Early 2006) and later models of Intel-based iMac
  • Mac mini (all models)
  • PowerBook G4 (1GHz/867MHz) and later models of PowerBook G4 See note.
  • MacBook Pro (all models)See note.
  • MacBook (all models)See note.
  • iBook G4 (all models)See note.
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008), Mac Pro (Early 2009)

Note: With notebook computers, power is only provided over FireWire if the computer is connected to AC power. If the computer is running off battery power, it conserves power by disabling this feature.

Last Modified: Oct 16, 2014
  • Last Modified: Oct 16, 2014
  • Article: HT3679
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