Label your laptop ports so that you don’t have to scratch the side of your laptop like a wild beast every time you connect a USB cable!

The Issue:

Many laptops have ports on one or both sides: chargers, USB ports, a headphone jack, video out, etc.

However, it’s often quite annoying to find the ports. People often forlornly scratch at the side of their laptop for several seconds while trying to attach a cable to an out-of-view port.

The difficulty of finding a port is shown in Figure 1.

Fig. 1: This particular laptop has three ports on its right face, but you can’t see them from this angle!


The solution is so simple that it’s amazing that (apparently) no laptops have this feature: just label the ports on the top as well. You can even do this yourself with a piece of tape or a marker (Figure 2)!

Fig. 2: Two of the ports here (yellow arrows) have been labeled with a regular permanent marker. One of the USB ports was left un-labeled for comparison (blue arrow).

Does it slightly reduce the slick aesthetics? Maybe. But the benefits of not having to lean over your laptop every time you look for a specific port can’t be overstated.

Fig. 3: An example of this labeled USB port in action. Thrill!


Why aren’t laptop port labels a factory-standard option? If you still aren’t convinced, look at Figure 4.

Fig. 4: The situation from Figure 3 from another angle. You could imagine easily finding the currently-empty power connector and USB ports to the left of the plugged-in cable.

These indicators can also go on the lid of the laptop, in case you occasionally connect ports to your laptop while it’s closed.

PROS: This is a legitimately good idea!

CONS: None!