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Is it possible to temporarily keep your iPhone from draining the macbook battery? When I'm out and about I sometimes want to connect my [nearly empty] macbook to my [not so empty] iphone so I can tether without using WiFi (saving battery), but then my poor macbook starts charging my iPhone and is drained even faster.

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    Would it work to connect the iPhone via a basic unpowered USB hub? That should limit the current available to the iPhone to 100 mA maximum. – nekomatic Jun 9 '16 at 8:42
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Not possible, you would have to physically alter the USB cord and remove the pins related to power and leave the data ones intact.

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That's not possible. Also, modifying a USB cable (as suggested in another answer) is a) probably not a good idea and b) probably won't even work (see this question & answer). Energy-wise, you are most likely better of by just using wifi for tethering.

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