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I would like to know how to prevent an iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch from charging while connected to the USB port on a MacBook on battery power.

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I don't think you can. USB includes 5v power, and I think it happens on a hardware level. As in, it can't be turned off without modifying the connectors or the hardware in some way. Not worth while.

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    However, if you connect a unpowered USB extension wire or hub to the port, the iDevice should not be able to charge. – abc905 Nov 28 '11 at 10:39

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