I have seen many tutorials about powering the Pi through the GPIO. My question is why do people do it?

By powering the Pi through the GPIO, you lose protection from surges in current and voltage, so your more likely to damage your Pi.

  • Do you have any evidence to support that view? If anything I'd have thought the contrary view is true (as people who power via the expansion header are likely to be more savvy).
    – joan
    Apr 25, 2016 at 10:13
  • Surely it is common sense? If you power the power the Pi using a method which offers no protection versus a method which does, statistically you have to be more likely to brick your Pi. I see your point though.
    – Darth Vader
    Apr 25, 2016 at 16:48
  • @joan Can't say I fully understand this answer, but it seems to confirm what OP is saying: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/1617/…
    – aidan
    May 6, 2016 at 1:20
  • @aidan Some Pi's have microUSB protection. My argument was with "so your more likely to damage your Pi.". I believe the contrary. I believe people who power via the expansion header are likely to be more savvy.
    – joan
    May 6, 2016 at 7:38

1 Answer 1


This is one of those myths.

Certainly many people power the Pi through inappropriate means. Even more use inadequate/inappropriate power supplies and lousy μUSB cables (indeed I cannot find any source of quality cables with guaranteed specifications and have been forced to make my own).

There are many good reasons to power through the power pin on the expansion connector e.g using battery supply and there is no risk if you apply proper engineering practices. Indeed I have seen a Foundation recommendation for such connection.

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