I have read that it is possible (if not advised) to power the Raspberry through the 5V Pin and using a Ground Pin as well. This configuration works on my Raspberry Pi 1 and my Pi 2 as well. Now I have tested the same with a Pi Zero W and it does not work.

Is there anything different with the Pi Zero W to take into consideration?

  • 1
    My Pi Zero W died when I tried to connect +5V to pin 2 and GND on pin 39. The voltage from my PSU read exactly 5V so I'm not sure what went wrong.
    – Irfan
    Dec 5 '17 at 15:51

The main drawback to doing this on RPi 1 and RPi 2 was that you bypass the polyfuse, which made it more likely that you'd accidentally burnout your device. The Zero does not have a polyfuse anyway, so you you're not necessarily taking any "extra" risk by doing this and, as I understand the device, it should work.


  • An aside comment: The fuse isn't to protect the Pi so much as to protect what might be powered through the Pi. The Pi would be dead long before the polyfuse blew if the Pi actually used that current.
    – joan
    Nov 4 '17 at 1:21
  • Bunged some Dupont connectors on 2 of the usb wires, worked fine but made a strange whine like a cheap charger does, not a healthy sound but it booted and was stable for the few minutes I allowed it.
    – Tyeth
    Jul 29 '20 at 18:00

Make sure you're using the correct pins. The 5V pins are on a rail shared with the power supply port. If you can't power them via these GPIO pins, your rail is broken.

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