A simple Bing search reveals hidden USB settings on Windows Phone 8.1

A new USB feature for Windows Phone 8.1 has been revealed in a simple Bing search. Found in our forums by Manikanta R., the trick brings up a hidden USB menu that allows you to enable two new features, including ‘Ask me before using USB data connection’ and ‘Notify me when I connect to a slower charger’.

Indeed, we can confirm from our unsanctioned ‘early look’ at Windows Phone 8.1 using a developer device, that these USB options were there under the Settings menu. They were removed (or hidden) in the reviewer build that we received and also in the Preview release.

It’s not clear why this feature was hidden, though if we had to guess it has to do with specific OEM hardware needing to be configured to fully leverage it. That is, we should expect this feature to return once official updates with the corresponding firmware begins to rollout in the coming weeks.

Hidden USB

To see the feature yourself, it’s super easy:

  1. Launch Bing or Cortana
  2. Type in ‘USB’
  3. Swipe left to ‘phone’
  4. Tap Settings > USB

What is happening is Bing/Cortana is doing a search on the device, which is now part of Windows Phone 8.1, and it is showing a previously hidden function.

As to whether or not the feature works or if there are negative consequences, we are not sure, so please exercise some caution.

To learn more, head into our Windows Phone 8.1 forums and to this thread:

Need more Windows Phone 8.1 tips or tricks? Visit and bookmark our topic page!

  • Windows Phone 8.1 Tips, Tricks and How To

Thanks, Vaibhav S., for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.