Like any other electronic device, cell phones run on batteries. And if your battery dies, so does your ability to browse the internet, play games and make phone calls.
The good thing is that it doesn’t take long to recharge a dead cell phone battery. With the availability and portability of chargers, you can juice up wherever you go. But while charging up is as simple as connecting your phone to a power source, there’s actually a right way to charge your cell phone to preserve your battery.
Many cell phones today use rechargeable lithium ion batteries, which are different from nickel cadmium batteries. These older batteries had to be fully drained and then charged up on a regular basis, or else they would forget how to hold a full charge. Because of this, some people believe that phones with lithium ion batteries also need to be fully charged daily — but this isn’t the case.
The truth is, many people charge their cell phones the wrong way, reducing the life of their battery. Here’s what you need to know the next time you think about plugging your phone into a power source.
1. Don’t let the battery drain completely
Understandably, you’re not always in a position to connect to a power source. But if you are, never let your battery drain to zero. Allowing your battery to completely drain and then recharging it back up to 100% puts too much stress on your battery and reduces its lifespan.
Keep an eye on your cell phone throughout the day. Ideally, you shouldn’t let the battery drop below 20 or 25 percent.
2. Don’t let your battery fully charge
If your battery percentage drops close to zero and you must recharge, don’t charge it back to 100%. Put the phone on the charger, but stop charging once it hits about 80%. This will keep your battery healthy, and as a result, your phone will be able to hold a charge for a longer period.
Interestingly, you only need to charge your phone battery from 0% to 100% about once a month to re-calibrate the battery. This process resets your battery and improves its performance.
3. Don’t charge your cell phone overnight
Putting your phone on the charger before bed is convenient and can ensure a full charge by the morning. But if possible, never leave your cell phone on the charger overnight. This can lead to overcharging and damage your battery. Cell phone batteries don’t stop charging once the battery is full, and unfortunately, overcharging an ion battery can gradually decrease its performance. Therefore, charge your phone while you’re awake and take it off the charger as soon as it hits 80% to 100% (if you’re re-calibrating the battery).
4. Don’t use a generic phone charger
If you need to replace a cell phone charger, fight the urge to buy a cheaper, generic charger. You can find cheap chargers at just about any retail store, but it’s safer to use a charger designed and approved specifically for your cell phone. A cheaper or generic phone charger could be poorly made, which means it might not produce enough power to charge your phone and will probably take longer to charge up your battery. It might also provide too much power, causing your battery to overheat and catch on fire.
Using your charger the wrong way could slowly kill your battery or reduce its performance. Before you charge up, make sure you understand how to do it the right way.