Most of us have been charging our phones wrong, according to a phone repair expert who specializes in refurbishing old handsets.
The way many of us recharge our phones – including leaving it on charge overnight or plugged in while we work – can actually damage the battery, permanently diminishing the amount of charge the device can hold
Letting phones run out of battery altogether is also harmful, warns Kewin Charron, Senior Lead Refurbishment Operations Manager at Back Market, speaking to DailyMail.com.
Kewin Charron, Senior Lead Refurbishment Operations Manager at Back Market (Supplied image)
Are you charging your phone all wrong?
Charron said: ‘Leaving your phone plugged in, or letting it die, rapidly reduces the lifespan of your battery.
‘Instead, you should aim to keep your charge level between 20-80 percent.’
That might sound like a pain to achieve, Charron said, but many new handsets offer the option to optimize charging (so the phone doesn’t have stress on the battery).
Doing so is easy on newer Apple handsets, Charron said.
He said: ‘For iPhones with iOS 13 and beyond, go into your iPhone Settings > Battery > Battery Health & Charging, and select Optimized Battery Charging.
‘This setting will automatically reduce the wear on your battery, improving its lifespan.’
Apple says that the feature delays charging iPhone past 80 percent, using machine learning to learn your daily routine so that Optimised Battery Charging is activated at the right time.
You should enable Optimised Charging if it’s not already on
It’s slightly trickier on Android, as the settings can vary between different manufacturers, Charron said.
He said: ‘By going into your Settings, and then selecting Battery > Battery Usage, you can see your battery health.
‘Then, under Manage Battery Usage, tap Optimized to automatically help extend the longevity of your battery.’
On Pixel phones, it can still be found under Battery, but it looks slightly different (as in screenshot below).
Another problem that can damage battery life over time is dirt in the charging port, Charron said.
Charron said, ‘Crumbs and dust are the enemies of your mobile devices and your battery life. Dust accumulates in the charging ports of your phone, causing the device to overheat or stop charging. Cleaning your phone safely can ensure your battery isn’t overheating, which can cause long-term damage.’
Charron recommends using a toothpick and damp cloth to clean out your charging port to get rid of debris which could be damaging your phone.
Charron said, ‘The first thing to do before cleaning your phone is to switch your device off. Then, shine a light on your device to see how much dust you’re dealing with.
‘Use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth to wipe around the area of the charging port. To remove the debris within the port, use a toothpick, moving it from side to side, making sure you’re gentle as this area is very susceptible to damage.
‘As debris comes out, wipe it away with your cloth and go in again with a clean toothpick.’
Charron also warns that leaving your phone in direct sunlight can damage the battery permanently.
If you get warnings that your phone is overheating, it can mean that the battery is taking long-term damage, he warns.
Charron said, ‘It’s best to keep your phone away from extreme temperatures. Below 0°C is too cold, whilst anything over 35°C is too hot, and both can damage your battery life. So, keeping your phone out of direct sunlight for long periods of time and limiting use in hot cars or trains is really important.
‘If your device’s internal temperature exceeds the normal operating range, you’re likely to notice the display dimming, going completely black, or the camera flash being disabled. You may also get a notification saying ‘Charging On Hold’ or receive a temperature warning.’
If you see a warning like this, it’s best to charge your phone in a cool place – and avoid charging it wirelessly, Charron said.
He said, ‘Whilst charging your phone, find a cool, moisture-free environment that’s less than 32° C (90° F). Wired charging is also better and preferred over wireless charging to avoid overheating.’
If you’re somewhere hot, there’s a couple of steps you can take to avoid your handset getting too warm, Charron said.
Charron said, ‘When your phone isn’t on charge, you can avoid overheating by lowering your brightness. If your phone is on low battery and searching for a signal, this can cause the device to overheat. So, if you’re somewhere with a weak signal, turn Airplane Mode on, then switch it back off when you’re in an area with better connectivity!’