This article has been updated since it originally published on September 20, 2022.
How you charge your phone is one of the most important habits you follow when you own an iPhone. It may seem like a no-brainer activity, but your phone’s lithium-ion battery has needs. And if you aren’t properly charging it or are making some of the most common mistakes, you run the risk of damaging your battery or having it work less efficiently over time. Since there are few things more frustrating than a phone that lags or that experiences battery loss after just a few hours of running, it’s time to get your charging habits in order. Start here: Rajesh Namase, co-founder and professional tech blogger at TechRT, outlines two common charging mistakes that are ruining your phone’s battery.
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Namase starts off my saying there is no best practice in charging your mobile phones, at least in this age where mobile phone batteries are mostly made up of Lithium ions. With that said, here are two of the most common errors he finds:
Charging in an Extreme Temperature
“One of the worst charging mistakes that people often make is not the fact that they are using their mobile phones while charging, it is the practice of charging your phone during extreme temperatures,” Namase says. “The reason why batteries degrade faster if used while being charged is that it generates excessive heat that is not healthy for the battery.”
Extreme coldness is not exempt from this, Namase notes: “Charging your mobile phone in an extremely cold environment is also bad for your batteries.”
There’s no reason (honestly) to put your phone on a charger any time you have a free moment. “Although today’s technology incorporates overcharging protection on our phone’s batteries, it is still not advisable to overcharge your phone battery often,” Namase says. “This is because there is just a limited number of the life cycle (full charge and full discharge) a battery has before it degrades its capacity to hold a charge and eventually diminishes its life expectancy. Even if the overcharge protection is there to protect our batteries, the constant charge and discharge no matter how minuscule it is, when done frequently, will pile up and can cause significant damage to the battery.”
Avoid these charging habits and give your phone less frequent charges that keep its battery in the sweet spot (between 30 to 80 percent) for a healthier, better-working iPhone battery.
Using Your Phone While It’s Charging
It’s tempting to want to text or make that call when your phone is charging because, let’s face it, life doesn’t stop for charging breaks. But doing this can just tax your battery more. Let your phone charge before using it, or remove it from the charger to use it briefly if you must.
Using Non-Apple Chargers
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There’s a caveat with this mistake: you can get away with using an Apple-certified charger or charging cables. These may be priced more reasonably than Apple accessories, but will still deliver the charging speed your device requires. Here’s what you don’t want to do: go bargain-basement shopping for chargers and cables that aren’t compatible with your iPhone. Just don’t do it.
Leaving Your Phone Case On While Charging
We get it: not many people are removing their cases before they charge their phones — brownie points for you if you can remember to do so each time. But if your phone tends to overheat, it’s a good idea to remove the case first, as this will lessen the risk of charging it under extreme temperatures.
Relying Too Much On Wireless Charging
When you need it, wireless charging is a great option that comes through for you. But as an everyday charging method, it’s not highly recommended by many tech experts, who say it’s slower than a cable and not as reliable.