Many tech myths are floating around, like more bars on your phone means better service. Type *3001#12345#* into your dialer and press the call button to access “Field Mode” to get details about local networks and cell towers. Tap or click to learn what the test results mean.
Some people shut down their computers every day to lessen wear and tear. Here’s the definitive guide to how often you should reboot your computer and the correct way to do it.
What about your smartphone’s battery’s performance? It will decline over time, but you don’t want to speed up the process. Let’s end the debate on whether charging overnight will do that.
What manufacturers say
Your battery’s lifespan isn’t just based on when it was assembled. There are many other factors, including extreme temperature fluctuations and your charging habits. The lithium-ion batteries in our phones chemically age and hold less charge over time. That’s why your old phone doesn’t stay charged for as long.
So, does charging overnight make a big difference?
Apple says that when your iPhone “remain(s) at full charge for prolonged periods of time, battery health can be affected.”
Android phone manufacturers, including Samsung, say the same. “Do not leave your phone connected to the charger for long periods of time or overnight.” Huawei says, “Keeping your battery level as close to the middle (30% to 70%) as possible can effectively prolong the battery life.”
The official word is to keep your phone charged – but not fully charged.
Your battery will automatically stop charging when it’s full, but in some cases, once it drops to 99%, it will need more energy to get back to 100. This constant cycle eats away at your battery’s lifespan. Most phones come with charging regulation options baked in for this reason.
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Use your phone’s built-in features
On iPhones running iOS 13 and later, Optimized Battery Charging reduces the amount of time your phone spends fully charged. Once enabled, your iPhone analyzes your charging habits and waits to finish charging past 80% until you need it.
You can override this by tapping and holding down on the “Optimized Battery Charging” pop-up when your phone is plugged in.
This is on by default, but you can double-check it is turned on by going to Settings > Battery > Battery Health > Optimized Battery Charging.
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No matter what kind of phone you have, make the most out of its battery-life features. Navigate to the Battery section in your settings and see what options are available. The less daily wear and tear, the longer your battery will last in the long run.
There’s tech to help, too. Pick up this $12 handy auto shut-off timer that lets you set your phone to charge for only a certain amount of time. These are also great for tablets and laptops. The flow of electricity will stop once you hit that cap.
Apps, like AccuBattery for Android, can help you keep an eye on your battery’s health, too. This one shows you, in real time, when to charge and when to unplug to maximize your battery’s life.
More ways to keep your battery healthy
• There’s no need to get your battery down to 0 before you charge. That means you’re eating up an entire charging cycle if you go from 0 to 100%. Charge when is convenient for you, and don’t worry too much about percentages.
• Keep your phone as cool as possible. Heat impacts your battery’s life over the long haul, so tucking it under your pillow is one of the worst things you can do. The same goes for leaving your phone in the sun or outside when it’s cold.
• If you wake up in the night and see your phone is fully charged, unplug it. It won’t make a huge difference, but it certainly won’t hurt.
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Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.