12 Things You Do You Didn’t Realize Are Ruining Your Phone Battery

Full disclosure: I am ridiculously obsessed with my iPhone. I don’t think there’s anything wrong our generation’s reliance on cell phones (they make life easier and better!), but I do think there’s something wrong with the way I can’t function without mine. My iPhone 6 just might be the most important object in my life. When it dies and I’m out without a charger, I genuinely feel lost and stressed. When I forget it, it feels like I’m forgetting a limb. I can’t tell you how many times a day I sit there scrolling through the same thing over and over again. So, clearly, my phone battery life is very important to me.

Unfortunately, while iPhones and other smartphones are great for many, many things, they are not known for their spectacular battery life. Whether that’s because they just aren’t up to par or because we use them way too much, one thing is for sure: it’s not an ideal situation. Having a phone that is on 20 percent by the afternoon is frustrating.

We can’t place all the blame on the brands that make the phones, though. There are lots of things we all do every single day that are literally killing our phone batteries without us even realizing it. Some of these are easy fixes, others are habits we’ll have to learn to adjust. Here are 12 things you do you didn’t realize are ruining your phone battery:  

Putting It In Your Pocket

Putting your phone in your pocket is dangerous in general - it can easily fall out and break or crack the screen, and iPhones have even been known to bend in your pocket when sitting. On rare occasions, the phone can even overheat and burn you. But did you know that putting your phone in your pocket can also ruin the battery? Pocket lint is actually a battery killer. It can slow down charging or block it completely, and to make things worse, it won't move if you blow into the charging port - it will actually get further in there. Keep your phone out of your pocket.

Source: iStock

Charging Until It's At 100 Percent

If you're anything like me, you thought that charging your phone until it reaches full battery life is a good thing. Actually, it's not. Your phone's battery doesn't like being at 100 percent. The battery is most optimized when you take it off the charger before it hits 100. It's actually better to charge your battery in short bursts throughout the day rather than at one full shot at the end of the day. So, for example, you would want to charge your battery when it hits 40 percent until it hits about 80 or 85 - then let it go back down to about 40, and charge again. Going from zero to 100 and 100 down to zero is okay sometimes, but if you do that every day, your battery is going to get shot quickly.

Source: iStock

Putting It In Your Car's Cupholder

You might think that your cupholder is dry, but you could be wrong. When sticking your phone in your cupholder, leftover condensation can get into the charging port and cause water damage. Even if it seems like just a tiny bit of water, it could actually be ruining your battery. Your best bet is to put it anywhere else.

Source: iStock

Ignoring The Software Updates

Yes, software updates take up a lot of space, but they aren't there only to update apps or make things run more smoothly. They're also there to fix issues with your battery life and to hopefully improve said battery life. If you ignore them all the time, you're not improving anything.

Using Damaged Chargers

Everyone knows that the iPhone chargers are the worst. The cables are short, but the biggest issue is that they constantly get damaged no matter what you do. Unfortunately, using these damaged cords that still work could be messing with your battery. They can insert a negative charge into the phone that can damage things. The good news is that Apple should replace damaged cords (or you can just buy a new one). The bad news is that you have to go to an Apple store.

Charging It Overnight Every Day

There's a lot of debate about whether or not it's harmful to charge your phone battery overnight. Some tech experts say it's fine - lithium batteries have "memory," meaning they know when they're fully charged and can basically turn off the charging even if they're still plugged in. But other tech experts say you're better off not leaving it plugged in overnight anyway, because over time, it can ruin the battery. We may not know which one is definitely true, but we do lithium batteries perform best when they aren't charged to 100 - so not leaving it in overnight might be your best bet.

Source: iStock

Letting It Die Completely All The Time

Lithium-ion batteries might not like being charged to a full 100 percent, but they also don't like going down to zero (so high-maintenance!). Don't let your phone die every single day or twice a day. If you do, the battery will start losing charge each month. On top of that, they can actually be dangerous to charge when they're dead, because there's a chance they could explode. No big deal. But seriously, start a new charging method - try not to let the battery power go under 40 percent and charge in shorter bursts throughout the day.

Source: iStock

Keeping Your Brightness All The Way Up

You may have already heard this, but it's a seriously big way to kill your battery - stop leaving your brightness all the way up. You'll notice a huge difference if you go from having it at the top to moving it down to less than halfway. You can always change it in the moment if you need to!

Never Turning It Off

Your smartphone needs a break. If you're like me, your phone is never off - I don't even remember the last time I turned mine off. Not only does it need time to "recharge" to run well, it also needs that time for the battery life. Turn it off for about 30 minutes once a week.

Source: iStock

Heating Up Your Phone

Leaving your phone out in the sun to get nice and hot isn't just bad for the way the phone runs, it's also destroying your battery. Don't let it get that hot! But also, don't let it get too cold either - keep your phone out of the snow.

Source: iStock

Enabling All Location Services

Location services can drain battery because it means your phone is always working, even when you think it's sitting by doing nothing. You don't need location services on every app anyway. Go into settings and find Location Services, and turn it off every app you think is unnecessary. It's an easy, quick fix.

Keeping All Of Your Apps Open

I'm the kind of person who forgets to close apps until her phone is dying, and then realizes that literally every single app is open in the background. Once you're done using your phone, close out all of your apps for real. They don't need to run int he background like that and it's killing your battery for no reason.

Which of these tips is the most helpful to you? What did we forget to include? Tell us in the comments.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.


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