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A majority of individuals have charged their phones erroneously, as per a cell phone repair specialist who focuses on restoring old phones.

The method that many of us use to charge our phones – such as leaving it plugged in overnight or connected while we work – could actually harm the battery, leading to a permanent decrease in the device’s charge capacity.

Kewin Charron, the Senior Lead Manager for Refurbishment Operations at Back Market, cautioned against letting phones completely drain their batteries, when speaking to

Kewin Charron, Senior Lead Refurbishment Operations Manager at Back Market (picture included)

Are you charging your phone all wrong?

Charron emphasized: ‘Leaving your phone connected or allowing it to completely discharge significantly reduces battery life.

“Instead, aim to maintain your charge level between 20-80 percent.”

While this may seem challenging to achieve, Charron pointed out that many new phones provide the option to optimize charging (to prevent strain on the battery).

This process is straightforward on newer Apple devices, mentioned Charron.

He stated: ‘For iPhones running iOS 13 and above, navigate to your iPhone Settings > Battery > Battery Health & Charging and choose Optimized Battery Charging.

“By enabling this setting, you can reduce wear and tear on your battery, enhancing its lifespan.”

According to Apple, this feature prolongs iPhone charging by more than 80 percent, leveraging machine learning to understand your daily habits and activate Optimized Battery Charging at the appropriate time.

You should enable Optimized Charging if it is not already on

The process is slightly more complex on Android, as settings can differ among manufacturers, Charron noted.

He mentioned: ‘By accessing your settings and choosing Battery > Battery usage, you can monitor your battery health.

“Then, select Optimized under Manage battery usage to automatically prolong battery life.”

On Pixel phones, it is still located under Battery, although it has a slightly different appearance (as shown in the screenshot below).

Another factor that can reduce battery life over time is dirt accumulation in the charging port, according to Charron.

Charron explained: ‘Crumbs and dust are the adversaries of your mobile devices and battery life. Dirt accumulates in your phone’s charging ports, leading to overheating or charging issues. Safely cleaning your phone can help prevent overheating and long-term damage to the battery.’

Charron recommended using a toothpick and a slightly damp cloth to clear the charging port of any debris that could potentially harm your phone.

Charron suggested: ‘Before cleaning your phone, the first step is to power off your device. Then, use a light source to inspect the amount of dust present.

‘Take a soft, lightly damp, lint-free cloth to wipe the area around the charging port. To eliminate debris from the port, use a toothpick, moving it gently from side to side, being cautious as this area is delicate and prone to damage.

“When removing debris, wipe it clean with your cloth and repeat if necessary with a fresh toothpick.”

Charron also cautioned that leaving your phone exposed to direct sunlight can cause permanent damage to the battery.

If you receive alerts about your phone overheating, it might indicate potential long-term battery damage, he warned.

Charron advised: ‘It’s advisable to keep your phone away from extreme temperatures. Anything below 0°C is too cold, while temperatures exceeding 35°C are too hot and can damage your battery. Hence, it’s crucial to keep your phone away from direct sunlight for prolonged periods and minimize usage in hot environments like cars or trains.’

‘If the device’s internal temperature surpasses the normal operating range, you may experience dimming of the screen, total blackout, or the camera flash deactivation. You might also notice a ‘Charging Pending’ message or receive a temperature warning.’

If such warnings appear, it’s best to charge your phone in a cool area — and avoid wireless charging, as per Charron.

He added: ‘During phone charging, locate a cool, moisture-free area with temperatures below 32°C (90°F). Wired charging is the preferable option over wireless charging to prevent overheating.’

If you find yourself in a warm environment, there are specific measures you can take to prevent phone overheating, Charron suggested.

Charron stated: ‘When your phone is not charging, lowering the brightness can prevent overheating. A low battery and weak signal can lead your device to overheat. Thus, if you’re in a weak signal zone, activate airplane mode and deactivate it when you have better connectivity!’

Image Source: LariBat / Shutterstock

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