Why charging your phone overnight is bad?

Charging your smartphone overnight can damage the battery and shorten its lifespan.

How do you increase the charge on your smartphone battery? You might think charging it while you’re asleep to regularly hit 100 percent is beneficial, but that actually harms your battery and shortens its life.

You want your tech to be usable for as long as possible. Getting the most out of your battery is increasingly important as most people are uncomfortable changing the default battery. Rechargeable batteries slowly lose capacity over time (even if you don’t use them). You’ll notice a capacity drop after the first year of regular use. For many, getting through a whole day on a single charge is impossible beyond the two-year mark.

Manufacturers specify the life expectancy of smartphones through “battery charge cycles.” A charge cycle is defined as charging the battery from 0 to 100 percent and then discharged back down to 0 percent. The number of expected charge cycles will tell you how many full cycles the battery can handle before it noticeably starts to lose capacity.

Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries are used in the majority of rechargeable tech. You can find some form of Lithium-Ion batteries in smartphones, vaporizers, laptops, Teslas, and even chainsaws.

The most popular Li-Ion battery is the 18650. This can take between 300 and 500 full charge cycles before being reduced to roughly 75 percent capacity. That’s when major flaws start developing.

Why shouldn’t you charging your phone overnight?

Unplug your phone when you go to bed and charge it after you wake up. This might be during your morning routine, while you’re at work, or watching TV in the evening.

It might take an hour to so to charge your device, but leaving it plugged in while you’re asleep means it’s connected to the charger for much longer.

No, your phone battery can’t overcharge. Manufacturers put safeguards in place to prevent this. However, when you charge to 100 percent, it adds “trickle charge,” i.e., enough extra energy to compensate for what your device uses by default. By charging to 100 percent and keeping it plugged in, you’re overusing your battery, forcing it to expend energy when it needn’t.

This is on top of the fact that, if you leave it plugged in overnight, you’ll certainly go above the recommended 80 percent charge.

Prolonged charging can also lead to an increased temperature, which naturally degrades your battery. It can also be dangerous in extreme cases—especially if you keep your phone under your pillow.

Don’t leave your device under your pillow at all if you can help it. The lack of airflow not only means potential damage to your battery but also increases the risk of fire.

Can you use apps while your phone is charging?

You shouldn’t use your device for any high-intensity activities while it’s charging. Realistically, many people do. Nonetheless, regularly doing so can cause irreparable damage. This is comparable to overclocking your PC’s CPU.

It might be tempting to watch YouTube videos or get to the next level on your favorite game while it’s plugged in, but it’s not worth negatively affecting your battery.
Regularly using apps while charging will slow your phone down noticeably in its second year.

If you want to keep your phone for a long time, don’t use apps while it’s charging. Nonetheless, checking your messages or emails should be fine. Just don’t do anything that takes a lot of energy.

How to extend the lifespan of your battery

So, how can you extend your smartphone battery’s life? Here are some simple tips.

  1. Use partial charges to keep your battery between 20 and 80 percent.
  2. Reduce the amount of time your battery is kept at 100 percent by not charging your phone at night. This is when the battery will degrade fastest.
  3. Keep your device at room temperature, thereby avoiding extreme temperatures.
  4. Reduce the battery drain of your device by turning off unnecessary services. Use battery savers to get even longer use from every charge.

In the short term, you may not notice much difference. But you’ll be happy when your phone still survives a full day on a single charge after a year.

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