There's something special about taking a new phone, tablet, or laptop out of the box. That shiny, clean device will soon be managing your schedule, saving your memories, and connecting you with friends and family—all important tasks.
These days, we rely on technology to do so much—for work, for school, for play—and we want our devices to work like new for as long as possible. But it doesn't always happen, in part, because of bad habits that can shorten the life of our tech.
The good news is that those habits are easy to change. We'll walk you through them and offer five simple tips from our experts about how to keep your devices working like new for longer.
1. Using chargers and cords that aren't made for your device
Cheap, off-brand chargers may seem appealing, especially when your battery is running low and you're away from home. But many of these knockoffs haven't gone through the same testing process that, say, Apple® requires. These off-brand chargers are not only less efficient for charging your battery but also dangerous: They can install viruses on your devices or cause them to overheat and even catch fire.
Our experts recommend using chargers directly from manufacturers or from approved retailers, like your nearest uBreakiFix® by Asurion store.
2. Cleaning your devices with harsh disinfectant wipes—or not cleaning them at all.
Your phone, your laptop, your tablet, your gaming system—they're all filthy. So filthy that one study from the University of Michigan found 10 times more bacteria on the average phone than on the average toilet seat. Yuck. It makes sense if you think about it. We pick up our phones more than 300 times a day, and we use them almost everywhere, including in the bathroom.
The importance of keeping your tech clean goes well beyond germs. Regularly wiping off dust and debris keeps them out of your device's ports and away from their internal components. Doing so will extend the life of your tech and keep it working like new. But there's a right way and a wrong way to clean your devices. The wrong way involves ordinary household cleaning agents, like harsh disinfectant wipes, which can damage your device's screen. The right way involves spraying a microfiber cloth with a 50/50 solution of alcohol and water, then wiping down your phone or laptop screen.
Want a deeper clean? Let an expert handle it, so you don't accidentally harm your devices. On your own, you can get rid of germs and the superficial crust and gunk that accumulates over time. But an expert can safely use precision tools to clean the most important parts and ports—like the microphone, speaker, and charging ports—from the inside out to keep your tech in top shape.
Learn more about professional device cleaning for your phone, tablet, laptop, or gaming console.
3. Charging your device overnight
It may seem like a reasonable thing to do, but studies on lithium-ion batteries have shown that frequently letting a battery drain, then charging it up to 100% leads to a shorter battery lifespan. Leaving a full battery plugged in can also lead to overcharging, which wastes energy and adds to your utility bills.
Instead, try keeping your device somewhere between 40% to 80% charged, or charging it 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed. This will keep your battery working like new for much longer. Many newer smartphones have charge-delay features that prevent your battery from overcharging, but if you're trying to get the most out of an older device, stick to the 40% to 80% rule.
4. Forgetting to restart your devices
We all need a break sometimes, and the same goes for your devices. Restarting once a week can help clear your device's memory, refresh your software, and reboot any apps that may be malfunctioning.
Restarting can also help reduce charging issues by closing battery-draining programs and applications as well as clearing out any bugs.
5. Neglecting to buy a case, a cover, or a protection plan
It always seems to happen in slow motion: that moment when your tablet slips from your grip and falls to the ground. Cracked screens, spills, and accidental drops happen to all of us. Buying a sturdy case—even better if it's waterproof—and a screen protector will help to keep your device and all its ports protected and working as they should.
You may be making another mistake: not getting covered with a protection plan, in case the worst happens. For over 25 years, we have repaired and replaced the devices that matter most—everything from smartphones to gaming systems and TVs. It's peace of mind when disaster strikes. To learn more, visit asurion.com/protection-plans/.