It's inevitable: The lithium-ion batteries that power our phones, tablets, laptops, and smart watches degrade over time. So it's no wonder that the internet is teeming with anti-aging techniques to help you get the most out of your favorite tech.
But which tips and tricks can you trust? And which ones are as bogus as face-taping your wrinkles away?
At Asurion, we not only fix and protect the devices you love but also help you stay up to date on the latest tech. We've rounded up the most common battery myths so you can avoid them.
1. Leaving a device plugged in will overcharge its battery: False
One of the most common lithium-ion battery charging myths is that plugging in your devices for long periods of time will overload the battery, wearing it out faster than usual. Don't worry, it won't. Your smart devices know better. Protective measures built into modern phones, tablets, and laptops ensure that lithium batteries stop charging once they reach capacity.
That said, if you leave your fully charged smartphone plugged in overnight, it'll experience “trickle charge," which means that as the battery naturally drops down to 99%, it uses a small amount of energy to bump it back up to 100%. This can cause the battery to wear out slightly faster, but not much faster than just regular use.
Tip: To get the most life out of your lithium battery, keep the charge between 40% and 80% and top off your device throughout the day. While we don't recommend leaving your phone plugged up overnight, we know that's often how it goes. If you wake up in the middle of the night, try to remember to unplug your device—or try connecting it to a smart plug that will stop charging your device automatically after a set time.
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2. Freezing your phone battery helps keep its charge: False
Sudden, drastic shifts in temperature are never a good thing for your tech. Exposing your phone, tablet, or laptop to freezing temperatures can not only harm its battery, but also put other internal components at risk of malfunctioning. So never, ever put your devices in the freezer.
Tip: Charge your devices in a cool, ventilated place. Lithium-ion batteries don't work well in freezing or overly hot temperatures, so avoid laying a stack of magazines on top of a charging phone or sticking it between some pillows, and don't leave them in direct sunlight. Also, wireless and fast-charging devices can be helpful, but they produce lots of heat, so use them sparingly.
3. You need to let your battery hit zero before charging: False
Another cell phone battery charging myth is that you need to regularly drain the battery down to 0%, then charge it back up to 100%. This is true for older, nickel-based batteries, but not so for modern lithium batteries; the back-and-forth charging process will only wear down your device.
Tip: Try not to let your batteries drain down to 0%.
4. Your device's batteries have a short lifespan: Somewhat false
There are several factors that go into how long your device's lithium-ion battery will work as it should—how often you use your device and how often you charge it being two of the main ones. On average, you can expect your battery to last 2-3 years, or 300 to 500 charge cycles—whichever comes first. One charge cycle is measured from the time a battery is fully charged, completely drained, then charged back up again.
Tip: If you've had your phone, tablet, or computer for awhile and it's acting sluggish or glitchy, check out our guide for what you need to know about repairing versus replacing it.
5. If your battery dies, you need a new device: False
If your device can't last a full day on a single charge, or if it's unexpectedly shutting down, your battery is probably starting to go. Other signs include lower speaker volume and sluggish apps. But a dead (or dying) battery doesn't necessarily mean you have to invest in a new device. A battery replacement can be an affordable way to breathe new life into older tech.
Tip: If you're ready to swap out your device's battery, our experts have you covered. Stop by your nearestuBreakiFix® by Asurion or Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions™ store for fast, easy battery replacements for your smartphone, laptop, or tablet.