How to Properly Charge a IPhone Battery

Small changes in the way you use your smartphone can go a long way. Without realizing it, you may be slowing down your iPhone or damaging your phone’s battery.

INSIDER’s beauty writer Brianna Arps learned this the hard way.

Arps, who spends much of her time taking pictures of products or snapping the perfect selfie, lost about 33,000 photos in February, after charging her iPhone 6 incorrectly.

“I’m notorious for not charging my phone and using it until the battery’s very, very low,” Arps told INSIDER.

The night of February 18 was no different: Getting ready to go out, Arps was “blasting music” on her phone and taking selfies while her phone was at 3% battery. When her phone eventually died, she plugged it into a wall charger. When it turned back on at 5%, she unplugged it again and went back to taking selfies.

“That happened about five times. Like off and on, off and on, off and on,” Arps explained.

The sixth time, however, Arps’ phone did not turn on when she plugged it into a charger. Eventually, after 25 minutes and a hard reset, her screen lit up. But this time, Arps saw the iPhone Recovery Mode screen, prompting her to connect her phone to iTunes.

After following the steps of setting up her phone, Arps immediately went to her Photo Album. However, while she saw the selfies she had just taken, she couldn’t find any of the other 33,000 pictures she had saved — pictures from her college graduation, senior year, and more.

“I freaked out,” Arps said. She soon realized her entire phone had been wiped; she lost everything from data stored on apps to contact information to “precious memories from videos.” All she had left were a few Notes and the selfies she took before her phone died.

So what happened? It’s hard to say exactly.

It’s likely that Arps’ phone went into Recovery Mode because it either overheated or detected data corruption, an Apple specialist explained to me.

He recommended avoiding using your phone to download apps or take photos during its last few minutes of battery life. These actions write and execute code to the iPhone, and although rare, an unexpected shutdown during this process might send the phone into Recovery Mode.

In general, you shouldn’t wait until your phone dies to charge it.

While it may seem like a harmless habit, it can actually shorten the lifespan of your smartphone’s battery. To preserve your battery’s health, charge your phone whenever you can, ideally in short spurts when it has lost 10% of its battery.

You should also avoid charging your phone to 100% and leaving it plugged in when fully charged. At 100%, your phone requires “trickle charges” to keep it that way. And according to battery company Cadex, this puts your phone’s battery in an extended period of stress, wearing down its chemistry over time. Removing your phone after its fully charged is like “relaxing the muscles after strenuous exercise” — both your muscles and your phone’s battery need time to recover.

From fruit to a portable turbine: How to charge your phone

We’ve all experienced the sinking feeling of seeing our phone run out of batteries

There are obvious ways to get some juice in your gizmo, such as using a hand crank or a battery pack.

Others involve hacking a 9v battery or even plugging your smartphone into a piece of fruit.

However, we’d advise you to avoid trying some methods of getting power in your phone, because you could damage your gadget AND yourself at the same time.

You could also try making your phone last longer by deleting these apps.

But where’s the fun in that?

Here are some of the wacky and sensible methods of charging up your phone during a power cut.

Hack a 9V battery

This method requires a 9V battery, the spring from a pen and a car charger adapter.

All you need to do is connect the metallic point of the car charger to one of the connectors on the battery, before attaching the spring to the other.

Finally, just connect the other end of the spring to the charger.

However, Matthieu Dubarry, an electrochemist at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and battery expert, told Mail Online that this method could blow your phone and cause an explosion with “as much power as a hand grenade”.

“There’s a risk, and we don’t want people getting hurt because they tried something off the internet without knowing about it,” he said.

Don’t try this one at home.

Build a battery from FRUIT

This is another dodgy method which could damage your phone, so proceed with caution.

You can see what to do in the video above, which comes from the YouTube channel LifeHack2012.

First you need to get a number of pieces of acidic fruit, such as lemons or oranges.

Then get one zinc nail and one copper nail into the fruit, making sure they don’t touch.

Use copper wire to connect the zinc stuck inside one piece of fruit to the copper in another, so they form a circuit.

Then open up the USB end of your charging cord and connect the cables inside to the copper wires.

Theoretically, this should generate enough power to charge your phone – but there’s a major risk you could damage it too.

Common misconceptions about mobile device batteries

Users go to some strange measures to keep their batteries going and going and going. Yet much of what we hear about mobile batteries is simply not true. Let’s examine some of these misconceptions about the batteries that power the devices we depend upon day in and day out.

1: Batteries have “memory”

Nope. Not at all. People used to think that you had to “train” your battery to make sure it would take the most charge. To do that, people would drain it regularly and charge it — and they’d never plug it in when it was over 50%. The thought was that over time, the battery would develop a memory and allow for just a percentage of the charge. This is not true. If your battery is at 80%, top that baby off. Frequent charges will do no damage to your battery.

2: Off-brand chargers will damage your battery

Although some off-brand chargers aren’t optimal (and some even take longer to charge the battery), they will not harm it, as long as the charger is working properly. This means it’s perfectly okay to run to Target and buy that cheap charger to replace the factory charger that came with your phone. The one exception to this is the charger that shipped with your Droid Turbo. Make sure, when looking for a replacement, you find one made specifically for that device; otherwise, you won’t enjoy the 15-minute charge time that delivers eight hours of usage.

3: Charging your phone overnight will damage your battery

False. Most smartphones are now “smart” enough to know when a battery is at capacity and will stop charging. However, there is one thing you can do to extend the life of your battery. Instead of charging your phone all night, every night, try keeping it charged between 40% and 80% most of the time. This will ensure the longest possible life from that battery. If you can leave it unplugged overnight (every so often), do so.

4: Don’t use your phone while it charges

People seem to think that using a phone while it charges will have a negative impact on the quality of charge the battery gets. But unless you’re using a low-quality knock-off charger, this is not remotely true. Your battery will charge as expected whether or not you use the device. Think about it this way. With smartphones, chances are the only way there is no syncing of data (in one way or another) is if the phone is off. So even when you aren’t literally using your phone, your phone is using your phone and data is being synced. So go ahead and use that phone while it charges.

5: Turning off your phone can damage your battery

Nah. There isn’t even the slightest truth to this. Of course, if you leave your phone off for an extended period of time, the battery will drain (that’s the nature of batteries). But it is perfectly fine to shut that device off every once in a while. You can even shut the device off and (if applicable) remove the battery if you like. No harm will come to the battery. In fact, for some devices, a simple reboot can help to restore battery functionality. So even though that Android device runs perfectly fine day in and day out, give it a break now and then.

6: You should always charge your phone to full before first using it

Many people think that the first thing they should do with a new smartphone is plug it in and charge it to 100%. This is simply a myth. Remember, smartphone batteries work best between 40% to 80%, and since most phones ship at half capacity, you should be good to go out of the box. As a side note: If you fire up your new smartphone for the first time and the battery is below 40%, you might want to consider taking it back because that battery could be very old.

7: Putting your battery in the freezer will extend its life

I remember that back in the 80s, we placed batteries in the freezer for a short period to try to get a bit more life out of them. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. In fact, Li-Ion batteries are negatively affected by both heat and cold. Room temperature is always the best temperature for your smartphone battery. Remember, those devices already get hot, so there’s no need to expose them to extra heat — and cold is an enemy of Li-Ion batteries.

Also, make sure you store your device somewhere with airflow. My wife used to place her phone in a sealed plastic baggie when she road her mountain bike. Yes, it’s good to prevent moisture from getting into the device. But sealing all that heat in will affect both the phone and the battery. A word of caution: Heat is much more damaging to batteries than cold is.

8: Using the internet will run down the battery faster than anything else

Not true.* The single most draining thing you can do on your smartphone is gaming. The graphics engines are massive energy drainers. If you game a lot on your devices, dim the screen as much as you can while playing (if you want to extend your battery life). But if you can play that game while charging, go ahead and keep that screen at full brightness.

* This also depends upon what you are using the internet for. If you’re viewing videos through YouTube, online gaming, or doing other graphics-intensive activities, it will drain your battery faster.

9: Turning off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS will prolong your battery

In and of itself, this is false. The only time these services actually drain your battery is if they are in use. So having Bluetooth turned on, when you’re not using a Bluetooth device, isn’t going to drain your battery any more than having Wi-Fi on when you’re not accessing the network. Yes, they may pull an insignificant amount of energy from your battery, but they will not drain it over the course of a day. If you’re really concerned about getting as much life as possible from your battery, dim your screen.

10: Task managers help prolong your battery life

As much as I hate to say it, third-party task managers do nothing for battery life that the built-in system can’t handle. Yes, those task managers can whitelist/blacklist tasks. But in the end, they really don’t help your battery any more than the built-in system. You might want to employ a task manager to better control your apps, but don’t assume that third-party manager will extend the life of your battery any better than the default tool.

A better approach

Smartphone batteries and smartphone usage of those energy cells get better every year. But those old-school (and some “new school”) misconceptions simply need to die off. With just the slightest consideration, your battery will last you a long time.