There are a lot of questions concerning cell phone batteries. Can you leave your smartphones plugged in overnight? Is it bad for the phone? Is it safe for you to leave an iPhone plugged in overnight? What is the right thing to do?
In fact, all of this raises the question of how much you should charge your iPhone. When is the right time to plug in your iPhone? Should you let it go down to zero every time? Do you need to charge it up to 100%? How do you get the longest life out of the battery inside an iPhone? Does it really matter if you are only going to use your iPhone for just a couple of years before you eventually upgrade?
Is it safe to leave an iPhone plugged in overnight?
When the topic of pure safety is concerned, there is no risk of an iPhone fire overnight, that is if you are careful. However, there are several mistakes you have to avoid. You need to be very careful if you use third-party cables or adapters. These might be manufactured cheaply or they might be made without proper safety standards.
“If you are charging with cheaply manufactured adapters, it could pose a risk of injury or even death,” according to Apple.
If you are one of the people who usually fall asleep with your iPhone in bed, make sure it is not plugged in. And certainly, do not make a habit of keeping it under your pillow when it is plugged in. Keep in mind to never leave your iPhone under or inside anything while plugged in.
“Do not sleep on a power adapter, a wireless charger, or place them under a pillow, or your body, when connected to a power source,” is the warning given by Apple.
“Make sure to keep your iPhone, the power adapter, as well as any wireless charger in a well-ventilated area when using.”
You might feel like this sounds obvious, but you have to be very wary of water when charging your iPhone. If you have recently had a drink on the side and the surface still happens to be wet, or you happen to be charging in the kitchen near a splash zone, you could potentially be at risk. Similarly, you have to be careful if you are using a cable that is damaged, broken, frayed, etc.
“If you are using damaged goods for charging. Or, if you are charging when moisture is present, it could cause fire, electric shock, injury, or damage to iPhone,” warns Apple.
If you happen to be using a damaged cable or adapter, it is suggested you replace it.
Why Is It not safe to Leave Your iPhone Charging Overnight?
Currently, there are more than 1.5 billion iPhones that run on Li-Ion batteries worldwide. These batteries are better than NiMH, however, they are not flawless. There are some issues you might experience with your iPhone battery because of its nature.
Li-Ion Batteries Generate a Lot of Heat
The generation of heat would be one of the notable problems you might face while charging an iPhone overnight. Li-Ion batteries are very practical; however, lithium is a very reactive material. The heat that can be generated can eventually lead to overheating, which would lead to the battery catching fire.
If that sounds unbelievable, you can take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco. Moreover, HP has suffered a similar issue recently which led to them recalling around 78,000 batteries, which may cause “fire and burn damage.”
Another reason to be careful about charging overnight is your iPhone’s battery health. All iPhones contain a lithium-ion battery that will degrade over time. This means over time, the battery will be able to hold less charge than when it was new.
Keeping a battery charged and charging 100% is not great for the iPhone. That is not an easy process to manage when you are asleep. Thankfully, the iPhone has a built-in feature that can be turned on or off to help boost battery health.
That is where Optimized Battery Charging comes in, a bid to extend the lifespan of your iPhone. You have the ability to limit the wear on your battery by reducing the time your iPhone spends fully charged. This will ultimately lead to your battery lasting longer. So, when Optimized Battery Charging is active, the iPhone will delay charging past 80%, however, only in specific situations.
The iPhone will learn about your day-to-day charging routine to do so. Navigate to Settings > Battery > Battery Health > Optimized Battery Charging, then make sure to toggle it on to activate the feature.
Does Charging Your iPhone Overnight Shorten Its Battery Life?
Every single smartphone battery’s capacity diminishes after 500-1000 charge-discharge cycles. A complete cycle is when you use 100% of your battery.
For example – Say you used 40% of your phone’s battery today, then you recharge it to 100%, then the next day you use another 60%. That will be one cycle.
In theory, the iPhone’s battery will last up to 500 cycles before its capacity begins to fall. Not just that, but the battery ages with time on its own. If you happen to change your iPhone every year or two, you should not care about that fact much. However, if you intend to use your iPhone for a longer period than say two years, then, keep in mind the battery will inevitably lose its capacity over time.
Running a smartphone until it is dead, i.e., a full discharge, every time is not the way to go. In fact, do not even let it get that close to 0%. Doing so wears out a lithium-ion battery even faster than normal, partial discharge is the way to go.
The Best Thing to NEVER Do:
Do not charge a phone when it is too cold or too hot. And do not put your phone in the freezer.
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