Is Leaving My iPhone Charging Overnight Bad?

Is charging my iPhone overnight harmful?

Nolan Levesque writes:

Hey, Chris. I’m wondering if plugging my iPhone in to charge before bed and leaving it plugged in for 8-10 hours after it’s fully charged is harmful? Thanks for all the great content; don’t let haters get you down!

Is Leaving My iPhone Charging Overnight Bad?
Is leaving my iPhone charging overnight bad?

Leaving your iPhone on charge while you’re asleep shouldn’t have any detrimental effects on the battery. The lithium-ion battery in your iPhone has two modes:

  • The fast charge, which can charge the battery to 80% of its capacity in around two hours.
  • The trickle charge, which will charge the battery to 100% of its capacity over three to four hours.

According to Apple, your battery will lose some of its capacity every cycle, but it will take thousands of cycles before your battery will only hold 80% of its charge.

The modern lithium-ion battery can take thousands of charge and discharge cycles before showing any kind of sign of not being able to hold a full charge. So I think that it’s safe to say that leaving your iPhone charging overnight wouldn’t be bad for it. If you’d like to know more, we’ve covered this topic in greater detail here: Should You Leave Your Smartphone Charging Overnight?

Image: New Battery by DougWard via Flickr

Tips For Extending Smartphone Battery Life

There should be an image here!Q: I love my iPhone but hate how quickly the battery goes dead! Any tips on getting more time on a charge? — Marcus

A: Smartphones in general tend to be prone to shorter battery life because of all of the capabilities built into the phones.

The battery in the iPhone is unfortunately not user-replaceable either, so carrying around a second battery isn’t an option (but I have another suggestion later).

The good news is that there are a number of adjustments you can make that will dramatically extend the life of your iPhone battery.

Start with the Brightness setting (Settings/Brightness) by turning it down to the lowest acceptable level and make sure the Auto-Brightness is turned on.

Email can be another huge power-suck on the iPhone, especially if you have it checking multiple accounts and you get a lot of mail. By default, both the Push and the Fetch options are turned on, which can be a big power drain.

Push essentially pushes email to your phone as it arrives to your primary email system. Unless you have to get messages that quickly, turn off the Push option for your email account(s) (Settings/Mail, Contacts, Calendars/Fetch New Data) to conserve lots of power.

While you are in the Fetch settings, either set the interval to Hourly or Manually to conserve the most power. Fetch determines how often your phone goes out to your mail system to check for new mail and is also used for the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature in MobileMe, so setting it to Manually isn’t for everyone.

If you have a special email configuration such as an IMAP account, you may have an additional place to choose Push or Fetch in the Advanced section of the Fetch New Data screen.

Push is also used for third-party applications (such as Facebook & Twitter) for notifications, so minimizing or turning off all notifications will also help conserve power (Settings/Notifications).

While we are on the subject of third-party applications, changing your notification settings in Facebook, Twitter, etc. (from your computer) so that you don’t get a text message every time an update is posted to your accounts.

Location services for things like maps and restaurant finders are awesome, but they also drain power every time you open any ‘location service’ enabled application. You can turn off Location Services for general usage and only turn it on when you actually need it (Settings/General/Location Services).

Turning off the Bluetooth feature on any smartphone has two potential benefits: it saves power and it’s more secure (Bluetooth can allow unauthorized connections to your phone). Unless you are one of those cyborg looking folks that likes to torture whomever is on the other end with lower sound quality, ditch the Bluetooth.

Turning off Wi-Fi until you actually want to use it is another good power saver (Settings/Wi-Fi). You may have noticed that every time your phone gets near any new Wi-Fi hotspots, it lets you know (both a power drain and a general pain!)

Set your Auto-Lock interval (Settings/General/Auto-Lock) to the shortest time that works for you (it’s like the Sleep option on computers). Also, get into the habit of locking your iPhone as soon as you are done using it, instead of allowing it to go blank on its own by pressing the thin metal Sleep/Wake button on the top of the phone.

If you are going into a meeting or movie theater or know that you are in a low or no coverage area, turn on the Airplane mode to save a bundle of power (General/Airplane Mode).

If you’re getting low on power and want to squeeze a few extra phone calls or text messages in, turn off the 3G option (Settings/General/Network) and don’t check email or try to surf the Web.

Apple also recommends that you completely power-cycle your phone at least once a month. That means charging it all the way up and discharging it until it dies, as proper maintenance of lithium-based batteries.

If you travel frequently, I suggest getting a sleek attachable battery charger like the Juice Pack from Mophie. Mine has saved me (and sometimes the passenger sitting next to me!) many times on road trips.

Ken Colburn
Data Doctors Computer Services
Data Doctors Data Recovery Labs
Data Doctors Franchise Systems, Inc.
Weekly video tech contributor to CNN.com
Host of the award-winning “Computer Corner” radio show

Tool King Battery Deal

There should be an image here!Receive a free BL1830 18V LXT lithium-ion battery with purchase of LXT407 18V LXT lithium-ion four-piece cordless combo set @ Tool King! Offer ends May 31st, 2008.

The Makita LXT407 Combo Kit features a 1/2″ Hammer Driver-Drill (BHP452) with a new 4-pole motor for 450 in. lbs. of torque & weighs only 3.9 lbs. An Impact Driver (BTD140) with 40% more compact, 1,280 in. lbs. of torque with 0-3,200 IPM and weighs 3.3 lbs. A Reciprocating Saw (BJR152) with tool-less blade changes & shoe adjustments, skyhook and 8.1 lbs. A 4-Position Flashlight (BML185) with Xenon bulbs that runs for 4.3 hrs. Also included in the Makita LXT407 combo kit is an Optimum Charger (DC18RA) that charges the batteries in 30 minutes.

Makita LXT Lithium Ion Batteries in the Makita LXT407 combo kit provide longer run time, 5x lower self-discharge (for use any time) and 16 firm holding contact terminals (for constant high power). With the Makita LXT407, Makita offers a 3-year warranty on tools and 1-year warranty on the LXT battery.