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Can you overcharge your phone?

Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have become a crucial part of not only our social lives, but our business and professional lives as well. Even though many of us don’t necessarily want to be connected 24/7, it’s a reality in today’s world. Knowing this fact means that the power from a battery is obviously very important to keep our cell phones operating.

Can you overcharge a battery?

One question that seems to come up quite often is this: Can a cell phone battery be overcharged? The simple answer is that today, due to the fact that most cell phones have built-in protection chips and software that safeguard the phone from taking in more charge than needed, overcharging your cell phone should not cause any damage to your battery. However, when you charge your cell phone battery, it causes heat. Over a prolonged period of time, the effects of overcharging your cell phone battery will degrade the battery faster, due to the heat, than if you don’t overcharge it. So if you often charge your cell phone overnight, the amount of time your cell phone spends with the charger is increased, and the result is that the capacity of the battery decreases sooner.

What happens if you overcharge your phone at night?

So what happens if you leave your phone plugged in overnight? What about the software that should work to safeguard your cell phone battery from overcharging? Your charger will continue to top off the charge while it’s plugged in overnight even though the charger turns off when your phone reaches 100%. This is called a “trickle charge”. It’s trying to keep your charge at 100% to make up for the juice that your battery is losing on its own while being charged.

Does overcharging reduce battery life?

Charging your cell phone battery starts the timer on the life of your battery from the second it’s first used. This is the reality of cell phone batteries today.  They experience a gradual loss of their capacity to hold a charge over time or the ability to hold a charge.  Charging and overcharging your cell phone battery will undoubtedly diminish the battery, but it won’t happen quickly. In fact, after 2-3 years, the overwhelming majority of cell phone batteries retain about 70-80% of their original charge capacity - and we all know that you’ll most likely replace your cell phone every couple years, so it’s not something to lose sleep over.  

While you should be somewhat cautious with overcharging your cell phone battery if you tend to do it often, there’s not too much to be concerned with regarding most cell phones in use today.

The reason why today’s cell phones are greatly improved - as far as battery charging is concerned - is due to the fact they are lithium-ion batteries. Some of the advantages include:

      • No need to for priming before first using them
      • Low-maintenance
      • High-current density allows for heavy usage of cell phone before battery needs to be charged again

The bottom line? There’s not much of a need to worry about overcharging your cell phone battery! If you think that you may need to replace your battery, check out our blog that explores this topic further along with other blogs available!

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