Is It Bad to Use Phone While Charging? The Facts You Should Know

If you’ve found yourself searching ‘is it bad to use phone while charging?’, you’re probably mostly concerned about battery life. You could also be worried about the stress the extra power draw creates. Either way, there’s very little evidence to show that it’s dangerous to use your phone while it’s charging.

At least, under most circumstances. Recharging does put a small amount of stress on the battery, which can degrade performance over time. This stress, as well as the general heat caused by the electrical wiring, can cause some phone models to overheat, however. Take action if you feel your phone is getting too hot.

So, the short answer is ‘no’. Your phone will charge slower if you’re using it continuously while charging though. In some models, this can make them more likely to overheat, so keep an eye on the temperature. Stop using your phone if it seems to be overheating. Unplug it and turn it off, then contact the manufacturer.

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People Also Ask

Is it safe to use my phone while it’s charging?

There’s no danger in using your phone while it’s charging. Some models can become prone to overheating if they are constantly used while charging, however. If your phone becomes too hot for comfort, unplug it, and turn it off to let it cool. Never place it in the freezer to cool it! Allow it to cool down normally and contact the manufacturer about the issue.

Does using a phone while charging hurt the battery?

In the vast majority of cases, no. Recharging a battery or leaving it on what’s called ‘trickle charge’ does put a small amount of stress on it, however. Over time, this will degrade the battery’s performance and overall ability to hold a charge. That said, there’s no evidence that using your phone while it’s charging makes this happen any faster than it normally would.

Does using a phone while charging hurt the charger?

Again, no. The charger is just fine with you using your phone while it’s plugged in and charging. The only case where this isn’t true is if you hold the phone at a certain angle which causes a sharp bend in the charging cable. Soft, gradual bends are fine, but sharp bends put additional strain on the cables and can cause them to wear out. If the cable stays in the bend position for a while after being unplugged, the angle was too sharp. If it slowly unbends over time, that’s also a sign that it was under stress.


What Happens When You Charge Your Phone?

When you plug your phone in to charge, three things happen very rapidly. First, electricity flows from the cable to the battery. Then, electricity flows around the battery so it can power the phone without pulling additional power from the battery. Finally, electricity flows from the battery to the phone.

When the battery is not at a full charge, it can place a demand on the charger for more power. Electricity causes a chemical change in the battery which results in a stored charge. The battery’s charge level determines how much energy flows into it. As a result, a full battery doesn’t draw any power. This is one of the reasons it’s okay to use your phone while it’s charging.

When your phone is plugged in, it can demand power from the battery or the charger, but it will prefer the charger. This is another part of why using your when while charging is okay.

Since the phone is always connected to its battery, a small amount of electricity will be pushed to the battery, even if it’s showing a full charge. This is a very small amount of electricity. Still, it causes a bit of stress on the battery. This is referred to as a ‘trickle charge’. While leaving your phone plugged in constantly will slowly degrade your battery life, it won’t be by much. It also won’t cause your phone to explode or anything dramatic like that.

What Causes Shortened Battery Life?

There are two main factors that cause a shortening of a phone battery’s life: normal decay, and overheating.

While electricity flows to a battery, it ionizes some of the chemicals found in it. This allows the battery to hold a charge. However, this process also causes some chemical damage to the battery. This is why all batteries break down, stop holding as much of a charge, and eventually fail.

Allowing your phone to trickle charge can shorten the battery life because of exactly this issue. As soon as the battery drops below 100 percent, it asks the charger for power. A small amount is replenished and the chemical damage is done.

When it comes to overheating, the main problem is that electricity produces heat as a byproduct. While modern phones are designed to run extremely cool when compared to other computers, they still generate heat. Using a charger adds to the heat load. Ordinarily, this is all fine. However, if there is a defect in the battery, overheating can happen. If you find your phone is becoming uncomfortable to touch or hold, unplug it and turn it off. Then, contact the manufacturer about the issue.

If you’d like to preserve the battery life on your phone, try these three things:

1) Use power-saving modes. Modern phones come with these as options for many apps and services, and they’re all good for battery life.

2) Cycle the battery. Run your phone down to no power – down to where you can’t even power it on – then charge it back to full before resuming use. This can also fix display issues with the phone’s battery indicator.

3) Power Cycle the phone. Turning your phone off every once in a while allows it to dump unused files and generally helps it run much smoother.

Brett Jones
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