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4 myths about batteries you need to stop believing

Published Nov 30th, 2015 4:40PM EST
Battery Myths Overcharging Refrigerator Storage

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A lot of the tips we’ve been hearing about how to improve the performance of our batteries turn out to have been tall tales. CNET’s Sharon Profis has put together a great video that specifically debunks three of the most common myths about batteries: Namely, that you should wait for batteries to completely drain before recharging them, that you should charge a device fully the first time you turn it on, and that you shouldn’t “overcharge” your battery by leaving your phone plugged in after its battery has fully charged.

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In short order, here’s why these myths are wrong.

When it comes to letting batteries drain completely, Profis says that having your battery go all the way down to 0% on a regular basis will gradually reduce its effectiveness. As for charging a device completely when you first buy it, Profis says this is mostly a waste of time since most batteries these days calibrate themselves.

For the “overcharging” myth, she points out that smartphones and laptops are smartly designed so that their batteries don’t receive additional juice after they’ve been fully charged, so you can really just leave your phone plugged in forever and it won’t have any long-term negative impact on its battery life.

One myth that Profis mentions but doesn’t specifically debunk in her video is the notion that you can give batteries fresh life by storing them in the refrigerator. As Snopes informs us, both Duracell and Energizer both inform us that their batteries are designed to be stored at room temperature and not in colder conditions. In fact, storing these batteries in refrigerators will hurt their effectiveness.

Be sure to watch Profis’s full video on battery myths at this link.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.