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It’s totally safe to charge your iPhone overnight — but here are some things you should know anyway

Published Aug 2nd, 2017 3:04PM EDT
iPhone Battery Charging Overnight

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Unless there’s something wrong with the charging equipment you use or the smartphone itself, it’s totally safe to leave your iPhone or Android phone charging overnight. Sure, we’ve seen some accounts of some devices including iPhones catching fire overnight. But these are rare accidents that can’t really be prevented, regardless of when you recharge a phone.

When it comes to smartphones that behave normally, you shouldn’t be afraid of leaving it plugged in overnight. Nothing bad will come of it, as long as you’re doing it properly.

One of the persistent myths out there is that charging your phone overnight, and leaving it plugged in will hurt the battery after it’s fully charged, Business Insider notes.

“Having your phone plugged in at night doesn’t diminish the battery,” iFixit head Kyle Wiens told the site. “It’s all about cycle count, it’s all about how you actually use the battery — how much work you’re making the battery do.”

“In terms of the gradual erosion of battery life, what must be understood is that phone batteries are constantly in a state of decay,” a spokesperson for Anker, a company that makes battery and charger accessory, said. “Sleeping with a phone charging overnight will make no noticeable difference in the process.”

The iFixit expert explains that a typical smartphone battery will get you about 400 charge cycles in total, which means the phone will last about a year and a half. After that, battery capacity may be diminished, and you’ll experience lower battery life than before. Conversely, about a year after the iPhone launches a new operating system is released. Around the same time, battery problems may be experienced on the one-year old device, and that’s when theories about Apple making iPhones obsolete come out.

Getting back to battery life, cycle count refers to the number of full charges a phone can get you before the battery starts degrading.

If the phone is plugged in after the battery is fully recharged, whether it’s at night or during the day, won’t affect the number of cycles. That only happens when you start using the device.

Most people recharge their devices that way, and it’s unlikely anyone wakes up to check the battery status and unplug the phone when charging is complete. But at least you can now rest assured that nothing bad will happen to your iPhone if it stays plugged in longer than you think it should.

But what you should do when it comes to recharging your phone at night is to make sure that all the equipment you’re using is safe to use, and that you don’t cover external batteries or smartphones during the process. Battery charging is a heat-intensive task, so you should make the device isn’t placed underneath your pillow or bed covers. That way, the smartphone won’t overheat, which could result in harm to internal components and potential fire.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.