Whether you’re planning on upgrading to a new smartphone within a few months or hoping that your current phone will last you for a couple more years, it’s probably in your best interest to make sure you aren’t inadvertently sabotaging your phone’s chances at a long life.
Below are 5 ways that you may be accidentally damaging your smartphone:
There’s no benefit to continuing to charge your phone after the battery reaches 100%, and leaving the device plugged in for long periods of time can generate excess heat and damage your phone. Another great way to damage your phone as you charge it? Leaving the device plugged in when it’s tucked under your pillow or even just sitting on top of your mattress. A smartphone heats up as it’s charging, and if you don’t place it somewhere where that heat can dissipate, it can overheat.
Even the priciest case won’t prevent you from dropping your phone, and a drop can still damage your phone. Even if you don’t immediately see a shattered screen or a dented corner, it’s still possible that a fall has weakened your phone’s casing or damaged something inside the device. If you routinely drop your phone when you get out of your car or when you’re lounging on the couch at night, consider whether or not there’s a way that you can keep your phone more secure, or a change you can make to your routine to stop the repeated impacts that may be doing more damage than you think.
Most people know that dropping their phone in a sink full of soapy dishes is a situation they want to avoid. But it’s not as immediately obvious that any exposure to liquids can do real damage to a phone, even when a large vessel of water isn’t involved. Plenty of smartphones aren’t made to stand up to use in a rainstorm, and you should probably prevent yours from getting splashed at the pool. But even encounters that seem innocuous can do damage to your phone, like dropping it into a car cupholder that’s still dripping with condensation from your morning caffeine fix or setting it down on top of a wet bath towel. Unless you’ve purchased a phone that’s specifically certified for water resistance, it’s better to be safe than sorry and assume that water needs to stay away from your phone in all settings.
Just like you turn your computer off when you aren’t using it, it’s a good idea to shut your phone down at least occasionally to give it a rest. Leaving your phone on all the time burns through the life expectancy of its components more quickly than you would by shutting it off every once in a while. Regularly shutting down your device, or even simply rebooting it, will help ensure that caches are cleared and that everything is running smoothly.
Many smartphones have a lot less storage space than would be ideal. That’s an easy problem to fix if you have an Android phone with a microSD card slot, but a little less so for an iPhone. In either case, filling up your phone’s storage capacity isn’t going to make the device explode or spontaneously combust, but it will hurt your phone’s performance. Keeping your phone packed full of apps and data will slow it down. And of course, if the memory is full, you won’t have any room to download a new app or store a new video.