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Why You Need to Stop Charging Your Phone Overnight

...And other surprising ways you're shortening the life of your smart devices.

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Phone on vibrateFabrikaSimf/

You use vibrations for notifications

Your phone, like any other tool or device, ages and loses effectiveness the more you use it, says David Steele, the Director of Business Development for EverydayPhone. So little extras, like vibrating notifications, are habits that make your phone’s job harder. “The issue with these habits essentially boils down to having your phone constantly running at full capacity when it’s unnecessary,” Steele says. “Just like us, a phone needs a break to avoid burning out.”

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PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - NOVEMBER 17, 2015: A close-up photo of Apple iPhone 5s start screen with apps icons.Lukas Gojda/Shutterstock

You keep apps open that you’re not using

Unused apps can eat up the battery life of both iPhones and Androids, according to Andrew Moore-Crispin, the Director of Content at Ting Mobile. “If you open an app once and never use it again, the app might still run in the background,” he says. Swiping out of apps you aren’t using or no longer need is an easy solution. Moore-Crispin says doing so extends the battery life of your phone while also freeing up valuable storage space, too.

Find out how to stop spam texts on an iPhone or Android.

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Young couple ride sharing in Uber back seatmentatdgt/

You allow unnecessary permissions

Ride-sharing apps need your location to pick you up, but other apps might not need this permission. Moore-Crispin suggests you be picky about which apps you grant such permissions to and take away permissions you deem unnecessary.

Find out how to clear cookies from your phone (and why you should).

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Sankt-Petersburg, Russia, September 24, 2017: iphone 6s plus with icons of social media on screen. Smartphone life style smartphone. Starting social media app.BigTunaOnline/Shutterstock

You have one of these apps

The apps that drain your battery the most are Snapchat, Google Maps, Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook, according to AdWeek. The Guardian found that uninstalling the Facebook mobile app from Android phones saves people up to 20 per cent of their battery life. If you also get rid of the FB Messenger app, other app load times could speed up by 15 per cent, per the Guardian. The reason Facebook particularly kills battery life is because it keeps running in the background—even when you’re not using it, Business Insider reports.

Here’s why you need to stop commenting on those viral Facebook memes.

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cute young girl sits in the dark at night, can not fall asleep and looks into her smartphonenelen/Shutterstock

Your screen is always extremely bright

Gone are the days of tiny phone screens, but before you give the thumbs up emoji, understand how the bigger screens of today can be a phone battery’s worst enemy, according to Moore-Crispin. Make sure you turn on adaptive brightness in the display menu. This change means your phone will automatically adjust the screen brightness to match your environment. As a bonus, set the brightness level to the lowest possible and lower your screen’s timeout, which is what determines how long it stays lit before fading when it goes idle.

Here’s how to tell if your phone’s been hacked.

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Beach Towel, mobile phone and sunscreen on the beachVCoscaron/Shutterstock

You keep your phone out at the beach

Extreme heat or extreme cold temperatures and other weather conditions can shorten the life of your phone. According to Time, excess heat can cause everything from data loss or corruption to battery leakage. Cold weather presents just as many issues. In cold temperatures, some smartphones shut off, have display problems, or run out of battery; in rare cases screens may shatter.

Considering selling or recycling your old model? Findout how to delete absolutely everything on your iPhone.

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Man sleeping with phone in bedLadanifer/

You keep your phone in your bed or under your pillow

Tucking your phone under your pillow when you sleep is another way to shorten its life, thanks to heat build up.

Find out 20 things you’re doing before bed that sabotage your sleep.

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Phone charging overnight with power cord on bedtomeqs/

You leave your phone plugged in

Keeping your phone plugged in when it has a full battery causes damage to the battery itself, according to It’s not that your phone “overloads” with power; it’s that heat buildup damages the battery. This can be even worse if you use knock-off cables, reports

Learn to spot the signs your phone is about to die.

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Surprising ways you're shortening the life of your phone - man using phoneShutterstock

You charge your phone 100 per cent overnight

Waking up to a fully charged phone may seem like a great way to start the day, but leaving your device plugged in overnight is a bad idea. When a phone has reached 100 per cent charge, it will continue to get trickle charges to keep it topped up at 100 percent. These extra charges keep the battery working non-stop.

This is why you should never charge your phone in rental cars.

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PHUKET, THAILAND - JAN 25, 2019: white apple iphone se with ios updated holding by right hand with blurred bokeh background, apple icon and status bar on screenkaranik yimpat/Shutterstock

You don’t keep your software up to date

Putting off device updates does more harm than good for your phone. iPhone and Android makers push updates to make your user experience better and so that your phone functions properly. These updates come with extra benefits, too. In fact, if your device has a weak battery or other issues, these software updates could remedy them, Popular Science reports. Make sure to keep up with app-specific updates as well.

Next, check out 40 brilliant iPhone tricks you’ll wish you’d known sooner.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest