Why It's (Usually) Okay to Charge Your Phone Overnight

Lithium ion batteries stop charging when they're full.

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Jul 26 2016, 11:00am

If you're like me, you've probably never questioned whether or not you should charge your phone overnight. It always seemed like a no brainer: It's the only opportunity throughout the day for your phone battery to get to 100 percent.

But, according to this video by Android Authority, charging your phone overnight is only a good idea if you have the right kind of battery.

Nowadays, most phones and other tech devices—Androids, iPhones, iPads, laptops, and so on—use lithium ion batteries. These batteries are thinner, lighter, more compact, and can hold more power than their nickel-based counterparts like the cylinder batteries you might buy at a general store.

Luckily, the video's short answer to whether you should charge your phone overnight is yes.

The caveat to the answer, however, has to do with the temperature of the device. Batteries are sensitive to both extreme cold and extreme heat. Lithium ion batteries warm up as they charge. The issue is whether, once the battery charges, if the device has a way to reroute the electrical current still streaming into the battery when it's plugged in.

Luckily, most smartphones will stop charging when the battery reaches its full capacity and run off the electrical current until the phone is unplugged. The moral is: Don't worry about charging overnight.

And a friendly tip from the video: To extend the longevity of your phone battery, always keep it charged between 10 and 90 percent, without letting it drain or fill up completely. But who's going to wake up in the middle of the night to make sure that happens?