Figuring out how to use and care for your smart phone can seem a minefield, but it turns out one simple aspect of phone care might be shaving years off the life of your phone: charging.

If your charging routine is as simple as plugging in the phone and walking away, you might be causing serious damage.

Here are five common mistakes people make when charging their mobile phones.

Mistake 1: You let your phone die first

iPhones have a Lithium ion battery, which becomes volatile when they drop to low power. Avoid letting the battery drop too low by carrying a spare charger in your car or handbag. Apple advises you to only let your phone run out of power every one to two months to “calibrate” the battery gauge.

Mistake 2: You leave the case on when charging

If your phone feels hotter than usual after charging it might be because of your case. Some phone cases are made from materials that trap the heat in, which is a no-no when charging. Slide the case off to avoid overheating.

Mistake 3: You charge it to 100 per cent

Contrary to popular belief, maintaining a full charge is actually not the best way to care for your phone. Indeed, some experts believe your phone functions most efficiently when it’s running at between 30 and 80 per cent. So, for those who get stressed when their phone dips below 90 per cent, relax.

Mistake 4: You use the wrong charger

This might seem like an obvious error but you’d be surprised how many people use unofficial products to charge their phone. For example, Apple chargers are designed to cut the power when your phone reaches full battery, but cheaper imitations may not offer the same function, and could keep flooding your phone with power well after the battery is full. 

Mistake 5: You neglect your spare phone

If you’ve still got your old phone stashed away just in case your current phone malfunctions, make sure you’ve charged it properly. Store it in a cool place and ensure it’s half-charged before switching if off. Apple says phones that are left with a depleted battery enter a “deep discharge state,” which damages the phone and will make it harder to revive later. 

Article created in partnership with Over60