You’re just about to head out for the day and grab your phone—but you notice you forgot to charge it and your battery power is in the single digits. Here are some things you can do to juice up your phone, or at least make sure you don’t lose any more power.
How to charge your phone as quickly as possible
How to charge your phone as quickly as possible
Switch into airplane mode
A quick way to keep the battery from draining so quickly is to switch it into airplane mode. You won’t be able to get texts or search online, but you’ll save power because your phone won’t be constantly searching for a cellular or WiFi connection.
Turn it off
There’s no better way to make sure all the power goes directly to your battery than making sure there’s no competition for it, or leave your phone in low power mode. You can find it in settings on an iPhone or on Android phones, it’s known as battery saver mode.
Plug it into a wall socket
The USB port of your computer may be convenient when you’re working remotely, but an outlet will charge your phone faster. “This is because USB ports usually only charge at 0.5 amps, so it’s going to take twice the time to charge your phone than the 1 amp power adapter it came with,” according to Asurion. Plus, here’s why you shouldn’t charge your phone in your car.
Keep a charged battery back handy
For those situations when you know you’re going to be far from a traditional power source, buying a battery pack is a good idea. Just make sure to plan for it in advance, so you can charge the battery pack before you leave. After that, find out about some phone battery myths you should stop believing.
Get your phone out of the sun
Avoid exposing your phone to temperatures 95 degrees and higher, Apple advises. The heat can damage your battery capacity. In fact, your phone’s software may limit charging to about 80 percent when the phone gets hotter than the recommended temperature.
Take your phone out of the case
If you notice that your phone gets hot when you charge it, Apple suggests taking it out of its case before you charge it. “Charging your device when it’s inside certain styles of cases may generate excess heat, which can affect battery capacity.”
Clean out your lightning port
The problem may not be with the power of your battery itself. Over time, lint and dust can accumulate in your lightning port and clog it. (That’s where you plug your charger into your phone.) CNET recommends turning your phone off and using a toothpick to gently remove any debris from the port. Then plug in your charger again and see if it works better.
Use your Mac's power adaptor or iPad charger
If you have an iPhone, you can plug it directly into Apple 12W and 10W USB power adapters, according to Apple. Connect your device to the power adapter with the USB to Lightning cable or 30-pin to USB cable. Then find out about some iPhone hacks you never knew about.
Get a powerful wireless charger
For a quick juice boost, look for a charger with high wattage. “The higher the number of watts, the faster your device will charge,” Macworld reports. The typical chargers that come with iPhones and older Android phones carry one amp of current and produce five watts of power, according to the consumer blog Techlicious. But “new rapid chargers with technology such as Quick Charge support two amps and 12 watts or more, potentially charging your phone up to four times faster.” Check out more cell phone accessories that will make your life easier.
Use an Apple USB-C to Lightning Cable
Got a half hour to spare? If you have an iPhone 8 or later and an adapter, Apple’s USB-C Lightning Cable will allow you to charge your battery up to 50 percent of capacity. It’s compatible with Apple 18W, 29W, 30W, 61W, or 87W USB-C Power Adapter.
Get a wireless charging pad
Though wired charging is faster, wireless charging is also a good option. The Samsung Wireless Charging Pad can work with phones including the iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8, Techlicious notes. Now that you’re all charged up, find out some places you should never leave your phone.
It might be a pain to type a number into your phone each time you want to use it, but losing your phone without that protection could lead to a far greater headache. Given that Norton reports that 25 percent of smartphone users have had their phone lost or stolen, it's a smart move.
3. Use a "find your phone tool."
Certain software and apps, including Find My iPhone (and Find My Phone for Android), make it easy to find your phone if you lose it and help anyone who finds it to connect with you. Some programs, like Norton Mobile Security, also offer the option of locking and wiping your phone remotely if necessary.
4. Don't allow automatic connections.
Some smartphones are set up to automatically connect with available Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices. Disabling this option will prevent your phone from connecting and transmitting data without you realizing it.
5. Treat email and social media requests from strangers suspiciously.
Criminals might send friend requests to people they don't know to gather information about them. While most people will ignore or reject the request, a small portion will accept, and those are the people who criminals target. For example, they can use a seemingly harmless post, like the victim's photos from a restaurant meal, to then call the victim, impersonate the restaurant and request a credit card number in order to process a refund for an alleged overcharge.
6. Be a savvy shopper.
It's not wrong to shop from your phone, whether by browser or retailer app, but you should be extra careful with vendors you aren't familiar with, especially if the store initiated contact through an email, text message or social media site. You can always run a Web search on the company first, or visit the Better Business Bureau to check for any complaints.
7. Check privacy settings on apps.
Some apps request a lot of information from you, including your location and passwords or access to other apps or your text messages. If they don't need all of that information (and why would they?), then deny access.
8. Beware the package tracking scam.
If you're ordering a lot of packages online, you might not be too surprised to receive an email from what looks like a major retailer about a package that it couldn't deliver. But take a closer look, and you might notice that the email isn't actually from the domain name of that retailer. It's a common scam, and typically works by getting the recipient to click on a fraudulent link that then collects personal information. Don't click on it.
9. Avoid fraudulent Wi-Fi networks.
Call it the coffee shop problem: A fraudster sets up a Wi-Fi network that has a similar name to the coffee shop he's sitting in, but instead of simply providing free Wi-Fi, he's using the signal to collect information from the people around him who log onto the network. For example, a coffee shop user could use the shared Wi-Fi to log into his or her bank, and the fraudster could potentially access that banking information.
10. Use better passwords.
Consumers often reuse the same passwords for multiple sites, which can leave them vulnerable to hacking if one site gets broken into. Some passwords, like ones based on your birthday or mother’s maiden name, are easy to figure out. Anyone with access to your Facebook account, for example, can easily piece together basic family information.