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How Do You Keep Your Phone from Dying in the Cold?

Tech - by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 12/22/2020

Phone being held outside while it is snowing

Winter is not a great time for cell phones. Cold temperatures have a negative impact on your phone’s battery, which can lead to unexpected shutdowns. Fortunately, the effects are only temporary and can be avoided by following a few basic tips. Here are answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about how cold affects your cell phone’s performance.

Does the cold kill your phone battery?

Not permanently, no. Cold temperatures increase a lithium battery’s impedance, which reduces the amount of power it can deliver. High impedance can greatly affect the battery’s voltage and overall power. The good news is that these effects are only temporary, and your phone’s performance should return to normal once it has warmed up.

Why does the cold make your phone shut down?

As mentioned above, cold reduces the power of your battery. If the battery in your phone has become chemically aged, the effects of the cold will be greater, which can cause your phone to shut down suddenly.

Wait a second, chemical aging? What’s that?

Chemical aging refers to a combination of factors that impact your battery’s overall lifespan. These factors include the number of charge cycles the battery has gone through in addition to how well it has been cared for.

As a lithium-ion battery begins to chemically age, the amount of charge it is capable of holding will decrease, resulting in a shorter performance time before it needs to be recharged. For tips on getting the most out of your phone’s battery life cycle, consult our cell phone charging guide.

How cold is too cold for a cell phone?

There’s no set temperature at which a phone will start to malfunction. Your phone’s performance in winter conditions depends largely on the health of the battery itself. If your battery has experienced chemical aging (there’s that term again), it will be more susceptible to the impact of cold. As a general rule, users should try to keep their phones between 32° and 95° F.

What should you do if your phone is getting too cold?

There are a number of different ways to safely raise your phone’s temperature. The most obvious is to bring the phone indoors. You can also place your phone in a pocket to bring it back up to a standard operating temperature.

It’s important to note that you should never place your phone onto a source of direct heat such as an oven, stove top or microwave. In fact, any temperature over 113° F is too hot for your phone to handle and can cause potential damage.

What should you do if your phone is broken?

Despite our best efforts, accidents do happen. If your phone has a broken screen, port, button or some other damage, bring it to the experts at your nearest Batteries Plus Bulbs. Our stores offer fast, convenient cell phone repair service, including cell phone screen repair, cell phone battery replacement and other fixes for your Apple, Samsung or other major brand device. Schedule your appointment online today.