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It is a commonly held misconception that keeping your phone plugged into the charger overnight will damage the battery. Though that may have been true in the past, that is no longer the case with today’s smartphones.

These days, smartphones are smart enough to not let a power overload happen. They are fitted with extra protection chips inside to prevent that from happening. Once the smartphone’s battery reaches full capacity, it will stop charging automatically.

Therefore, it’s okay for you to leave your smartphone plugged into the charger overnight without worrying about overloading or overcharging the battery. Once it’s full, it will stop charging and only allow a small trickle of power to prevent the battery level from dipping below 100%.

The downside of charging your smartphone overnight

Although it’s perfectly safe to leave your smartphone plugged into the charger overnight, there are some drawbacks to doing so.


Trickle-charging undoubtedly causes a smartphone to heat up a bit, but not to a dangerous level. However, if you don’t take some precautions, your phone could get very hot.

For example, because a phone heats up when it charges, you need to give it room to breathe. Place it on a hard, flat surface in an open area and not under your pillow. It could get very hot.

It will most likely not blow up, but it could create some damage over time.

Battery degradation

Li-ion batteries are bound to decay over time. That’s just how they are. Whether they’re charging or discharging, everything they do wastes away their lifespan. How quickly or slowly the degradation process takes place depends on your actions.

The reality is that Li-ion batteries actually suffer from stress when constantly at a full state of charge. And if it’s in such a state continuously day after day, month after month, then its capacity will drop.

It’s not something immediate and probably won’t bother you if you switch phones every couple of years. However, it can be quite problematic in the long run.

So, although leaving your smartphone charging overnight won’t necessarily melt it, it can hasten the decay process of the battery.

Best practices for charging overnight

As previously mentioned, today’s smartphones have the technology to automatically stop the charge when the battery is full. So, you don’t have to worry about overloading the battery. But to help prolong the lifespan of your smartphone and battery, you can try some of the suggestions below.

Don’t charge all night

To stay on the safe side, it’s best not to charge your phone all night if you’re worried about the long-term effects of trickle charging. Rather, plan your night so that, depending on how fast your phone charges, you can get it charged and unplugged before you go to sleep.

Use a smart plug


If it’s the constant trickle of power you’re worried will quickly decay your battery, then consider charging your smartphone using a smart plug. A smart plug can be controlled by an app and programmed to switch off after a certain period. 

So, when you go to bed, you can schedule the plug to cut off power to the phone after however long it will take to fully charge the battery.

Smart plugs are quite affordable and readily available on Amazon. Just make sure you buy one that’s suitable for your region.

Unplug the charger

If you’re the type that wakes up in the middle of the night, a cost-effective solution for you would be to simply unplug the phone whenever you get up. It’s all the same, both ways help you deal with the issue of trickle-charging.

Keep the phone cool and ventilated

The best thing you can do is to make sure that your phone is getting enough air circulation while charging in order to keep the phone’s temperature at bay. For example, stacking charging devices on top of each other increases the combined heat they generate. So, separate your tech when charging them.

Another thing you might want to consider doing is taking your phone out of its protective case when charging it overnight just to allow it to breathe a bit.

Use a reliable charger

A major thing you need to keep in mind is the quality of the charger and the cables you’re using. It is best to work with charging accessories from the manufacturer or ones that are certified in some way. Cheap, knock-off cables and connectors can be shoddy and lead to some problems.

And while on the topic of chargers, consider using a slow charger when charging overnight. It’s less likely to heat up your smartphone and it will take even longer to fully charge your phone, thus decreasing the trickle-charging time.

Should the battery drop 0% before every charge?

phone charging a flat battery

Some people choose to charge their phones overnight because they want to make sure that the battery gets a full charge during the night. They drain the battery all the way down to zero and then plug it in to charge all the way to 100% while they sleep.

The question is: is it necessary to always drain the battery all the way down to zero before you charge it overnight?

While this may have been common practice back in the days when cell phones had nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cad) batteries, smartphones these days use lithium-ion (Li-ion), which work differently. Letting the battery level drop to 0% before charging it wears out a Li-ion battery even faster, it does not prolong it.

Rather than letting your smartphone die completely before charging it to full capacity, it is best to keep the battery topped up with small charges. If you constantly do full cycle charges, soon the battery will stop taking as much charge, and it will lose it faster.


Charging your mobile phone throughout the night will not overload the battery or blow it up. However, too much charging can be bad for the battery in the long run. So, if you want to prolong the life of your phone’s battery, you need to take good care of it.

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