With the constant release of new cell phones, we tend to switch phones frequently. When that happens, you may choose to keep your old device as a backup. How do you store a cell phone that you may not be using for a long time?
To store your cell phone, charge it up to between 40% and 80%. Place it inside an airtight bag or a plastic, wooden, or glass container in a dry and dark spot at room temperature. To avoid deep discharge, charge the phone battery every three months.
In this article, we go over some essential tips on how to store a cell phone and how to keep your old phone healthy.
How to prepare a phone or tablet for long-term storage?
You can prepare your phone or tablet for long-term storage in three simple steps:
Step 1: Charge your phone battery
Start by charging your phone battery to between 50% and a maximum of 60%. Now, you must be wondering why not fully charge the device or fully discharge it?
That’s because a fully discharged device is always in danger of falling into a deep discharge state.
Once your phone battery is in a deep discharge state, it’s very difficult to recharge because the battery cells have built higher resistance. In some cases, a deep discharge renders the phone battery incapable of further usage.
On the flip side, storing a fully charged battery for an extended period of time can lead to a shortened battery life due to loss of capacity.
Step 2: Power off the device
We recommend powering off the device before storing it for a long time. This will prevent further battery use and keep it at optimum health for longer.
Step 3: store it at an optimal temperature
Batteries should always be stored in a cool and dry environment. The temperature should not be freezing cold or boiling hot. The optimum temperature for storing a phone or tablet is 90° F (32° C).
In some cases, removing the battery from your device is also recommended, but whether you should remove the battery or not depends on the device.
For example, some devices have a power consumption of 0 when they’re powered off, but sometimes, the battery is over-discharged and damaged when stored for months.
To stay on the safe side, we recommend charging the battery every three to six months. That will keep the battery from over-discharging, and you will be able to check the phone’s health every now and then.
Storing away an unused cell phone with a non-removable battery
Non-removable (Li-Po) batteries usually have more capacity and charging cycles. Compared to removable batteries, they last much longer.
The method of storing an unused cell phone with a non-removable phone battery is pretty much the same as a removable battery. Here are a few things to keep in mind when storing an unused cell phone with a non-removable battery:
- Do not fully discharge the battery.
- Charge the mobile up to 50%.
- Store the mobile in a dry and dark place, ideally inside a container.
- Recharge the phone every three months.
For the longest life of the batteries, LiPos should be stored at room temperature, and at 3.8V per cell. Most modern computerized chargers have a LiPo Storage function that will either charge the batteries up to that voltage or discharge them down to that voltage – whichever is necessary.
How to store an unused cell phone battery?
Storing an unused cell phone battery is different from storing a used phone battery.
In comparison with alkaline and Ni-MH batteries, Lithium-ion or Lithium-Polymer batteries have a shorter shelf life of about four years.
The biggest threat to keeping a phone healthy while stored is environmental factors such as weather and humidity – see below.
Remove the battery from the cell phone
If your cell phone has a removable battery, storing it separately from the device can be a good idea as it will have a better chance of lasting longer.
Store at or below room temperature
Just like milk, batteries also go bad after some time, especially if they’re kept in an unfavorable environment. Batteries should always be kept in a dry place, away from humidity and sunlight, and at low temperature.
You may have heard that storing batteries in the refrigerator is a good idea. It’s Not! Not only is the temperature too low, but the condensation from the refrigerator will also damage it.
Ensure that the battery is safely contained
Batteries and metal objects don’t play well together. Make sure not to store your phone battery in the same container as a metallic object. That can cause leakage and rupture of the battery.
Ideally, store your battery in a tight vapor-proof box to keep the moisture away.
Rechargeable lithium batteries should be stored at or below 50% charging. Charging the battery to a hundred percent will lead to shorter battery life, and below 40% can cause the battery to go into a deep discharge state, which can lead to several anomalies.
How to keep an old phone healthy?
It’s hard to resist the attraction of a brand new smartphone, however old smartphones can have a very decent lifespan.
Most modern smartphones come with solid battery life, good camera, and performance. If you love your smartphone, you’ll be happy to know that you can keep your phone healthy for up to a few years.
Here are five ways to keep your phone in good state for several years.
Update the software regularly
Every mobile company releases regular updates to fix security issues, software bugs, and improve performance. Make sure that you regularly update your phone to keep it in the best shape.
Most mobile phones can seamlessly support software updates for up to four years before it slows down too much and a phone upgrade is desirable. Until then, never miss a software update on your phone.
Free up space
Most people never delete anything. Whether it’s an app or a random picture, once it gets into the phone, it stays there. It’s a very bad practice when you want to keep your phone healthy. It’s also one of the reasons why people upgrade their phones.
Your videos and pictures can take up a lot more space than you realize. storing them on Cloud storage will not only free extra space in your phone but also back up your data in a safe location.
You can use Google Photos on an Android phone or Apple Photos on your iOS to store pictures.
Deleting unnecessary applications can also free up a ton of space. Scroll through the list of apps and delete ones that you don’t use. You’ll be surprised by the sheer number of unused applications on your phone.
To delete an application on your Android device:
- Open Settings > Apps.
- Open Manage Apps and scroll through the list of apps, and select the ones you don’t use.
- Now, select Uninstall to delete the application.
After uninstalling, go back to the applications list, and scroll around to find more apps that are hogging storage. Uninstall them one by one.
Optimize Battery Life
In some cases, the battery life of a mobile seems worse than it is because an application is eating up a lot of battery. You can find out which applications are using your battery life, and remove or limit their usage.
To check battery usage in an iPhone:
- Open Settings > Battery.
- Scroll down to the Battery Usage by App section.
- Remove applications that are unnecessary, or limit their usage.
To check battery usage in an Android:
- Open Settings.
- Type “Battery” in the search bar on top of the screen, and select the top result.
- Now, scroll down to find the list of apps draining your phone battery.
If a specific app is draining too much battery, either uninstall the application or take appropriate actions to limit its battery usage.
Get a battery replacement
If you have an iPhone, you’re in luck because Apple offers a battery replacement program to keep your old devices running for longer.
But before heading over to get a battery replacement, check your battery health. To do that:
- Open Settings > Battery.
- Select Battery Health.
If the maximum capacity is below 90% or your iPhone is no longer performing properly, you can buy a replacement via the Apple battery replacement program.
If your iPhone is still under warranty, Apple will replace the battery for free.
Protect the phone
A cracked screen or damaged body are some pretty big motivators to upgrade. Some breakage is inevitable, but you can use a protector and case to protect your phone from damage. It’s a simple, cheap, and efficient solution.
How long to keep a phone?
An average smartphone lasts somewhere between two to three years, but the latest smartphones can last up to four years without any issues.
That said, if you want your phone to last longer, you need to take proper care of it. Here are a few tips to keep your phone up and running for longer:
- Use a mobile cover and protector to protect your phone’s screen and body.
- Charge the phone at 80% and don’t let the battery drain.
- Regularly update the mobile software.
- Declutter the phone, and delete unnecessary apps and data from time to time.
Will my data stay healthy in a stored device?
In a stored device, the data in the internal storage remains intact. However, the RAM data is wiped as soon as the device is turned off. When you restart the device, you will have to reopen everything again.
How to store an SD card from an unused phone?
An SD card is one of the most durable and popular ways to store data long-term. However, to store anything long-term, we need to take a few precautions. Let’s take a look at a few ways to store an SD card from an unused phone.
SD cards usually come in a small plastic case, which is a good container to store the card long term. Putting it inside the case will minimize touching and damaging the card.
That said, these cases generally aren’t waterproof, so make sure to store them in a dry place.
We also recommend placing the SD card out of the reach of children. It’s a very small component and can be easily swallowed by a child.