Similar to you, your smartphone hates being cold. When exposed to extremely cold temperatures, your phone’s battery tends to lose juice much faster. 

With temperatures in the US recently plummeting way below zero and with the wintery weather now following suit in the UK, you may have noticed that the battery percentage on your phone is dropping much quicker than normal.

We have rounded up simple tips you can follow to help your battery live up to its full potential when cold and explain exactly why it loses power more quickly.

How does cold weather affect my phone battery?

No different to the battery in your car, the battery within your phone will work less efficiently in colder temperatures.

According to Time, the severe cold weather can cause internal resistance within the battery. The type of battery used in the majority of phones, known as lithium-ion batteries, are particularly vulnerable to the effect of cold weather.

When exposed to cold temperatures, the performance of lithium-ion batteries suffer. These batteries store chemical energy until it is required to power or charge your device and then transforms this chemical energy into electrical energy. However, internal resistance can occur, which results in a slower conversion process and smaller overall capacity.

As an issue that is only temporary, the battery should perform like normal as soon as the device has returned to warmer temperatures.

Do you want to make the battery on your phone last longer when it is cold? Follow these simple steps:
  • Switch your device to ‘Low Power Mode’ – Low Power Mode will reduce the amount of power your phone is using when your battery gets low. You can find this in Settings > Battery.
  • Turn off all unnecessary apps – Some apps need to run in the background for certain things to function. However, if you are not using the app it may be draining your battery. You can either turn off, disable or uninstall the app completely in Settings.
  • Wait to charge your phone – Apple discusses that charging your device in high ambient or extreme temperatures can cause further damage. For tips on how to charge your phone correctly, visit Battery Charging Basics.
  • Keep it in your pocket or bag –  Following a step as simple as keeping your device in your pocket or bag can help to protect it from cold weather and enable your phone to benefit from your body heat. If your coat has an inside pocket, then it’s even better to place it in there.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi and location services – Wi-Fi and location services use up power, so turn them off to reduce your phone’s battery usage. Again, this can be done in Settings.
  • Invest in an insulated phone case – If you do find yourself needing to get your phone out in cold temperatures then look at investing in an insulated case. ClimateCase is easy-to-use and can protect your phone from extreme conditions for hours.
  • Turn your phone off – If it’s possible, just turn your phone off. Devices like iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches have a safe working temperature range of about 0° to 35° C. When your phone is not in use and has been turned off, this safe range increases to -20° to 45° C.

Has the performance of your phone dropped during winter so far? Have you noticed any differences? Let us know in the comments below.

If you are looking for gadgets to help your device work to its full potential, be sure to visit our website now to view our full range of mobile phone accessories. 

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  1. damn, you nailed it, This is a common issue and I thought I ll never find anything on phone battery like this on google, I have a youtube channel, and I was looking for better ideas, Thank you

  2. I knew about internal resistance in phones battery but my friend never believed this,Wow.
    very intersting and informative, good

  3. […] temperatures, whether its heat or cold, can have a big impact on your device and it’s capabilities. With the arrival of summer, make […]

  4. Thank you for the tips. This will definitely help my phone running longer in the coming winter months.

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