How to refresh a cell phone battery

Written by james stevens
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How to refresh a cell phone battery
(NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

All batteries, whatever their chemical composition, deteriorate over time, although recent improvements in battery technology and the introduction of lithium batteries have eradicated many of the problems associated with cell phone batteries. If you find your cell phone battery doesn't seem to hold a charge for long, then there are two methods you can use to refresh your battery, depending on the type of battery.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Cell phone battery charger

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Instructions

    Preparation

  1. 1

    Turn off your cell phone. Remove the battery cover. Cell phone battery covers usually slide off or unclip.

  2. 2

    Remove the battery from the cell phone. You need to lift it out of the battery compartment using your fingers.

  3. 3

    Check the label on your cell phone battery to determine if it's nickel- or lithium-based. It says NiCad, meaning nickel cadmium, or NiMH, meaning nickel metal hydride, if it's nickel-based. If it's lithium-based it says Li-ion, meaning lithium ion, or LiPo, meaning lithium polymer.

  4. 4

    Replace the battery into the cell phone. Put the battery cover back on the cell phone.

  5. 5

    Complete the steps in Section 2 if it's nickel-based. Complete the steps in Section 3 if it's lithium-based.

    Nickel-Based Battery

  1. 1

    Turn off your cell phone. Put your battery on charge in the usual way. Disconnect the charger once your cell phone indicates the battery is fully charged.

  2. 2

    Turn on your cell phone. Open as many applications on your cell phone as you can: Play music, videos and games. Browse the Internet if you have the capability. You must discharge your cell phone battery fully to refresh it. Let the battery discharge until your cell phone automatically turns off. Wait for half an hour or so, then turn on your cell phone. It powers up, despite having appeared to be dead half an hour earlier.

  3. 3

    Open a few applications, not too many, because you need to drain the remaining energy slowly. Let it operate until it turns off again. Wait 10 to 15 minutes, then turn on your cell phone. If it doesn't turn on, your battery is fully discharged. If it powers up, let it operate until it turns off, then repeat again until the cell phone doesn't turn on.

  4. 4

    Let the battery rest for 15 minutes, then plug in the charger. If your cell phone turns on when you plug in the charger, turn it off. It's important you charge the battery while the phone is off. Leave the battery to charge. It takes a lot longer than it did previously. This is because the crystals in the nickel-based battery have broken down during the full discharge and can now retain far more energy.

  5. 5

    Unplug the charger from the battery once your cell phone indicates it's fully charged. Turn on your cell and you will find your battery is refreshed and lasts much longer.

    Lithium-Based Battery

  1. 1

    Turn off your cell phone. Remove the battery cover and battery using the same method as before.

  2. 2

    Wait a couple of minutes. Insert your battery into the cell phone battery compartment. Replace the battery cover and then turn on your cell phone. Let it power up, then turn off the cell phone and remove the battery cover and battery. Removing the battery, then replacing it, can reset lithium batteries because each time the battery is replaced and the cell phone is turned on, the electrical current flowing between the two effectively "kick starts" the battery.

  3. 3

    Turn off your cell phone. Charge your battery in the usual way. Wait until the cell phone display indicates the battery is full.

  4. 4

    Turn on your cell phone and use it until the battery display says it's three-quarters full. Charge your battery: You don't need to turn it off. Let it charge until full, then use your cell phone.

  5. 5

    Repeat the procedure one more time. Lithium batteries, unlike nickel batteries, operate better if they are charged for short periods. Charge them as often as you can, but remember to disconnect the charger once it's charged. You will find your cell phone battery is refreshed and operates better and, if you are unable to charge it for a while, you will find it lasts much longer.

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