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Terry’s Tech Support: Should I Always Completely Discharge The Battery On My Gadget?, PKMousie

I love writing about technology, but the analytics show that my readers just don’t care when I proselytizing for the latest Apple gadget or the new must-have gizmo, so I’ve decided to use my tech writing powers for good and shine some light on the more common tech myths. These are myths that you’ve all probably heard, and in a lot of cases took to as fact.

So here at Terry’s Tech Support I’ll try to take the myth out of Tech Myths.

Is It Bad For My Device Not To Fully Discharge The Battery Before Recharging It?

I’ve heard this one a lot. In fact, when I purchased my iPhone 4 the first piece of advice was that I run the battery dead, recharge it fully, and then run it dead again. The thought behind this advice was based on the idea that batteries have a “memory” and unless you use them completely, it will create a recharge cycle that lessens the life of your device.

This particular myth—that you should fully discharge your battery every time you use it—is left over from old nickel cadmium batteries that suffer from a memory effect no longer present in modern lithium batteries.

In fact, according to an article at Lifehacker, lithium batteries work better when you discharge them for a little bit and then charge them for a little bit. Draining them dead too often can shorten your battery’s lifespan.

However you should discharge your battery completely at least once a month. Not for battery life per se, but because most modern batteries are “smart batteries.” This means they can tell you how long they have before they die. Sometimes this feature can become miscalibrated and a complete battery discharge can reset it.

So, should you always completely discharge your battery? No. And in fact that can do more harm for your battery than good.

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