You know that anxious feeling when the “low battery” notification pops up on your screen? There’s something about it that can send your mind into a tailspin. Even worse, sometimes you don’t have your charger, and you’re nowhere near an outlet! Luckily, there’s a handy tool out there to keep you fully charged: the power bank.
If you’re looking to learn the basics of power banks, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get right into it!
How to Charge a Power Bank
Charging a power bank is pretty straightforward, especially since most of them come with instruction manuals. However, if yours didn’t come with one, you can still charge it without breaking a sweat!
Here is the best way to charge a power bank:
- Step One: Attach the cable to the power bank.
- Step Two: Connect the other side of the cable to your power source.
- Step Three: Your power bank should begin charging.
- Step Four: Once charged, unplug the power bank from the wall and your phone.
Attach the cable that came with your power bank to the device itself. Most of the time, the port that connects to your power bank is a micro USB.
Next, plug in the other side of the cable (usually a standard USB) into your wall plug or your computer. Some wall outlets even have USB ports built in, so if you have one of those nearby, you won’t need a wall adapter!
Your power bank should start charging. If it has an indicator light, keep a close eye on it. Once it is fully charged, all the indicator lights will illuminate.
Unplug the charger from the wall or your computer once all indicator lights are illuminated.
How Often Should You Charge Your Power Bank?
A general rule of thumb is that the more you charge your power bank, the shorter the lifespan of the device. You should charge your power bank only as often as is necessary. If you use your power bank sparingly, at least charge it once every 3 months to keep the battery active.
Can I Use My Phone While Charging?
There shouldn’t be any harm in using your cell phone while it is charging. You may notice your phone getting a bit warm, but this is expected. It’s worth noting, however, that using your phone while it is charging may not result in a 100% charged battery since you are actively using the power source before the charge is complete. If you want your cell phone to be fully charged, it’s best to leave it alone while it powers up!
Why Do Some Power Banks Take Longer to Charge?
Some power banks take longer to charge because larger batteries have a bigger capacity to store energy. For example, a high capacity power bank with 20,000 mAh can take up to 40 hours to charge fully. Smaller power banks with 4,000 mAh may only take a couple hours to charge.
Think of it like a shot glass versus a tall drinking glass. It’s going to take a lot longer for a drinking glass to fill with water than it will for the shot glass!
How Long Should You Charge a Power Bank?
You should only charge your power bank for the amount of time it takes for it to get a full battery. Once the device is fully charged, you should unplug it from the power source. You can check the user manual to find out how your power bank indicates it has been fully charged, but most of them have some sort of light that shows the amount of power left in the battery.
The amount of time it takes for a power bank to reach its full capacity varies depending on the type. A heavy-duty power bank will take longer to charge than a smaller one. Generally speaking, it takes between 1 to 2 hours for a power bank to become fully charged!
Did You Know?
There are super powerful power banks on the market that allow you to power larger devices like televisions, curling irons, and oscillating fans!
Can I Charge My Power Bank Overnight?
You should avoid charging your power bank overnight whenever possible. It is unlikely to cause significant damage, but there is still a chance it could reduce the lifespan of your battery over time.
For lower-quality power banks, leaving your power bank plugged in after it is fully charged can cause overheating, especially if they are left to charge in direct sunlight. The safest option is to always unplug your power bank once it has reached full capacity!
How Can You Make Your Phone Charge Faster?
If you ever find yourself in need of a quick battery charge for your smartphone, there are a few steps you can take to make your phone charge faster. Always make sure your charging cables are plugged all the way in and your power bank has enough power to charge your phone.
Here are some tips to make your phone charge faster:
- Turn on airplane mode
- Don’t use your phone while charging
- Turn your phone off
- Use a high-capacity power bank
- Don’t use a wireless charger
Turn on Airplane Mode
Putting your phone on airplane mode is a surefire way to reduce charging time. This is because the setting turns off your phone’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular capabilities, which are all settings that drain your power! When your device is on airplane mode, it’s consuming less power, which makes for a quicker charge.
Don’t Use Your Phone While Charging
Using your phone while it’s charging is going to increase the amount of time it takes for your battery to be fully powered. It may be difficult to resist the urge to send that text message or check Instagram, but it’s worth the sacrifice if you want your phone to be fully charged!
Turn Your Phone Off
This strategy works similar to airplane mode because it turns off all the components in your phone that would otherwise be using your battery. When your phone is powered off, it’s able to reach a full charge much faster. Keeping your phone on while it’s charging is like trying to sleep while you’re hungry or thirsty—it’s going to be much more difficult!
Use a High-Capacity Power Bank
Some power banks are more powerful than others. The heavy-duty ones are going to make your phone charge much faster than the smaller ones! However, not all phones can handle a high-powered portable charger. It’s best to contact the manufacturer of your cell phone to see what they recommend. Charging your battery with too much power is never a good idea!
Don’t Use a Wireless Charger
Wireless chargers are a genius invention, but they’re not the best option if your goal is to charge your phone quickly. Plugging your phone in directly to a power bank or outlet is the quickest way to bring it back to life because it’s directly connected to the power source!
At the end of the day, any way you can prevent your phone from using battery while charging will ultimately help it charge faster! You might also notice your phone charging slowly with a low-capacity power bank. Be sure that your phone and power bank are compatible for the most efficient charging.
How Long Do Power Banks Last?
The amount of time a power bank lasts varies from product to product, but on average, a power bank should last at least a couple hundred charging cycles.
If you use your power bank frequently, you’re going to consume more charging cycles than someone who only uses their power bank occasionally. There are more durable power banks out there than can last upwards of 1,000 charging cycles, but most of the smaller ones on the market have a lifespan of 200 or 300 cycles. The age of the power bank also has a significant impact on how long it lasts. As the batteries inside of the device age, they become less effective.
How to Keep a Power Bank When Not in Use
Power banks should always be stored in a cool location that isn’t exposed to direct sunlight, such as a desk drawer. According to Battery University, batteries achieve optimum service life if used at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, or slightly below that temperature.
If you store your power bank in direct sunlight or a warm environment like the glove box in your car, it won’t last as long. It’s also best to store your power bank in a pouch or case when not in use. This helps protect the charging ports so they do not accumulate dust or debris!
Should You Buy a Power Bank?
If you’re always on the go or find yourself with a low battery, you should buy a power bank! They come in handy during vacations, trade shows, plane rides, or any time you are using your phone away from an outlet. The type of power bank you’ll need depends on your lifestyle and how many devices you need to charge.
There’s no reason to not invest in a power bank. They’re like an extra insurance policy for your phone’s battery! Having one with you just in case is always a good idea.
The Bottom Line
Power banks make our lives a bit easier by ensuring we never run out of juice. By using them properly, you’re not only protecting the power bank, but you’re also getting the most out of your investment! A properly cared-for power bank will get you through those long meetings and plane rides. Just think of all the adventures you’ll go on while still having peace of mind!
Discharging at High and Low Temperatures. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2020, from
Summerson, C. (2017, December 4). Is Wireless Charging Slower Than Wired Charging? Retrieved March 27, 2020, from
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