Charging overnight? Is the contrary advice unfounded?

I’ve seen several vlogs and search results lately saying we should charge our phones overnight.

Is this just fake news/false scares/duff advice? I charge all my devices overnight and never really worry.

Catie L


Leaving them charging over night is another fire hazard, as they are being actively charged. If something breaks and you are asleep, the first you’ll know about it is when the smoke alarm goes off.

I charge mine in the mornings, before I go to work. I get up at 5:30 to go with the dog, then I let the phone charge between 6:15 and 7:15, before I take into the bathroom to listen to my audio books or podcasts, whilst getting ready for work.

My wife is paranoid about leaving things on over night. She has an eBike that has 2 batteries, she charges them when she comes home from work, but if they aren’t fully charged by the time we go to bed, she will either wait or unplug them and plug them back in when she gets up in the morning.

The chances of an explosion or fire are really tiny, but it is still good advice to not charge them when they can’t be monitored.


WRT the risk of fire do you unplug every electrical device at night or just some ?


We used to physically turn off everything our unplug, before going to bed.

With Android TV that is no longer practical.

Many devices these days only have a soft off, so they have to be unplugged. We unplug everything that charges batteries, laptop, phone, chargers etc. or doesn’t need power. The kettle gets unplugged and all lights, naturally. But the fridge gets left on. The network infrastructure gets left on, the NAS runs 24/7 but the PCs are shut down.

She even unplugs the tuble drier when it isn’t in use.


I charged all my devices overnight, but if I somehow realized it’s full I unplug it. I do worry about they being caught on fire, but it’s a modern day risk I’m taking on every night…:sweat_smile:


Thank you. I know fire fighters turn lots off when away from house or overnight. Personally we turn nothing off and charge overnigth.


A good reminder. We live in a thatched cottage, so a bit OTT with this. I avoid leaving stuff charging overnight or when we are out, although Isabelle insists on having her iPhone sat on a wireless charging pad at night :-1:t2: Can’t win that battle :grinning:

Talking about laptop batteries, did I hear @Leo mention yesterday that they were not allowing the 2015 MBP on flights? The model Apple recalled for battery issues? I’m over in the USA in a couple of weeks, annoying if I can’t take my laptop.


This article suggests so:
Good luck convincing them yours isn’t one of the affected ones or has been fixed…


On past episodes of the Tech Guy - Leo has talked about leaving his phone plugged in much of the time (during the day while he is at work)- claiming that overcharging does not happen and the device is fine that way…

However, I do know that one is not supposed to go below 20% on a lithium ion rechargeable battery, or it can damage it (don’t drain it past that point). I use rechargeable lithium ion batteries for flashlights - and i knew about that from those batteries, even before I ever got my 1st smart phone.

I used to leave mine charged in over night - then I read a couple of articles about leaving them plugged in at 100% for a long time can damage the battery. Then, you will also read several articles stating to not charge past 80% - to unplug it when it hits 80% - because that final 20% stresses the battery more.

I think, in truth, that everyone has their own opinion. You can find news articles on the net for all of those points of view I just posted, and probably many other suggestions. You just gotta make up your own mind, because it seems that there is not one definitive answer.


These are two separate issues: which is better for the battery and which is better for not burning your house down.

We’ve all been pretty casual about the risk posed by LiON batteries. And honestly I’ve never ever had a problem - and I leave everything plugged in all the time.

On the other hand, on the cruise ship they told us to unplug everything when we were away from the cabin, and the cabin stewards did so regularly. Clearly a fire on a ship is pretty serious but I wonder if they’re overreacting.

I think ever since the problems with hoverboards and the Note 7 people are perhaps a little overcautious?

This would be a good question for Ask the Tech Guy!


I think the problem for ships and planes is that they only need one person to have a cheap knockoff battery with no protection circuitry for the worst case to happen, so they have to assume the worst at all times.

Edit: This is also related to the main reason I always advocate buying replacement batteries from the original manufacturer - if anything goes wrong and (God forbid) there’s a fire, you’re in a much stronger position with insurance and the like if you have evidence that you bought approved batteries from the manufacturer if replaceable, or had the manufacturer replace them for something like an iPhone. Saving on a battery is going to be pretty pointless if you have an insurance claim rejected because of it.

Even more true for big-capacity lithium ion batteries like those in Roombas. I always get them from iRobot, and although they say to leave on constant charge, I have them on timers so they are never on charge while I’m asleep.

These days the only thing that I do charge overnight is my phone, on a slow charger, and on the nightstand so I have a good chance of knowing quickly if something goes wrong. I used to charge a lot of things overnight, but not now.


I have MBP 15 also, I’ve just checked, luckily mine is not one affected, according to the verification at the page below:

Just type in the serial no. and see.


Thanks. Same here, mine’s not affected, but I can imagine trying to convince security it’s OK to take onboard might be fun! Will have a rethink, maybe take the MBA and an external drive instead.


I have an XS Max and it seems to be quite intelligent about battery charging. It has decided to only charge to 80% at normal rate, and it knows when I get up in a morning, so last night at 11pm it told me my battery would be 100% at 6 am, when I require it. So the phone can, and does, regulate the supply to the battery, unless your charging circuits, chargers, or leads are faulty, no problems.


Good heavens, I have tech all over my house and it’s all plugged in. I never power down my computers unless I have a problem. We have three iPhones and an iPod that all get charged overnight plus two iPads and an Android tablet.

One thing I DO do is buy high quality chargers. Brands I know and trust. It’s about all I can do because if felt I had to be present and attentive to every device I am charging, I’d be doing nothing else!:joy::joy::joy:


We follow our fire brigade advice if we can. We prob have a lower risk threshold than most due to what our house is constructed from. Anything with a battery in it (except the pesky iPhone!) gets its charger turned off.

Even with big-brand gear, it can develop a fault or get damaged. We’ve had chargers cracked by furniture, cables with damaged insulation, cables shorting etc.


Leo has just recorded an Ask the Tech Guy on Lithium Ion batteries, and mentioned that all decent chargers will avoid overcharging a battery left plugged in by stopping charging when it gets to 100% and letting it discharge a little before topping it up again. Attached is a charging graph from my phone, showing it charging overnight from a low-rate Samsung charger. You can see that when it gets to 100% it allows several fairly coarse discharge / top-up cycles followed by lots of little on/off cycles to keep it topped up without being continuously charged.

The reason I use a Samsung charger on my Moto phone for overnight charging is that my Moto chargers are all high-rate, which will make the battery quite hot in the initial fast-charge cycle. The Samsung, being low-rate, makes very little difference to the battery temperature, which is ideal given that there’s no need for quick charging overnight.