Watch CBS News

How to keep your phone from dying in freezing weather

Cold winter temperatures make a lot of things difficult, from travel to just getting the mail, and it even has an impact on our electronics
Impact of cold weather on electronic devices 01:09

One thing your mobile phone doesn't like is the frigid cold.

When temperatures start dropping below freezing, the phone begins to shut down. It loses 20 percent of its battery life at the freezing point, and it only gets worse from there as temperatures drop to zero, as they have been in the Midwest.

"It all comes down to the battery and the chemical reaction taking place," Best Buy specialty sales manager Justin Kemper told WCCO's Natalie Nyhus, adding that most phones operate best at 70 degrees. "Basically batteries, when they get to zero degrees, the battery life will cut in half, go from 100 percent to 50 percent."

The phone may appear dead but Kemper said it likely will come back to life once you warm it up.

"When the phone shuts down, it may appear that the battery is dead, but most likely it's that the chemical reaction isn't happening," he said "So if you get it warm, put it in your pocket for about a half hour, get it at that optimal temp, most likely you can power it on and get a little bit of a charge out of it."

And there are a few things you can do to help your phone maintain its battery. Turn on the power-saving mode on Android phones, and preserve iPhone batteries by turning down the screen brightness and turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. You can also invest in a battery pack case that will recharge your phone without a plug.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.