- Bypass charging allows devices to draw power directly from the charger, reducing heat build-up and extending battery lifespan.
- It provides thermal management, preserving battery cycles and optimizing performance for heavy users especially.
- Bypass charging is not universal and is mainly found in high-end devices. Alternatives include avoiding usage while charging, using high-quality chargers, and utilizing power-saving modes.
You’ve probably heard that leaving your devices permanently plugged in can be bad for your battery. If your device features bypass charging, though, you can keep it plugged in without worrying that errant electrons are wearing out your lithium battery.
What is Bypass Charging?
Bypass charging allows a device (e.g., a smartphone or a laptop) to directly draw power from the charger, bypassing the battery entirely.
Typically, the power from your charger first goes into the battery, which then powers the device. This process can lead to heat build-up, especially under heavy usage, and over time, it can degrade the battery as it slowly works through its charge cycle. Bypass charging steps in to prevent this, enabling the device to operate on direct power from the charger, keeping the battery out of the power cycle.
Why You Want a Bypass Charging Feature
The bypass charging technology is appealing for several reasons, especially for those who often use their devices while charging:
- Thermal Management: Bypass charging effectively reduces the heat generated during charging, a critical issue in both smartphones and laptops. This heat can strain the device’s components, including the battery, and can be particularly uncomfortable for laptop users. Bypass charging eliminates this problem, providing a cooler and more comfortable user experience. Once the battery in your device is fully charged, no more power flows into it, so there’s less heat overall in the system.
- Battery Cycle Preservation: Every battery has a finite number of charge cycles. Once these are depleted, the battery’s capacity starts to dwindle. With bypass charging, since the device isn’t using the battery’s charge cycles when it’s plugged in, this feature effectively helps to extend the battery’s lifespan.
- Optimized Performance: Devices often undergo thermal throttling to manage excess heat. This hurts performance during high-intensity tasks like gaming or running heavy software. By reducing the heat produced during charging, bypass charging ensures a consistent performance level, reducing or even preventing the need for thermal throttling.
Does Your Device Have Bypass Charging?
The availability of bypass charging isn’t yet universal across all devices with lithium batteries. This feature is mainly found in high-end smartphones, especially those marketed towards heavy users like gamers. In some cases, manufacturers limit the use of bypass charging to certain applications, usually gaming apps.
To determine if your device supports bypass charging, look in the device settings, refer to the user manual, or reach out to the manufacturer or your service provider.
While bypass charging isn’t common on smartphones and tablets, it’s relatively common on laptop computers. After all, it’s expected that laptops will spend more time plugged in than running on battery power. Still, since so few laptops have removable batteries these days, it’s always worth double-checking that the laptop you plan on buying does indeed have bypass charging so you’ll get the most life out of it as possible.
Alternatives to Bypass Charging
If your smartphone or laptop doesn’t support bypass charging, there are still some measures you can take to reduce heat and prolong battery life:
- Avoid Using While Charging: Excessive heat is often generated when a device is used while charging. Avoid performing high-intensity tasks during charging to prevent this.
- Use High-Quality Chargers: Quality chargers with better voltage regulation can provide a more efficient and safer charging process, reducing heat and strain on the battery.
- Use Power Saving Modes: Many devices offer power-saving modes that can help extend battery life by reducing screen brightness and limiting background processes.
- Keep Software Updated: Regularly updating your device’s software can also contribute to better battery performance, as these updates often include optimizations and fixes that enhance overall efficiency.
If you practice a little smart charging, you can avoid ruining your smartphone battery and hold out until your next choice of phone might be better suited to run from the wall.