Jack DeBrabander Shares His Simple Hacks to Make Your Cell Phone Last for Years

Jack Estes DeBrabander has been fixing cell phones part-time for a few years now. “It’s a side job that I’ve done while attending college.” Jack currently attends Michigan State University as a Business and Communications Major. “Even though my long-term goal isn’t to become a cell phone repairman, it’s easy work and the flexible hours don’t interfere with my classes.” According to an article by, most cell phones should last about 2-3 years. Over the years, Jack has found a few hacks that people should know if they want to keep their phones working for years to come, and he’s shared them with us below:

Safety First

The most important thing about protecting your phone is keeping it safe from hackers and viruses. Jack recommends several things such as keeping your phone updated with the latest software and patches, avoid public wi-fi whenever possible, don’t give your phone number to every app that asks for it, lock your phone and use strong or two-step passwords, and keep as little confidential information (social security number, personal files) off of your phone. Also, you may want to download an app to help you find your phone in case you can’t remember where you put it. Android phones have a “Find My Phone” tool that you can call your phone on max volume even if you have it set to silent, and iPhone’s have a native “Find My Phone” feature pre-loaded through iCloud. Please know that these features don’t always work if your phone is off or the battery is dead.

Charging Your Phone Completely the First 48 Hours of Use

“A lot of people think that with today’s newer batteries, you can use your phone right away and don’t need to charge it right out of the box.” Jack says that you can usually use your phone right away, but the trick to increasing the life of a cell phone battery is to never let it drop below 50%. “People talk about battery memory, but that’s not necessarily true.” What hurts your battery is when you drain it to less than 20% and then do the full charge. It’s best to use it and charge it right away, even if you’re at 80% or more. Slow charges are actually better on the life of the battery too. Lastly, people need to understand that the chemistry of the lithium-ion battery only allows so many charges over the lifetime of the battery. This means that the more often you drain your battery down to zero, the fewer charges it will have left. Lastly, charging your phone in airplane mode or better yet, having it turned off will help you recharge your phone more efficiently.

Save Battery Life By Changing the Phone Brightness and Features Running In the Background

Unless you need to see in a dark cave, there’s no reason to have your phone’s brightness up full blast. One way that you prematurely drain the life of your battery is by having a brightly-colored wallpaper your screen is turned up to its brightest setting. One way you can preserve battery life is by having a dark wallpaper on your phone. When your phone is set to the Home Screen there will be no need to use battery life to make sure it’s backlit. Also, you can set your phone to go to sleep if there’s less than five minutes of activity. For some people like me, 5 minutes is too short, but to each their own! Also, look at the apps that you have running in the background when you use your phone. You can shut some off or even choose when certain apps are working. You should also restart your phone about three times a week. This way you can be sure that your phone always has the most current updates available. Some phones out there have replacement batteries available, but more often than not, the battery costs about half as much as what a new phone would be.

Buy a Durable Cell Phone Case and Screen Protector 

There are literally thousands of styles and brands of cell phone cases out there.  Because most of them are basically the same as far as quality and durability, you can choose the one that best suits your personal style. There are obviously some who fare better in “unscientific” studies, but after a certain point, it becomes less about protection and more about personal preference. Besides a good cellphone case, be sure to invest in a quality screen protector. There’s nothing out there that will completely protect your phone when it lands “just right” and makes a trademark spiderweb crack across your screen, but anything you can do to protect it in the meantime, the better.

Although this list isn’t exhaustive, it’s a good first step in making sure that your phone lasts as long as it can. “People need to understand,” Jack says “that even though their phones are designed to last about three years, if they don’t need to have the newest version and they take care of their battery, they can keep their same phone for much longer.”