Is Using a Smartphone While It's Charging Dangerous?

Stay safe with manufacturer-approved battery and charger

There are plenty of rules floating around about the best ways to charge your cell phone. You may have heard the rumor that cellphones can explode if you use them while they are charging, but this isn't accurate. Several instances of cellphones that caught fire were covered in the news, but none of them were traced to simultaneously using and charging the phone.

Two smart phones charging with a wall socket in the background.

Where Did the Rumor Begin?

The original news story that likely started the rumor didn't report the complete details. The story, which appeared 2013, said a Chinese flight attendant's iPhone 4 exploded when she used it while it was charging. 

As it turns out, the attendant was using an aftermarket charger, not the Apple charger that ships with the phone. That faulty charger was almost certainly the cause of the incident.

Is Charging While Using a Cellphone Dangerous?

No explosion is likely to occur in the normal course of events if you use the phone while it is charging using a manufacturer-approved battery and charger.

Buy replacement chargers and cables from a reputable manufacturer. If you aren't sure, contact the phone's manufacturer for acceptable alternatives.

How Can I Avoid Charging Problems?

To limit risk:

  • Use batteries and power supplies compatible with your device.
  • Use a surge protector when you charge the phone, especially when you are traveling.
  • Don't leave your phone in a hot car. Heat can damage the battery.