By April of 2016, Apple had sold 773 million iPhones, and since the average iPhone breaks in just 10 weeks, it seems that our technicians at Gadget Fix have seen every conceivable iPhone problem. To prevent YOUR iPhone from the average break statistic, we asked our repair experts for some advice that can save your phone from, well, yourself, and a trip to our repair store. Here are 5 ways you could be damaging your iPhone without even knowing

1. Water Damage

Water damage can occur even when you haven’t dropped the phone in the toilet or a puddle. For example, don’t take your phone in the bathroom while you shower because steamy condensation can seep into the phone causing water damage. If some liquid does get into your iPhone, it isn’t covered under the AppleCare Protection Plan or the product warranty, but it’s possible we can help, so give us a call.

2. Cleaning the iPhone Screen with Windex

Cleaning products like Windex eat into the touch screen of the phone. Apple recommends using a soft clean cloth, and never cleaning your phone with something as abrasive as a napkin or paper towel. Apple also recommends NOT using any liquid – even water – to clean the device surface.

3. Not Keeping Your Phone “Temperate”

Your phone’s battery works best between 32 and 95 degrees F. It’s best to you’re your phone out of it’s case when you charge it – especially if you notice your phone gets hot when it charges. Some cases generate heat. If you are going to store your phone, Apple suggests keeping it in a cool place, half charged. It is important not to let your phone back in the sun while you are at the beach, because high temperatures can ruin the battery. If you leave your phone in the car while you are skiing however, the phone may be a bit sluggish, but the battery will fully recover.


4. Not Being Smart About Keeping the Phone Charged

The lithium ion battery of your smart phone is pretty amazing. It packs a continuous stream of power into a small, light weight device that can last for hours, (unless you are running PokemonGo…) We find that people do damage to their phones during charging when they use broken cords that can incorrectly charge the battery and harm the phone. Since Apple guarantees accessories, there is no reason to power your iPhone with a broken cord.  Oh, and don’t use anything except an Apple cord to power the phone because Apple designed its charger to stop sending power when the battery is 100% charged, while other phone chargers keep sending power which can mess the battery calibration up.

That brings us to our next point about charging your phone. The battery degrades if it isn’t treated properly. You don’t want to overcharge the battery. There are some devices you can use to automatically turn off your phone charger after a set amount of time, like the Belkin Conserve Socket.  Apple also recommends shutting the phone off when not in use for maximum battery lifespan. Apple’s website has the best tips for prolonging your iPhone battery’s life. Strange as it sounds, it is best to let the battery completely drain every other month, and then recharge it to 100% to recalibrate the battery.

5. Not Doing Your iOS Maintenance and Not Being Smart About Opening Suspicious Files

While not as common as on Android devices, we still see malware on iOS phones. Our advice? From now on, be more diligent about not opening suspicious links that potentially lead to malware downloads on your phone. This includes apps, messages, and suspicious web sites that are programmed to destroy your phone’s operating system. Take time to upload all iOS system upgrades to improve security, keep it up to date, and running quickly. The latest update makes huge improvements to security and privacy, and we recommend installing the iOS 9.3.3 today. Another maintenance task to keep in mind is the number of tabs you have running at one time. If you have too many programs running it can freeze your operating system or deteriorate performance. There are apps you can download that help clean iOS temporary files, thumbnail photos, and your download history as well. Simple diligence to your expensive iOS device can help its performance and keep it running for years.