Help! My Phone Died Before Its Time!

It usually happens the day after the product warranty expires, Murphy’s Law being alive and well (and loving the computer age). Your phone has been working fine, and suddenly there are death rattles. Calls drop, apps crash, the battery fades faster than party guests at cleanup time.

Power to the Mobile

Sometimes the drain is just a brain drain. Like when we fret that the TV won’t turn on, we frantically search the manual and call the manufacturer, then notice that the cat knocked out the plug.

First, check the charging port for fluff or other obstructions; a new toothbrush works great to clean small spaces. Charge the phone. If the battery is completely drained there might not be signs of life for 15 minutes or so. While it charges, vow not to repeat this scenario; complete battery discharges suck longevity from equipment. Better to plug in when it reaches 20 percent power, keeping the battery active and healthy.

Reboot and March On

Your solution may be as simple as a hard reboot. For Windows and some Android platforms, hold the power button and the volume down button simultaneously until the screen goes black. Check your instructions if this method doesn’t work on your device. With Apple products, press the home and power buttons at the same time for half a minute. Power up again — your problems may have disappeared.

Correct connectivity issues with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi the same way. Turn off the device or switch the phone to airplane mode. Turn on everything again and proceed as normal; most of the time this will fix the problem.


Cables do wear out. Examine the entire length for kinks or fraying. Test with a friend’s cable. If your device is still not charging, try again from another outlet, the car, or a computer.

Good Housekeeping

One of the easiest fixes to early phone death is to choose your own brightness setting instead of defaulting to auto-brightness. About halfway or less should give you enough visibility in normal conditions without consuming the phone’s charge.

The problem may be a cluttered phone. Go to settings and check how much storage each application is using. Simply deleting storage-hungry apps may improve functionality, as will clearing caches. Delete videos when you’re done with them, and edit photos regularly. If you’re tired of a game, send it packing.

In the same vein, disable location services when not in use, and shut off background application activity in general settings. Change syncs from automatic to manual. Turn off automatic updates.

Concerning updates: Apps might want one, or the phone itself may be due for refreshing.

Call the Medics

Once you’ve exhausted your troubleshooting options, it’s time to call a trusted professional. Choose a licensed company that will evaluate the problem, discussing repair options and providing an estimate before you commit to the work. Sending your phone out-of-town for attention could be the most cost-effective and timely route.

Of course, if you’ve powered through some easy troubleshoots and your device returns to its normal, happy, working self, you can claim bragging rights to being a fix-it genius.