How To Jump-Start Phone Battery (No-Budget Hack)

Few days after Jasmina’s Sony Xperia Z charger broke, I had another unpleasant surprise. I woke up to a dead phone and no amount of charging, trying to turn it on, putting the battery in and out, helped…

Things to try before you jump start your battery

  1. Turn the phone on by pressing/long-pressing the power button
  2. Take the battery out. Press and hold the power button for at least 30s.
  3. Try a new battery. Borrow from a friend who has the same phone.

Why this can help

Fist point is self explanatory. If your phone turned off because of a glitch or something, this turns it back on, voila!

Second point might seem a bit weird to most. You obviously won’t turn on the phone while it has no power supply. Good thing this isn’t the point here. This step discharges residue charge from your phone’s electronic components. This also works for laptops and I used it to revive quite a few of them inspiring statements like “It didn’t work before, I swear!”. I know, I believe you 🙂

Third point, tried after second, makes sure it’s a problem with battery and not the phone. You can also try your battery in your friend’s phone.
I didn’t have a spare battery to try with, so I used the cable described later in article and connected the red and black directly to the appropriate pins inside of the phone. My Samsung S3 turned right on, so that ruled out problems with the phone itself.
If you’re in the similar situation be careful, the right pins will depend on the phone you have. My battery’s plus and minus pads were marked so I just followed and saw witch pins in the phone they touch. You can follow the same idea to figure out where your phone’s plus and minus pins are.

Why your battery plays dead

I’m talking about lithium-ion battery (sometimes called Li-ion battery or LIB), which are most common batteries in phones these days.

They can go unstable and “boom” if they get too discharged. To prevent that doodoo, engineers put electronics in place with some smarts in them. If the battery voltage drops below a certain point, to prevent further discharge, they disconnect the cells from the battery pads completely. Thumbs up for safety!

So why can’t you charge it?

Your phone has a battery charger or else you’d have to take your battery out every time to charge it. Convenient!
In order for that charger to work, it needs electricity. It gets its electricity from the battery, which currently puts out 0V.

The Hack (this is what you’re here for)

All you need is a spare USB cable and a charger (or a laptop, play station, smart TV…).

  1. Cut the USB cable.
  2. Skin 5mm of red and black wires.USB cable wires
  3. Twist the exposed end of each wire.
  4. Plug the cable into charger.
  5. Place the black wire (-) to the minus of the battery.
  6. Place the red wire (+) to the plus of the battery.
  7. Hold in place manually for a couple of minutes.
  8. Put the battery back into the phone.
  9. Plug the phone into the charger.

Your phone should soon start charging. If it doesn’t, try again, make step 7 longer.

Jump starting a phone battery

Why this works

USB gives 5V which is above the normal Li-ion battery voltage (3.7V or 4.2V). This charges the battery enough to be briefly above the cut-off voltage. That’s just enough to start your phone’s charger and allow it to continue charging the battery until full.

I’ve been using and charging my phone normally since then. I also don’t allow my phone to die from empty battery. Lesson learned 🙂

 

16 thoughts on “How To Jump-Start Phone Battery (No-Budget Hack)

  1. hey bro i am gonna use this trick with my canvas 2 and just hope that it works and one more thing that my phones upper part gets hot i there i any current in the phone. i u can help me or the same!!!

    1. Hi Dev,

      There is more than one reason why phone might be getting hot.
      When it’s charging, there is electrical current flowing from the wall outlet through your phone to the battery.
      Another case is when you’re using it heavily, your processor uses more power and more current flows through it. That’s why your phone depletes faster and gets hotter.

      These are both normal use cases and unless it gets too hot, it doesn’t represent a concern.

      As explained in the article, jump-starting a phone battery might be needed if you can’t get your phone to charge the battery.
      If your phone battery charges, just gets hot, jump-starting is not going to help.
      Charging with lower current might help, but your battery will take more time to charge.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers, Zvonimir

  2. I’m sorry to be too late but I actually have a phone in which the battery can’t be removed. How can i jump start this one?

    1. That’s a tough one and might not be possible without opening the phone.
      How did you identify that battery is the problem?
      What’s the model of the phone?

    1. iPod 5g has a lithium ion battery and if you get to it, it should perform as the article explains. Exercise caution and don’t do anything you’re not prepared to take responsibility for 😉

      Good luck!

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