How should I store my power bank?

Side view of Stuffcool 85W Power Bank showing three USB ports
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

How should I store my power bank?

Best answer: You should refer to the manufacturer's instructions before you do anything. After that there are two things to remember: never let it discharge completely and lithium batteries can catch (and cause) fire.

Portable power banks are pretty handy. You can use them when your phone is dead, to extend your time inside a VR headset, or to keep other accessories like headphones and wearables running when you're away from an outlet.

For any of this to happen, the battery pack needs to work. Part of keeping it in working condition is storing it properly.

The first thing you should do — and this goes for any electronics you might own — is to refer to the directions. The company that made and sells your battery has a team of engineers and battery experts that are all familiar with the product and how it should be taken care of. 

Power banks and USB cables

(Image credit: Android Central)

Looking for advice online is fine and good. But going to the source is always the best solution. Chances are those instructions will say to keep it in a cool, dry place and never let it drain completely. It really is that simple.

Keeping it from completely discharging is kind of a pain but usually necessary because today's batteries are smart. The circuitry inside your battery pack might be used to power it on and even to let it charge so if it dies completely the battery pack might not be able to recover. 

My advice is to add a calendar entry that reminds you to charge your battery every now and then so it never drains completely.

There is a reason they need to be smart

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Note 7

(Image credit: Reddit)

If you were to crack open the case on a battery pack (don't) you would find a set of lithium-ion batteries (probably industry-standard 18650 cells), the necessary wiring and connectors, and a circuit board or two. It's a pretty basic design that requires more safeguards than you're aware of because lithium-ion batteries are inherently dangerous.

The circuitry is there to make sure the cells never overcharge or get too hot or drain too quickly. It's important that it works as designed.

Even when it's working correctly there is a chance that the batteries can spontaneously catch fire and then pop, causing a much bigger fire, We've seen and heard about this happening and products from Samsung's Note 7 to a brand new Tesla Model S can just catch fire, though it's very rare.

Very rare means it can still happen though, so there is one thing that I would recommend if you want to be as safe as possible — use a fireproof battery bag to store your power bank in.

Yes, such a thing exists. They are small pouches or zipper bas designed to hold lithium batteries while you're charging or storing them. You can find a cheap one on Amazon — I use these because they are two for $11 — in almost any shape or size from tiny ones for vaporizer batteries to ones that fit a car-sized battery. 

Take your power pack and put it in the bag, then put it somewhere cool and dry. Remember to charge it at least halfway every now and then, and it will be there when you need it.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.