Ask LH: Can You Recharge A Mobile Battery In The Microwave?

Ask LH: Can You Recharge A Mobile Battery In The Microwave?

Dear Lifehacker, I’ve just seen this graphic claiming a conspiracy to stop battery recharging in microwaves by Apple. Lots of people are chatting about if this photo is real on Facebook. Any insights? Thanks, Charged Up

Dear CU,

This graphic proves only one thing: that far too many people will share something on Facebook without applying their brains for five seconds to see if it makes sense. The claim is utter nonsense. In extremely basic terms, microwaves cause particles to vibrate; they don’t transmit electrical current. Putting your mobile battery in the microwave will at best do nothing; more likely, it will cause some dramatic flaring, and potentially ruin both the battery and the microwave. It is a stupid idea and no-one should pursue it.

That common-sense aspect aside, plenty of other elements prove that it’s a fake, fuelled by idiotic conspiracy theory mania:

  • The claim that Apple started “a smear campaign in 2005” makes no sense, since Apple didn’t even start selling phones until 2007. If scientific studies existed that actually showed this existed, it would take much more than a “smear campaign” by a single manufacturer to supress them.
  • Despite the attribution to the popular Tumblr Did You Know?, this item appears nowhere in its archives. Update Did You Know? founder Fidel Mehra further confirmed to Lifehacker in an email that the image is a fake. “There are many blogs who try and spread false news using some of our images and modifying them. I wasn’t aware this got so much attention. Fake news travels faster than real news I guess!”
  • Battery life is a major bane for smartphones. If Apple (or any other phone manufacturer) found a way to enable phone batteries to be charged in a single minute, it would not be concealed for the sake of preserving the sales of chargers (especially given the prevalence of third-party chargers as competition).

The lesson here? Think twice before reposting. If you want better battery life, check our guides for Android and iOS. No microwaving involved!


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