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5 Dangerously Useful Things You Must Do Before Bricking Your Phone 

Updated: Jan 5

This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.



Are you ready to get bricked?

All puns aside, and before you say anything about the title of my post:


There's a good reason that everybody should do it since I don't want you to end up in a similar situation as I did.


The last thing you want is to find out that your phone either:

  • Starts boot looping

  • Is stuck on a black screen, whether it's due to a software or hardware issue

  • Any scenario where you can't put your phone back to a normal home screen where nothing happens


So to avoid that from happening, you need to follow these 5 dangerously useful things before you start having problems leading up to your iOS or Android phone being bricked.

Let's start putting these things into your head as a habit, so you don't dread what will happen to your phone in the future.


 

The 5 Things You Have to Do Before Your Smartphone Starts Showing Signs or Problems of Getting Bricked:




1. Back Up Your Phone Every 3 Months at Minimum

It's crucial to back up your phone. That's not much of a brainer thing to do as long as you don't forget.


But if you happen to:

  • Back up your phone once every year

  • Have your phone brick 5 months after the last backup

You're most likely going to be frustrated with the amount of data you just lost, especially if it's something important for work or a passphrase you never made copies of.



My minimum recommendation is that you back up your phone every 3 months.


Why?


I want you to develop a habit of it regardless of whether you have important things or not.

My recommendation is once every month or two.


That's because my iPhone got bricked due to a hardware issue less than 2 months after the last backup, and I freaked out when I thought my last backup was 5 months before the brick.


Luckily, I didn't lose anything crucial other than screenshots I took to remind me of information for work purposes.

As for the number of backups you should have, creating just one may not be enough for you.


I know I sound a bit cautious.


But if something goes wrong with the backup process, such as the possibility of corrupted files, at least you have another copy that most likely isn't corrupted.


My minimum recommendation is making 2 separate backups, both stored in different devices in cold storage, if possible, such as an external hard drive.


My recommendation is to create 3 backups, if possible, through free software.



In my case, I've just made 2.5 backups for my iPhone since I used iTunes, 3uTools, and a copy of my iTunes backup onto an external USB drive, hence, the "2.5 backups".

For Android, you can use Google Drive, Samsung Cloud, and any trustworthy 3rd party apps as long as you get at least 15 GB of free storage with automatic back ups.


But if you prefer storing onto a PC or cold storage instead since 15 GB can get filled up quickly, I suggest using MyPhoneExplorer, MoboRobo, Qmobile Android PC Suite, SyncDroid, etc. if you use Windows.


For macOS, you have Android File Transfer, Smart Switch, SyncMate, AirDroid, etc. Your options are a bit more limited for 3rd party free software though.



You have a lot more free software options with Android than Apple, so you can freely take your pick.

 


2. Use a Password Manager


Not to be confused with the one already included in your phone's browser, I highly recommend using a 3rd party password manager for convenience.


You can freely use it for both Apple and Android devices and your PC.


If you’ve seen this certain Google Chrome video ad online, where the browser saves the passwords for you, that is a big red flag right there.



If your browser gets hijacked, then that means all the passwords you've saved onto your browser are compromised, and you would have to change the passwords for every account you have saved.


However, this will happen much more with Android phones since they're much easier to hack than iPhones.


But despite iPhones being able to save all your passwords with an iCloud keychain, if you didn't back everything up, then you're screwed.


You're even more screwed if you don't remember the password to decrypt it.


You made too many incorrect attempts, resulting in Apple permanently deleting your keychain from their servers.


This is why it's so important to use a password manager.


At least they won't delete your passwords online should you make numerous mistakes.

For password managers, I highly recommend using open-sourced ones such as Passbolt or Bitwarden.


They're more difficult to hack, unlike closed-sourced password managers, such as LastPass.


(LastPass was hacked and leaked some more sensitive information than previously thought.)


  • If you're looking for better security, go with an open-sourced password manager.

  • If you're look for more user-friendliness, go with LastPass.


Either way, if you decide to switch your iPhone to Android or vice-versa in the future, at least you won't have to export all your passwords from your device since they're all saved on the cloud.


The only thing you need to do is download the app containing your passwords online.



 


3. Use Authy Authenticator as Your Primary 2FA


Avoid Google Authenticator whenever possible.


Why?


I've read a situation online where a person had the offload apps option turned on for their iPhone.


Somehow, one of those apps happened to be Google Authenticator.


They haven't used it in a very long time, and their phone automatically removed the data for it.


So once that app was re-downloaded, all the 2FA codes for their accounts were gone.


It left them feeling despair and hopelessness about logging back into their accounts that require those 2FA codes.



(I'm just going to put this here for a more dramatic effect)


So this is why I 100% recommend using Authy Authenticator instead of any other authenticator app.


All your 2FA codes are saved on the cloud, and no one can access them without a decryption key, a password that only you know and created.


You'd better save that decryption key to a password manager.


You'll thank yourself for not feeling dreadful when you get the password wrong multiple times or if you've completely forgotten what it was.


Plus, you're more likely to lose those 2FA codes if you use any other authenticator app if the backup feature sucks or doesn't exist at all.

 


4. Write Down Your Passwords, if Necessary, in Multiple Notebooks

While this step isn't necessarily required if you're using a good password manager, it's better to be safe than sorry.


But this is an absolute must if you’re involved in crypto, especially with those private keys and apps available on mobile devices only and not on PC.


Despite Apple's encrypted backups being able to restore your crypto wallets and seeing your seed phrases again, there can be cases where things can go very wrong, such as data of certain crypto wallet apps that aren't included in the backup.


As for Android, you may or may not be able to recover your crypto wallets, but I wouldn't know.


I don't have first-hand experience with this, and I haven't seen anything online about people's experiences with this yet.


In this case, my minimum recommendation is to write down your passwords on at least 2 separate notebooks.


It's just in case your notebook gets damaged, your residence catches on fire, you somehow lost it, or something like that.


My recommendation is to write down your passwords with at least 3 notebooks, divided into sections by alphabetical order,


Why?


You can never be too careful with random situations that could happen to you in the future, and I didn't think that far ahead when I started on mine.

 


5. Do [NOT] Download So Many Apps and/or Use High Energy Consuming Apps on Your Phone

If you like the idea of downloading a lot of apps on your phone, I highly recommend it if you want to brick your phone faster, especially with Android.

Or if you like the idea of your phone overheating while using an app, since it's consuming your phone's battery quickly, I highly recommend it.


You'll most likely shorten your phone's battery life quicker and possibly damage the circuit board, especially with iPhones.


In my case, I’ve had to factory reset my Amazon Fire Tablet twice, nearly had to factory reset an Android phone, and buy a new iPhone (due to it draining my battery and overheating as a result).


So how many is a lot, or what apps should you use?


Well, it depends on the sizes of those apps, how much space your mobile device contains, and how much it uses up the battery within a certain period.


  • If the size of these apps is small, but you download a lot of them which don't take up a lot of space, you may likely brick your Android (in my case, my Amazon Fire Tablet twice).

  • If the size of these apps is small, but you download a lot of them, which takes up almost all of your phone's space, you're much more likely to brick your Android.

  • If the size of these apps is large and takes up a lot of space from your phone, you may or may not be likely to brick your Android, depending on what app it is.

  • If the app consumes a lot of your phone's battery in a short time, you're more likely going for a hardware brick, regardless of whether it is an iPhone or Android due to it overheating.

So my recommendation for this is to install only apps you find necessary to use.


If the app uses a lot of the phone's battery, I would consider using Bluestacks if the app is available for Android, especially if it's a game that requires you to consistently be on a lot.


If you install apps and don’t use them at all, I can likely assure you that those apps will haunt you in the future if your phone is an Android and you use it regularly.


If your phone is an iPhone, make sure to close down apps (the exception is your browser) when you're done using it, just in case, and check to see which apps you don't need to run in the background.




 


Bonus: Physically Cleaning Your Phone At Least Every Month at Minimum

Although your phone is very unlikely to get bricked from collecting dust, it can affect its performance with various results, especially with iPhones.


This is something I found out myself that a factory reset cannot fix.


This has affected both my parents' iPhones with slow performance scrolling from their home screens and opening up apps, so you will have to go to a repair shop to get it fixed.


To avoid this situation, I suggest using a microfiber cloth with a bit of 90% (minimum) isopropyl alcohol from a spray bottle. Gently clean and disinfect your smartphone while it is turned off.


Avoid the charging ports and any headphone jacks when cleaning.



If you’re looking for a good deal on microfiber cloths, I do recommend using the ones from Amazon Basics.


You get a lot more value in quantity compared to other brands, while being higher quality and less expensive compared to the ones from dollar stores.





Get the Best Deal for Cleaning My Phone





Make sure not to use fabric softener when you put it in a washing machine, otherwise it loses its effectiveness.


 

Final Words


So I created this post mainly to remind myself of the things I should do the next time my phone bricks.


I did freak out like hell about:

  • Whether I backed everything up before my phone bricked

  • What the decryption key for my iPhone backups or Authy Authenticator was when I got the password wrong multiple times


And I do hope that you got value from reading this post and making a habit of doing these things so your phone's life can last a lot longer.


It's nothing compared to a good old Nokia 3310 that can withstand a literal brick though.


 

What to Do if You Brick Your Phone?


If your phone gets bricked, I highly recommend using Reiboot.


It's good at fixing many software-related issues, such as black screens, boot loops, stuck on DFU mode for iPhones, etc.


The only thing they're not good at is fixing issues like:

  • Black screens or being stuck at DFU mode for iPhones from dropping your phone

  • Overheating your phone's circuit board from using certain apps over a long period

  • Anything related to physical issues

Then, unfortunately, you would have to take it to a repair shop or an Apple store to get your phone fixed.


Other than that, ReiBoot is an awesome product for fixing a variety of issues for your phone just as long as you don't physically damage it.












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When you use Honey, you'll likely save $10-15 USD when you buy ReiBoot.


It automatically searches and applies coupon codes available online with a single click of a button with their browser extension.


So save your time and money by signing up with Honey!




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If you liked this post on the 5 Dangerously Useful Things You Must Do Before Bricking Your iOS or Android Phone, I would appreciate it if you can tip me in BAT (Basic Attention Tokens) on this website.


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It's a 3 to 6 times faster version of Google Chrome, focused on protecting your online security and privacy from all the online trackers lurking on websites (AdBlock can't get all of them).


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