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Can Neodymium Magnets Damage Cell Phones?

Whether you’re a frequent user of magnets or not, we’ve all heard of the dangers magnets can play on our personal devices and belongings. Whether that’s our credit cards, laptops, or even our mobile phones, we’ve often been warned to keep them away from magnets – but do we even understand why?

If you’ve started working with neodymium magnets, or even purchasing them to use in home DIY projects and crafts, you might be wondering – can neodymium magnets damage cell phones? After all, our mobile phones pretty much store our life on them: all of our most important contacts, our photographic memories, and more! So it’s not surprising that we’re pretty protective of them.

But if you’ve ever done any reading into neodymium magnets, you’ll know that they’re already in a surprising amount of household electrical items – you’ve probably got at least one in your house right now, without even realising! So can they really cause that much damage? Let’s address those warnings, and find out whether or not neodymium magnets can harm our phones.

(If you want to learn more about neodymium magnets first, we recommend reading our blog on What are neodymium magnets for everything you need to know!)

When we think about magnets damaging our phones, our first thoughts are probably magnets damaging the memory of the phone, and potentially wiping all of the data from it, but there are a few other horror stories we’ve heard about magnets and phones in our time. So we’re going to address all of these, and give you the low down on exactly how likely it is that your neodymium magnets could harm your phone.

Will my magnets damage my phone screen?

In the early days of mobile phones, screens were made by cathode-ray tube technology, most commonly abbreviated to CRT. Due to the method in which CRT screens transmit light and colours, magnetic fields could easily interfere with these screens, causing a rainbow of bright psychedelic colours to display on screen. Luckily, modern technology has replaced these screens with LCD or OLED, which thankfully are not affected by magnets. The only risk that neodymium magnets can pose to your phone screen, is if your phone was to come between the path of two magnets – neodymium magnets have an incredibly strong force field, and this could result in your phone screen being smashed if two magnets were attracted to each other with your phone in-between them.

Can neodymium magnets wipe my phone?

One of the most common fears relating to magnets and phones, is that a magnet could potentially wipe everything from your phone – all of your precious photo memories and all of your important contacts. But is that really a possibility? The thought behind this comes from hard disk drives, which actually use neodymium magnets to switch from ‘read’ data to ‘write’ data, therefore the concern is that a strong magnet could interfere with this and switch to write data, causing you to potentially over-write or even delete existing data. Firstly, we want to address that to cause this shift you would need an incredibly strong magnet, which would also need to be incredibly close to the hard disk drive. Secondly, the type of storage which exists in smartphones today is a far cry from these traditional hard disk drives found on computers. Mobile phones most commonly use flash drives to store all of your data, and the good news is that these do not contain any magnetic components – meaning that no amount of magnet is going to interfere with your data!

Will a magnet affect my phones digital compass?

In iPhones and most Android smartphones, is an in-built digital compass. This compass is used by the phone to help give you the most accurate directions, and like more traditional compasses, it relies on magnets. Therefore, there is a possibility that a strong magnetic field, such as that produced by strong neodymium magnets, can potentially have an effect on your phone’s compass. However, if your phone is effected by a magnet and the compass is compromised, you should be warned with an alert and thankfully there are steps you can take to correct it.

Can strong magnets affect the speakers in my phone?

Speakers in mobile phones have become increasingly hi tech in recent years, with a huge improvement seen in the overall quality of sound. Just like speakers in your tv, computer or radio, the speakers in your mobile phone use magnets to operate. So it’s understandable why there might be concern that another magnet could have a negative effect on your speakers. Fortunately, no matter how strong your neodymium magnets are, they cannot damage the magnets in the speakers of your mobile phone.

So, it seems that magnets aren’t quite as harmful to our phones as we thought! Other than the risk of a smashed screen, the only way in which magnets can technologically affect your phone is to interfere with the magnetic compass. But again, this is only possible if you’re using a really strong magnet which is in close contact with your phone for a considerable amount of time, it can also be easily fixed. Now that we’ve put your mind at ease, we’ve got a wide selection of N24 Neodymium magnets for whatever hobby or craft you might need them for. Shop our full range of magnets here.

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