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Science And Nature

Can a Magnet Really Damage My Phone or Computer?

A person docking their phone on a magnetic in-car phone dock.
Blachkovsky/Shutterstock

Theres a long-standing belief that magnets are dangerous to possess around electronics, but can they really damage your phone or computer?

WHY ARE FOLKS CONCERNED ABOUT Magnets?

The concern about magnets and electronics isnt founded on an outright myth, exactly, and is in fact scientifically sound. Before you panic, however, rest easy realizing that it really is incredibly difficult and intensely rare to damage electronics with a magnet.

The persistence of the magnets-damage-electronics idea is basically because people dont understand its an incident of the dose makes the poison, as they say, not entirely unlike the confusion surrounding Wi-Fi safety.

Your Wi-Fi router uses exactly the same frequency as your microwave (both come in the two 2.4Ghz wavelength range). However the power level and focus of the power emitted by both are very different. It is possible to boil a cup of water in your microwave promptly, but the level of microwave energy emitted by your Wi-Fi router is indeed low you couldnt even improve the same cup of water an individual degree.

Exactly the same concept reaches play with magnets. Nearly all magnets in your environmentfridge magnets, the magnetic latches on tablet cases, magnetic phone mounts, therefore onare very weak magnets. Theyre just strong enough to accomplish the job they’re designed for no stronger.

And, on the contrary end of the magnetic strength spectrum, you have extremely powerful large neodymium magnets and electromagnets that may cause issues with electronic devices and also data loss using circumstances.

But, if you don’t work within an industrial, medical, or scientific setting where very powerful magnets come in use, and only then in the event that you bring your devices near those magnets if they are operational, there’s hardly any risk that you will be likely to damage your devices.

Still, merely to put your brain relaxed, lets consider the specific risks of magnets around computers and phones.

Can Magnets Damage My PC or Laptop?

If your personal computer includes a traditional magnetic hard disk drive (instead of a more recent solid-state drive), there’s always the prospect of an extremely strong magnetic to damage the hard disk drive.

That potential is incredibly small, however, and if you don’t happened to stick a big neodymium magnet directly on the hard disk drive yourself or you left your laptop within an industrial degausser, you have nothing to be worried about.

A hard drive degausser with a hard drive loaded in the drawer.
Avoid hard disk drive degaussers such as this, and youll maintain very good condition. Proton Data Security

If you found this short article while panic-searching whether your kid putting fridge magnets or magnetic toys around your laptop or PC case, dont worry. The chance is nonexistent, and the effectiveness of those small magnets isnt even near to the strength of the magnets in the hard disk drive already.

Further, if your laptop or pc has only solid state drives, then there is absolutely no magnetic drive or magnetized data to damage to begin with.

Can Magnets Damage My Phone?

The solution to if magnets may damage your phone is in fact more nuanced than you’ll think.

Initially, the answer appears to be to be no, because no phones have magnetic media inside them, hard drives or elsewhere. And realistically, that answer holds true in nearly every instance.

Magnet car mounts, cases with magnets inside them, and so forth pose hardly any risk. Actually, some phones have even relatively large magnets built directly into them, just like the MagSafe magnetic ring in the rear of modern iPhones.

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You can find, however, fringe cases where magnets could cause minor problems with phones, albeit not permanent damage. Phones use tiny magnets inside for various purposes, such as for example in the image stabilization arrays for the lenses. A magnetic case or mount with a magnet too near to the sensors can temporarily disable them.

You may purchase a third-party lens kit for the phone that runs on the magnetic mount to stick add-on-lenses on the stock lens, and find that once you set it up, the autofocus or image stabilization features act all wonky.

Similar problems arise when magnets are too near to the internal compass sensors. The magnetic field from the magnetic accessory or nearby magnet could cause irregularities in the compass reading, resulting in unexpected results when using apps that depend on the compass sensor.

Both of these issues are nearly always resolved immediately once the magnet is removed or just adjusted to a fresh location on the telephone so the sensor is beyond your strongest portion of the magnetic field. In order to avoid issues, consider the magnetic accessories designed for your phone by the product manufacturer or by way of a licensed partner. The strength and keeping the magnets in the accessories are carefully tuned in order to avoid issues with the telephone model involved.

So when far as magnets generally go, exactly the same advice about computers pertains to phones: dont subject your phone to extremely powerful magnets like those used to degauss hard disks.

Despite the fact that theres no tiny hard disk drive in your phone it is possible to erase, you dont desire to risk an extremely rare (but theoretically possible) outcome like magnetizing components in the phone in a manner that permanently throws off those delicate sensors.

Keep your electronics, laptops, phones, or other gear, from industrial apparatus made to wipe hard disks or other equally powerful magnets, however, and youll be fine.

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