The Most Popular Ways to Break Your Phone

Google searches for popular ways to break a cell phone are completely off the charts. On second thought, maybe “popular” is not the best word, because popular is a happy thing while busting your cell phone — AKA, Your Life As You Know It — is always sad. So with that in mind, following are the most common ways that you will crack your phone (if you haven’t already), and a few sensible tips so you can avoid the scenario altogether.

A word about our data — it comes from you! That’s right, we decided to crowd-source this issue with our fans and followers to find out the leading ways to break your phone. Here are the top three:

#1 Dropping Them

Everyone knows this one without having to be told, simply because everyone has broken at least one phone in this way. According to your submissions, 30% of you broke your last phone by dropping it. Were you tossing it to a friend across a room? Were you trying to show off your athletic grace to a room crowded with onlookers? Who is to say, but your phone ended up cracked and on the floor either way.

#2 Other

The ominous “other” category… You wouldn’t believe some of the stories submitted here. The notable culprits have been sinkholes, stalled roller coaster rides, and other causes even stranger. Strange is definitely the operative word this year, as one in five of our submissions blamed the weird for their incapacitated phones.

Other things we learned? You all are stepping on your phones more than we would have guessed, not to mention sending them through the washing machine, sitting on them, and accidentally tossing them out the window. Sayonara!

#3 Water

Not including toilet/bath-related accidents, water damage is responsible for taking the lives of 18 percent of your phones. At least with water there is a chance you can dry your phone and save it if you act quickly, and there are tons of different ways to do it. We recommend taking the back cover off your phone (assuming this won’t void your warranty) and submerging the open phone into a bowl of rice.

Broken phone stories are like a rite of passage, and everyone seems to have one or two, but wouldn’t it be much easier to never have a broken phone in the first place? You can’t protect your phone from everything, but below we have listed several tips that’ll help keep your phone alive and valuable when trade-in time comes around.


  • Keep anything you want in your back pocket, except your phone.
  • Don’t bring/use your phone in the bathroom; this’ll save you at least one phone and ear infection every year.
  • Everyone knows children have to break at least six valuable objects before they can earn their baby teeth, so keep your phone from being one of them by not putting it in the hands of children.
  • If you’re angry and feel like throwing something, just remember that you’re not mad at your phone.
  • Don’t do yard work with a phone in your pocket – lawnmowers can cut up smartphones just as easily as they chop grass.

Note: this post has been updated 2/11/17 for accuracy.