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This Nite Ize Steelie vehicle phone mount offers magnets to mount your phone, but is that safe?I’ve always been very paranoid about magnets getting anywhere near mine electronics. I have a vision of displays warping, precious files vanishing into the ether, and my smartphone shutting down forever.

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When my son received some magnets together a gift recently, it only took one hour prior to he’d waved castle close enough to mine phone that i felt compelled come confiscate them. They’re now gathering dust on the forbidden shelf, along with the glow-in-the-dark gloop, and also fake dog poo.

But, as I confined them to toy limbo, ns wondered if my are afraid was irrational. Carry out magnets actually pose a terrifying hazard to our gadgets, and where walk we gain the idea that they’re danger in the an initial place? Let’s discover out.

“This much more than most likely stems native old electronic devices, such as CRT monitors and televisions, i m sorry were at risk to magnetic fields,” explains Matt Newby indigenous first4magnets, “When placing a strong magnet close to one of these you might distort the picture. Thankfully, modern televisions and also monitors aren’t at risk in this way.”

Most modern electronics, choose our smartphones, are not walk to be adversely impacted by little magnets; but is that all over there is come it?

How execute magnets influence smartphones?

“The vast majority of magnets the you come across day come day, even many of the super-strong ones on the market, will have actually no adverse impact on your smartphone,” says Matt, “In fact, in ~ the machine there will be a number of very little magnets i m sorry perform necessary functions. Because that example, the brand-new Apple Watch uses a magnetic inductive wireless charging system.”

However, prior to you get lugged away and start rubbing magnets all over your smartphone, there is something else to consider. Matt warned that magnetic fields can temporarily interfere v the digital compass and also magnetometer inside your smartphone, and also that’s much more serious than you may think.

The designers over in ~ K&J Magnetics in reality experimented v an iphone phone to show how the sensors inside have the right to be affected by a magnet.


“The trouble we found is the a surrounding magnet will influence the inner magnetic sensors within the phone. The compass won’t read correctly,” described Michael Paul, an technician at K&J, “What’s worse, if you stick a strong magnet come the phone, you could slightly magnetize part steel materials inside, making them act favor weak magnets. This have the right to make it an overwhelming to properly calibrate the compass.”

You could think it’s unimportant because you never ever use the compass app, however that doesn’t typical other apps aren’t relying top top the very same sensor. Google Maps, for example, provides the sensor to detect which way the phone call is facing, and also a variety of games additionally rely on that to occupational out your orientation.


Magnets aren’t most likely to kill your smartphone, however there’s a opportunity they’ll mess part pretty important aspects up.


This is something that Apple considers in case and also accessory design. In Apple’s Case style Guidelines, there are sections ~ above Sensor Considerations and Magnetic Interference, including the line, “Apple recommends staying clear of the usage of magnets and also metal materials in cases.”

Manufacturers need to ensure that the integrated magnetic compass is not affected by their cases. There’s also certain mention of the iphone phone 6 Plus, because of potential difficulties magnets can cause for the autofocus behind camera with optical image stabilization.

It appears as though magnets aren’t likely to death your smartphone, but there’s absolutely a possibility they’ll mess part pretty important facets up, so why take it the risk?

What around hard drives?

The idea that magnets deserve to erase tough drives is quite popular, particularly in the world of entertainment. Walter White infamously used a enormous electromagnet to shot and wipe proof off a tough drive in Breaking Bad, for example. Are our fears about magnets erasing difficult drives also based ~ above old tech?


“Magnetically taped data could likewise be corrupted using magnets – consisting of things prefer cassettes, floppy disks, VHS and also credit cards,” states Matt, “If the data is videotaped magnetically, that is possible to corruption it with magnets.” Fine, yet where walk this leaving Walter White and also his difficult drive?

“It is theoretically possible that one incredibly strong magnet can corrupt a tough drive if that is wiped straight over the surface of the drive,” Matt explains, “However, hard drives encompass neodymium magnets inside them to operate the read/write arm and also to document data, therefore again, they no going come be influenced by consistent sized magnets. If you to be to pole magnets to the external of your pc tower because that example, it would certainly not have any effect top top the difficult drive.”

There’s even far better news if you have actually a flash or a heavy state drive. “Flash drives and SSDs space not really impacted by a strong, static magnetic field,” according to Michael.

The engineers at K&J in reality tried to use neodymium magnets for hard drive destruction, however the results were disappointing. They placed large magnets either side of a running hard drive till mechanical rubbing sounds were audible, denote the magnets to be bending parts inside. In spite of this, the documents on the drive remained 100-percent intact.

Larger magnets were also used with the journey powered down, however when it was turned earlier on, the files were still fully unaffected. Apparently, most companies nowadays shred difficult drives to physically damage them, due to the fact that magnets can not be relied upon to wipe data.

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Do we have to worry around magnets?

“At house you will be surrounding by magnets – they space in every computer, speaker, TV, motor, smartphone, to name just a few applications,” says Matt, “Modern life would just not be feasible without them.”

It appears that magnets have actually unfairly gained a poor press, yet it’s still important to practice caution once wielding the the strongest magnets.

“Strong neodymium magnets aren’t toys,” defines Michael, “You may have read in the news around how recently, part magnet playthings were getting swallowed by an extremely young kids. This is a very, an extremely serious health risk, since multiple magnets can tempt to one one more through intestinal walls. We’re talk peritonitis, which way immediate surgical procedure is required to eliminate them.”