Hold the phone! The average American drops their phone on the floor four times a week. More than a third say they drop their phone more often than that.

Just one drop can shatter your phone screen and cost you hundreds of dollars. Yet you’re not helpless to the force of gravity. You can protect yourself from screen damage through a few simple steps.

How should you handle your phone? What tools can you get to protect your phone screen? How can you protect your phone from the weather and drops in your car?

Answer these questions and you can have a spotless phone screen for years to come. Here is your quick guide.

Put Your Phone Down Carefully

Many people damage their phone screens by dropping their phones on the floor. Before you place your phone down, you should look at where it is going to go. Make sure the surface is not wet or moving.

Place your phone on its back. The surface of a table may have sand or debris on it that can scratch the screen.

Do not place any objects on top of your phone, even soft ones. Move your arms away from your phone so you do not bang your elbow or hand on it.

When you pick your phone up, use your fingers and palm and pin the phone against your palm. This will decrease your chances of dropping the phone on the ground. You can also hold it with two hands.

Place the phone toward the center of the table as far away from the sides as possible. Do not scoot or push your phone across the table, as you risk scraping it.

Avoid Extreme Weather Conditions

Though your smartphone manufacturer may say that your phone is waterproof, even a small amount of water can damage your phone. Do not let it get wet under any circumstances.

If you’re going outside in the rain, store your phone in your briefcase, purse, or messenger bag. Keeping it in your pocket may not provide enough protection if the rain is significant or if you are out for a long period of time.

Extremely hot temperatures can cause your mobile screen to warp and shatter. It’s okay to go outside with your phone if it’s 80 degrees or hotter. But don’t leave your phone out in the sun and keep it away from an oven or fire.

Extremely cold temperatures can make your cracked screen worse and damage your battery life. Put it in a pocket in your pants so your body heat keeps the device warm.

Use a Glass Screen Protector

Glass screen protectors fit over the front of your phone. You are able to use the screen, but the protector insulates the screen from damage. It can also help keep your phone clean from smudges or debris on your fingertips.

Any glass screen protector will help secure your phone. But some protectors are better than others. Try to find one made with tempered glass, which will protect the screen from scratches and hard drops.

Some protectors cost $2. These protectors tend to be very low-quality, so consider spending a little more money to get a better product.

Make sure your protector stays flat against your screen. If the protector is warped, dust can get underneath it and scratch your phone screen. Talk to a screen care professional about the size of protectors you should get.

Use a Phone Case

A phone case protects the back and sides of your phone. Even if your phone falls on its back, the screen may pop out or shatter. It can also distribute the force of a fall, reducing the impact on your screen.

Find a case that has an elevated bumper. If your phone falls screen-side down, the bumper will hit the ground first, preventing the screen from breaking.

Cases come in many colors and styles. You can find one that is very bright or unique, which can let you spot your phone from a distance. But your case should be hefty and solid, as a thin and light product will not insulate your phone.

Get a case specifically for your type of phone. iPhone 14 cases may not protect Android devices or phones from other companies, even if they are the same size.

You can get a case in any material you want. Most cases are made of plastic or rubber, and you can find ones made with recycled materials.

Install a Car Phone Holder

Many people drop their phones while using them in their cars. A car phone holder will keep your phone in place and keep it away from objects that can strike it.

Find a holder with an arm that holds your phone away from the dashboard and floor. It should expose the screen of your phone while holding it from the sides and back.

Be careful when scrolling or using your phone while it is in the holder. Some people scrape their screens with their fingernails. Try to use the soft parts of your fingers when you are using your device.

The holder should not wrap tightly around your phone, as a tight hold can squeeze your phone and press buttons accidentally. As soon as you notice damage to your screen or the back of your device, you should remove the phone and get help from a repair professional.

Protect Your Phone Screen 

It’s easier to protect your phone screen than you think. Keep your phone away from table edges and objects that can strike the screen. Store your phone in your bag so it won’t get wet, hot, or cold.

Attach a glass screen protector to your screen and a case to the back of your phone. While you are using your phone in the car, slide your phone into a holder.

Your phone will wear down eventually, and you need to know what to do. Read essential phone care guides by following our coverage.