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I just want to know what can happen if the battery from an Android device is pulled out without switching off the OS.
Will any serious or irreversible harm occur to the software or hardware? What can happen?

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Things that may go wrong:

  1. If you were working on files that were not saved, they will be lost.
  2. No proper shutdown means that the OS and other apps opened and were using some files, plus the file system was in use. They can become corrupted. Worse scenario will be the OS itself to get corrupted. For example, if you were updating the OS, and for whatever reason, you had to remove the battery. The consequences could lead to losing your data (files), even brick the device.
  3. Some phones (mine included) lose the date and time. (Not that serious but hey...).
  • You can use network provided time by going to System settings->Date and time->Automatic date and time, then select Use network provided time. By this setting, your device can update the date and time from network if it gets lost. – Puspam Apr 9 at 16:20
  • I do. But because I switch off data when I don't want to be disturbed, that's why I am aware of the lost of date and time (the SIM is unable for whatever reason to get automatic date from the network unless data or WiFi is on) – Reddy Lutonadio Apr 9 at 16:35
  • I have a question. You said that the file system was in use when the OS is on. But, only read operations are done from the file system to run the OS and other applications, and write operations are very less. So, how can read operations corrupt the OS? Please correct me if I am wrong. – Puspam Apr 10 at 9:22
  • Sometimes, the touchscreen of my phone stops working completely. So, in that case, I need to pull out the battery because without the touchscreen I can't switch off the OS. So, how can I switch off the OS in that case? Is there any hardware button combination? – Puspam Apr 10 at 9:34
  • Yes read operations (or even read-only file systems) should prevent errors or corruption. But to read a file, the OS (kernel) has to open an handle to it, what happens if during that operations the battery was pulled out? Even if the probability of the file(s) becoming corrupted is rare on read-only file systems, you only need one instance (~bad luck) to have a problem (even though rare). I also unfortunately remove the battery when the phone is too slow or freezes. The best way will be to hold the power button to restart the device. – Reddy Lutonadio Apr 10 at 13:57

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