Do Phone Cases Block Signal?

Do Phone Cases Block Signal?

Phone cases function as a protective shield for your phone, to prevent damage, such as scratches.

With that being said, many people are wondering whether phone cases can cause problems. For example, some people claim that a phone case can affect your exposure to radiation. In fact, an emf blocking phone case exists. 

Likewise, you might be asking whether the strength of a phone’s signal can be jeopardized by a phone case.

We will aim to give you a thorough explanation of what signal is and how it can be ‘blocked’, and whether phone cases are the cause of your reception issues.

What is a signal and can it be blocked?

Before you know how phone cases can potentially interfere with your phone’s reception, you should understand what signal is and how it occurs.

Firstly, a Wireless Network (WIFI) uses Radio Frequency Waves.

Secondly, your phone has an antenna inside of it.

These radio waves are transmitted from your phone’s antenna to your nearest cellular base station or “cell tower”. Signal refers to your phone’s capacity to allow these radio waves to be transmitted.

Signals can be blocked by anything that is not “radio transparent”. Meaning, it does not allow radio waves to pass through and becomes an obstruction for signal.

In essence, any product can mess with a phone’s reception if the phone’s antenna is being obstructed by material.

can a phone case block wifi

What can block a phone’s signal?

When your phone starts showing that dreaded one bar of service then you would usually first ask yourself why the signal is being blocked.

Many things can interfere with a phone’s signal, such as a thick forest covering and unpleasant weather conditions. Certain materials, such as brick, glass, plywood, and metal can also cause this.

Apple cautions their customers to not use magnetic clips on their phone cases, because it may impede the phone’s signal.

With regards to magnetic phone cases, you may be interested in reading whether magnetic phone cases are bad for your phone.

Other external factors are densely populated areas where people are using the same network at the same time or when you are too far from the cell tower.

Even a low or faulty battery can interfere with your phone’s signal. 

In fact, your phone case may be the cause of your phone’s low battery.

A poorly designed phone case can generate excessive heat, which negatively affects your battery. Thus, a phone case can affect battery life

Can a phone case cause bad reception?

Thankfully, most phone cases, such as plastic cases, do not interfere with reception.

However, phone manufacturers will advise their customers whether a phone case’s material is incompatible with the phone. 

Apple cautions their customers to not use magnetic clips on their phone cases, because it may impede the phone’s signal.

There is also research indicating that metal interferes with radio waves.

There are also many factors that play a role in metal blocking signals. For example, copper is a type of metal that negatively affects signal strength.

Thus, phone cases that have metal features can block radio waves.

If radio waves are blocked, then the strength of the phone’s signal is affected.

In addition, a metal backing plate in a phone case can interfere with wireless charging. Thus, such phone cases can prevent wireless charging. 

You may want to steer clear of metal phone cases then.

You should note that the material of the phone case is not the only factor that can cause bad reception.

You might also ask, ‘Do cases overheat phones?’, and how does that affect your cell’s signal?

It is possible that phone cases can cause phones to overheat, and this can negatively affect your phone’s battery.

As previously said in this article, a low battery can reduce the strength of your phone’s signal.  

What about 5G?


5G (or 5th generation mobile network) is a technology used for cellular communications. 5G is distinguished from other cellular networks by its exceptionally fast data transfer rate.

5G also communicates with the use of radio waves.

One of 5G’s limitations is its limited transfer distances and its requirement to be close to a 5G base station to ensure a stable signal.

It is recommended that you avoid obstacles between your phone and the 5G base station since it can have an impact on data transfer.

These obstacles include electronic accessories, such as a phone case.

In fact, the phone case needs to be compatible with 5G.

At present, there are no standards that regulate what makes a phone case compatible with 5G due to the rollout of 5G being in its infancy.

Testing whether your phone cause is blocking your signal

To test whether a phone case is interfering with your phone’s reception, you might want to go to another room, restart your phone or remove the phone case.

See whether the phone’s signal has improved after doing one of these actions.

If the signal has not improved, then it might be your phone case.

You also need to be mindful of other elements.

For instance, if you notice weak signals at particular times in the day, then the cause is not your phone case. Instead, you are most likely experiencing “heavy network usage” where the cell tower’s capacity is overloaded by excessive activity at once.

An example is when many people are on their phones at the same time.

If your phone’s signal is poor at a particular location, then it is most likely the location that is the problem.


Luckily, most cases on the market are made to be compatible with all phones and do not block their signal.

If you want that sleek metallic phone case, then it is highly recommended that you read through the phone case’s reviews before purchasing it.

One thing to also take into account is your phone’s battery and how that affects the strength of your phone’s reception.

If you constantly struggle with a low battery, then it might be best to have a look at the best battery phone case.

However, you might need to take a few factors into account as well.

Some areas just have poor cellular coverage.

If you live in an area where cellular signal is generally poor, then you might want to invest in a bumper case.

A bumper case only covers the sides of the phone.

If you are looking for stunning phone cases, wireless chargers, AirPods cases, and many more check our Burga’s collections right here


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