Phone overheating can happen all by itself. Sometimes it is because of having apps running in the background that you don’t know about. Or you may streaming a ton of video, or the weather is simply too hot! Generally, it is somehow difficult to detect phone overheating reasons. In this article we are going to talk about both Android phone and iPhone overheating and the ways to prevent it.
Perhaps the device becomes sluggish when hot, or maybe it shuts down until it can cool. Either way, this has to stop.
Let’s look at why your phone overheats and how you can fix it.
1. Android Phone Overheating
Obvious Reasons for Your Android Phone Overheating
Usually your phone overheating happens because of a common cause. These include overuse, or remaining connected to a Bluetooth speaker for too long.
Chances are that you might have closed a few apps or restarted your device in an attempt to troubleshoot. Maybe you’ve even Googled a few phrases based on error messages that you’ve seen on your phone.
Almost every time, you’ll come across a collection of the same old reasons for your phone overheating:
- Your display brightness is too high.
- Your Wi-Fi has been connected for too long.
- You’ve been playing too many games with your device.
By now, no smartphone on the market should overheat for any of these reasons. Let’s look at other things which cause phone overheating.
Intensive Camera Use can Overheat Phones
Phones with top-quality video cameras can end up overheating. This doesn’t happen in all cases, and typically depends on some other factors:
- Selected resolution and frame rate
- Screen brightness
- Environmental temperature
For example, I recently recorded a video using the front-facing camera, and found my phone soon overheating. This was such a problem to the safe running of the phone that it displayed a warning notice.
In this scenario, my phone was in its flip-cover fake leather case, which features a basic friction stand. The phone was also situated in direct sunlight, although the case shielded it a bit.
While I was using the highest quality settings on the camera, and the video lasted around 20 minutes, it was nevertheless a surprise to receive a warning that the phone would shut down due to overheating.
So while connectivity options, high display brightness, and regular gaming can impact your phone’s temperature, where it is situated and your camera settings can also play a part.
Check for malware
Malware on your Android device could cause excessive heat. After all, the developers of the malware aren’t exactly interested in the health of your device. They just want your data.
Check Your Battery and Cable
Another aspect to consider is the state of your battery and the charging cable.
If you have an older phone that has been overcharged many times (you should never charge to 100% if you can help it; regularly charge to 80-90% to keep the battery healthy), then smartphone overheating can occur.
Phones should not get hot enough to cause problems when charging. If this occurs, the reason could be a damaged battery, a poor-quality charging cable, or a problem with the port.
First try replacing the cable. If this doesn’t help, it’s time think about replacing the battery.
If this isn’t possible, consider contacting your phone manufacturer about a replacement.
Has Wi-Fi Caused Phone Overheating?
Your smartphone could overheat due to overuse of Wi-Fi. Android users are susceptible to apps running in the background and drawing on resources, such as CPU, Wi-Fi, or mobile internet. If apps run in this way, your device can heat up.
On older versions of Android, the Greenify app enables you to identify resource leeches and put the misbehaving apps into hibernation. However, similar functionality is now included in Android thanks to its battery optimization features.
You can also shut off background mobile data use. Open Settings >> Apps & notifications >> All apps and select the app you want. Tap Data usage to see its activity and toggle the Background data switch off to disable internet access.
You can also use the Force Stop button to close the app immediately.
While this puts background functionality out of service, you can be confident that it also means reduced resource use. This can help to keep your smartphone from overheating.
Your Case may Cause Phone Overheating
Your case is a common heat factor that many smartphone owners overlook.
Many cases are constructed from plastic or have a large amount of plastic. Even those made with leather have the same problem. The phone is insulated, keeping heat in and cold out.
For safety reasons, as the phone gets warm (particularly during high-performance tasks), it needs to radiate the heat away, and the presence of a case made from an insulated material prevents this. It’s like exercising in a duffel coat.
Your options here aren’t great, however. Removing your phone from the case is a good start. But if you’re uncomfortable with this (perhaps taking extra care to maintain its resell value), then it is not a viable long-term option.
Ways to Cool Your Phone and Keep It Efficient
Have you been hit by your smartphone getting too hot and slowing, or worse, shutting down? If so, try the following steps to cool your phone down again:
- Remove the phone’s case.
- Switch on airplane mode to disable all connectivity.
- Move it from direct sunlight.
- Direct a fan at your phone (but don’t put it in a fridge, freezer, or cooler).
- Reduce the display brightness.
Once you’ve done this, try the following to avoid further overheats:
- Use Battery Saver mode.
- Clean up your phone to remove junk files.
- Reduce Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS use unless needed.
Not only should your phone stop overheating again, but the battery should last longer! Beyond overheating, there are plenty of apps you can use to check if your Android is functioning properly.
As a safety feature, phones and tablets are designed to shut down in extreme temperatures. You’ll just need to wait for it to recover from the high temperatures to put the above into practice.
2. iPhone Overheating
Why Your iPhone Gets Hot?
Don’t be that much worry. It’s normal for your device to get warm, even “hot”, when in constant use. This happens when you’re really taxing the hardware, examples of which include:
- Playing a demanding 3D game.
- Streaming high quality video for an extended period.
- Using processor-intensive apps like a synthesizer, digital audio workstation, or video editor.
- Making heavy use of GPS, particularly on older devices.
- During charging, especially combined with other activities on this list.
Like a computer, your iPhone or iPad kicks out heat. The two main components that generate heat are the system-on-chip (the equivalent to your computer’s CPU), and the battery. When the device creates heat, there’s no fan to cool it directly, and instead, the metal housing acts like one giant heatsink.
When your iPhone feels warm to the touch, it’s simply doing its job of moving heat away from the internal components. As the ARM chips used by Apple and similar manufacturers are so efficient in terms of heat production, they only really produce noticeable heat while being pushed to the limit over an extended period of time.
If you have your device in a case, as most of us do, then it might not be helping. It’s debatable whether Apple ever intended for people to hide their design with third party cases. But now their retail locations are full of them, and they even make their own. Buy an iPhone from an Apple retail location and you’ll likely be asked if you want to take a case as well before finishing your purchase.
So it’s unreasonable for cases to take the blame for heat issues, and generally they don’t pose a problem. But if you are noticing frequent overheating problems, you live or are travelling in a very hot climate, or you’re taxing your device while charging at the same time, you might want to consider losing the case to help the chassis better perform its job of dissipating that heat.
What to Do When Your Device Gets too Hot?
There’s a difference between warm and hot, and there’s an even greater difference between noticeable heat and too-hot-to-hold. iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices are designed to be used between 0ºc and 35ºc (32ºf to 95ºf). Use outside of these temperatures, either in very hot or cold temperatures, can cause problems.
If your iPhone gets too hot, you’ll see a message on screen to let you know, and many of the device’s main functions will be disabled or put into low-power mode. Last summer I left an iPhone in the sun with the screen facing up on a particularly hot day that was pushing 40ºc (104ºf). The iPhone in question was almost too hot to hold, and could’t be used for at least 15 minutes once it had cooled down in the shade.
Fortunately this caused no permanent damage to the iPhone, but allowing any device that contains a battery to reach high temperatures carries risks. The lithium ion batteries used in most smartphones and mobile electronics are relatively safe. But they’re still dangerous when exposed to extreme heat.
Leaving your iPhone in a car on a hot day, prolonged exposure to sun, and running demanding apps or use of GPS for extended periods while in a hot environment can all cause your device to display Apple’s temperature warning. You may be able to make emergency calls while this warning is on screen, provided the “slide for emergency” message appears.
To cool down a device that is too hot:
- Turn it off.
- Stop charging, if you are doing so.
- Remove any case you may be using.
- Take the device out of direct sunlight, into the shade.
- Wait for the heat to dissipate.
One thing you should never do to a hot iPhone is put it in the fridge, or any other environment that causes a rapid change in temperature. Rapid cooling can cause moisture in the air to condensate, which will cause water damage to the internal components. Always cool your device gradually, and avoid direct airflow from air conditioners on very hot days.
The Bottom Line
Your phone will get warm to the touch while you use it, and provided it’s not constantly warm for seemingly no reason, there’s little reason to worry. You should always be careful not to leave your devices in the sun, particularly with the screen facing up, as dark colors absorb more heat.