How Hot is Too Hot? 5 Tips To Keep Your Phone From Overheating

How Hot is Too Hot? 5 Tips To Keep Your Phone From Overheating

Updated April 2016

As summer approaches, the temperature is warming up and your phone may not be able to take the heat. That’s right, your phone’s internal temperature changes based on the temperature of its environment. If it gets too hot you can have some major problems like draining your battery, melting your Central Processing Unit and battery, or causing a forced shutdown of your phone. When you overheat your phone, there are no guarantees that your phone will be able to restart.

To prevent phone overheating, we want to give you some tips to prevent a phone disaster this summer.

  1. Avoid direct sunlight to your phone. While leaving it easily accessible may be better for you, it is terrible for your phone. Your phone catches light and heat from the sun and retains it, getting hotter the longer you remain in the sun. Avoiding direct sunlight and heat is the easiest way to prevent overheating your phone.
  2. Turn off unused apps on your phone. Allowing apps you’re not using to run in the background runs battery and increases the heat on your phone. On an iPhone for example, all you have to do is simply press your home button twice and swipe the apps away. Closing these down not only saves battery but also decreases how hard your phone works, which in turn decreases heat.
  3. Don’t turn your brightness up, buy a glare screen. Just the same as running background apps, turning your brightness up will affect battery, forcing it to work harder. Instead of turning your brightness up, buy a glare screen. You’ll be able to use your phone in the sun no matter how bright it is.
  4. This one is simple, if you’re not using your phone, turn it to airplane mode or turn it off. Putting it in airplane mode will allow you to keep time and play music, but that will be it. These two options make it easier to save your battery and prevent it from heating up.
  5. If your phone is already overheating, take your case off. If your phone is hot, your case traps the heat. Taking the case off will allow the phone’s heat vents to do their job fully without being blocked. This will help your phone cool down quicker.

Additional suggestions to remember and consider:

  • Keep your applications up-to-date. This one might seem counter-intuitive, but many app updates include bug fixes, and that can improve your phone’s efficiency.
  • Separate your phone from your other gadgets. Keeping your phone, tablet and computer stacked up (even worse, stacked inside a bag!) might help you keep track of your devices, but if one running electronic device is stacked on top of another running electronic device, overheating is more likely. Keep that stuff separate and you’ll keep it cool.
  • Trim unneeded apps. If your phone continues to overheat, you might want to consider the number of unnecessary items on your phone—like ringtones, games, backgrounds, or apps that you never ever use. Delete apps and functionality you’re not using and you’ll reduce your phone’s workload.
  • If your phone is already hot, here’s a bit of cure: Fan your phone, or blow on it. You might feel silly fanning your phone, but physics doesn’t care. Just as fanning keeps a body cool, a breeze can help cool off your device when it’s getting too toasty. Wave your hand or a sheet of paper to make a breeze, or even blow on the back of your phone to help it cool down.
  • Avoid sudden changes in temperature. If you’re really worried about the temperature of your phone, you might be tempted to place it in the refrigerator or freezer, just for a minute or two. This is what experts in the field might call, “a terrible idea.” Exposing your phone to extreme temperatures strains the components and also risks collecting moisture, a surefire way to break your device.

Note: This post was originally published in July 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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There are 43 comments for this article
  1. Cheryl at 3:07 pm

    Just recently mine got really hot. I have no idea why, as I was home. All I was doing is checking email and FB. I put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Seems ok since then.

    • SmartiePie54 at 5:48 pm

      A tip also is not to put it in the freezer because warm heat against cold heat is not good for the phone and that can lead to cracks or the phone dying, trust me it happend to me. Just lay it at a cool place somewhere 🙂

  2. Ward at 2:18 pm

    Regarding Tip #2, it is funny to read that you can simply swipe the apps away on an iPhone, as if they were the pioneers of such a user friendly feature in their OS. Palm developed webOS with this app management feature ib 2009 for their Palm Pre. As Palm dwindled and was absorbed by HP, Mr. Duarte who helped develop this type of app management interface moved to Android where it became a feature with Android Jellybean in 2012. Apple finally decided that true multitasking was a good idea and enabled this feature in 2013 for iOS 5 I think. Thank you webOS…gone but still schooling Android and Apple. 😉

    • jeff at 8:07 am

      Good idea, but fans won’t be able to cool the temperature of the phone to below the ambient temperature, i.e., how hot the actual air is in your truck.

    • susan at 1:21 pm

      :() when its not glued to ones ear or if just maybe they can live without a phone in their lives for at least a little while……

  3. Michael Fischer at 12:51 pm

    When traveling by car my phone gets hot because in addition to the display, I’m running many apps at one time (gps, music, glimpse, Bluetooth, email, messaging, etc). I’ve remedied this by using a vent mount holder and and having the air flow directly over the cellphone.

  4. Cynthia Stone at 10:10 am

    Thanks for the insight. Just worked 2 wks. outside job…95 -103 degrees…TX heat. My Android phone got so hot it could not charge, per warning message I received. If cell goes down and 2-way radio fails in-site, I’m in a pickle! Appreciate the fan suggestion WHT.

  5. Christopher at 9:11 pm

    I use the app cooler master get it on Google play for free when your phone starts to head up run the app and it closes apps that are running in the background and also stops them from re opening. Also in developer options you can check a box to not keep apps running after you close them also in data usage select apps that you don’t need pulling info from the Internet and stop them.

  6. Cathy at 8:33 pm

    My problem is when I charge my Alcatel one touch plus 2 night time everything is fine- I installed some apps like Go SMS pro and go launcher. Early morning I open my phone to checked if I have message etc. but if I open some app it’s color black and there’s a message that the Go SMS pro is not responding. So What I did is turn it off and then when I try to open it again my phone won’t turn on and I feel that it’s heating. Please help about this matter, any suggestion will do. Thanks

  7. Ryan Bowzer at 3:59 pm

    Also you can put your phone in a zip lock bag then put it in a glass of slightly cool water, the water will absorb the heat in seconds. I double zip lock just in case but single works fine

  8. jresquival at 5:10 pm

    That’s a good tip to take your phone’s case off if it’s running hot. That way it can get some more ventilation. I bet putting it on a mount instead of always having it in your pocket can help too.

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