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What to do if your iPhone is overheating

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All phones get warm from time to time, but if your phone is often getting abnormally hot, it could be a sign of underlying problems. Read our guide for tips on what to do if your iPhone is overheating.

Why is my iPhone getting hot?

It’s normal for phones to get a bit warm from time to time, especially if you’re using it heavily for many different tasks. It’s because your battery is working hard to process these tasks.

However, if your phone often feels unusually hot, it could be a sign of a wider issue.

Some reasons why your iPhone gets hot include:

  • Faulty battery – if the battery is faulty or damaged, it might be overworking itself unnecessarily
  • Too many apps running – your iPhone needs to work harder to run many processes at the same time, which can cause excess heat
  • Heavy streaming or gaming – these are two labour-intensive tasks that require a lot of screen time and processing power, which can take a toll on your phone’s battery
  • Outdated software or apps – if you’re using an outdated version of an app, it can potentially overload your iPhone’s processor
  • Being left out in the sun – direct sunlight and warm temperatures will raise the temperature inside your phone too

How to know if your iPhone is getting too hot

Nevertheless, there’s no need to panic if your phone feels warm. There’s a difference between your iPhone overheating and simply getting warm.

It’s normal for your iPhone to get a bit warm if you’ve been using it for certain power-hungry tasks – for example, video-calling, streaming films or using your GPS for a long period of time. But usually it’ll quickly return to a normal temperature once you leave it alone.

However, if your phone is too hot to comfortably handle, or a temperature warning message appears on screen, it’s a case of overheating.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to help your iPhone – read on for more tips.

How to cool down your iPhone

If you’re dealing with an excessively hot iPhone, there are some simple fixes you can do to help it cool down quickly.

Remove your phone case

Phone cases, especially thicker ones, can block your phone’s vents and trap heat. Cool down your iPhone by removing the case to release any trapped heat.

Try using your device without a case for a day, to see if there’s any difference.

Avoid charging

Charging your phone generates a lot of heat. If your iPhone feels extremely hot, unplug your phone and place it on a smooth, uncluttered surface where it can cool down.

Turn down your screen brightness

Powering a bright screen takes a lot of energy from your iPhone, which generates more heat. If possible, dim the screen brightness.

Turn off your phone

It’s a tried and tested method, but it works: simply turning off your phone and leaving it alone for a few minutes can help it cool down.

It’ll help dissipate the heat that’s built up in the device, as well as give your phone a chance to reset itself and shut down any processes that may be overworking it.

How to prevent your iPhone from overheating

As with many things, prevention is better than a cure. To avoid your iPhone overheating in the first place, there are some best practices you can follow.

Avoid leaving your phone in direct sunlight

iPhones can start overheating when they reach over 35 degrees Celsius. Avoid letting it sit in direct sunlight, and don’t leave it in your car on a hot day.

Instead, keep it somewhere cool, or in the shade. You can even put it in front of a fan to help it gradually cool down.

Don’t stick it in the fridge, though, and avoid sudden changes in temperature – that’ll harm your phone.

Close unused apps

Even if you’re not actively using an app, it may be running in the background. Your phone’s battery will still be working on these background apps, which can take quite a lot of processing power.

To view and shut down any background apps, either double-click the Home button, or swipe up from the bottom to the middle of the Home Screen. This will bring up the App Switcher, where you can swipe up on apps you want to close.

Keep apps and software up to date

Developers are always working on bug fixes and security patches that can help improve your phone’s efficiency. This means they’ll use up less power, which will help prevent your iPhone from overexerting itself and overheating.

So, it’s important to keep on top of any app and iOS updates. You can do this in your phone’s App Store.

Use Airplane Mode

Being always connected to the internet involves a lot of energy from your iPhone. Switching to Airplane Mode is a quick and easy way to disconnect your iPhone from mobile data, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networks.

By doing so, it helps to calm down an overworked battery – which, in turn, can help to cool down your phone. Think of it as a way to give your phone a break, without having to turn it off.

Keep in mind you won’t be able to make or receive any calls or messages, so only use Airplane Mode if you’re not expecting anything important.

Use an official Apple charger

It’s always best to use an official Apple Lightning cable to charge your iPhone. Unofficial and third-party wires may overload the battery, which causes the device to overheat.

Leave your phone alone when it’s charging or installing updates

Your phone is likely to get hotter during activities like charging, installing updates and downloading apps.

To prevent the battery from becoming overworked, it’s best to avoid using your device during these times.

Turn off Background Refresh

Apple’s Background Refresh means that apps are constantly refreshing in the background, even when you’re not actively using them. Although it means you’ll always get fresh new content when you open the app, it’s a real drain on your battery.

To disable this feature, go into Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Here, you can turn it off for all apps, or on an app-by-app basis.

Keep your phone away from other electronic devices

If you’re keeping your phone on a desk or in a bag with your laptop, tablet and other gadgets, it can end up creating a hot environment that can further overheat your devices.

When using multiple devices, it’s best to keep them separated on your desk, especially if you’re charging them at the same time. And when you’re storing them, it’s best to turn off anything you’re not using.

What if your iPhone keeps overheating?

If you’ve tried some of the tips and your iPhone is still getting hot, it’s best to get some expert help.

Get in touch with the Genius Bar at your local Apple store to schedule a face-to-face appointment. Or, for a quicker response, you can contact an Apple expert by phone, online chat or email.

It might also be a sign that it’s time to upgrade. If you’re using a phone that’s a few years old, chances are that it’s struggling to keep up with demanding tasks, or dealing with a tired battery and processor.

You could consider getting the latest and greatest iPhone 13, or another Apple handset.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my iPhone getting hot while charging?

If your iPhone feels abnormally hot while charging, it could be due to damage to its battery or charging port, or a problem with your charging cable.

It could also be because you’re using your phone when it’s charging – particularly if you’re doing a power-hungry activity such as video calling, streaming films or online gaming.

So, it’s best to leave your phone alone while it’s charging.

Does the battery drain quicker when my iPhone overheats?

Yes, it does. When your iPhone gets too hot, it can lose battery capacity. And over time, excessive heat can permanently degrade battery life.

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