Why Is My Phone Hot? Try These Tips to Cool It Down

May 16, 2024 • Zachary Amos

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Why is my phone hot when I’m not doing anything unusual? If you’ve asked yourself that question, you’re not alone, although there are more possible reasons than you may think. Let’s go through some of the most common culprits and solutions, plus learn how to avoid mishaps caused by your device getting too hot. 

Why Is My Phone Hot? Consider These Things First

Realizing your phone is too hot can be a jarring experience, but is it really as uncommon as it first seems? Maybe not. Go through these questions as a starting point: 

  • Did it only start getting hot recently?
  • Are you using the phone in a hot environment?
  • How were you using your phone before noticing the warmth?
  • Do you have a lot of apps running simultaneously?
  • Is the phone charging when it gets hot?

Answering those questions can help determine if the phone is getting hot due to something within your control. Now, let’s go into some potential solutions. 

Determine the Timing of the Most Recent Phone Update

First, think about whether you’ve updated your phone recently, either by purchasing a new device or updating the software. These changes may not be the first culprits that come to mind for your phone’s warmth, but it’s a realistic possibility. 

For example, in October 2023, Apple confirmed a problem causing the iPhone 15 Pro to overheat was due to a software bug and released a fix. Some consumers experiencing this issue said their devices were too hot to hold. However, not every person with this phone noticed it got too hot. 

If you suspect your phone is too hot because of a software issue, check news sites, Reddit, brand-operated forums and other places where tech enthusiasts will likely gather to talk about what they love and hate about their phones and the devices’ recent software updates. 

That’s the easiest way to tell if you’re likely dealing with a larger problem. In that case, people at the affected company will want to deal with the issue as efficiently as possible to keep consumers from getting too upset. 

Understand Why Your Behavior Might Cause a Hot Phone

Is your phone hot due to something you’re doing? Maybe. An overworked CPU is one of the most common reasons for excessive warmth. Were you playing a graphics-intensive game on the device when it started getting hot? Try taking a short break and see if that causes the phone to return to a normal temperature.  

Another good practice is to quit any unnecessary apps on your phone. Many people don’t realize apps may run in the background, eating up your device’s resources and causing that unwanted heat. 

Consider your phone’s recent environment, too. Was it lying on the dashboard for a few hours during a hot, sunny day? Are you squinting in the sunlight while trying to see the phone’s screen as you sit by the pool? 

All phones have recommended temperature ranges they must stay within to perform well. That means they can’t get too hot or cold. If either happens, your phone’s screen might show a warning message. Alternatively, you might notice the device starts operating sluggishly or shutting off. Try removing your phone from the extreme temperatures and see if that cools it down. 

Don’t Overcharge Your Phone

Phones can become too hot if charged for too long, such as overnight. Some phones have temperature sensors that activate when charging if the device becomes overly hot. Users then see on-screen prompts to take their phones off the chargers to let them cool.

Some experts recommend not letting your phone charge above 80% or drop below 20%. They say this will allow you to get the highest number of charge cycles from the battery. As the overall number of cycles drops, the battery life decreases and the phone won’t hold its charge for as long.

However, that doesn’t mean you should panic if your phone charges to a higher level or if you occasionally need to charge it all the way. Battery manufacturers thoroughly test phones to mimic the ways people use them. You won’t ruin your phone by charging it fully or depleting its battery, but it’s best to get in the habit of only doing those things occasionally. 

If you have an iPhone running iOS 13 or later, the device’s optimized battery charging setting will make it automatically stop charging after reaching 80%. Otherwise, think about changing when you charge your phone, such as mainly doing it during your waking hours instead of when asleep. Most modern phones charge quickly, so it shouldn’t take too long to get yours back to 80% — or a full charge if you prefer. 

The other good thing about charging your phone while awake is you can monitor its heat level by touching it from time to time. If you notice your phone is hot, consider disconnecting it from the charger for a while. Overheated phones can start fires, so it’s good to keep an eye on things. 

Use Only Manufacturer-Recommended Chargers 

You can buy portable chargers, cables and plugs almost everywhere, from pharmacies to gas stations. However, the wide availability of those accessories could be contributing to your phone getting hot. That’s because the quality control during the manufacturing process of these third-party products can vary. 

Consider a case where approximately 190,000 portable chargers sold exclusively by Amazon got recalled after they caught on fire. In at least one case, a charger caught on fire during a commercial flight. 

The best way to avoid these emergencies is to purchase chargers and equipment your phone’s manufacturer recommends. That usually means buying branded equipment or third-party items the manufacturer sells on its official website. In those instances, the phone manufacturer must protect its reputation and will likely require that the chargers pass quality checks before getting suggested as options. 

Of course, even manufacturer-produced or recommended products aren’t perfect and could still cause your phone to get hot due to an internal flaw. That’s why it’s still best to limit the overall charging time and occasionally feel your phone to see if it seems too hot. 

Why Is My Phone Hot? Now You Can Fix It! 

This overview gives you many things to consider when pinpointing the cause of your hot phone. Besides these suggestions, learn whether your phone is still under warranty coverage. That’s an especially good thing to do if you try many of these solutions, but they don’t help. A tech support representative can look deeper into the issue to try and determine the cause. 

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