How can I cool my phone down in the sun?

Quick answers

Here are some quick tips to cool your phone down when it gets hot in the sun:

  • Get your phone out of the sun and into the shade
  • Use a phone cooling case or attach a phone cooling fan
  • Put your phone in front of an AC vent to cool it down
  • Turn on airplane mode to reduce processing power
  • Close any apps that are running and producing heat
  • Avoid charging your phone in the heat as this warms the battery
  • Wipe your phone down with a cool damp cloth
  • Point a regular fan directly at your phone
  • Immerse your phone (if waterproof) in cool water for a few minutes

Why does my phone get hot in the sun?

There are a few key reasons why your phone may get hot when exposed to direct sunlight or high ambient temperatures:

  • The battery heats up – Lithium-ion batteries generate more heat as they work harder in hot conditions to maintain charge.
  • The processor heats up – Your phone’s CPU and GPU generate significant heat when running apps and games, exacerbated by high external temperatures.
  • Sunlight absorption – Direct sunlight is absorbed by your phone’s components, especially the display, heating them up.
  • No heat dissipation – With limited airflow, heat has nowhere to go and builds up inside your phone.

Modern phones also have very compact and dense internal designs. This lack of breathing room means heat can’t dissipate effectively and temperatures climb rapidly even in moderate conditions. Prolonged heat exposure will cause your phone to throttle performance to regulate temperature.

How hot is too hot for my phone?

Most phone manufacturers recommend trying to keep your device below 95°F (35°C) to avoid potential damage from overheating. At temperatures higher than 113°F (45°C), the internal components like the battery and processor can start to suffer accelerated wear.

You’ll know your phone is getting too hot if:

  • It feels uncomfortably warm/hot when holding it
  • It displays a high temperature warning
  • Apps lag or crash unexpectedly
  • The battery drains faster than usual
  • It stops charging properly

If your phone is reaching temperatures over 122°F (50°C), it’s best to take steps to cool it down immediately to avoid permanent internal damage.

How to keep your phone cool in hot weather

Here are some tips to prevent your phone from overheating in hot weather conditions:

  1. Keep it shaded – Don’t leave your phone in direct sunlight. The sunlight will magnify the heat. Keep it stashed in a bag or purse away from the sun’s rays.
  2. Use a cooling phone case – Cases with built-in fans or that dissipate heat can lower internal temperatures by up to 10°F.
  3. Close intensive apps – Don’t run demanding apps like mobile games or navigation in hot conditions as these make the processor work harder.
  4. Disable widgets – Widgets constantly running in the background generate heat. Temporarily disable them until temperatures drop.
  5. Turn on power saving – Power saving mode throttles the CPU and screen brightness to mitigate overheating.
  6. Avoid wireless charging – Wireless charging generates up to twice as much heat compared to wired charging.
  7. Don’t keep it in confined spaces – Allow airflow around your phone so it can vent heat properly.
  8. Keep the case off – A phone case traps heat generated by your phone against the body. Remove it to stay cooler.

How to cool down an overheated phone

If your phone becomes dangerously hot, take these steps immediately to cool it down and prevent damage:

  1. Get it into the shade – Move your phone into a shaded or air-conditioned area out of the heat and sunlight.
  2. Remove protective case – Take off any thick or poorly ventilated cases trapping heat.
  3. Turn it off – Power your phone down completely. This will stop it generating additional heat.
  4. Use a fan – Point a fan directly at your phone to create airflow and cool it down faster.
  5. Apply an ice pack – Wrap your phone in a cloth and apply gently to the back. Don’t over-cool the battery.
  6. Immerse in cool water * – Immerse your waterproof phone in cool water for a few minutes. This draws heat away rapidly.

* Only use this method if your phone has an IP water-resistance rating and make sure no ports are left uncovered.

Best phone cooling gadgets and accessories

Specialized phone cooling gadgets can help lower and regulate your phone’s temperature in hot ambient conditions:

Accessory How it Works
Phone cooling case Cases with built-in fans and heat sinks pull heat away from phone’s internals.
Phone cooling pad Pads with fans flow cool air under and around your phone.
Phone fan attachment Clip-on fans attach to your phone to direct cool air on it.
Liquid cooler Water cooling cases with liquid heat pipes dissipate heat.

These cooling accessories work best alongside other heat prevention measures like avoiding intensive apps and direct sunlight.

Does water cool down phones?

Yes, water can be an effective way to cool down your overheating phone in some cases. Here are a few things to know about using water:

  • Only submerge waterproof phones – Make sure your phone has an IP water resistance rating before immersing in liquid.
  • Use cool, not cold water – Cool tap water between 50-68°F (10-20°C) works best. Ice water can shock and damage components.
  • Keep ports covered – Use a watertight case and seal all charging ports, speakers, mics to prevent water damage.
  • Rinse clean water only – Don’t immerse in pool water, saltwater, soapy water, drinks which can cause corrosion.
  • Pat dry before turning on – Water conducts electricity. Dry phone thoroughly before powering back on.
  • Don’t overcool battery – Don’t leave in water for over 15-20 minutes. This can potentially damage the battery.

As long as proper precautions are taken, briefly immersing your overheated phone in cool clean water can drop its temperature quickly without harming components.

Does putting your phone in the fridge help?

Putting an overheated phone in the fridge or freezer is generally not recommended. Here’s why it can be problematic:

  • Risk of condensation – Moisture can form on cold internal components causing shorts.
  • Battery damage – Low temps are stressful for lithium-ion batteries.
  • Thermal shock – Extreme cold to hot cycles creates expansion/contraction stress.
  • Display cracking – Rapid cooling causes the glass display to contract rapidly.
  • Freezer burn risk – Phone components can literally freeze below 32°F (0°C).

It’s safer to use indirect cooling methods like pointing a fan at your phone. If attempting to fridge/freezer cool, allow phone to return to room temperature before turning on again to avoid condensation.

Does airplane mode cool your phone?

Yes, activating airplane mode can help reduce power draw and cool down an overheated phone in some cases. Here’s why it helps:

  • Disables wireless antennas – No mobile data, WiFi or Bluetooth means less energy use.
  • Limits background activity – Apps can’t sync data in the background.
  • Fewer notifications – No constant pings from messages or emails.
  • Reduces processor load – Less being processed with radios off.

Airplane mode is most effective when battery level is already high. It has limited benefit if the phone is hot while charging. But for general overheating, airplane mode can provide a useful quick reduction in temperature.

Does low power mode cool your phone?

Yes, enabling low power or battery saver mode can reduce an overheated phone’s temperature by limiting performance. Typical changes include:

  • Lowers CPU speed – Downclocks processor requiring less power.
  • Reduces screen brightness – Less display backlight lowers energy usage.
  • Suspends background apps – Limits extraneous activity heating phone.
  • Disables visual effects – Scaling back animations/transitions improves efficiency.
  • Stops email auto-sync – Check manually to avoid constant wireless data transfer.

The downside is your phone will be slower and less responsive. But low power mode is one of the most effective software-only methods for reducing overheating available on smartphones.

Should you turn off your phone when hot?

Turning your phone completely off when overheated can help lower its temperature. Here are some benefits of powering down:

  • Stops wireless activity – No mobile data, WiFi or Bluetooth reducing power use.
  • Halts processor activity – Nothing actively running when powered down.
  • Pauses charging – Battery cools down when not filling up with power.
  • Lets heat dissipate – Gives time for thermal energy to radiate away.
  • Resets components – Controller chips can reset stuck processes causing overheating.

Allow at least 15-20 minutes powered down. This gives accumulated heat time to radiate from the battery, processor chip, and other internal components bringing temperatures back down closer to ambient levels before powering on again.

Tips for charging a hot phone

Charging tends to heat phones up even more. Follow these tips for safer charging when your phone is hot:

  • Don’t charge while in the sun – Move to the shade where it’s cooler.
  • Wait for phone to cool – Let the phone drop to under 95°F (35°C) before plugging in.
  • Use a low-power charger – Slow chargers produce less heat than fast/quick charging.
  • Take the case off – Prevent a hot case trapping heat against the body.
  • Charge in short bursts – Charge partially, take a break, then charge to full.
  • Don’t multi-task – Using other apps while charging increases heat production.
  • Point a fan at phone – Creates airflow to whisk heat away while charging.

Following safe charging practices reduces the risk of heat damage to your battery and extends your phone’s longevity.


Overheating can happen to any smartphone but there are many techniques you can use to cool down your phone when outside temperatures climb. Keep your phone shaded, use a specialized cooling case or fan, disable unneeded functions, and move to a cooler location. In moderate conditions, even simple steps like closing apps or pointing a fan go a long way towards protecting your phone from damage while hot. With care and common sense, you can enjoy using your phone all summer long without overheating.