Having an overheated phone can be frustrating. A hot phone may run slower, have reduced battery life, and even shut down unexpectedly. Luckily, there are several easy ways to cool down your overheating phone quickly.
Why Does My Phone Get Hot?
There are a few common reasons why your phone may get hot:
- Using resource-intensive apps or features like gaming, video streaming, GPS navigation, etc.
- Charging the phone, especially while using it or charging with a faulty or unapproved charger
- Direct sunlight or hot environments
- Lots of background processes running
- Older phone with worn-out battery
- Too many widgets, live wallpapers, or animations
- Malware or viruses affecting system resources
Newer phones with more powerful processors like the Snapdragon 855/865 can also generate more heat when pushed to their limits. But any phone can overheat with the right conditions.
How to Tell if Your Phone is Overheating
Signs your phone may be overheating include:
- Phone feels hot to the touch
- Apps stutter, freeze, or crash unexpectedly
- Dim screen/slow response
- Battery drains faster than usual
- Charging slows down
- Camera shuts down automatically
- “Temperature too high” warning
- Phone shuts down on its own
You’ll usually notice these issues most when using resource-intensive apps or features. But if your phone feels hot even at rest, it likely needs to cool down.
How to Cool Down an Overheated Phone
Here are the best ways to cool down and prevent overheating on your Android phone or iPhone:
1. Remove the Case
Phone cases can trap heat against the phone and prevent heat dissipation. Popping your phone out of its case is an easy first step to help it cool faster.
2. Turn Off Unneeded Features
Disable or exit any apps, features, or functions that could be causing overheating like:
- Games, videos, or streaming apps
- GPS/location services
- Mobile data
- Live wallpaper
- Lower screen brightness
Giving your phone’s processor and cell service a break will allow it to dissipate heat better.
3. Update Apps
Make sure all apps are updated. Outdated app code can cause conflicts that make the processor work harder. Update apps in the Play Store/App Store.
4. Check for Malware
Malware like spyware or crypto-mining software can secretly overwork your phone. Run anti-virus software to check for and remove malware.
5. Clear App Cache & Data
Clearing cached app data frees up resources and storage space. In Settings, find and clear the cache/data for apps that misbehave or seem to overheat your phone.
6. Restart Your Phone
A simple restart will close all apps and allow the phone to start fresh. This can clear any app issues or memory leaks causing overheating.
7. Update Your Phone
Make sure to regularly update your Android or iPhone software. Updates sometimes include fixes for overheating issues. But avoid beta updates as they can be buggy.
8. Free Up Storage Space
Delete old photos/videos, downloaded files, and clear your app caches. Having enough free storage space enables the phone to run efficiently.
9. Reset Your Phone to Factory Settings
For recurring overheating with no obvious cause, a factory reset can give your phone a clean slate. This will wipe your data though, so backup essentials first.
10. Avoid Direct Sunlight
Don’t leave your phone lying in the sun or anywhere with excessive direct heat like a hot car. The ambient environment directly impacts the phone’s temperature.
11. Use a Phone Cooler
Clip-on phone cooling fans or rear coolers with built-in heat sinks absorb and dissipate heat to act like miniature AC units for your phone.
12. Don’t Overcharge
Don’t leave phones plugged in charging overnight or after reaching 100%. Continuing to charge when full generates excess heat. Unplug once fully charged.
13. Switch Wall Chargers
Use the charger that came with your phone, or a high-quality replacement. Poorly made generic chargers can overcharge the battery leading to heat issues.
14. Disable Fast Charging
Fast charging creates more heat to charge phones quicker. You can toggle this off in Settings if overheating occurs when charging rapidly.
15. Swap Batteries
If possible, try swapping in a new battery if you suspect the old battery is worn out. Old lithium-ion batteries generate more heat when charging and discharging.
16. Check for Swelling
A swollen or bloated battery is hazardous and needs immediate replacement. Swelling batteries overheat easily due to cell damage and defects.
17. Use Airplane Mode
Switch on Airplane mode to suspend cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and other signals. This will eliminate a cause of overheating if wireless connections are misbehaving.
18. Wipe Off Dust Buildup
Clean dust and lint accumulation inside the phone’s charging port, headphone jack, speakers, etc. Clogged-up ports and vents can block airflow and heat dissipation.
19. Avoid Multitasking
Don’t try using multiple demanding apps at the same time like streaming video while gaming. Focus on one intensive app at a time and close others to minimize system load.
20. Disable Background Apps
Apps running unnecessary background processes can tax the phone even when not in active use. Disable background app refresh and activity in Settings.
DIY Phone Cooling Tips
In a pinch, you can improvise these homemade methods to cool down your phone and prevent destructive heat buildup:
• Point a fan at your phone – Direct airflow cools phones fast.
• Sandwich between cold objects – Place phone between two cold water bottles or frozen gel packs.
• Wrap in a damp cloth – Enables evaporative cooling, but avoid getting ports wet.
• Set face down on a cold surface – Marble, granite, and metal surfaces conduct heat away from hot phones.
• Refrigerate briefly – Up to 5 minutes in the fridge can bring down high temperatures safely.
• Add thermal paste – Enhances heat transfer from the chipset to phone frame.
When to Avoid DIY Cooling Solutions
Take care not to over-cool your phone or use risky cooling methods. Here’s what to avoid:
- Submerging in liquids – Water can damage phones irreparably.
- Freezing – May cause condensation issues when phone warms up.
- Direct air conditioning – Can thermally shock components leading to failure.
- Exposing phone internals – Tampering with a lithium-ion battery is unsafe.
- Applying ice directly – Extreme cold from direct ice contact could crack the display glass.
Signs of Critical Overheating
Get your phone checked at a service center if you experience:
- Burning plastic smell
- Smoke or hissing sounds
- Swelling or bloating battery
- Discolored or melted ports/housing
- Extreme untouchable heat
- Visible sparks or flames
These indicate dangerous critical overheating that requires immediate qualified technician inspection to avoid damage or safety hazards.
Preventing Overheating Problems
You can take proactive steps to keep your phone cool and avoid overheating issues:
- Don’t expose phones to temperature extremes
- Avoid prolonged direct sunlight
- Don’t overload processors with intensive multitasking
- Pause CPU/GPU-intensive apps to let phones rest and cool periodically
- Install phone cooling accessories if you play graphics-heavy games
- Maintain phones dust and debris free
- Keep phones away from warm objects like laptops and hot surfaces
- Toggle off background refreshing and syncing for unused apps
- Set screen brightness conservatively instead of max
- Use darker wallpapers as they consume less power
- Limit live wallpapers, widgets and animations
Overheating is a common problem with modern phones but luckily one that can usually be remedied or prevented easily. The most effective techniques involve removing heat sources, managing resource-intensive apps, using phone cooling accessories, and keeping your phone properly maintained and updated. Avoid DIY cooling methods that could damage your phone. With some care and tweaking, you can keep your phone running cool and smoothly.