How long does it take for a phone to stop overheating?

Quick Answers

Most phones will stop overheating within 15-30 minutes after removing the source of heat and allowing it to cool down. However, the exact time will vary depending on factors like the phone model, usage, environment, and severity of overheating.

What Causes a Phone to Overheat?

There are several potential causes of phone overheating:

  • Using resource-intensive apps, especially for prolonged periods
  • Charging with a faulty or incompatible charger
  • Exposing the phone to direct sunlight for too long
  • Poor ventilation due to phone case or blockage of air vents
  • Hardware or software issues resulting in excessive CPU usage
  • Using the phone in hot environments

The most common trigger is using intensive apps that generate significant processor usage and heat buildup like gaming, video streaming, GPS navigation, etc. The battery itself, power management chips, processor, and other components produce heat during normal operation. But excessive resource demand can rapidly cause overheating.

Environmental factors like direct sunlight and hot ambient temperatures can compound the problem by reducing the phone’s ability to dissipate heat through its outer surface. Poor air circulation due to thick cases or blocked vents also prevents heat from escaping efficiently.

How Hot is Too Hot?

Most phones can operate safely at temperatures up to 95°F (35°C). Prolonged exposure above 104°F (40°C) is considered overheating territory where the phone may sustain damage or even shut down.

Users will typically notice the first signs of overheating through warning messages, performance throttling, dimming displays, and apps crashing unexpectedly. It’s wise to stop intensive usage if you notice these initial indicators before the phone reaches critically hot temperatures.

Signs of Overheating

Here are some common signs your phone may be overheating:

  • Pop-up warning message about temperature
  • Laggy performance and slowed responsiveness
  • Apps randomly crashing or freezing
  • Dimming or darkened display
  • Phone feels very warm or hot to the touch
  • Built-in fan turning on (for phones with active cooling)
  • Automatic brightness reduction
  • Phone shutting down unexpectedly

Newer phones have multiple built-in temperature sensors. If readings exceed safety thresholds, the phone will automatically invoke safety measures like performance throttling, display dimming, forced idle states, and shutdowns. These mechanisms help mitigate damage from sustained overheating.

How to Cool Down an Overheating Phone

If your phone feels excessively warm or shows other overheating symptoms, here are some steps to cool it down quickly:

  1. Close all resource-intensive apps immediately.
  2. Turn off the phone or put it into Airplane mode if it’s very hot.
  3. Remove any protective case that may block ventilation.
  4. Move the phone away from direct sunlight or other heat sources.
  5. Point a fan directly at the phone to improve air circulation.
  6. Place the phone on a cool surface like a metal desk or stone countertop.
  7. Avoid further taxing the phone until it cools down.

Actively cooling your phone brings temperatures back to normal levels faster. Letting the phone rest idle without any usage or charging gives the internal components time to dissipate heat buildup.

For severely overheated phones, putting the device in the refrigerator for a short time can provide effective emergency cooling. Just make sure to avoid exposing your phone to condensation by sealing it in a plastic bag first.

How Long Should You Wait for an Overheated Phone to Cool Down?

Most overheating phones will return to safe temperatures within 15-30 minutes if you follow the right cooldown steps. However, severely overheated phones may take up to 1-2 hours to normalize.

Here are some general guidelines on cool down times based on the overheating severity:

  • Slight overheating without warning messages: less than 15 minutes.
  • Moderate overheating with performance throttling: 15-30 minutes.
  • Severe overheating with bright display/shutdown: 1-2 hours.
  • Extreme overheating too hot to touch: 2+ hours.

The phone model and specific usage scenario also affects cool down times. For example, plastic-bodied phones retain more heat versus metal-bodied phones that dissipate heat faster. More powerful phones with faster SOCs and performance modes may run hotter and require longer to stabilize. Poorly ventilated cases or hot operating environments can prolong overheating issues.

Monitor your phone carefully during the cool down period. Avoid charging or using the phone until temperatures have normalized. The recovery time is generally faster if you start cooling the phone down at the first signs of overheating versus letting it reach excessively high temperatures.

Tips to Prevent Overheating

Here are some tips to keep your phone running cool and prevent overheating in day-to-day usage:

  • Don’t block ventilation holes or ports on the phone.
  • Use well-ventilated phone cases.
  • Limit gaming, navigation, streaming to short durations.
  • Disable background processes and location services.
  • Don’t charge phone in hot areas like direct sunlight.
  • Clean out dust buildup by blowing compressed air.
  • Update software to latest stable version.
  • Avoid prolonged outdoor use in hot weather.

Also watch out for any signs of battery swelling or warping which may indicate damaged batteries prone to overheating.

When to Be Concerned About Overheating

Occasional mild overheating during intensive usage is normal, especially in hot conditions. But take note if your phone repeatedly overheats under moderate usage.

Persistent overheating can indicate underlying hardware or software issues. It may be a symptom of a degraded battery, clogged air vents, malware infection, or faulty power management.

Seeking repair is recommended if your phone frequently overheats with normal use. Severe repeated overheating can damage internal components over time.

Also get the phone checked if it feels very hot to the touch or shows temperature warning messages outside of intensive usage scenarios. Letting such problems continue unchecked may cause more permanent failures.

Long Term Damage from Overheating

While modern phones have safeguards against heat damage, prolonged overheating does stress internal hardware and degrade longevity over time. The main components at risk include:

  • Battery – Heat accelerates battery aging, reducing capacity.
  • Display – Can cause image persistence or discoloration at high temperatures.
  • Processor – Thermal throttling impacts performance if overheated.
  • Solder – Repeated heat cycles weaken internal soldered joints.

Thermal stress over months and years of use will shorten the functional lifespan of key phone parts. For example, a phone that repeatedly overheats may start showing performance hiccups or unexpected shutdowns as internal hardware deteriorates.

Excessive high temperatures can also warp or melt plastics on the phone exterior. However, most heat-induced hardware damage occurs gradually out of sight.

Getting overheating issues properly diagnosed and addressed promptly lessens the risks of premature failure. It also avoids costly mainboard replacements versus relatively inexpensive repair options like battery swaps.

Diagnosing the Cause of Overheating

If your phone overheats persistently, take it to a reputable repair shop for professional diagnosis of the root cause. Troubleshooting typically involves:

  • Inspecting for blocked vents, dust buildup.
  • Checking battery health and voltage readings.
  • Monitoring system processes for anomalies.
  • Testing performance modes and loads.
  • Assessing charging port and adapter condition.

Software diagnostics can detect abnormal CPU usage, battery parameters, thermal management errors, and other system issues that contribute to overheating.

Hardware inspection locates any obstruction of airways or faults in physical components like the battery, processor, voltage regulators, etc. For example, degraded lithium-ion batteries can produce excess heat when charging or discharging.

Professional troubleshooting pinpoints whether software optimization, new batteries, component replacement, or other fixes are required to address the overheating causes on your phone model.

Fixing a Phone That Keeps Overheating

Here are some common solutions if professional diagnosis identifies the factors making your phone overheat:

  • Replace swollen or degraded batteries.
  • Update device software and apps.
  • Clear clogged vents and fans.
  • Fix faulty power adapters.
  • Reapply thermal paste on processors.
  • Factory reset and wipe caches.

New high quality batteries with proper voltage profiles often remedy heating in older phones. Clogged air vents causing poor circulation can be cleaned out with compressed air. Software fixes like OS updates, factory resets, and uninstalling problematic apps help if overheating stems from a resource conflict or software glitch.

Hardware repair or replacement is necessary for physically damaged components. Excessive heating may require replacing thermal pads, power chips, processors, etc. Ultimately, the solution depends on the diagnosed causes underlying repeated overheating.

When to Consider Replacing an Overheating Phone

If your phone regularly overheats despite troubleshooting, it may be time for an upgrade. Constant overheating tends to accelerate deterioration of internal hardware. Continuing to use an overheating phone will shorten its usable life.

Consider replacing your phone if you experience frequent overheating accompanied by:

  • Noticeable performance declines.
  • Unexpected shutdowns or crashes.
  • Severely reduced battery life.
  • Warping/bulging of phone case.
  • Repeated need for hardware repair.

Buying a newer phone is the simplest solution if you’ve ruled out fixable causes like outdated software or poor ventilation. Using a phone already damaged by chronic overheating is false economy. The replacement costs down the road will likely outweigh getting a new phone earlier.


It’s normal for phones to get warm during intensive usage. But prolonged overheating can damage internal hardware if left unchecked. Most overheated phones return to safe temperatures within 15-30 minutes if cooled properly. Severe overheating may require 1-2 hours to normalize. Letting your phone cool down at the first signs of overheat prevents more serious hardware failure down the road. If heat problems persist, professional repair can diagnose and address the root causes – whether it’s aged batteries, clogged vents, faulty components or software issues. For phones with chronic overheating not resolved through servicing, replacement is the safest option to avoid premature breakdowns.