Is it OK to put your phone in the freezer?

We’ve all been there – you’re using your phone when it suddenly freezes up and becomes unresponsive. No matter how many times you press the buttons or swipe the screen, nothing happens. It’s a frustrating experience that many smartphone users have dealt with at one time or another.

In a popular Android Central forum thread, users trade stories of their phones freezing at the worst possible moments. One user describes their Samsung phone seizing up right as they tried to capture a once-in-a-lifetime photo. Another laments their phone freezing just before an important call.

When phones freeze, people naturally look for quick solutions. Some claim that putting your phone in the freezer can fix freeze-ups and other issues. But does freezing a phone really help or just make matters worse? Let’s take a closer look.

Why People Freeze Phones

Some people put their phones in the freezer in hopes of quickly fixing an issue with the device. Two common reasons are to attempt to cool down an overheating phone or to try to salvage a water-damaged phone.

Overheating is a common issue with phones, especially after prolonged use or while charging. The phone may become uncomfortably hot to the touch. Putting an overheated phone in the freezer offers a quick way to cool it down (Source). The cold temperature helps dissipate the heat.

Water damage is another common phone mishap. If a phone gets wet, some people try putting it in the freezer to dry it out and perhaps revive it. The cold temperature freezes any residual water, preventing further corrosion (Source). However, this is not an effective drying method.

Does Freezing Help Overheating?

Some people try putting an overheated phone in the freezer to rapidly cool it down. However, this is not recommended as it can cause condensation issues when the phone warms up (Source: The rapid temperature change from very hot to freezing can lead to moisture forming on sensitive internal components.

Additionally, phones rely on airflow to cool down effectively. Putting it in an enclosed space like a freezer restricts this airflow and prevents proper cooling. It’s better to turn off the phone, remove any cases, and let it cool down gradually at room temperature (Source: This allows the internal components to return to normal temperatures safely.

Can Freezing Fix Water Damage?

Freezing a wet phone can temporarily halt water damage but does not reverse corrosion that has already occurred inside the device. When water gets inside a phone, it can start corroding delicate electronics and connections. Freezing pauses this process, but once thawed, the water resumes damaging your phone’s components.

Additionally, condensation often forms when thawing a frozen phone. This introduces new moisture that can further damage the phone’s internals. While freezing may buy you some time to try other solutions, it does not repair existing water damage. At best, it pauses the corrosion for a short period.

According to experts, attempting to freeze dry a phone rarely saves it long-term. Water-damaged phones tend to fail again soon after thawing. The condensation, remaining liquid, and corrosion quickly causes permanent issues.

So in summary, freezing cannot reverse water damage already done inside your phone. It only temporarily halts the spread of corrosion while frozen. Expect condensation and the resumption of corrosion once thawed. To properly fix a water-damaged phone, disassembly and cleaning with 90%+ isopropyl alcohol is required.


How to Save a Wet Cell Phone

Other Freezer Risks

While the freezing temperature inside a freezer may seem like an easy solution for overheating or water damage, placing a phone in the freezer poses some significant risks that should be carefully considered.

One major risk is potential damage to the lithium-ion battery inside most smartphones. According to this article, extreme cold can severely impact battery performance and lifespan. Exposing a lithium-ion battery to freezing temperatures can potentially cause shorts, leaks, and other hazardous reactions.

Additionally, the moisture present inside freezers can lead to condensation forming on and inside the phone. Condensation can then lead to corrosion of internal components over time according to experts on Quora. The moisture and sudden temperature changes going from freezer to room temperature can damage solder points and cause shorts in electronic devices.

Better Solutions

Instead of putting your phone in the freezer, there are some better solutions to try if your phone is overheating or has water damage:

If your phone is overheating, let it cool down at room temperature. Don’t use it or charge it for at least 15-30 minutes to allow the internal components to return to a normal operating temperature. Using the phone while it’s overheated risks further damage (1).

If your phone got wet, one of the most effective ways to dry it out is to place it in a sealed container with lots of silica gel packets. Silica gel absorbs moisture and will help draw water out of your phone. Let it sit for at least 24 hours before trying to use your phone again. The key is being patient and allowing time for the water to fully evaporate (2).

When Freezing May Work

Although freezing a phone is not generally recommended, there are some rare situations where it could potentially help. If a phone becomes very wet, such as falling into a pool or lake, putting it in the freezer could potentially buy some time before permanent water damage occurs. The cold temperatures can temporarily slow the corrosion process and give you a chance to try other drying methods. However, it’s still a risky approach with no guarantee of success.

The only other scenario where freezing could be an option is if the phone is already completely unusable and won’t turn on at all. If you’ve tried every other troubleshooting method with no luck, putting it in the freezer likely can’t make things any worse. Just don’t expect freezing alone to magically revive a dead phone. At best, it may shock the battery and other components back to life for a short time. But the underlying issue will still need to be properly diagnosed and repaired for a true fix.

In both these cases, freezing is really a last resort with minimal chance of success. Only use it if the phone is already wet or dead. And never put a working phone in the freezer expecting it to improve performance.

Steps for Freezing Phone

If you decide to freeze your phone, follow these steps to help protect it:

1. Turn off the phone completely and remove any protective case. This allows the phone to cool evenly.

2. Wrap the phone tightly in a plastic bag or plastic wrap to seal out moisture. Condensation can damage phone components.

3. Place the wrapped phone in a sealable freezer bag for extra protection.

4. Put the bagged phone in the freezer, ideally toward the back where temperatures are most consistent. Don’t store it near foods to prevent cross-contamination.

5. Leave the phone in the freezer for 2-3 hours to cool down completely. Longer than that risks component damage.

6. When ready, remove the frozen phone and leave it wrapped. Allow it to come to room temperature gradually before unwrapping.

7. This gradual thaw helps minimize condensation, which could short circuit the phone.

Follow these steps carefully to give your phone the best chance of surviving being frozen without damage. But keep in mind that there are better solutions for most issues freezing is meant to address.

Signs of Freezer Damage

Putting your phone in the freezer can cause damage that may not be immediately obvious. Here are some signs that freezing may have harmed your device:

Condensation under screen or camera lens – When you take your phone out of the freezer, moisture in the air can condense on the cold surface, getting trapped under the screen or camera lens. This condensation can cause foggy patches or blurs.

Unresponsive touchscreen – Extreme cold from the freezer can make the touchscreen unresponsive, failing to register taps and swipes. The screen may remain frozen or slow to respond even after warming up.

Battery or performance issues – Freezing can reduce battery life and cause erratic device behavior like random reboots or crashes. The extreme cold damages battery chemistry and electronic components.

Other signs of damage may include cracked screens from thermal shock, corrupted memory, and problems charging. Any new issues after freezing your phone point to likely freezer damage.


In summary, there are a few instances where putting your phone in the freezer may provide some temporary benefits, like cooling down an overheated device or potentially reviving one that has suffered minor water damage. However, freezing comes with significant risks that make it an inadvisable solution in most cases.

The extreme cold temperatures can damage your phone’s battery, screen, or internal components. Any moisture that’s present may freeze and expand, cracking your screen or causing short circuits. It’s best not to rely on this questionable DIY method.

For overheated phones, simply turning it off and letting it cool down at room temperature is safer. For water damage, quickly powering off the device and using moisture-absorbing products is preferable over freezing. Only use the freezer method with extreme caution and as a last resort if your phone is already unusable.

In general, it’s wise to avoid exposing your phone to temperature extremes. While freezing may seem like a quick fix, it usually causes more harm than good in the long run.