There are a few common reasons why your phone may be overheating quickly:
Using resource-intensive apps – Apps like gaming, video streaming, and navigation use a lot of processing power which generates heat. Using these types of apps for extended periods can cause overheating.
Charging while using the phone – Charging alone generates heat, so charging while simultaneously using resource-intensive apps compounds the problem. It’s best to avoid using the phone while it’s charging when possible.
Poor ventilation – If your phone doesn’t have proper airflow around it, the heat has nowhere to go. Using thick cases or covering the phone can trap heat and lead to overheating.
Direct sunlight – Leaving your phone in direct sunlight for too long, especially in hot environments, can cause overheating. The ambient heat builds up within the phone.
Old battery – Over time, batteries degrade and become less efficient at providing power. An old, worn out battery may overheat more easily under strain.
Hardware issues – Defective phone components like the processor or battery may be prone to overheating and could indicate a need for repair or replacement.
Malware/viruses – Malware infections can overload the processor and RAM, generating excessive heat. A virus scan can identify and remove any malicious software.
Apps that utilize a lot of processing power are one of the most common culprits when it comes to phone overheating. Activities like gaming, streaming videos, recording videos, and navigation require significant energy to render graphics and process data. This spikes the usage of components like the CPU and GPU which generates more heat. The phone’s internal temperature can rise rapidly with extended use of these types of apps.
Some examples of apps well known for driving up phone temperature include:
- 3D games like PUBG, Fortnite, Genshin Impact
- Navigation apps like Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps
- Video streaming apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu
- Social media apps like TikTok, Instagram
- Video calling apps like FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp
The internal specifications like processor cores and RAM size also play a role here. More powerful phones allow you to do more simultaneously and run more demanding apps. But the tradeoff is that heavy use also pushes those advanced components harder, producing more heat.
To reduce overheating from apps, try limiting gameplay sessions to 15-30 minutes before giving the phone a brief cooldown period. Lower the brightness level and frame rates in settings if possible. Avoid multitasking between many apps at once and close apps you aren’t actively using. Streaming video at lower resolutions can also help minimize processor strain.
Charging While Using the Phone
Another major heating culprit is charging the phone while simultaneously using it for other tasks. Plugging in your phone charges the battery by transferring power, but this process itself generates heat. If you’re gaming, streaming videos, or running other processor-intensive apps at the same time, that’s compounding two sources of heat generation.
The phone’s internal temperature will spike much faster when charging and using apps compared to just charging alone. This is especially true if you’re using a fast charger, which produces more heat in order to rapidly charge the battery.
When possible, try to avoid using the phone while it’s plugged in and charging. But if you need to multitask, take breaks every 15-30 minutes to let the phone cool down a bit before continuing. Turn off fast charging and use a slower regular charger to reduce how much heat is produced. Also try not to charge the phone in a warm environment like under direct sunlight.
You can also switch on Airplane mode while charging to avoid network activity heating up the phone. Consider replacing your charging cable and adapter if they have become warm or damaged, as defective cords can transfer electricity less efficiently and generate excess heat.
Proper airflow around the phone is important to dissipate heat and prevent overheating. Using thick protective cases can block ventilation, trapping heat inside. Covering the phone with hands, pillows, blankets or your body also restricts air circulation when using the device.
Phone makers purposefully leave tiny gaps and vents in the casing specifically for ventilation and cooling. Blocking these ports will cause heat to rapidly build up when performing processor-intensive tasks.
If possible, remove any bulky cases before prolonged gaming, streaming, or navigation. Lay the phone down on a table surface rather than gripping it tightly in hands or resting it on soft surfaces when using demanding apps. Periodically pick up the phone to allow maximum air circulation. Avoid using it in cramped tight spaces where there is little ventilation.
You can also invest in phone cases designed with cooling features like heat sinks, external fans, or thermal materials to help dissipate heat. Clean out any dust buildup from phone ports using compressed air to ensure proper ventilation. Avoid placing your phone in confined spaces like under pillows or in pockets when charging.
Leaving your phone exposed to direct sunlight for too long, especially in hot environments, is a recipe for overheating. The sun beams produce radiant heat that gets absorbed by the phone’s components, causing its internal temperature to rise. The hot ambient temperatures outdoors or in cars makes this problem worse.
Phones are designed to dissipate some heat when used at normal ambient room temperatures. But exposing them to external sources of heat builds up thermal energy faster than it can be dissipated. This causes rapid overheating of the delicate internal components.
To prevent sunlight-related overheating, avoid leaving your phone in direct sun for more than 10-15 minutes at a time. Don’t leave it on car dashboards or in confined spaces outdoors in hot weather. If you aren’t actively using the phone, keep it in shade or climate-controlled indoor environments instead.
It also helps to put light-colored phone cases on since darker colors absorb and retain more heat. Pointing the phone’s rear camera at the sun can focus light rays onto the sensor and heat the components around it, so avoid that as well. Keep the phone temperature under 95°F / 35°C at all times for best results.
Over several years of use, the battery inside your phone will inevitably wear down and become less efficient. Old degraded batteries can no longer provide peak power capacity and voltage. To compensate, the phone’s processors have to work harder when drawing current from an aging battery.
This extra strain leads to greater power consumption and clock speeds, making the processor run hotter. Meanwhile, the battery itself becomes prone to overheating from the inefficient chemical processes inside. An old battery may heat up quicker when charging or discharging compared to a new battery.
If your phone is more than 2 years old, getting the battery replaced can help reduce overheating issues. Only use reputable branded replacement batteries from a professional repair shop. Refurbished batteries may have reduced lifespans.
Avoid third-party discount batteries of questionable quality. Check battery health in settings to determine if its capacity has deteriorated. Keep batteries between 10-80% charge when possible for better long term health. Properly recycling old phone batteries is important for safety.
Sometimes overheating issues aren’t caused by external factors but by problems with the phone’s internal hardware components. Defective parts like the processor, battery, charger, and other circuitry elements can malfunction and heat up quicker than normal.
A CPU or GPU with manufacturing defects may not be able to properly regulate electrical currents and temperatures, leading to excess heat generation under load. Batteries with internal short circuits or chemical imbalances can also overheat rapidly.
If your phone regularly gets abnormally hot, even when idling, it may indicate issues with hardware rather than external factors. Take it to a qualified repair shop so they can diagnose the specific faulty components causing the problem.
Catching hardware problems early before they become severe can help prevent permanent damage. Some overheated components like the battery can actually become a fire hazard. Replace swollen or bulging batteries immediately.
Software crashes can also sometimes be mistaken for hardware issues. Try updating the operating system and apps to rule out bugs. Reset app preferences as well in case of software conflicts. But if problems persist, get the device inspected for defects.
Malware and Viruses
While less common than hardware faults or misuse, malware infections can also lead to phone overheating in some cases. Viruses and other malicious software can overload the processor and RAM as they run unauthorized activities in the background.
Cryptocurrency mining malware is one major culprit behind smartphone overheating and battery drain issues. By hijacking your phone’s computing power to mine cryptocurrency tokens, it pushes the processor constantly at high speeds.
Other viruses may aggressively replicate themselves and install invasive scripts. Constant scanning and data harvesting routines can drive up CPU usage, memory usage, and data traffic heating up the phone.
If you notice the phone getting hot despite minimal use, check for signs of malware like unexpected battery drain, sluggish performance, and apps freezing or crashing unexpectedly. Run a scan with a trusted antivirus app to detect and remove any infections.
Resetting your phone to factory settings can also wipe out any malware lurking in the system. Avoid installing apps from unknown sources and use trusted antivirus software to better protect your phone from potential viral infections in the future.
Fixing Overheating Issues
If your phone tends to get hot and overheated frequently, here are some troubleshooting steps you can take:
- Close unused apps and limit multitasking
- Update apps and OS to latest stable versions
- Disable background app refresh and notifications
- Clear cache and data for apps misbehaving
- Use phone power saver/low power mode
- Lower screen brightness when possible
- Avoid intensive tasks while charging
- Use phone in cooler environment
- Remove thick/tight cases
- Clean dust from phone ports
- Replace old battery if needed
- Check for malware and remove it
As a temporary fix, put the phone in the freezer (sealed bag) for 3-5 minutes to cool it down rapidly. But chronic overheating usually indicates an underlying issue needing more permanent solutions.
The phone should not exceed 95°F / 35°C when used normally. If basic fixes don’t work, take it to a phone repair shop to diagnose hardware defects needing professional repair. Preventing damage early can give your phone longer lifespan.
Phone overheating is a common problem with several potential causes. Using processor-intensive apps for too long, charging while using the phone, sunlight exposure, ventilation issues, old batteries, hardware defects, and malware are all possible culprits.
Carefully managing resource usage, upgrading components, avoiding heat sources, fixing software issues, and getting professional repairs done when needed can all help minimize overheating problems. With proper precautions, you can enjoy smooth smartphone performance for years before upgrades become necessary.