Why is my phone not cooling down?

It’s frustrating when your phone starts getting hot and the battery drains faster than usual. An overheating phone can be inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst if batteries are damaged. Thankfully, there are ways to cool your phone down and prevent overheating in the future. Here are some common reasons phones overheat and tips to keep your device running smoothly.

Why Is My Phone Getting Hot?

There are several potential causes of phone overheating:

Using Resource-Intensive Apps

Apps that use a lot of processing power like 3D games, video editors, and navigation apps can make your phone work harder and heat up. Even apps like web browsers that you may not think of as intensive can contribute.

Bright Display Settings

Having your screen brightness set to max and auto-brightness disabled causes the display to draw a lot more power. This extra electricity usage generates more heat.


Doing multiple processor-heavy tasks at once like streaming video while also using navigation and other apps divides the phone’s resources and makes it work harder, heating it up.


Charging your phone battery generates some heat, especially quick charging and wireless charging which use higher wattages. Using your phone while it’s charging adds even more heat.

Poor Ventilation

Without adequate air circulation like when your phone is in a pocket or thick case, heat can build up and have nowhere to go. This raises temperatures.

Old Battery

As phone batteries chemically age, they become less efficient at converting charge to energy which creates excess heat. Old batteries typically overheat quicker.

Hot Environment

Simply being in a hot car or outside in the sun can raise your phone’s temperature and make it hot to the touch. The heat has nowhere to dissipate.

Hardware Issues

Defective phone components like processors or batteries may malfunction and overheat. Damaged ports can cause faulty charging and heat buildup.

Software Glitches

Buggy apps and operating system files can sometimes cause resources to be used incorrectly leading phones to overwork and overheat.

How Hot is Too Hot?

At what point should you be concerned about overheating? As a general rule:

– Warm – 100°F to 105°F (38°C to 40°C) – This is normal, especially when charging or using resource-heavy apps. No action needed.

– Hot – 105°F to 113°F (40°C to 45°C) – This may start impacting battery charge and phone performance. Take steps to cool down.

– Very Hot – Over 113°F (Over 45°C) – At sustained high temperatures, permanent damage can occur. Stop using immediately.

While thermometers provide the most accurate readings, here are some signs your phone may be overheating without one:

– It feels very warm/hot when holding it
– Apps stutter, crash or run slowly
– Battery charges slowly or loses charge quickly
– “Temperature too high” warning messages
– Phone turns off unexpectedly
– Burning plastic smell coming from phone

How to Keep Your Phone from Overheating

1. Close Unnecessary Apps

Apps running in the background use processor power even while not in use. Swipe away any apps you aren’t actively using to lighten the load.

2. Lower Screen Brightness

Dim your display brightness below the max, and enable auto-brightness so it can adjust to lighting conditions. The display heavily impacts battery/heat.

3. Disable Unneeded Features

Turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location services if not using them. Disabling notifications and vibration can help too. Fewer features running means less electricity used.

4. Update Software and Apps

Outdated software can have inefficiencies causing overwork. Install system and app updates for performance improvements and bug fixes.

5. Limit Gaming and Video

3D games and video streaming are heat-intensive. Avoid extended use sessions, lower graphic settings, and take breaks to give your phone a rest.

6. Use a Lightweight Case

Heavy-duty cases trap heat. Use a thin, breathable case or go caseless. Avoid covering the back near the camera/processor.

7. Avoid Direct Sunlight

Keep your phone shaded as much as possible. Don’t leave it in hot vehicles. High ambient temperatures contribute to an already hot device.

8. Turn Off When Charging

Use your phone less or not at all while charging. The combination of fast charging and phone use creates a double heat load.

9. Replace Old Battery

If your battery is old, its inefficiencies could be the cause of overheating. Replacing it can help your phone run cooler.

10. Clean Charging Port

A buildup of dust and pocket lint in the charging port can impact heat dissipation and charging function leading to heat buildup.

How to Cool Down an Overheated Phone

If your phone starts overheating, here are some quick ways to cool it down:

– Put it in airplane mode to stop radios from transmitting heat.

– Close all apps and turn off the screen to pause processor usage.

– Remove the case to improve ventilation.

– Hold phone to a cold pack or in front of a fan to force-cool it.

– Placing the hot phone in the shade or air conditioned room brings down the temperature.

– Stop charging the phone while it’s hot to reduce the heat source.

When to Be Concerned About Overheating

Occasional mild overheating is normal, especially when using resource-intensive apps and features. But consistently high temperatures could signify an underlying issue.

Be concerned if your phone frequently overheats with:

– Normal use like texting or web browsing

– While idle and not being used heavily

– Fully charged and not plugged in

– In cool, shaded environments

Chronic overheating in these situations may indicate a hardware defect or software problem. Continued use could damage phone components. Contact technical support if overheating persists.

Preventing Overheating: Final Tips

A few final tips for keeping your phone running cool:

– Avoid cheap, bulky cases that trap heat.

– Update apps/OS or reset phone to improve performance.

– Turn off background app refresh and notifications you don’t need.

– Limit usage time of graphically intense games.

– Don’t stack phone charging with other heat-generating activities.

– Keep the phone out of beds, pillows, and other hot, unventilated places.

– Monitor phone temperature using an app.

– If overheating continues, have phone serviced.

Keeping your phone from getting too hot will prevent damage, improve battery life, and deliver optimal performance. Follow these tips, be aware of your usage, and your smartphone should stay nice and cool!