How Hot is Too Hot? 5 Tips To Keep Your Phone From Overheating

Tips & Tricks

How Hot is Too Hot? 5 Tips To Keep Your Phone From Overheating

Updated April 2016

As summer approaches, the temperature is warming up and your phone may not be able to take the heat. That’s right, your phone’s internal temperature changes based on the temperature of its environment. If it gets too hot you can have some major problems like draining your battery, melting your Central Processing Unit and battery, or causing a forced shutdown of your phone. When you overheat your phone, there are no guarantees that your phone will be able to restart.

To prevent phone overheating, we want to give you some tips to prevent a phone disaster this summer.

  1. Avoid direct sunlight to your phone. While leaving it easily accessible may be better for you, it is terrible for your phone. Your phone catches light and heat from the sun and retains it, getting hotter the longer you remain in the sun. Avoiding direct sunlight and heat is the easiest way to prevent overheating your phone.
  2. Turn off unused apps on your phone. Allowing apps you’re not using to run in the background runs battery and increases the heat on your phone. On an iPhone for example, all you have to do is simply press your home button twice and swipe the apps away. Closing these down not only saves battery but also decreases how hard your phone works, which in turn decreases heat.
  3. Don’t turn your brightness up, buy a glare screen. Just the same as running background apps, turning your brightness up will affect battery, forcing it to work harder. Instead of turning your brightness up, buy a glare screen. You’ll be able to use your phone in the sun no matter how bright it is.
  4. This one is simple, if you’re not using your phone, turn it to airplane mode or turn it off. Putting it in airplane mode will allow you to keep time and play music, but that will be it. These two options make it easier to save your battery and prevent it from heating up.
  5. If your phone is already overheating, take your case off. If your phone is hot, your case traps the heat. Taking the case off will allow the phone’s heat vents to do their job fully without being blocked. This will help your phone cool down quicker.

Additional suggestions to remember and consider:

  • Keep your applications up-to-date. This one might seem counter-intuitive, but many app updates include bug fixes, and that can improve your phone’s efficiency.
  • Separate your phone from your other gadgets. Keeping your phone, tablet and computer stacked up (even worse, stacked inside a bag!) might help you keep track of your devices, but if one running electronic device is stacked on top of another running electronic device, overheating is more likely. Keep that stuff separate and you’ll keep it cool.
  • Trim unneeded apps. If your phone continues to overheat, you might want to consider the number of unnecessary items on your phone—like ringtones, games, backgrounds, or apps that you never ever use. Delete apps and functionality you’re not using and you’ll reduce your phone’s workload.
  • If your phone is already hot, here’s a bit of cure: Fan your phone, or blow on it. You might feel silly fanning your phone, but physics doesn’t care. Just as fanning keeps a body cool, a breeze can help cool off your device when it’s getting too toasty. Wave your hand or a sheet of paper to make a breeze, or even blow on the back of your phone to help it cool down.
  • Avoid sudden changes in temperature. If you’re really worried about the temperature of your phone, you might be tempted to place it in the refrigerator or freezer, just for a minute or two. This is what experts in the field might call, “a terrible idea.” Exposing your phone to extreme temperatures strains the components and also risks collecting moisture, a surefire way to break your device.

Note: This post was originally published in July 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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