Why Does My Phone Get Hot? A Complete Guide With Solutions

Why Does My Phone Get Hot? A Complete Guide With Solutions

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Why Does My Phone Get Hot? A Complete Guide With Solutions

A certain heat level is always produced when using a smartphone. It’s perfectly normal for your phone to get warm during prolonged use, while you are wireless charging or on the brightest screen settings. Modern phones are designed to excel at balancing the temperature of each internal component. However, overheating is still a real issue due to the sheer number of phone models and different applications available to download.

Much like with a PC, there are so many hardware and software configurations that companies cannot possibly cover every scenario a customer will face. Some combinations will inevitably cause problems, such as overheating. If you suspect your phone in its iPhone 14 case is running too hot, do not panic. There are several reasons why that may be. Understanding each potential cause will also unveil what you need to do to solve the issue.

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How Hot Is Too Hot?

As mentioned above, it’s totally fine if your phone gets a little warm from time to time. The average range of temperatures for smartphones is from 96.8 to 109.4 degrees Fahrenheit on the inside. Considering how thin the exterior plating is on most phones, it’s logical that you will regularly feel slight warmth in your hand. Once a phone reaches 111 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s a sign of an overheating issue. Continuing to strain your phone could cause serious damage. When your phone hits this level, it’s best to turn it off immediately. 

To measure how hot your phone is getting, use a performance monitoring app from your operating system’s store. You can observe the internal temperature and see which apps hog too many resources simultaneously. The following are some reasons that your phone gets too hot, along with suggestions for what to do in those instances.

Reason #1: Prolonged Gaming Sessions

The most common reason for an overheating phone is playing your favorite interactive titles for too long. The addictive and satisfying nature of mobile games can make the minutes (or hours) fly by faster than anticipated. Be sure to measure your gaming sessions and give your phone a reasonable number of breaks throughout the day. Mobile phones are designed to handle intense apps like video games in short bursts. Reserve all-day play sessions for your dedicated gaming consoles.

woman checking phone

Reason #2: Binging Streamed Content

We have all been glued to our screens for just one more episode while watching a show on apps like Netflix or Hulu. Watching these shows on your phone makes it exceedingly easy to leave your screen lit up for longer than intended. Smartphones are meant to constantly have their screen turned off for short resting periods. Those breaks usually come when you place your phone back in your pocket. Much like with games, just try to take periodic rests while enjoying the content you love. Moderating this is even simpler than games, as you can just take breaks between episodes and films.

Reason #3: Using Maximum Brightness

Turning your screen up to max illumination can make certain images pop. If you’re in a bright environment, pushing your screen to its limit may be the only option. Just keep in mind that the extra energy output will create heat faster. 

Always remember to readjust your brightness back to sensible levels once you no longer need the max setting. Around 70% peak brightness is ideal in most cases. At night, you can further reduce your phone’s brightness to compensate. Most phones will auto-adjust your screen’s brightness based on the environment around you. Those settings are a nice solution if you keep forgetting to manually adjust your display.

Reason #4: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Other Connection Settings

Much like screen brightness, your connection settings can also generate additional heat you were not expecting. Each Bluetooth connection you establish with your phone requires energy output and as a result, the creation of heat. The simultaneous pairing of a few wireless technologies may be too much for older phones, especially considering how easy it is to forget to disconnect Bluetooth when not in use. Another thing to watch out for is generating Wi-Fi hotspots. It requires a great deal of effort for your phone to keep a stable connection going for other internet-enabled gadgets around you.

Comb your settings for any ongoing connections and shut them off when not in use. Developing this habit will significantly increase the life of your phone.

10 reasons your phone gets too hot

Reason #5: Older App Versions

Most apps on your phone receive consistent updates from the software developers. In many cases, these updates are necessary just to keep an app compatible with your phone’s current operating system. Should your app version and operating system be mismatched, it can cause performance issues, such as spikes in the number of resources needed to run the program. The increased effort then generates more heat than the app used to when you had the correct version.

You will notice immense levels of heat rising from the screen or sides of your phone when your processor is overworked. The extra temperature in the middle of the unit clearly indicates that a software issue is overworking your processor.

Fixing this is as simple as checking the update status of every app on your phone. You can search each app individually in the store or check out a list of downloaded apps in your apps folder. To mitigate this problem in the future, turn on automatic updates on every app that offers it. Automating your update queue is ideal when you have dozens of apps installed at once.

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Reason #6: Lacking a Required System Update

Just as an outdated app can cause overheating issues, outdated system firmware can also spike the internal temperature of your phone. The same incompatibility issues apply here. However, there is another possibility to look out for. Some firmware updates actually cause new problems that emerge once the massive user base tries out the latest download. In these instances, a hotfix update is released to fix the unexpected problem caused by the previous installation. Unless your eyes are glued to a mobile news site all day, you are likely to miss the headline.

downloading phone update

Whenever your phone overheats, checking the firmware is always a great option. If you recently installed a new update, check online forums to see if your problem is being mass reported by other users. Your best bet to mitigate this problem is to always update your phone as soon as you get a firmware notification. Putting it off temporarily dramatically increases the likelihood of forgetting to download it altogether. If your phone supports automatic updating of the operating system, that is a solid option as well.

Reason #7: Extra Heat From the Environment

If your phone is exposed to extreme temperatures for any duration, there is a chance for problems to arise. Excess heat from direct sunlight can add to the rising internal temperatures from whatever apps your phone is running. 

Another common example is when your phone is in a car for hours on a muggy day. The increased warmth of the car can make your phone sweat in a hurry. The only real ways to resolve this issue are to turn off your phone or move away from the heat source upsetting your phone.

Reason #8: Problems With Your Charger

Your phone’s battery prefers a stable energy flow when charging or in use. A damaged charging cord, or one that outputs more voltage than required, can compromise the strength of your battery. In some cases, internal compartment walls can disintegrate. Compromised internals often increase operating temperature since each phone is constructed via an exact configuration designed to mitigate heat buildup.

If your phone gets incredibly hot while charging, try another cord or brick first to see if the temperature returns to normal. If multiple cords and bricks do not work, then the battery has suffered permanent damage. 

Note that if the back panel of your phone is getting hot, that’s a telltale sign of an issue with the charger or battery. Open up the battery slot and check for puffing, corrosion or other signs of damage to the battery before using your phone again. If the heat comes directly from the bottom of your charging port, there is likely a problem with your charger’s voltage output. Keep in mind that you can take your phone to a repair shop if you do not feel comfortable doing this at home.

bonus tip try a MagSafe case

As a bonus tip for Apple users, try out a MagSafe case if your iPhone is overheating. The reduced contact with physical components further reduces the amount of heat generated while charging your mobile phone.

Reason #9: Your Phone Has a Virus or Malware

Although it’s not as common as on a PC, hackers and troublemakers still design programs for mobile operating systems. Even if you have the additional security offered by the iOS ecosystem, do not rule out the possibility of unwanted files if you notice your phone running hotter during regular usage. Malware and viruses steal your data and act as additional programs weighing down your phone. The effect becomes the same as if you left too many apps open simultaneously. The extra resources will overheat your phone in no time.

Reason #10: Your Phone Is Getting Older

As your operating system receives updates, it commands more demanding performance from your phone. Eventually, the operating system evolves beyond what your old processor can reasonably handle. This will cause overheating during even the most basic use cases.

Unfortunately, the only solution to the operating system outgrowing your phone is to upgrade to a newer model. Make sure your next phone has enough processing speed to handle all the bells and whistles added in recent software updates.

Luckily, you can install antivirus software just as you would on a traditional computer. This is your best bet for preventing malware and other shady programs from infiltrating your files. Oftentimes, you can even purchase a subscription to a service that covers multiple gadgets, such as your laptop, multiple phones and a desktop computer, all in one package.

Keep Your Phone Alive Through Proper Care

While the daily interactions with your phone do not seem all that significant in the long run, how you regularly treat your electronics determines how long they will last. Throughout that lifespan, you can keep your phone at optimal functioning by incorporating as many of the above care steps as you can. Much like taking care of a car, you can get way more years out of a phone by keeping up with the maintenance and monitoring heat levels often.

keep your phone alive

To stay on top of your phone’s health, keep it away from extreme temperatures, moisture and shady downloads. At the same time, remember to update your apps regularly. Adding a proper phone case (like a Samsung phone case), wireless charger and screen protector will go a long way, too.

 

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