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How to Stop iPhone From Overheating

Your iPhone is a sturdy little computer you can stash in your pocket, and one thing you never want to see is your handset damaged or malfunctioning due to overheating. Heat is bad for your iPhone, and in the worst cases, it can cause permanent damage to internal components, especially the battery and processor. Your iPhone could overheat in hot weather or if you leave your phone in the sun or a hot car. Other possible causes for overheating include a faulty battery, multiple running apps and processes, constant streaming or gameplay, and outdated software.



What You Need

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Here are a few of the warning signs that your phone is on the verge of overheating: It may feel hot to the touch, run slower, fail to charge, show a black display, play low-quality audio, have slow graphical response, or have a non-shooting camera.

Under normal circumstances, overheating should not happen. The iPhone's sensors warn you long before it gets to a dangerous or damaging temperature, and the iPhone is designed to dissipate heat. You may get a temperature warning when your device exceeds the temperature limit, saying, "iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it." At that point, your phone is inoperative until it cools off, except for emergency calls.

Is your iPhone running hot? Here are some solutions.

iPhone temperature warning.

Run the latest software

Both iOS and apps should be up to date for optimal performance. Outdated iPhone software can cause an overloaded CPU, resulting in overheating.

Update all the apps you run, as updates often deliver critical security patches and improved functionality. Outdated apps can overload the processor and cause heat buildup.

Step 1: To update iOS, go to Settings > General > Software update.

Apple iPhone settings panes.

Step 2: If Auto Updates is enabled, you will see either a prompt to update or the message that your iOS version is up to date.

Apple iPhone update message.

Step 3: Launch the App Store.

Apple iPhone App Store.

Step 4: Tap the Profile icon in the upper-right, scroll down to Available updates, and tap Update all.

Apple iPhone App Store update settings.

Step 5: Tap Done.

Apple iPhone App Store update settings done button.

Enable auto-brightness

Having your iPhone's brightness at maximum can cause overheating and drain your phone’s battery quickly. Your iPhone should adjust its brightness automatically according to the ambient light.

Step 1: Access the iOS Control center and use the slider to decrease the brightness level.

iOS Control Center brightness slider.

Step 2: Go to Settings > Accessibility > Display and text size.

iOS accessibility settings.

Step 3: Scroll down to the bottom and ensure Auto-brightness is enabled.

iOS auto brightness setting.

Turn off Bluetooth and other services

Bluetooth requires constant resources from your phone, whether it’s searching for a device or staying paired.

Turn off Bluetooth when you’re not using it and make sure that apps like Safari, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, maps, navigation apps, and location services are also turned off when you're trying to cool off a hot phone.

Step 1: To disable Bluetooth, open Settings > Bluetooth and toggle it off.

iPhone Bluetooth settings.

Step 2: To deactivate cellular data, open Settings > Cellular > Cellular data and toggle it off.

iPhone Bluetooth settings toggle.

Step 3: Disable your iPhone’s personal hotspot by opening Settings > Personal hotspot and toggling it off.

iPhone cellular settings.

Step 4: To turn off AirDrop, open Settings > General > AirDrop > Receiving off.

iPhone Airdrop settings.

Remove the case

The iPhone disperses heat through its metal frame, but a case can prevent your iPhone from releasing heat. Check to make sure the case on your iPhone isn't causing the overheating.

Step 1: Remove the case from your iPhone and test for a day or two. If the overheating stops, try a lighter case.

Hand holding an iPhone case.
Jackie Dove/Digital Trends

Step 2: Also, try placing your phone in front of a cooling fan. Seriously.

Turn on Airplane mode

Your iPhone constantly communicates with the internet in the background if it is connected to Wi-Fi. That connection uses plenty of juice, even if you’re not using your iPhone. Turn on Airplane mode in addition to turning off Bluetooth and Location Services to bring down your iPhone's temperature.

Swipe down from the top right of your phone and tap the Airplane icon.

iPhone Airplane mode icon.

Restart your iPhone

If your iPhone is running hot, perform a force restart. Turn your iPhone off entirely and then turn it back on again. A force restart halts power from the iPhone's battery, allowing you to reset your iPhone.

To force restart an iPhone X, XS, XR, 8, SE (2nd-generation), 11, 12, or 13 model, press and quickly release the Volume up button, press and quickly release the Volume down button, then press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.

For iPhone 6, 6S, 7, and SE (1st-gen), press and hold the Volume down button and the Sleep/wake button at the same time until the Apple logo appears.

iPhone power off screen.
Apple iPhone charger.

Disconnect the charger

It is normal for your iPhone to warm up a little while charging, but if your handset feels hot to the touch, there's something wrong.

Make sure you use an Apple-certified charger and cable. While there are many iPhone chargers out there, few are MFi certified or fully support the handset.

Also, ensure that the Lightning port is clean and free of any dirt or lint. Any piled-up lint or debris may prevent the charger from working properly, resulting in overheating.

iPhone at the beach.
Jackie Dove/Digital Trends

Remove the phone from direct sunlight

The optimal temperature range for your iPhone is 32 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 to 35 Celsius. Direct sunlight can increase the air temperature, and with the heat generated by your phone's normal processes, you may end up with an overheated iPhone.

Close excess apps

Having multiple processes running simultaneously makes your iPhone work harder and feel hotter.

Double-click your iPhone’s Home button (for older models and the SE) or swipe from the bottom (newer models) to access and scroll through all open apps. Then, swipe upward to close them.

iPhone open apps.

Use low-power mode

In low-power mode, the iPhone uses less energy and only carries out essential functions, thus saving battery life while the phone runs cooler. Your iPhone produces less heat when the battery discharges more slowly.

Step 1: Go to Settings > Battery and toggle on Low power mode.

Apple iPhone Low Power Mode.

Step 2: You can also access the setting from Control Center. Set that up from Settings > Control center, then select Low power mode to add it to Control Center.

iPhone low power mode from the Control Center.

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Jackie Dove
Jackie is an obsessive, insomniac tech writer and editor in northern California. A wildlife advocate, cat fan, and photo app…
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