Last Updated on December 23, 2019 by Husain Parvez
Can barely hold on with your iPhone overheating and causing you to panic every time you’re using it? Here’s why your beloved mobile phone can sometimes heat up too much, and some tried and tested ways to resolve this problem.
Back when the very first mobile phones were released, they packed hardware which would be considered antiquated in this modern age. Since the core functionality of mobile phones back in the day was just phone calls and sharing text messages, the manufacturers did not have to account for how the prolonged use of the device could lead to overheating issues. However, by the mid-2000s when the giants such as the Apple iPhone hit the spotlight, the way we communicate changed entirely.
The iPhone in your pocket today, replaces your digital camera, music player, and even the need for a laptop computer in some cases. Cramming all of the hardware, and leveling it with the user-friendly iOS software gives iPhone its distinct advantage and has led to a user base of millions. When carrying enough firepower under the chassis to run complex programs, the hardware does tend to generate some serious warmth, giving you the feeling of the iPhone overheating too much.
Why is my iPhone overheating?
When it comes to the inclusion of state-of-the-art hardware that can power up high-graphic games and network-dependent apps all at once, the Apple iPhone isn’t an exception. Every top manufacturer in the mobile market is incorporating the latest processor with larger batteries into its smartphones, and lengthened usage of these smartphones can cause the overheating issue. Just as you would expect any mechanical or electrical device to gain some warmth through induction over a period of usage, the Apple iPhone also suffers from higher surface temperatures, just like any other mobile device out there.
While the iPhone may not be alone when it comes to the raised temperatures, higher than the usual temperature of the mobile device can be a tell-tale sign of a grave issue. Considering the hardware components inside an iPhone, the only two parts that could cause the overheating problem, is the core processor of the device, while the other one being the battery. Both of these aspects are expected to raise the temperature of the device at some point, as the optimal temperature of the iPhone is between 0º and 35º C.
How to resolve the iPhone overheating issue
The Apple iPhone comes with a built-in temperature warning system that prevents you from using the device when the phone gets too hot or even too cold for optimal usage. While the temperature warning screen only appears under severe circumstances, you don’t have to wait for it to investigate and resolve the problem of your iPhone heating up. Here’s everything you need to know about the rise in the surface temperature of your iPhone, and what you can do to cool it down.
1. Update all of your iPhone apps
An overheating issue on the Apple iPhone could be due to apps that haven’t been updated recently. The reason mobile app developers update apps regularly is to not only present new features but to resolve issues and bugs. These issues could be affecting the battery life of your iPhone if you don’t update the apps regularly, or causing the processor to work overtime.
- Go to the App Store on your iPhone to update all the apps installed on it.
- From the main screen of the App Store, press the Updates icon on the bottom-right corner of the screen.
- Click on the Update All at the top-right corner of the screen to begin updating all of the apps installed on your iPhone with just one click.
Once the update is completed, go ahead and reboot your iPhone for safe measures and then check to see if the overheating problem has been fixed.
2. Boot to Safe Mode
Even with all of your iOS apps updated, it could be that one of the faltering apps is either causing the battery to drain, or stressing up the processor. Both of these elements can lead the device to overheat, which is why you must identify if the issue is related to a third-party app on your iPhone.
Just like Android OS, Apple has also included a Safe Mode on iOS to help users identify issues with any of the apps that they have installed. By booting up your iPhone in Safe Mode, you can get to the bottom of the overheating issue by singling out the culprit app.
To boot your iPhone into Safe Mode, here’s what you need to do:
- Turn off the Apple iPhone by pressing the Power
- Press and hold down the Power button until the screen turns on, release the Power button, and press to hold the Volume Down buttons until the Apple logo appears.
- Keep holding down the Volume Down button until the iPhone boots up, at which point, you will in Safe Mode.
- Once you’re in the Safe Mode, identify the problematic app and delete it from the system.
3. Take it out of the Sun
Mobile devices are essentially one of the most used pieces of technology that we carry around day in and day out, which is why they are built to last. Apple has designed the latest generation of the iPhone to be water and dust resistant too and tested to work flawlessly under severe weather conditions as well. Apple’s official temperature control guideline states that the iPhone can function under real-world conditions in temperatures ranging from -20º and 45º C (-4º to 113º F).
Unless you live near the poles or in the arid desert region, hitting these temperatures isn’t a real threat, but in special conditions, you could end up heating your iPhone to exceed these limits. Leaving your iPhone in the car on a hot sunny day could easily lead to a spike in the internal temperature of the device, which could cause irreparable damage. It is also recommended to avoid using unusually thick protective cases that interfere with the heat dissipation system of the device.
4. Update the device’s software system
The iPhone overheating issue could very well be software related as well. Similar to how apps are periodically updated to keep them from faltering and messing with the system, the software of your iPhone also needs regular tuning, which is provided by the software update. In this matter, an over-the-air iOS update may be a fix to the problem, if your Apple iPhone is still being supported.
- To update your Apple iPhone to the latest version of iOS here’s what you need to do:
- Head to the Settings app on your iPhone and navigate to the General tab.
- Find the Software Update tab and open it to view any pending updates that are in the queue.
- If you don’t have Automatic Updates enabled, you will get the option to Download and Install the update.
- Wait as the latest version is downloaded and then press the Install button.
The iPhone will turn off and then reboot by itself during the entire process, after which, you can check to see if the iPhone overheating problem has finally been taken care of.
5. Consider water damage
Right after releasing the iPhone 7 and infamously doing away with the revered 3.5mm headphone jack, Apple slapped an IP rating on every single iPhone that has come after it. This has not only made iPhones more during in the real-world situations but reduced the issue of accidental water damage as well. However, the iPhone is certified to water-resistant, not waterproof, which means that there’s always room for error.
Moisture is the enemy of electronic circuitry, causing oxidation, which can lead to all sorts of issues with mobile devices and can also be the reason behind your iPhone overheating irregularly. One way of spotting water damage on an iPhone is by taking a peek at the LDI (liquid damage indicator), and here’s how you can do it:
- Using a SIM ejector tool, take out the SIM card tray of your iPhone.
- Tilt the device to see the LDI strip and check if it has turned red or pink in color.
- A change in the color of the LDI strip would indicate the possible entry of water or moisture, which could possibly be water damage to the internals.
In such cases, your best bet is to take the iPhone to an authorized technician and have the interior components examined for water damage.
6. Turn off Background App Refresh
The way most of the modern apps are designed to work is through background processes, which keeps the processor engaged even if the app isn’t being actively used. This not only affects the battery life of the device but also keeps the processor working overtime, which can cause the iPhone to understandably heat up even when it isn’t being used by you. The easiest way to get around this is by using the Background App Refresh feature that is built into iOS, allowing you to choose which apps are allowed to run in the background.
- Head over to the Settings app and open the General
- Scroll down to find the Background App Refresh tab and open it.
- Turn off the toggle switch right next to the Background App Refresh tab to disable it entirely.
- Alternately, you can keep it enabled and choose to disable specific apps under the menu.
7. Limit the screen brightness
If you’ve ever looked at the Battery option in the Settings app, you’ll notice that the majority of battery consumption is done by the iPhone’s screen. Regardless of where your device sports the AMOLED display of the like the iPhone X or the regular IPS LCD display in the newer iPhone 11, a significant amount of heat can be generated from the pixels in the display itself.
What you can do to keep the iPhone overheating issue at bay during prolonged usage, is limit the screen brightness. Not only does limiting the screen brightness bring down the temperature of the device, but it also extends the amount of screen on the time you get. By enabling Auto-Brightness from the Settings app, or swiping from the bottom of the screen to reveal the Control Center, you can set the brightness to a minimum and see if makes a difference.
8. Always use Apple certified chargers
Whether it is about keeping a standard battery life of your iPhone or making sure that the charging times are quick, you need a charger is original and certified by Apple. If you’ve been using a damaged lightning charger cable or a cheap knockoff product instead of the one that came with your iPhone, don’t be too surprised if you suffer from overheating issues.
- Use only the official Apple MFi certified charger and lightning cable that is provided with your iPhone, since using third-party chargers could affect your battery life and shoot up the temperature.
- Avoid using your iPhone continuously while it is being charged. This should be a standard rule since it is bad for the battery of the iPhone and a health hazard too.
- Avoid keeping the iPhone covered when charging and avoid using heavy cases that prevent heat dissipation.
9. The battery could be deteriorating
Just like every major electronic device on the market that runs on lithium-ion batteries, the iPhone is equipped with the same. While offering fast recharge times and elongated screen on time, the lithium-ion batteries are considered to have a life cycle of a few years, after which the layers within the battery begin to deteriorate and expand.
This physical wear and tear of the iPhone battery is a standard process, which is why it is recommended to replace the battery every few years. If you haven’t had the battery replaced, the chemical deterioration of the iPhone’s battery could not only be affecting the life cycle but also cause it to uncontrollably heat up even during regular use. Apple has put in place a robust battery replacement policy in place, charging no fees for iPhones that are covered under warranty or Apple Care protection, and a minimal fee for those devices that are out of the warranty period.
For those of us who have our hands glued to mobile phones and spend hours making phone calls, playing games, and watching videos in high-definition, a warm device begins to feel natural. Although there have been strides in this area where manufacturers have introduced liquid cooling, and even built-in cooling fans to bring down the temperatures, Apple is yet to reinvent the means to keep the iPhone overheating problem at bay.
Are you among those who have been plagued by the issue of a not-so-normal warm iPhone, and if so, which of the above methods seem to work best for you? Let us know in the comments section down below, we’re waiting to hear back from you.