Why Is My Phone Overheating?

by Carol FinchUpdated July 21, 2017
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

It's normal for phones to get warm from time to time, and they may even get hot when they take on intensive tasks, such as streaming, downloading or charging. But if your phone gets too hot to handle, heats up for no obvious reason or won't cool down, you need to figure out why. This may be due to where you keep your phone and how you use it; batteries and chargers also sometimes make phones overheat. Before you ask your carrier or the phone's manufacturer for help, see if you can fix the problem yourself.

Storage and Cases

If your phone overheats when you keep it in a pocket, purse or case, you may be blocking its vents. If air can't circulate around the phone, it can't keep cool and will just get hotter. Find another way to carry your phone or take it out of its case for a while. If the phone stops getting hot, you've found a fix. If you don't want to change the way you carry your phone, try turning it off while it's in your pocket or purse.

Overheating Batteries

Sometimes, batteries overheat and make your phone hotter than it should be. This may happen as your battery gets older and less effective, or if it develops a fault. You may also have overheating problems if you've replaced the original battery with a cheaper third-party one. If you can replace the battery, try a new one or switch back to an approved model. If you have a built-in battery, contact the manufacturer or your cell phone provider -- if the phone's still under warranty, you may be eligible for a free replacement.

Direct Heat and Sunlight

If your phone is next to a direct heat source or left in the sun, it can get overheated. You may also have problems if you store it next to other electronic devices. Keep it away from heat and out of direct sunlight. Don't store it in a parked car for long periods. On hot days, the temperature will rise significantly, heating up your phone even if you turn it off and store it in the glove compartment.

Problems with Apps

Some apps and services make your phone's processing system work harder and may overheat it. For example, this may happen if you're using apps that use location and navigation services, or if you're playing a game that uses a lot of system resources. It can also be a problem if you have a lot of apps running at the same time, or if one of them develops a problem. Close down all of your apps and see if the phone starts to cool. If not, turn it off, let it cool down completely and start it up again.

Charging Issues

If your phone overheats while charging, you may have a problem with your battery or charger. This sometimes happens if you aren’t using a manufacturer's approved charger. Phones typically heat up if you use them while they're charging, especially if you're doing something that takes up a lot of processing power. Some phones also heat up more if you use them when they're on a low charge. Make sure you're using the right charger for your phone. Don't use it while it's charging and see if this makes a difference.


Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Carol Finch has been writing technology, careers, business and finance articles since 2000, tapping into her experience in sales, marketing and technology consulting. She has a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages, a Chartered Institute of Marketing.certificate and unofficial tech and gaming geek status with her long-suffering friends and family.

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