Why Your Phone Is Overheating and How to Fix It

Is your phone hot to the touch or displaying an overheating alert? Do you frequently ask yourself, "Why is my phone so hot when I use it?"
If your phone overheats occasionally, you might not be able to use your phone temporarily. If it happens regularly, your phone could get damaged. This isn't what you meant when you said you wanted the hottest new phone, is it?


Smartphones, like other electronics, naturally generate heat when they operate. The battery, processor and screen in your phone all produce heat, so it's normal for your phone to get warm when you use it. Most phones are designed to operate at temperatures between 32ºF to 95ºF or 0ºC and 35ºC. Most phones can reach even higher temperatures and still function properly.

If your phone feels warm, especially after you've been using it, there's no need to worry. However, if it's often too hot to handle comfortably or if your phone displays an overheating alert, you should investigate the cause.

What Causes a Phone to Overheat?

What Causes a Phone to Overheat?

Some of these factors may cause excessive heat on their own, but often it's a combination of several factors that leads to overheating.

Environmental Factors

Heavy Usage

Bugs in Apps and Operating Systems


Your Case

Defective Components

We've established that it's normal for your phone to generate enough heat to feel warm, but what could be the cause of your phone getting too hot to use? Let's take a look at some of the most common culprits. Some of these factors may cause excessive heat on their own, but often it's a combination of several factors that leads to overheating.

1. Environmental Factors

This may seem a bit obvious, but environmental factors such as high outside temperatures and direct sunlight can cause a phone to overheat. If you leave your phone out in the sun or a hot car, for example, there's a good chance it'll need to cool off before you can use it. Excessive moisture could also cause damage to a phone that causes it to get too hot.

2. Heavy Usage

Using your device in a way that demands a lot of power over a long period may cause your phone to overheat. For example, long sessions of gaming or streaming can take a toll on your device. These activities require a lot of power from your central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU), screen and other components.

Continuous use of a top-quality video camera can also cause overheating problems, especially if you've selected a high resolution and frame rate. Even things like keeping your screen brightness on high, using animated wallpapers and having too many apps running in the background can require enough power to cause overheating. 

3. Bugs in Apps and Operating Systems

Apps that have bugs or other problems can also create heat-related issues. These bugs can cause an app to overuse your phone's processor, causing it to generate excessive heat. Your phone system could also have a bug that causes overheating, although your OS is less likely than an app to be the culprit. If you notice your phone heating up a lot after an OS update, there could be a bug in the update that needs to be fixed.

4. Malware

If your phone gets infected by malware, that malware may use up too much of your phone CPU power and RAM, causing it to overheat. Some kinds of malware can even physically damage your phone by causing it to generate excessive amounts of heat.

5. Your Case 

Your case probably isn't the sole cause of your overheating woes, but it can contribute to them. Your phone's exterior shell functions as a cooling surface that helps dissipate the heat your phone naturally generates. Some cases can trap heat and prevent your phone's exterior from doing the work of cooling your device. Rubber cases are especially good at trapping heat. If you frequently wonder why your iPhone or Android phone is so hot, try using a different case or no case and see if that helps. 

6. Defective Components

A defective phone battery, processor, charging port or another component could be the cause of your overheating issues.

If you feel heat coming from the back of the phone, it's most likely the battery. If the heat is coming from the front of the phone, a processor may be at fault. If the bottom of your phone gets hot, and your phone is overheating while charging, it could be due to a faulty charging port or cable. Make sure you're using a reliable charging cable, and if that doesn't fix the issue, you may need to repair your charging port. 

A too-hot phone is inconvenient because you have to wait for it to cool down before you can use it. Overheating could also damage your phone, especially if it overheats frequently or reaches an extreme temperature.

What Damage Does Overheating Do to Your Phone?

A too-hot phone is inconvenient because you have to wait for it to cool down before you can use it. Overheating could also damage your phone, especially if it overheats frequently or reaches an extreme temperature. Here's how.

1. Battery Damage

Your battery can cause your phone to overheat, and excessive heat can also damage your battery.

Lithium-ion batteries are the best batteries on the market, but one of their drawbacks is that they become less effective over time. They even degrade when they're not in use. As your phone's battery degrades, you're more likely to experience overheating issues.

If your phone gets hot, it may drain the battery. When your phone is overheated, your battery will also not function as efficiently and will suffer worsened performance. The hotter the temperature, the more quickly your battery will lose its ability to store energy efficiently.

Hot temperatures can also cause long-term damage to your battery. When your battery undergoes excessive temperatures, it speeds up the aging process, causing your phone to die faster.

2. System on Chip Damage 

Frequent overheating can also damage your CPU, GPU and other components housed in your system on chip (SOC), an integrated circuit that combines various components such as processors, memory, wireless network capabilities and on-chip caches. While these chips can withstand relatively high temperatures, over time, overheating can damage these chips. When these chips get damaged, they won't work as effectively, slowing down your whole phone. Frequent high temperatures can decrease the lifespan of your CPU, GPU and other chips.

3. Adhesive Damage

Extreme heat can also damage the adhesives that hold your phone together. These adhesives are responsible for bonding the components of your phone and helping to protect your device from water. When exposed to high temperatures, these adhesives can start to degrade, creating gaps or allowing components to shift. This could let more dust and dirt into your phone and increase the risk of water damage.

How Do You Cool Down Your Phone?

What should you do if you go to use your phone and discover that it's too hot to handle or that it's displaying an overheating warning? It'll take some time, but there are some things you can do to cool your phone down. Try the following tips.

1. Put It in the Shade

Again, this point may seem obvious, but if your phone is too hot, move it to a cooler location. If it's outside, bring it into an air-conditioned building. If it's in the sun, put it in the shade. This should solve the problem if the main issue was an environmental factor like high ambient temperature or direct sunlight.

However, do NOT put your phone in the fridge or freezer to cool it down. Excessively cold temperatures can damage your phone just as high temperatures can, and the quick change from too hot to too cold can cause even more damage. Placing your phone near a fan, though, should be okay. 

2. Give It a Break

One of the most effective ways to cool down your phone, especially if heavy usage was the cause of the problem, is to reduce the strain on your phone. Simply stopping using the phone and setting it down someplace cool should be enough to allow it to simmer down. If your phone is hot, but you can still use it, closing down some apps and dimming your screen can help keep it from getting overly hot.

3. Don't Charge It

If your device is overheated, wait until it cools down to charge it. Charging your phone will cause it to generate additional heat, worsening the problem. If your phone overheats while it's charging, unplug it.

4. Remove Your Case

Removing your case may help your phone cool down faster, as it will allow the phone's exterior to dissipate heat more effectively.

5. Restart Your Phone

If none of these other steps help, try restarting your phone. This should fix the issue if the cause was a minor software issue.

How Can You Prevent Your Phone
From Overheating?

This will help you avoid damaging your phone and ensure that your device is always ready to use.

  • Reduce the Strain on Your Phone

  • Use Reputable Chargers

  • Use Proper Charging Protocol

  • Keep Your Apps Updated

  • Use an Antivirus Software

  • Install Junk Cleaning Software

 Think about how often you eat meat and the meals for which you typically eat meat.

2. Set a goal for the number of meatless meals you want to eat each week. You can also designate one day of the week to go completely meatless.

3. For each of the meatless meals, find a recipe you're excited to try. The Mayo Clinic recommends planning meatless meals around beans, legumes, tofu, nuts, lentils and whole grains to ensure adequate nutrition.

4. Enjoy experimenting with new dishes. Invite your friends over to make the recipes with you, or host a meatless dinner party.

How Can You Prevent Your Phone From Overheating?

There are also certain things you can do to prevent your phone from overheating in the first place. This will help you avoid damaging your phone and ensure that your device is always ready to use.

1. Reduce the Strain on Your Phone

If you find that your phone is overheating regularly, the reason may be that it's frequently using too much power. Reducing the strain on your phone, at least every once in a while, can help prevent it from getting too hot. Try some of these things when you know you'll be using your phone more heavily than usual. The power-saving steps you can take include:

  •  Turn off background app refresh: Some apps update in the background even when they're not open. This is how they notify you when someone liked your Facebook picture or when you get a new email. Continually updating like this requires power. In your phone's settings, you can turn off this function for certain apps to save yourself some energy.
  • Close unused apps: Close apps when you're not using them to prevent them from using up your battery and processing power. 
  • Dim your screen brightness: Keeping your screen on requires power and increases heat generation. Even reducing your screen brightness part way can save you some battery life. 
  • Use low power mode: If you notice your phone starting to get warm, check whether your phone has a battery saving setting. On iPhone, turn on Low Power Mode, and on Android, use Battery Saver Mode. These settings help reduce the amount of power your phone consumes and extends your battery life.  
  • Turn off Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth: Turning off power-hungry features like Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and cellular signal search can help save battery life and keep your device cool. Consider turning these features off whenever you're not actively using them. If you notice your phone starting to heat up, you can turn on airplane mode to cool it down quickly. Of course, your phone's functionality will be limited during this time, but it prevents your phone from shutting down entirely due to overheating. 

2. Use Reputable Phone Chargers

If your phone is overheating while charging, consider getting a new charging cable. Low-quality or incompatible chargers can cause charging problems that lead to overheating. To avoid these issues, use chargers that come directly from your phone's manufacturer or ones that come from a reputable third party.

3. Use Proper Charging Protocol

Are you using the right cable but still wondering why your phone gets hot while charging? In addition to the cable you use, the way you charge your phone can also help you prevent overheating. When you charge your phone, put it on a hard surface that doesn't conduct heat. Charging your phone on a soft surface like a couch or bed is not ideal, as these surfaces will retain the heat your phone produces as it charges. Don't worry about charging your phone overnight — this won't cause it to overheat unless your phone has an underlying problem already.

4. Keep Your Apps Updated

Since bugs in apps and your OS can cause them to use too much power and overheat your phone, it's important to keep them updated. App updates may contain bug fixes that correct these problems. If after updating, an app is still causing phone overheating, you may want to delete it.

5. Use an Antivirus Software

To help prevent your Android phone from overheating, install reputable antivirus software. This software will help prevent malware that can cause your phone to overheat from infiltrating your device. Of course, antivirus software has lots of other benefits as well. 

6. Install Junk Cleaning Software

Junk cleaning software can help you pinpoint which apps use the most power, identify apps you don't use often and clean out junk files. This will help improve your phone's performance, extend your battery's life and prevent your device from overheating.

What Should You Do If Your Phone Is Broken?

Simply place your device in one of our kiosks, and the machine will examine your device and make you an offer for it. If you accept the offer, you'll receive cash on the spot.

Find the kiosk nearest you today

What Should You Do If Your Phone Is Broken?

If you try all of these things and your phone still frequently overheats, you may have a bigger problem on your hands than a phone that was out in the sun too long or is running too many apps. Your phone might be damaged. Avoid using your phone and take it to a repair shop that knows how to fix an overheated phone as soon as you can. They'll be able to tell if your phone is fixable or if it's done for.

What if the repair shop can't fix your phone? Don't throw it away or throw it in a drawer where it'll collect dust. There's a better option — ecoATM. Simply place your device in one of our kiosks, and the machine will examine your device and give you an estimate for it. If you accept the estimate, you'll receive cash on the spot. Your phone will then be resold or recycled, saving it from a lifetime in a landfill or forgotten drawer and protecting the environment.

To get started, find the kiosk nearest you today.