Why Does my iPhone Keep Getting Hot?

Have you been feeling the heat from your iPhone burning through your pocket, been scalded when you pick it up once it’s finished charging, or felt the temperature rising while in use?

iPhone overheating can have a few different causes – we’re going to look at what they are, and a few different ways to treat it.

Modern smartphones are miniature computers, and like all computers when they’re working hard they start to heat up. Unlike desktop computers and laptops, iPhones don’t have an onboard fan or cooling system to help keep things in check, and so overheating can be a fairly common problem. You’ll often find your devices temperature rising when in use, and this is perfectly normal particularly if you’re playing a game, using GPS, streaming video content or using apps that puts stress onto the phones CPU.

When your phone is put under stress, the components heat up, and the lack of a cooling fan means that the only way for the heat to dissipate is through the metal body of the phone itself. If you have a case on your phone, you might find that it is limiting the phones ability to cool down, as cases can act as insulators trapping heat inside. If you’re having overheating problems the case probably isn’t the cause, but going without it can help to deal with the issue.

Direct exposure to sunlight is a common external cause of overheating in hot climates. iPhones are built to operate between 0°C and 35°C, so on a hot day leaving it out on a table with the sun heating the metal casing can easily drive the temperature of the phone past this upper limit. A good rule of thumb is to not ever allow a device with a battery to be left exposed to the sun, as this can cause more than just damage to the phone, but batteries have been known to explode at very high temperatures.

Much of the heat that an iPhone gives off is caused by the battery, both when it’s charging and under heavy use. If you find that your iPhone gets hot while charging, then it can help to change the surface that it’s laying on to allow the back of the phone to be ventilated. If you’re using not using an official Apple charger, or your charger is damaged or has frayed wires, then switching to an official model can help with this too.

If you find that your iPhone has gotten too hot, then there are a few steps you can take to cool it down immediately.

  • Turn off your device.
  • If it is charging, then unplug it.
  • Place it somewhere open and airy – putting it into your pocket or a bag could prevent it from cooling and cause damage.
  • Prop it up to allow airflow all around the device, particularly around the back. Remove the case if you have one to help with this.
  • Do not try to rapidly cool it. It will cool down in time but efforts to quickly lower the temperature can cause condensation leading to water damage within the phone.
  • Uninstall recently added apps. It could be that an app that you’ve just started using is draining the battery and using the processor in the background which could be causing the heat. Try uninstalling any recently installed apps to see if this helps the problem.
  • Revoke background app permissions. Another solution to rogue apps running in the background is to revoke their permissions. On your home screen, tap on settings, then go to general, and tap on Background App Refresh. Here you can choose which apps can run in the background. Try lowering the number of apps with permission for this.

If you try all of these steps and are still finding that your iPhone overheats, then you can try performing a factory reset on your device through iTunes after backing up your data. If the issue still persists, then it is most likely being caused by a fault in the hardware and will have to be repaired.

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