It’s normal for an iPhone to get warm when you’re using it quite frequently, and having your device in a place that’s warm could also increase your chances of your device getting hot. However, there comes a tipping point where your iPhone gets too hot. For example, some users suffer from the issue even when their devices are turned off. And sometimes, removing the charging cable appears not to fix the problem quickly.
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Do you think that your device is overheating? This article explains why your iPhone is getting hot and how you can troubleshoot the problem.
iPhone Overheating: Possible Causes
The first thing we should mention is that it is okay for an iPhone to get warm, especially with prolonged use, but it should never get hot to the point that it feels uncomfortable to handle. Your iPhone will get warm when streaming video, gaming, etc. For instance, it is normal if your iPhone feels hot when you are downloading multiple apps simultaneously.
Potential Cause #1: Hot Weather
Heat takes a particular toll on your iPhone’s battery. In hot temperatures, batteries aren’t able to store energy efficiently, and performance often suffers. And the hotter the temperature, the faster they lose their storing ability. So, when using your iPhone, be mindful of your surroundings!
iPhones are designed to operate between 32ºF (0ºC) and 95ºF (35ºC). So, if you happen to find yourself in Nevada or Arizona in July, there’s a chance that your iPhone may get too hot. You will usually notice that your iPhone is too hot because you’ll see a message titled:
“iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it.”
This might happen while you’re outside, but it could also occur if you leave your iPhone in a car on a hot day. Just turn off your device and place it in a cooler place. This allows your device to cool down and function normally again.
Potential Cause #2: Your iPhone Case
If you think that your iPhone is getting too hot, the problem may be your case. This is because your iPhone’s exterior shell functions as a cooling surface, so heat is dissipated from your iPhone’s body. Your iPhone case might stop your device from cooling properly by not allowing heat to escape. Rubber is especially bad for trapping heat in as it acts as an insulator, which results in your iPhone being much hotter with it on.
Try a different case to see if this fixes the problem. You could also try using no case, but of course, you’ll need to consider the risks of not using an iPhone case if you drop your device.
Potential Cause #3: A Defective Battery
If your iPhone never cools down, even hours after shutdown, you could have issues with your battery. This will especially be a problem worth looking at if you have an older device. You should contact Apple Support or take your device to an Apple Store; here’s how to chat directly with Apple Support.
How to Cool Down Your iPhone and Prevent the Problem From Reoccurring
Fortunately, you can use several tips to cool down an iPhone that has become too hot. Below are some of our top recommendations.
1. Toggle Off Bluetooth
Having Bluetooth switched on can consume additional energy on your device, which could result in your iPhone overheating quicker than it otherwise would. To turn off Bluetooth, you can go to your Control Center and turn off the logo.
Alternatively, navigate to Settings > Bluetooth and switch the Bluetooth toggle off.
2. Switch Off Your iOS Location Services
Location Services is a helpful feature if you need to find directions or would like to share your current whereabouts with someone else. However, keeping the feature turned on can result in your iPhone overheating. If you’re short on time, check out our video on the topic instead.
To turn off Location Services:
- Go to Settings > Privacy & Security.
- Select Location Services.
- Toggle Location Services off.
You can also adjust the Location Services settings on your iPhone for each app. Click on the app you want to alter and pick from the options available.
3. Turn Off Background App Refresh
Background App Refresh keeps your apps updated without you needing to do any extra manual work. However, it’s also a big battery drainer and can stop your iPhone from performing at an optimal level. If you think that this setting could be what’s causing your iPhone to overheat, follow these steps to switch off the feature.
- Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh.
- Toggle Background App Refresh off.
4. Disable iCloud
While having iCloud switched on can make it easier to sync your iPhone in real time, the feature could also result in your device overheating more than it should. Here’s how to disable iCloud on your iPhone:
- Go to Settings and click on your Apple ID at the top of the screen.
- Select iCloud.
- Go to Device Backups and turn iCloud Backup off.
5. Reset All Settings on Your iPhone
Another possible solution if your iPhone gets too hot is to reset all settings on your iPhone. Here’s how to do that:
- Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- Select Reset.
- Click on Reset All Settings when the menu appears at the bottom of your screen.
6. Check for an iOS Update
Some users have complained that their iPhone overheats after updating their iOS software. Apple normally releases intermittent updates to patch problems like this, and your device could be getting too hot because you haven’t upgraded to the latest software anyway. Here’s how to check for an iOS update:
- Go to Settings > General.
- Click on Software Update.
- If a software update is available, tap Download and Install.
7. Change Your iPhone Charger
Make sure that you’re only using an original Apple charger. Sometimes, a faulty third-party charger can result in your iPhone overheating. It can also damage your battery life.
8. Reset Your Network Settings
Instead of resetting all settings on your iPhone, you may wish to simply reset your network settings. Wi-Fi issues could cause your device to get too hot.
- Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- Click on Reset Network Settings.
- Reconnect to your Wi-Fi network after the changes have taken place. It’s worth keeping a note of your passcode before resetting your network settings — that way, you won’t need to struggle with searching for the password later.
Other Things You Can Try:
- Don’t charge your device and if it is plugged into anything, unplug it.
- Avoid using turn-by-turn directions in Apps like Maps, Google Maps, Waze, etc. These not only drain your battery but they also really heat up your iPhone.
- Close ALL apps on your iPhone. Double-click the home button or swipe up from the bottom of your screen slowly if your iPhone doesn’t have a home button. Then, swipe up to close every app you currently have open.
- Check your device to make sure that you do not have a runaway app. This is usually a third party app that is stuck and is consuming an enormous amount of storage and processing. To check this out, Go to Settings > General> iPhone Storage. You should see a list of apps listed along with how much storage they consume. If you see any odd things here, choose to delete the app and reinstall it again.
A Word on Analytics and Data
For people who really want to see what’s going on with their iPhones, take a look at your analytics. For most of us, this data doesn’t make much sense. But for folks in the know and service or repair shops, this data can help them figure out what’s going on. Get to your Analytics by going to Settings > Privacy & Security > Analytics & Improvements > Analytics Data. This information might point to a particular app or operation that’s causing your problem.
Reader Tips for Fixing an iPhone That Gets Too Hot
- There’s a setting for your display’s brightness called “night shift.” When it’s turned OFF, games will make your iPhone or iPad heat up like crazy. When it’s turned ON to the MAX WARM setting, then games and other apps generate at least half as much heat.
- One reader mentioned that using certain apps can cause an iPhone to overheat quicker than others. So, it’s worth looking at your app usage.
- Getting a heat sink could also help stop your iPhone from overheating if you continue experiencing this problem.
Use These Tips to Stop Your iPhone From Getting Too Hot
If your iPhone keeps overheating, there could be several reasons why. You could be using a faulty charger, or perhaps you’re living in a region that’s too warm for your device’s optimal temperature range. Sometimes, it’s issues related to software.
There isn’t one single reason why your iPhone gets too hot, but these tips should hopefully have helped you understand what’s happening and get back on track.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the original editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.