Why Does My iPhone Get so Hot, and How to Fix it?

20 September 2022

person using a phone

iPhones are among the sleekest, most powerful smartphones on the market. However, they also pack a lot of features and components in that slick aluminum frame (or stainless steel, if you’re a Pro series owner). With the incredible capabilities of the onboard systems within these devices, making them perfect for everything from gaming to video calls, it goes without saying that your iPhone will warm up when under taxing loads.

But what if your iPhone gets hot? Why does this happen, and how? Moreover, how do you go about fixing it as the owner of the device, especially if you lack repair experience and rightfully shouldn’t attempt to open it up?

We’re here to help. Let’s dive into the details together.

Why iPhones (and Other Smartphones) Get Hot

If your iPhone gets a little toasty, it’s likely not due to a hardware failure. The primary drivers of heat buildup are the onboard processor and the battery. The processor, much like the one on a computer, generates a ton of heat when it’s working hard. This is especially the case with smartphones that have gaming graphics technology built into the same chip (otherwise known as a GPU or graphics processing unit). With that many processing cores doing their thing, there’s more demand on the phone’s components, which also leads to accelerated battery drain. This can lead to your phone getting warm as well.

Safety Features on iPhones

In the case of iPhones, did you know that your device is smart enough to know when it needs to take a break? iPhones feature technology that can detect when the internal temperature climbs above safety limits, which immediately leads to the phone shutting down to protect it and the user. Since smartphone batteries are combustible, this is a very good thing! Alternatively, in some smartphones, if you’re overworking the processor and it’s struggling to keep up, it may throttle downwards, resulting in reduced performance efficiency.

Other Causes of Hot Smartphones

In addition to the component-related causes we’ve covered above, there are other real-world usage scenarios that can cause devices to get hot to the touch. Here are some examples:

Running Performance-Demanding Software

A good example of this is the Google Nest app, used to monitor cameras from your phone. Understandably, this consumes a ton of resources on your device, and you can expect your battery life to get siphoned away quickly as a result. Applications like these that ask for a lot from your device tend to result in temperatures climbing with prolonged use.

Playing Games

Sure, iPhones are great little mobile gaming sessions, but if you’re glued to your screen for hours on end while taking the train or other means, the device will become hot to the touch before eventually shutting down as a safety precaution. If you like to game a lot, try playing less resource-intensive titles, such as indie games or older classics.

Direct Sunlight

If you leave your phone on the dashboard or console within your car, it’s going to heat up even if not being used. The same goes for leaving your phone outdoors on concrete or a table. This buildup of heat can actually pose a serious safety risk – again, batteries can explode in uncontrolled environments, though this risk can be avoided by taking proper care of your phone.

Ambient Temperatures

Much like how the heat from UV rays can cause your phone to get hot, so too can high ambient temperatures. If you’re out and about on a broiling summer’s day, treat your phone as you would a person – that means plenty of shade and the chance to cool off!

Excessive Video Calls

Video calling tends to consume a lot of system resources, so it only makes sense that plenty of heat will be generated within the phone. It’s best to use your laptop or a dedicated external webcam instead if you’re in Teams or Zoom meetings all day!

Leaving it Constantly Plugged in

Many of us plug our phones in overnight, and we honestly shouldn’t. While iPhones know when to stop accepting a current after the battery is fully charged, it’s best to not rely on software over simply unplugging the phone when it makes sense to do so. Leaving a phone constantly plugged in can cause issues with battery performance and, you guessed it, higher-than-normal internal temperatures.

How to Stop Your Phone from Overheating

Bearing the above points in mind, what can you do to stop your phone from running so hot? Here are several suggestions that are well worth considering:

Unplug Once Charged!

If your iPhone is fully charged, why does it need to be left plugged into the socket? Unplug it and enjoy it! This is better for not only your phone’s internals but also, quite possibly, your energy bill.

Avoid High Temperatures and Direct Sun

Keeping your device out of direct sunlight can help to preserve its longevity, and so can not using it in the middle of a heatwave. Come inside, put your feet up, and enjoy the air conditioning instead!

Uninstall Resource-Intensive Applications

At first, we were going to say to limit your use of power-hungry applications, but if they’re still on your phone then there’s the risk of habitually using them. This can lead to an “addiction” of sorts, especially to monitoring apps like Nest every time you get a notification of something getting caught on camera that turns out to be a squirrel. If you don’t actually need it on your phone, uninstall it and instead use these kind of applications from a system like a PC, Mac, or otherwise. These devices will be thicker and capable of dealing with thermals more efficiently than any smartphone can for more taxing processes.

Monitor Your Usage

Is your screen-on time higher than ever? Find ways to cut down and reduce the number of times you pick up the phone every day. Endlessly scrolling on social media is one of the most common culprits of high usage.

Take Your Device in for an Inspection

When all else fails, it might be best to stop in and have your iPhone serviced by a certified and experienced repair professional. They can perform diagnostics to determine whether anything is wrong with the internals or functionality of the device. In Mobile Klinik’s case, we can usually address the most common repair needs in 60 minutes or less!

Need help with finding out why your iPhone is running hot, or have questions regarding how to improve the performance of your device? We’d be glad to assist. Visit your nearest Mobile Klinik location today to get started.

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