It’s a little worrying when you pick up your iPhone and find that it is too hot to touch, especially if you weren’t using it. And while some warmth isn’t an issue, it might feel like your iPhone is about to melt in some cases.
But don’t worry; if your iPhone is overheating, it’s not a big problem and can happen to both new and old iPhones. It could be a software issue, a faulty battery, or a myriad of other reasons.
This article discusses all the possible reasons for an overheating iPhone and what you can do to fix it.
- iPhone Overheating – What is it?
- How To Fix an Overheating iPhone
- Frequently Asked Questions
iPhone Overheating – What is it?
The ideal operating temperature for an iPhone is between 32o and 95o F, and it won’t cause any issues. In fact, it can even withstand more severe weather conditions if it’s not in use. But in some cases, your iPhone can overheat even when it’s used at the ideal operating temperature. So should you be worried?
Well, it’s normal for the iPhone to heat up if:
- You set up the phone for the very first time.
- You restored the device from a previous backup.
- You got a screen replacement, and your phone needs to calibrate the new screen.
- You used CPU-intensive apps like AR or graphics-intensive applications.
- You performed an iOS update.
Updating the software requires a lot of resources and often overheats the CPU. And since iPhones don’t have fans, it takes time for the CPU to cool down.
If your phone is heating up during these processes, there’s nothing to worry about. It will return to its regular operating temperatures in a short while. But if it continues to overheat, there could be other reasons for it, such as:
Reason #1: Direct Sunlight
Leaving your phone out in the sun, such as in a car parked under direct sunlight, can also cause it to overheat. Add to that the additional heat generated if you have mobile data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or location services switched on, and you have an overheating iPhone.
Reason #2: Faulty Battery
A bad or faulty battery outputs energy very irregularly and can overwork itself for no reason. And heat is one of the indications of that. So if your iPhone is overheating, you should check out the battery’s health and status by going to Settings and then Battery.
Reason #3: Too Many Background Apps Running
When you have a lot of processes running simultaneously, your iPhone has to work harder, causing it to overheat.
If you have an iPhone with a home button (iPhone 8 Plus or earlier), double-press the button, and you’ll see all the open apps. Swipe up on the apps to close them. If you have an iPhone X or later, then swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the app switcher. Then, swipe up to close all the apps.
Reason #4: Outdated Apps or Software
Developers are constantly working on updates that improve an app’s functionality or release a software update with an important security patch. If your iPhone is overheating, you might have an older app or software version that can overload the processor. Try updating your phone to the latest software release and app version to prevent it from overheating.
Reason #5: Online Streaming
Keeping your phone’s screen awake is very power-intensive and heats up your phone. Other similar power-intensive activities like online streaming or playing a very CPU-intensive game can cause the iPhone to overheat.
Reason #6: Crashing Apps
If your iPhone started to overheat after downloading a certain app, that might be why. You can check this by going to Settings, then Privacy. From here, go to Analytics & Improvements and then Analytics Data. You will then see a list of entries and logs. If you see the same app listed repeatedly, there’s a problem with the app causing your phone to overheat.
A phone that uses a lot of battery puts a lot of stress on your phone’s CPU, causing it to overheat. And it’s possible that an app using a lot of battery could be crashing in the background. To check this, go to Settings and then to Battery. Here, you’ll see a Battery Usage section that lists apps using the most battery.
Some other reasons for your iPhone overheating include:
- Memory leaks in apps that put a burden on the CPU
- Higher brightness, which is more intensive for the phone to handle than lower brightness.
- System errors.
- Placing your phone near appliances that generate heat (like refrigerators and other electrical appliances) while it’s charging.
How To Fix an Overheating iPhone
If your iPhone is overheating, the first thing you need to do is switch on the Airplane mode and disconnect it from the charger. You should also consider turning off the mobile data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, location services, iCloud, and Background App Refresh.
Then, follow these tips:
Tip #1: Make Sure Things Are Updated
Apple releases updates quite frequently, and a lot of these include fixes that solve overheating or address bugs causing your iPhone to get hot. So make sure your iPhone has the latest software version installed. You can check this by going to Settings, General, and then Software Updates. If there’s an update available, it’s best to install it. If you cannot install the update because of lack of space, you can just connect your phone to a computer with Finder or iTunes and update the software.
Similarly, make sure your apps are up-to-date. Not all app updates have new features; some just have bug fixes. So, just head over to the App Store and check if updates are pending. Just press on Update All to update all your apps in one go.
Tip #2: Reboot Your iPhone
This is a simple trick, but it’s worth a try. Sometimes, minor issues can accumulate, such as a software issue causing your device to overheat. Simply turning the iPhone off and on again can fix this issue.
We also recommend moving it to somewhere cool and shaded with good air conditioning.
Tip #3: Take It Out of the Cover
Most of us keep our iPhones inside a protective cover. And while that is good practice to keep the phone safe, it tends to trap heat. So, if your phone is overheating, remove the cover.
Tip #4: Reset Settings
If your phone continues to overheat, you should consider resetting all the settings. To do so, go to Settings, General, Transfer, or Reset iPhone, Reset, and then Reset All Settings. It can help fix problems with problematic apps.
Resetting all settings restores all your settings in the Settings app to their factory defaults. This means it will forget your Wi-Fi password and Bluetooth device and even reset your wallpaper. However, it won’t delete your data, so you have nothing to worry about.
Tip #5: Factory Reset Your Phone
If your phone is still hot, it might be because of a deeper software problem that might require you to do a factory reset. Make sure you back up your phone to iCloud, reset your phone using Finder or iTunes, and then restore your data using the iCloud backup.
Tip #6: Get Your Phone Repaired
If all else fails and you’re still left with a hot iPhone, it might be because of a hardware problem. This could especially be the case if you recently dropped your phone in water or if the internal components were exposed to water.
Note that most iPhones overheat because of a software problem, so make sure you try all other steps before sending in your phone for repair.
If your phone is still under warranty, you can just let Apple handle the repairs. Just remember to make an appointment at the Genius Bar before going to the store. And if you need help with some software-related problem, Apple provides support via mail, over the phone, and online.
If your iPhone is overheating, you don’t need to worry too much. It’s a fairly common problem and can be solved without much hassle. You now know all the possible reasons for your iPhone overheating and potential fixes to try out. Just make sure you try all possible tips before opting for a factory reset.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your phone usually gets hot because the hardware inside, including the battery, generates heat, even if it’s just plugged in. And while the iPhone does dissipate heat, factors like too many apps working in the background and an old battery can cause your phone to overheat.
Remember that cold temperatures can also damage your phone, so make sure you never put it in a fridge or freezer.