Too Hot to Handle? Why Your iPhone Is Overheating

Using your iPhone can be a joyful, even delightful experience. It’s a small device, yet it can do so much both to entertain and to improve your daily routine.
But when something starts going wrong with that phone, it’s normal to feel frustration — and maybe even alarm.
If your iPhone is regularly overheating or getting uncomfortably warm, you’re right to be concerned. This isn’t normal, and it could be a sign of a serious problem. That problem would almost certainly be covered if you have an extended warranty from Upsie, by the way. So if you’re not having trouble yet, now’s the time to get that warranty!
Check out some of the reasons your iPhone is overheating, plus what you should do about it.

Warm Versus Hot

First, make sure you understand the difference between a warm phone and a hot or overheated one. It’s actually pretty normal for your iPhone to get a little warm, especially in high-resource situations. If you’re playing a 3D game with smooth graphics or watching 4K video, your phone is going to get warm.
The same thing happens when you use your phone outdoors in the heat and sun. If your phone has been sitting in a hot car, it’s going to be hot already.
iPhones don’t have any fans to dissipate heat, so they get rid of it through the frame of the phone itself. When you run your phone hard, it’s going to get warm.
So, what’s the difference between warm and hot? Generally, “warm” means warm to the touch, but not painful to hold. But if the phone gets so hot that it’s uncomfortable or even painful to hold, that’s too hot.
Newer iPhones also have a built-in damage prevention mechanism. If your phone truly overheats, you may see a message on the screen indicating that the phone won’t resume normal operations again until it cools down.
Obviously, that’s a clear sign of overheating. It’s also a great feature that saves phones from further damage. Many owners of perfectly healthy iPhones have seen this warning after leaving their phone on the car dash for too long.

Top Causes of Overheating

If you’re reasonably sure that your iPhone is overheating, not just getting warm from normal use, then it’s time to figure out the reason. Here are the top causes.

Rogue App (or App Update)

If your phone otherwise seems healthy, a rogue app or a bad app update could be the culprit. Usually on iPhone, an app can only cause this kind of trouble when it’s actively running, so it should be easy to track down. It would be very rare for an app to cause this kind of processing drain while simply running in the background.
If a recently downloaded or updated app seems to trigger excessive heat or slowdowns, try deleting the app to see if the problem goes away.

Internal Component Damage

The internals of any smartphone are complex. If a component fails or becomes damaged, often the phone will just stop working entirely. But sometimes it will press on despite the damage. Overheating can be a sign of certain types of internal component damage, which can only be diagnosed and repaired at a licensed repair shop or at an Apple Store.

Faulty or Damaged Battery

A faulty or damaged battery is one cause of overheating, and it’s a dangerous one. If the heat seems to be causing other physical problems on your phone, like screen discoloration, that’s a big problem. It could be a damaged battery, which could catch fire or even explode.
Certainly, if your device seems to be bulging at a seam or it won’t sit flat anymore (camera bump notwithstanding), you need to take it in for repair right away.
If the heat seems localized to just one part of the phone (and that’s where the battery is), you’re seeing another sign that your overheated phone is suffering from battery damage.
CNET has some solid advice on what to do if you’re dealing with a faulty battery—especially if it’s already hissing, smoking, or self-generating heat.

Bad Case

Most people put their phone in a case, which is generally a good idea. But not every third-party case is designed well. Most cases lower a phone’s ability to dissipate heat, and some cases do so to an unacceptable degree. For intermittent heat issues, try simply going without a case for a bit.

How to Cool Your Phone

When your phone gets unacceptably hot, it’s important that you stop what you’re doing and let it cool down. Not doing so can cause further damage.
The best way to cool your phone is to simply power it off. Removing it from its case can help, as well. When it cools down to room temperature, power back up and resume use. If the heat issues return, you likely need a repair of some sort.

Get in Front of Overheating Issues with an Upsie Warranty

Overheating issues can be pretty frustrating, especially if you know they likely mean an expensive repair is coming soon. But with an Upsie iPhone subscription warranty, you can get in front of overheating issues before they occur. Upsie’s warranties cover accidental damage as well as component failure, including battery failure. This means that, even if Apple won’t cover the repair, Upsie likely will.

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