Just a few years ago, cell phones were simple machines that made calls and sent text messages. Today, they are sophisticated, pocket-sized computers. And much like full-sized computers, they are prone to all sorts of problems and malfunctions, including overheating.
But if your phone is a little bit warm after you have made a phone call or used an app, it is totally normal. Inside your phone, the processor, camera, screen, battery, and other components can actually create a lot of heat when they are in use.
Whereas computers and laptops have fans to cool them down, cell phones do not. Instead, they use a special coating on the circuits inside to better diffuse heat.
So, most of the time, when your phone is working properly, it won’t give off too much heat and you’ll be able to hold it normally. There is no problem if your phone is a little bit warm.
However, when your phone becomes hot to the touch, displays a heat warning, or stops working due to overheating, there’s something wrong that needs to be addressed.
Here are a few reasons that can happen;
- Direct Sunlight
If you have ever left your phone sitting on a table in the bright sun, you know just how quickly the sun rays can overheat it. One possible reason your phone feels hot is that it has been exposed to direct sunlight or some other heat source for too long. This kind of overheating can be a serious problem.
Direct heat like this can seriously damage your phone’s internal components, impact battery life and charge time, slow down performance, and even break your phone’s screen. Be careful where you leave your phone for long periods of time, particularly in hot weather. When your phone gets too hot from the sun, find a cool, dark place to leave it while its temperature comes down.
- Intense Use of Screen or Processing Power
Mobile phones are great at diffusing heat from regular use so you don’t burn your hands while using them, but they have a limit to what they can handle. After all, they don’t have a high-speed fan inside of them like more powerful processors need.
If your phone hasn’t been in direct sunlight, but it’s badly overheating, there’s a good chance your phone has been asked to use too much processing power or emit too much light from its screen.
The following thing you do with your phone can make your it hot:
- Having too many applications on your phone
- Playing games on your phone for a long
- Watching too many videos on your phones
- The screen brightness of your phone is too high
- Leaving your Bluetooth or WIFI on for too long
- Taking a lot of pictures or recording videos for long periods with your camera
There is nothing wrong when you do these things and all you need is time to let your phone cool down. It will be ready to use again before you know it.
If your phone seems to be getting too hot for no apparent reason, there might be something more serious wrong with it. If your phone overheats while sitting idly in your pocket on a cool day, for example, it could mean that the processor is being pushed to its limit by malware. Desktop computers and laptops can become infected with viruses that purposefully max out their processors until they are forced to shut down. The same thing can happen on your phone.
Similarly, a form of mobile malware could be continuously running apps, widgets, or harmful processes in the background that strain your phone’s processor and cause it to give off too much heat.
You can avoid getting malware on your phone by only downloading attachments, apps, and other data from trusted sources and official app stores.
What to Do if Your Phone Overheats
If you are not sure what is causing your cell phone to get too hot, there are a few things you can try to get it working properly again.
- First, give it a break. Stop using your phone immediately. Find a cool, dark place to leave your phone for a while. Chances are, it just needs a break from use and/or direct sunlight and it will start working again in a few minutes.
- Take the case off, if you have one. Phone cases are fantastic for protecting our phones from physical damage, but most of them are terribly ventilated. Cases can trap heat against the phone’s shell and prevent it from cooling down. If your phone is having trouble cooling down, take the case off and give it a chance to breathe.
- Turn on airplane mode. If your phone still won’t cool down, turn on airplane mode to shut down any Wifi or Bluetooth connections that could be straining its processor. On most phones, this function is easy to find under the general settings menu.
- Close all apps. There could be too many apps and processes running in the background, causing your phone’s processor to burn out. You will often be surprised how many apps and browser windows you have open, as most phones don’t automatically close them when you return to the home screen. Close down everything non-essential, even the camera app, and give your phone a much-needed break.
- Run a malware scan. If none of the above helps your phone cool down, there could be a malware issue burning out your processor. Most of our top-rated antivirus programs offer support and scans for mobile devices. Scan yours and find out if there’s any malicious software eating away at your processing power.
- Take it to a professional. If you’ve determined that your phone isn’t overheating from malware, overuse, or a hot environment, there may be something mechanically wrong with it. You’ll want to take your phone to a professional service technician to diagnose and fix.
- Prevent Overheating in the first place. Even if your phone has never overheated, most of the tips above are general best-practice. Always monitor your processor usage and close unneeded apps, avoid leaving your phone in the sun, and be extra diligent about keeping your phone malware-free.
Severe overheating can irreversibly damage your phone, not to mention be a huge nuisance. In most cases, your phone just needs a break every now and then. Besides, the occasional break from staring at a screen is bound to be good for you, too.