What Causes Smartphones to Overheat

And What Can You Do To Prevent It

Before things get too hot to handle...

Every portable device that you own probably has a battery to power it. Batteries need charge to keep your devices running and sometimes, the heat dissipation can cause discomfort. 

That’s it.

No, really. It really is that simple. However, there is a lot more nuance to understand how our modern-day pocket computers (i.e. smartphones) can get overheated. Sometimes, on their own accord. So let’s take a deeper look at the causes and we’ll also provide some helpful suggestions on what you can do, to avoid these.

The heat is on..

So, let’s get back to the basic issue at hand. While the battery is the main culprit in most cases of overheating, let’s also not forget that the cause could be due to various components. If you’ve not kept your phone on charge, haven’t even touched it and yet – it feels warm to the touch, then what could the issue be? 

Most often than not, it is due to the processes that are running in the background. Since our smartphones are almost always connected to the internet, there is always some activity going on. Either the data needs to be synced with the cloud service, or some service is trying to download new data, or so on.

What can you do?

The quickest solution for this issue is to turn off Wi-Fi and cellular data for a while. If the issue still persists, then try rebooting your smartphone. If there is still no relief, check if there is a microSD card installed. Remove it, wait 15 minutes, then try again. Lastly, if you’re using a case or cover of any kind, then remove that and wait 15 minutes. 

Nothing worked? Okay, let’s try and dig deeper.

Overheating under certain scenarios

If there are only certain scenarios when your smartphone tends to overheat, then let’s zoom in on those: 


1. While running certain apps

Resource-intensive apps like certain high-graphics games have a tendency to demand more juice out of your smartphone battery. Also, there might be certain apps that tend to keep hunting for your location data, every time you use them.

What can you do?

Identifying which exact apps are causing the issue might be a bit tricky. Except intensive games, those should be quit immediately if the phone shows signs of overheating.

Software battery optimisations are finally here

For apps trying to access your location data, things get complicated. However, if nothing else, then launch one app at a time and try to notice the Location icon. If you see it frequently on certain apps, then you might want to either turn off the Location access for those apps or use them sparingly.

Remember, some apps definitely need your location, in order to work well. On-demand cab services, for example, need to know where you are. If you feel that some apps don’t need access to your location, you might try denying Location access and see if the app works well without overheating your phone.

2. When charging the phone

Some amount of heat is expected whenever you charge your phone. On those rare occasions, when the phone feels overly warm, it might be best to firstly disconnect the charger and let the phone cool off. Give it another 15 minutes of idling, before putting the charger back in.

What can you do?

If the issue re-surfaces on the next cycle, re-examine the cable and the socket. Try different ones, if possible. Ensure you use only the brand-provided (or certified) chargers and cables, if it’s from an unknown source than cease using it immediately.

Innovative charging will replace conventional one

3. Almost every time

On the rarest of times, when you find yourself at your wits end trying to figure out why your phone is overheating even without much use, it will be harder to figure out what the root cause is. However, some steps should be considered before turning the phone in for repair.

What can you do?

The first step when faced with such an extraordinary situation would be take a minute to think about the last installed app. Zero in on it and uninstall, then restart the phone to be doubly sure. If the situation doesn’t improve, then try and turn off Wi-Fi, Cellular Data, Bluetooth, NFC and other radio connections your phone is equipped with.

If none of the steps above work, then it would be best to take a complete backup of your iPhone or Android phone and then send it to the nearest Brand Authorised Service Center.

The right choice

In any issue that you face with your devices, it’s imperative to know what may be causing issues and educate yourself about it. While basic steps are quick and easy, the better approach for unsolvable issues is to approach the experts. Always.


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