Why does my phone get hot? How to cool down your phone

So far, this has been a summer to remember, with the UK experiencing its longest heatwave in five years. Across the country, thousands are flocking to beaches, parks and pools to make the most of the hot weather, with temperatures reaching highs of 32 degrees in some parts. But while the heat is great for barbeques, picnics (and spotting novelty tan lines), it does come with its drawbacks. For example, you may have noticed your phone overheating. If that happens, you need to know how to cool down your phone, and how to stop your phone from getting hot in the first place. With that in mind, here’s our advice for a happy summer with your mobile.

Why does my phone get hot?

First of all, it’s normal for phones to generate some heat. The battery, the screen’s backlight, the GPS chip and the processor all generate heat as they work – but really, any part of the phone that uses power can get hot. You may notice that your mobile heats up when you perform tasks, such as charging, streaming audio and video content, running apps in the background, holding long phone conversations, downloading apps, and using your phone as a GPS system. Put simply: usage demands power, and power generates heat.

Normally, your phone will cool down when you stop these activities. But in summer, when the temperature is higher, there is a chance that this heat could be retained. Unsurprisingly, this is not good for your phone, as sometimes, the hotter your processor gets, the slower it will run. Not to worry, though – there are some steps you can take to help prevent overheating.

How to cool down your phone

  1. Keep your phone well ventilated. Most mobile phones will try to dissipate heat through body panels, which means they need plenty of space to do so. Try not to carry your phone in your pocket – your body heat is the last thing your phone’s body needs on a hot day.
  2. Keep your phone out of direct sunlight. Just like humans, phones can overheat in the sun, too. If you’re outside enjoying the great outdoors, make sure your phone is kept in the shade. Exposure to high temperatures mean that the device cannot cool itself, which can really impact the battery. Your phone will charge slower, and prolonged exposure to heat is likely to decrease battery life altogether.GettyImages-696484852
  3. Keep your phone away from other gadgets and devices. It’s not just phones that get hot when they work – tablets, laptops and other devices have the same problem. Try not to keep all of your tech together in the same bag, drawer or space. You don’t want your phone picking up all that excess heat when it’s trying to manage its own.
  4. Update your apps. Apps refreshing and updating in the background means that your phone is using power (and thus, generating heat). Set aside some time to ensure all your apps are updated and in good working order. This way, you can limit the amount of background work your phone is doing.
  5. Remove any apps which noticeably use power. If you’ve noticed your phone heating up a lot after installing a certain app, try removing it. It could be that a particular application is using significantly more power than you’d like and putting some strain on your device. Similarly, having a clean out of apps you don’t use can help with the background power issue.GettyImages-614206898
  6. Turn down your backlight. Keeping your screen brightness high can use more battery and generate heat. Try turning your backlight down and setting a shorter timeout on your screen. Bonus: your battery may last longer, too.
  7. Remove your phone case. If you’re phone is feeling toasty, try taking off the case for a little while. Just as taking off a jacket can help humans cool down, taking off the phone’s extra layer can help heat dissipate. Just try not to drop it (and if you prefer the added protection of a case, remember to pop it back on when your device has cooled down again).
  8. Keep your car cool when using GPS navigation. Cars can be like ovens on hot summer days. If you’re off on a long drive, and are relying on your phone’s GPS to get you there, try and keep the vehicle as cool as possible. Crank the windows, blast the AC: your phone (and probably your passengers) will thank you.GettyImages-619511720
  9. Check for battery damage. If you’re noticing a persistent heat issue, you could double check the battery to make sure there’s not a problem. Before you do, close all your apps and programs and turn off your network connections. If there is a fault, you could try replacing the battery.
  10. Let your phone rest. And finally, the common line that keeps cropping up here is that power means heat. If you’re all caught up on social media, you’ve made your phone calls for the day, and there’s nothing too urgent in the WhatsApp group, you could consider giving your phone a little rest to recover. After all, we all need a break in summer, right?