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Can my iPhone overheat?

A man laying on a sandy beach using his mobile phone

When our cherished iPhones get too hot, they can start to play up and may even suffer long-term damage. Having an insurance policy for an iPhone in place is a good way to secure help when things go wrong. However, it’s also wise to identify the underlying cause of the issue and prevent overheating before it’s too late.

While it's extremely unlikely an overheating iPhone will end up in disaster, quickly troubleshooting problems will give you peace of mind and help things run smoothly.

If you’re worried about an overheating iPhone then read our guide on the causes of this common complaint, how to prevent it and what to do if it occurs.


What is overheating?

Don’t panic if your iPhone gets warm when you’ve had an epic gaming session, streamed a movie or used it as a sat nav on a sunny day. Unlike computers, iPhones have no fans to cool them down during use, instead they disperse any excess heat through their metal frames.

However, when your device becomes too hot to handle, or the dreaded temperature warning message flashes up on the screen, it’s time to take action.

Your iPhone overheating in such a way could be a sign of a faulty device, faulty software, or a device at risk of damage from excessive heat.

While iPhone insurance can protect against accidental damage and breakdown, prevention is always better than cure.

An iPhone placed face down on a table

How to stop your iPhone overheating

To prevent your iPhone from developing an overheating problem there are several methods you can use.


Keep it out of the sun

iPhones are designed to work best between 0°c and 35°c. Obviously then if you’re using an iPhone in the scorching hot sun, your device might have difficulty coping.

So, keep it in the shade when it’s hot outside – particularly if you’re playing graphic-intensive games or using apps that require a lot of processing power like Google Maps.


Check your charger

Are you still using the charger shipped when you first purchased your iPhone? Double check if you’re unsure as other unofficial iPhone chargers can overload the battery and cause overheating.


Turn off Background App Refresh

Constantly refreshing apps so they always have the latest content waiting for you whenever you open them up sounds like a great idea.

Unfortunately, the flipside of this multitasking activity is your iPhone will have to work hard even when you’re not using the app. Switching this off will give your iPhone a break and a chance to cool down.

To do this, just go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Turning it off will also save on battery life and data usage.


Check your apps

If your iPhone is overheating even on cooler days then it might be worth checking to see if an app is causing the issue. Problems are easy to diagnose if you go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.

Here you’ll see the list of apps and the amount of storage they take up. If you find anything unusual then simply uninstall and see if that solves the problem.

Third party apps are a particular potential source of overheating issues.


Check your battery

A faulty iPhone battery can easily lead to overheating problems. Take your iPhone to a local Apple store and have them check it out.

A low battery sign on an iPhone with someone plugging in a charger

What damage can overheating cause?

An overheating iPhone is typically not dangerous and the device is designed to protect itself from damage.

However, continued exposure to heat can have a negative impact on your iPhone’s battery life. Also, when an iPhone gets too hot, the battery can’t store energy efficiently so there’ll be a slow-down in performance.


What to do if an iPhone overheats?

An overheating iPhone needs to cool down quickly. To protect its internal components the device itself will try to regulate its own temperature. If this happens you might notice the following happen:

  • Charging slows down or even stops. There are even several more reasons why your phone may stop charging.
  • The display will dim or turn black.
  • The iPhone might enter a low-power state and any cell signal might weaken.
  • The iPhone’s camera flash is disabled.
  • Performance slows particularly with processor-hungry apps or features.
  • This alert might be displayed "Temperature: iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it".


What practical steps can you take to protect your handset?

  • Remove your iPhone from its case or cover – you need to let the heat dissipate through the handset's outer shell and the extra layer of insulation will make this harder.
  • Unplug your iPhone straight away from any power source. Charging heats up the device.
  • Switch off Bluetooth as this provides an additional source of heat. Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
  • Turn off iCloud, Wi-Fi and any Location Services in Settings. GPS is perhaps the single internal function that heats up an iPhone the most. To turn off GPS go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services.
  • Switch off any apps or features you’re using – particularly any processor intensive games.
  • Avoid using Maps turn-by-turn directions as this mode creates more heat.
  • Turn off Background App refresh.
  • Turn on Airplane mode. You’ll find the mode in the Control Centre. Tap the plane icon to turn it on.
  • Switch off your iPhone altogether and place it in a cool place out of direct sunlight.
  • Never blast cooled air at the iPhone as rapid cooling can create condensation inside the iPhone which creates its own set of problems. Hopefully it goes without saying but never put it in the fridge or freezer or dunk it in cold water!

An iPhone placed next to its box and Airpods

Get iPhone insurance from Gadget Cover

The dedicated team of insurance specialists at Gadget Cover will search to find you a policy to insure your iPhone that suits your needs.

Protecting your iPhone from the risk of being damaged, lost or stolen is vital when we depend on them for so much more than making calls and sending texts!

Policies arranged through Gadget Cover can include protection from accidental damage, liquid damage, theft, breakdown and unauthorised usage. For an extra premium your iPhone can also be covered against loss.

Policies can also cover other family members and any accessories (up to £150) if they are lost, stolen or damaged at the same time as your iPhone.

Get a quote from Gadget Cover today.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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