“Why my iPhone is getting hot” is a question I hear really, really a lot of times. Today, we will be looking at the possible causes and ways to fix the overheating issue. NO, it is not normal to get hot, to answer the second question that comes immediately after why my iPhone is getting hot.
To be a little bit more clear, it is normal if your iPhone is getting a bit warmer in some cases, especially if you have opened a resource thirsty app, like some games for example, but it should not overheat to the point where it became hot, in some cases o where you can barely hold your phone into your hands. That is not a normal functionality sign and you should definitely look for what is causing the overheating.
Possible causes for the iPhone overheating
Ok, so first let’s look at the possible causes for overheating in order to understand the solutions and side effects.
1. Liquid Damage
If you know that the iPhone has suffered from liquid damage and since than it started heating up, there is a high chance that the overheating is caused by a hardware failure. If you just got the iPhone prom someone and you are not sure if it has been damaged by a liquid, there are some places on your iPhone where you can check if there was any liquid contact. The places are different from model to model, but you can find on Apple’s website a quick tutorial for what to look for.
Note that the iPhone is not covered by warranty in case of liquid damage. In case you just purchased a second hand iPhone and found out that it had liquid damage, you might wanna try to bring it back (at least now you know where to look when buying a second hand iPhone). You bring your device to an authorized service.
You can also try to fix it yourself if you feel adventurous. There’s a tutorial on Wiki How on how to do this.
2. Heated by the sun
You might be out on a sunny hot day and leave your iPhone somewhere in the sun, usually they are left on the car dashboard where the temperature gets even higher and at one point the phone becomes unusable displaying the following message: “iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it” (see picture below). This is happening due to natural causes (the sun if not left near to a very hot place like a radiator or fireplace) and the phone is shutting down it’s functions as a safety measure.
All you need to do is wait for your iPhone to cool down and it will be ready to be used once it’ll reach a safe temperature.
NO, I would not recommend putting the iPhone into the freezer as the temperature difference might cause condensation and you might fall into liquid damage problem and I’m sure you don’t want to!
3. CPU – Applications
In 99% of the cases your iPhone is getting hot due to a software problem that is causing your CPU to work at it’s full capacity all the time. If this is the case, the processor is running at it’s maximum capacity even if your iPhone is locked and the screen is off.
The phone is getting hot because it is working the same way as a computer, in fact, your iPhone is a computer (fun fact, much more powerful than the ones used to send out a spaceship to the moon). When you are using a CPU hungry software on your computer, like a game, Photoshop, etc, you hear the fans kicking in because the processor becomes very hot. If you are a passionate gamer you might even taken some extra measures and installed a liquid cooling system to keep the CPU at a comfortable temperature.
As the iPhone is just a smaller computer, or any other smartphones for that matter, the firmware is made in such way that it is transmitting all the time to the CPU what computing power is needed. You your phone is on idle or running a resource friendly application, the CPU will work at a lower percentage of it’s capacity and this way it will remain cool. When gaming on the iPhone you felt it warmer because the app requested more power trough the firmware and if something is messed up, an app or the firmware itself might request 100% capacity from the CPU. This is when it’s getting really hot and, you don’t have any fancy fans to kick in.
Solution for iPhone getting too hot
1. iPhone Software Update
First of all make sure your software is updated. Go to Settings – General – Software Update and update your iPhone if an update is available. Make sure you open App Store as well and go to Updates tab than select Update All to have all app updated as well.
2. Check Apps with problems
Now we should check if there’s an app causing some issues frequently. To do this go to Settings -> Privacy – Diagnostics & Usage – Diagnostic & Usage Data and see if any of your apps are crashing often. In my case note that AccuWeather keeps crashing over and over. I’d recommend you to uninstall such apps.
You should also perform a force restart at this point. (hold the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons at the same time for at least 10 seconds until the iPhone reboots)
At this point you should check if the overheating problem is solved. If not, follow the next steps.
3. Reset All Settings
If the iPhone is still getting hot at this point, go ti Settings – General – Reset and select Reset All Settings. You will need to set up your iPhone again. Be aware that Erase All Content and Settings will also erase your pictures, videos and music so be careful of what option you are selecting.
Last resort in case none of the above works is to restore your iPhone as it might be an iOS glitch. You should restore it trough iTuneseasy to understand tutorial and Apple have an on how to do this.
Side effect of the iPhone getting hot – Battery Drain
One of the possible side effects when you have a phone that is overheating is that the battery is draining really fast. There is a tutorial here on how to solve fast draining battery if the battery is still draining fast even after solving the overheating problem.