When smartphones get too hot, they misbehave and can suffer long-term damage. There have even been some instances where phones have exploded or caught fire, although in these cases heat is generally the symptom (e.g. of a battery failure) rather than the underlying cause of the problem.
It is extremely unlikely that your iPhone will explode, but fixing the overheating issues now should give you some peace of mind and keep it running smoothly. In this article, we offer 11 simple tips for cooling down a hot iPhone, and as the US, UK, Europe and Asia are engulfed in a dangerous heat wave, now is a great time to learn about the ways to keep iPhone cool.
How to keep an iPhone cool
If your iPhone keeps overheating, you need to watch where and how you use it. These tips will help:
Remove the housing. An extra layer of insulation makes it harder for your phone to cool down. Alternatively, iPhone cooling cases and thermal phone cases are available. Consider an enclosure with vents. You can even connect a fan to your iPhone.
Do not leave your phone in a car in the sun, where the temperature can rise quickly. Take the iPhone with you.
Avoid direct sunlight completely – especially if you are somewhere extremely hot. If you’re on vacation somewhere in bright sun, keep the iPhone in a bag or in the shade. Avoid using the phone if possible.
Avoid playing games. Games, especially graphically advanced ones, put a strain on the processor, which heats up the device. AR apps can be particularly taxing.
Stop using Bluetooth as it provides an additional source of heat. You can disable Bluetooth from the Control Center: swipe down from the top right corner on an iPhone without a Home button and tap the Bluetooth icon. (If your iPhone has a Home button, swipe up from the bottom).
Turn off Location Services. GPS can create heat. Turn it off in Settings > Privacy > Location Services.
Speaking of GPS, also avoid using Maps for directions.
Avoid using Maps turn-by-turn directions. This mode generates a lot of heat.
Do not charge your iPhone until you are somewhere cooler, or until the iPhone has had a chance to cool down. Charging heats up the device.
Turn on airplane mode. This will disable GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and mobile data. It’s in the Control Center: tap the airplane icon.
If you can do without notifications, we recommend turning off iPhone completely when not in use. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and slide to turn off the device. (If you have an iPhone 11 or other handset that doesn’t have a Home button, you’ll need to press and hold the power button and one of the volume buttons instead.)
To cool down your iPhone, you can attach it to a car mount for the vents of your vehicle, such as Miracase (UK) or this Vicseed (USA) Magnetic iPhone Holder.
Hopefully, these tips will help you keep the iPhone running at an acceptable temperature. If not, there may be a more serious flaw and you’ll need to make an appointment at Apple’s Genius Bar.
Is the weather too hot for my iPhone?
All current iPhones are designed to operate in an ambient temperature range between 0 and 35º C (32 to 95º F). That means the temperature of the air around the device, rather than the device itself – it gives you an idea of the numbers to look out for when looking at the weather forecast.
For most of the year, temperatures are unlikely to wander far above or below those two points, but with an unprecedented heat wave hitting the Northern Hemisphere in July 2022) and temperatures soaring around the planet, it’s going to be something we’ll see more of. and have more to do with it. Lake.
A few degrees in either direction for a short period of time shouldn’t cause any long-term damage, but iPhone owners in very hot or cold countries may need to be more careful.
It is important to note that these temperatures apply to the to use from the iPhone. Apple says it’s safe to store – but not use – an iPhone in any temperature between -20 and 45º C (-4 to 113º F).
You should be careful about leaving your iPhone outside in the winter, or in a parked car in the summer. Both can push the temperature outside the operating standard.
What Happens When an iPhone Overheats?
When the iPhone seriously overheats, it displays a warning message that the iPhone “needs to cool down before you can use it” (like the image above). Normally this will be displayed on a black background, but if you are using navigation it will be displayed as an overlay warning.
To resume using your device as soon as possible, turn it off, move it to a cooler environment and give it a chance to cool down. The following things happen when your iPhone is in cool down mode:
The device stops charging.
The display dims or goes black.
Mobile radios go into a power-saving state. The signal may become weaker during this time.
The camera flash is temporarily disabled.
This can be a little unnerving when you first see it. But aside from the inconvenience of being temporarily unable to use the phone, there are usually no other problems.
If you want to read Apple’s official rule on the subject, check out Keeping devices within acceptable operating temperatures.
Should I be concerned about my hot iPhone?
Normally not. Apple advises users that it is normal for an iPhone to heat up when performing demanding tasks such as updating, restoring from a backup, analyzing data (for example, in Photos face tags), or running an AR app. It should go back to normal temperature after the job is done.
Is my iPhone going to explode?
This is very unlikely.
iPhones are known to overheat to catastrophic levels — on one occasion, the floor mat in a Florida woman’s car melted — but these are isolated cases and usually turn out to be the result of some accident. For example, the melting iPhone had fallen into a swimming pool some time earlier.
(If your iPhone was dropped in water and then miraculously recovered, you should still have it serviced. Internal corrosion can cause problems over time.)
In March 2017, CCTV footage emerged of an iPhone 6 Plus that had been taken to a repair shop and dropped by its panicked owner when it started smoking. Simon Owen, the owner of the store (in Australia), reported afterwards that “our service counter has a huge hole”.
In this case, the phone was previously damaged and the ‘explosion’ seems to have happened when the owner pressed the broken screen to show what was wrong with it. But this wasn’t an unprecedented incident, even at that store, whose owner said a similar accident happened to an iPhone 5 three years ago.
“When they blow, they smell like that because the two chemicals mix in the battery,” Owen said. “It causes a poisonous green haze. It set the whole tank on fire.”
There was also a case of an iPhone 7 Plus that “exploded,” according to Brianna Olivas, who shared her experience on Twitter at the time (now offline). Although in that case it is possible that the liquid-filled suitcase was the culprit.
Another example took place in 2019 when Robert Franklin’s iPhone 6 exploded from Texas. The incident was described in a lawsuit: “Robert Franklin was listening to music on his iPhone 6 when he noticed the music on his iPhone started skipping,” the lawsuit said. “When he picked up his iPhone to investigate, [it] exploded suddenly and caught fire in his face.”
It’s not just Apple’s iPhone that has been reported to catch fire, though, you’ve probably heard about Samsung and its overheated Note 7 phablet. The batteries in some Note 7 handsets overheated so much that Samsung recalled the product completely.
We hope this advice has been helpful! For similar information that applies to your other Apple devices, see How to Fix an Overheating MacBook and How to Fix an Overheating iMac.