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Why Your Android Phone Is Overheating (And How to Fix It)

Your phone overheats. But is it happening all by itself, or is a specific app causing it? Are you streaming a ton of video, or is the weather simply too hot? It’s difficult to pinpoint just why your smartphone is heating up.

When a phone gets too hot it slows down. In some cases, it may automatically shut down until it has cooled down. Don’t want to miss an important call?

Let’s look at how to fix an overheating phone.

Why Is Your Phone Overheating?

Before continuing, it’s worth taking the time to examine what is hot, and what is not. Your phone under normal use should not be hot. If it is, you have a problem.

However, don’t interpret warm as hot. A slightly warmer feel after playing a game for 15 minutes is normal. But if your phone displays an overheating alert, or you find the device is surprisingly hot to the touch, then you should investigate.

You’ve probably already closed a few apps or restarted your device to troubleshoot. Maybe you’ve even Googled a few error messages.

Almost every time, you’ll come across a collection of the same old reasons for your phone overheating:

  • Your display brightness is too high
  • Your Wi-Fi has been connected for too long
  • You’ve been playing too many games (often with the additional «it’s not a game console» advice)

But these reasons are limited to older phones. No smartphone on the market today should overheat for any of these reasons. If your brand new Samsung phone if overheating, it’s probably due to other causes. Of course, the brand of phone you use doesn’t matter – if you want to know what causes your phone to get hot and how to stop it, keep reading.

Buggy Apps Can Cause Phone Overheating Issues

One reason your phone could be overheating might be due to one or more buggy apps. Perhaps you’ve installed a new app that doesn’t run well with your phone. Maybe an app you use regularly has been updated and the new version is causing Android to overheat.

Automatic app updates are useful, but sometimes they cause problems like this.

You have two solutions:

  • Uninstall the app in question
  • Check for an update

As soon as the app is uninstalled, restart your phone, and wait a few minutes before checking it again. If the phone is still hot, try a different solution below.

Intensive Camera Use Can Overheat Phones

Phones with superior resolution video cameras can end up overheating if the device is left recording for prolonged periods. This doesn’t happen in all cases, and typically depends on some other factors:

  • Selected resolution and frame rate
  • Screen brightness
  • Prolonged camera use

For example, I recently recorded a video using the front-facing camera, and found my phone soon overheating.

The wrong camera resolution can cause Android phones to overheat

While I was using the highest quality settings on the camera, and the video lasted around 20 minutes, it was nevertheless a surprise to receive a warning that the phone would shut down due to overheating.

Why Is Your Phone Overheating? You Left It in Direct Sunlight

Environmental factors can cause your phone to overheat.

Leaving the phone in direct sunlight is a common issue. Your phone will almost certainly get too hot if mounted on a car dashboard on a sunny day, for example. In such a scenario, use your vehicle’s air conditioning system to help cool the phone.

In other scenarios, keep the phone out of sight and away from direct sunlight. If you really need to use it, try and keep the phone in the shade. When you’re done, prevent your phone overheating by storing it somewhere cool.

Slow and Overheating? Check for Malware

Malware on your Android device could cause excessive heat. After all, malware developers aren’t interested in the health of your device; they just want your data.

Malware might strike Android devices via malicious adverts (malvertising) or fake apps from the official Google Play store. It is difficult to know when and where malware can strike. Consequently you should take learn how to spot dangerous apps and remove them.

Related: Tips for Detecting Dangerous Apps on Android

Is Your Case Heating Up Your Phone?

Your case is a common heat factor that many smartphone owners overlook.

Many cases are constructed from plastic or have a large amount of plastic. Even those made with leather have the same problem: the phone is insulated, keeping heat in and cold out.

is your phone's case causing it to overheat

For safety reasons, as the phone gets warm (particularly during high-performance tasks), it needs to radiate the heat away, and the presence of a case made from an insulated material prevents this. It’s like exercising in a duffel coat.

Your options here aren’t great, however. Removing your phone from the case is a good start, but if you’re uncomfortable with this (perhaps taking extra care to maintain its resell value), then it is not a viable long-term option.

Phone Overheating When Charging? Check Your Charger Cable

Another aspect to consider is the state of your battery and the charging cable.

If you have an older phone that’s been overcharged many times (you should never charge to 100% if you can help it; regularly charge to 80-90% to keep the battery healthy), then smartphone overheating can occur.

Related: Tips to Extend Battery Life on Android

Phones should not get hot enough to cause problems when charging. If this occurs, the reason could be a damaged battery, a poor-quality charging cable, or a problem with the port. What options do you have?

  1. Replace the cable and mains adapter
  2. Replace the battery (often this isn’t possible)
  3. Repair the charging port

If your phone is out of warranty a charging port repair will cost around $30. If damaged, repairing should stop your phone overheating. Overheating phone still in warranty? You may be able to get a free repair or an exchange.

Does Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Overheat Your Phone?

Your smartphone could overheat due to overuse of Wi-Fi.

Android users are susceptible to apps running in the background and drawing on resources, such as CPU, Wi-Fi, or mobile internet. If apps run in this way, your device can heat up.

Android’s battery settings let you identify what apps are leeching resources (Settings > Battery > Consuming apps). The Adaptive Battery tool can be used to limit apps that aren’t used often.

You can also shut off background mobile data use:

  1. Open Settings > Apps & notifications > All apps
  2. Select the app you want
  3. Tap Data usage to see its activity
  4. Toggle Background data to disable internet access

You can also use the Force Stop button to close the app immediately.

While this puts background functionality out of service, you can be confident that it also means reduced resource use. This can help to keep your smartphone from overheating.

Cool It Down: How to Fix an Overheated Phone and Keep It Efficient

Have you been hit by your smartphone getting too hot and slowing—or worse, shutting down? If so, try the following steps to cool your phone down again:

  • Remove the phone’s case
  • Switch on airplane mode to disable all connectivity
  • Move it out of direct sunlight
  • Direct a fan at your phone (but don’t put it in a fridge, freezer, or cooler)
  • Reduce the display brightness

Once you’ve done this, try the following to avoid further overheats:

  • Use Battery Saver mode
  • Clean up your phone to remove junk files and malware
  • Reduce camera use
  • Reduce Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS use unless needed
  • Replace the charging cable or battery, or consider repairs

Not only should your phone stop overheating again, but the battery should last longer! Beyond overheating, there are plenty of apps you can use to check if your Android is functioning properly.

As a safety feature, phones and tablets are designed to shut down in extreme temperatures. You’ll just need to wait for it to recover from the high temperatures to put the above into practice.


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