If your phone overheats, you could be looking at serious process throttling, meaning apps will load and function much slower in an attempt to give the processor time to cool down. In more dire circumstances, a forced shutdown will occur to help your phone let off steam. And, in the most dangerous of circumstances, your phone could get completely bricked by a total meltdown. Read on to find out how to stop these things from happening.
What Makes Your Phone Overheat?If you’re reading this post, chances are you’ve had a run-in with an overheated phone. Well, it pays to know why. Think of your phone like a frog. No, not because of the way it hops from app to app like lily pads on a swamp. More like an amphibian, your phone is cold-blooded. That means its temperature is a product of its environment, and there’s not much recourse it can take to combat extreme hot or cold.
Heat can also come from within the phone. The processor and other chips inside do a lot of thinking, even when your phone is stowed away. All that digital crunching in a small space makes the heat build up. Some phones are more prone to heat buildup than others, and although modern OSs are pretty good at managing thermals through process throttling, all those phone innards are still very good at warming things up.
11 Ways to Keep Your Phone CoolOverheating your phone is a risky game, but luckily there are plenty of solutions to keeping your phone cool! Let’s take a look at how to keep your phone cool during your days in the sun.
Keep Your Phone Out of Direct SunlightAlthough there might be nothing better than lying around at the park, gazing up at the clouds on a hot summer’s day, your phone doesn’t think it’s as fun as you do. Leaving a phone to sit baking in direct sunlight is a bad idea as it can quickly overheat the heat-absorbing materials in most phones (namely, glass, metal, and plastic). Not only can this damage the inner workings of your phone, but UV rays can also permanently affect the screen and outer finish of your phone. And, while we absolutely recommend sunscreen for your own skin, we definitely don’t for your phone.
Streamline Your AppsDownloading a bunch of apps to your phone takes up space and processing power on your device, especially ones that constantly are switching on for updates or check-ins. Every notification you get takes processing power, which can also be a good indicator of apps that are hogging a lot of brain space on your device. Save yourself the headache of those notifications by deleting the offending apps altogether.
Kill Unnecessary Background ProcessesAlong with the above tip, even apps you use often can be energy hogs (and, therefore, egregious heat producers). Go into the app settings (the process varies on Android and Apple devices but should be relatively simple to find in “Settings”), and ensure that any apps that don’t need to be aren’t always running in the background.
Keep Your Phone Up-to-DateAlong with streamlining your apps and background processes, staying on top of phone updates can keep your phone cool. Most app updates include what’s referred to as “bug fixes,” which usually improve your phone’s efficiency. The more efficiently your phone runs, the less energy it requires and the cooler it can remain.
Ensure You Have a Protective (and Breathable!) CaseTypically, cases are not a huge deterrent to proper phone cooling. But, if your phone and the summer weather just aren’t getting along, your case could be a contributing factor. If you’re packing a big, bulky rubber case, it could actually be trapping heat in and around your phone. We recommend a thin, unobtrusive case, like many found in our own shop, that will allow for proper airflow while lending plenty of protective benefits. The precision-engineered air-cushioning ridges in our phones also allow a barrier for heat dispersion, making sure your phone stays nice and cool, even in the warmest weather.
Take a BreakIf you’re having problems with your phone overheating, the best solution to get it back to normal operating temperature might be to simply take a break. Phones heat up more with heavy use, so letting it rest for 20 or 30 minutes will allow the extra heat to disperse. Easy enough!
Keep Your Phone Brightness DownThe backlights that illuminate your screen can also contribute to overheating. To remove that variable from any overheating issues, keep the screen as dim as possible. It’s a great way to keep your phone cool and save your eyes at the same time.
Ground Your Phone With Airplane ModeThis is a relatively extreme measure to take, but if you’re afraid of your phone overheating, one of the best ways to combat that is to shut off many of the phone’s functions by using airplane mode. Of course, your phone won’t be connected to the outside world, but it’ll save a lot of processing power by cutting those features.
Put Your Phone Someplace Cool (But Not Cold!)If you’re hanging outside and your phone is feeling hot to the touch (or has even shut itself off), your first thought to cool it down quickly might be to stick it into the fridge or freezer, if available. Don’t do this! Extreme swings in temperature are just as bad for your phone. Condensation can form on your device, and phones and water definitely do not mix. Sticking your phone inside the house for a while, or even someplace shady outside, should be perfectly sufficient to give it time to cool off. If possible, shut your phone off while it’s cooling, just to be safe.
Charge Safely and SensiblyThere are many schools of thought on the best method for charging to get the most value out of your phone's battery. Some say to never let your battery get to 100%. Others say never let it completely draw down to 0%. Some say to not charge it at night to avoid shortening the battery’s lifespan.
We at SaharaCase are pretty easy-going when it comes to charging, and we don’t sweat the small stuff. When thinking about how to keep your phone cool, however, it is important to keep your phone well-ventilated when charging. Whether that’s on your nightstand or your desk at work, make sure your phone has plenty of space around it to disperse the extra heat being pumped into it by the charging cable. If you keep your phone in bed with you while it’s charging (perhaps you use a sleep monitor app), make absolutely certain it’s not going to get covered by a pillow or blanket.
Mind the Camera
If your phone is overheating, the camera might be to blame. One solution on how to keep your phone cool might be to lay off the shutter for a while. Although our modern phone cameras, with their ultra-advanced interfaces and multiple lenses, are marvels of engineering, they do produce a fair amount of heat. All that rapid photo and video processing is strenuous on the hardware, sometimes leading to excess heat. Filming, in particular, can be extremely taxing on the processor. If your phone is overheating, consider how much you’ve been using the camera and adjust accordingly.
What to Do If Your Phone is OverheatedIf all your preparation and techniques fail, and you do end up with an overheated phone, don’t fret. Chances are that every bad omen can be reversed. If you’re staring at a heat warning on your screen or your phone is hot to the touch, you may be wondering, “How do I cool down my phone safely?” Here’s what we recommend you do:
- Turn off the phone if it hasn’t automatically shut off already. This will immediately kill all heat-producing processing inside the device.
- Get your phone to a cool, dry place. Cool doesn’t mean cold. That means no freezer or fridge. Someplace indoors, or even under a nice shady oak, should suffice.
- Remove any cases or charging cables. Pumping more electricity into the phone is not a good idea at this point, and a case is only going to trap excess heat further.
- Let it sit for as long as necessary to cool down your phone. This usually is only a few minutes, maybe up to an hour or two.
- If available, letting cold AC, or even just a fan, blow over the device is a great way to speed up the process and cool down your phone.
And that’s it. Elaborate methods of cooling you might think are ingenious, like wrapping your phone in ice packs, introduce too many variables that might end up further damaging your device. An overheated phone is typically a minor issue, easily solvable by some gentle cooling. Don’t lose your head, you and your phone will be just fine!