Android Device Overheating? – Here’s How to Cool It Down

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Once I used my smartphone’s flashlight for a while because I needed to light my way in a power outage. Since I was holding it by the sides, I didn’t realize how hot my phone was getting. When I finally remembered where I put the flashlight for these kinds of situations, my phone was so hot I couldn’t even hold it in my hand anymore.

There are always going to be situations or apps that cause our devices to overheat, but knowing how to cool down a hot Android device is a must. The first thing we have to figure out is where the heat is coming from. This is going to determine where the problem is located which will help us find the right solution.

Overheating and battery power are often connected. CPU and graphics-intensive apps (most notably games) will put extra strain on those components, heating them up as well as causing the battery to deplete. So if you find the battery-draining apps, you also usually find the ones that cause overheating.

Tracking these down is pretty simple as Android has good built-in battery management features. Go to “Settings -> Power (or Battery) -> Battery usage”.

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This will show you which apps are using the most battery on your phone. It’s inevitably that your web browser and favourite news apps will rank high, but are there any apps there that you don’t think should be there?

It’s possible that these apps are running in the background and heating up your phone without you knowing. If you find these apps in this list, uninstall them.

Another thing you can do in the “Power” menu is Battery optimization, which greatly cuts down on the background activity of apps on your phone.

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The micro-USB cable-chargers shared by most Android devices are great largely because they’re universal, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should just use any old cables and chargers for your phone. If your phone overheats while charging, you may want to look into this.

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Different chargers have different wattage and are optimized for different devices. Ideally you should use official chargers and cables from your phone manufacturer, but official hardware for other phones should be okay too. Avoid cheap chargers from eBay that cost under $1 and third-party hardware from obscure brands.

Cooler Master is an app that helps you cool down your device when you feel that it’s getting too hot. When you launch the app, the first thing you are going to see is the temperature of your device.

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Below the temperature the app will also inform you of the ARM and CPU percentage. At the very bottom you should see a button that says “Detect Overheating Apps.” After tapping that it will scan your device and tell you what apps are causing your phone to overheat.

Where you put your device is also important in trying to cool it down. There’s no point in using Cooler Master if you’re going to put it near your window where it will get direct sunlight. To cool your device even more, try taking it out of its cover so the heat has a chance to escape. Some cases have a tendency to keep the heat in.

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If your device is really hot, you might be tempted to put it in the freezer or fridge just for a minute or two. You might even have a timer on so you can take it out on time, but this is what the experts call ‘an awful idea’ since your device runs the risk of collecting moisture, or you might even strain the components.

Now that we know how to cool our devices down, wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to waste time doing that in the first place? That’s why there are certain things we should avoid doing if we want to keep our phone or tablet nice and cool.

If you want to prevent your Android device from overheating, you should:

  • Take out and inspect your battery from time to time and make sure it’s not leaking or bloated. Changing your device’s battery every one to two years will increase your phone’s life and decrease overheating.
  • Remove the case when charging.
  • Disable unwanted features.
  • Lower your camera settings if they are too high; they can help to prevent your phone from overheating.
  • Try not to play games for too long.

When my phone gets too hot, I automatically turn it off until it cools off. After that, I follow the tips mentioned above because my main goal is to cool down my phone, and turning it off for a few minutes always does the trick. How do you keep your Android device cool? Let us know in the comments.

This article was first published in March 2016 and was updated in August 2018.

10 comments

  1. I never lay my phone flat when I am charging it. I have a stand that keeps the phone at about a 45° angle with the USB cord plugged in. Haven’t had any heat issues while using the stand.

  2. Hi Jim,
    That´s great to hear. I have to take the cover off my phone or else it will hot, but as long as I do that I can keep it flat without it overheating. I guess every phone has its tips. Thanks for commenting. =-)

  3. My brand of phone I found out is bad about
    over heating.and the keyboard is real small
    and has a lot of different symbols for one key so I’m always making type-o, so I would download a different keyboard is always saying any keyboard I download is over heating my carrier tells me not to download any keyboard or any CPU or any security apps so I think I’m up soak creek without a paddle I would like to download the device your talking about, but I’ve had so many problems with anything like itI just don’t know.
    Any advice?
    Thanks
    Irene

    • Your carrier is talking bullsh*t! Don’t download security apps? Wow, they really must want you to have your phone trashed by malware. Wonder why? Oh, then they’ll sell you a new phone… yeah right!

      My advice… don’t buy cheapo off brand devices. Look for name brands and don’t buy the latest and greatest. Buy one that is 1 or 2 generations old. That will have most of the bugs ironed out. Never, ever, buy Apple. It is rotten to the core. Buy Android BUT make sure you protect yourself with antivirus software.

  4. I went swimming and was filming a video cause i am a you tuber. but i left it there and went ahead to swim for about 15 to 30 mins . then when i tried opening my phone ,it just says waring;overheating and worse my phone went out off battery!!!!!!!i left it in my room for 1hr 30 min but i didnt work . the screen still light up but when shut down due to overheating .i want to try to put it in front of my fan and try to cool it .haiz !!!!!!! but if it dosent work i will just head to thr stall to buy the battery

  5. I find that navigation apps are a big culprit (for both raising operating temps and battery drain) and if you’re using it in a car on a hot day… that’s a “perfect storm” scenario ;-)… I use a “vent clip” style phone holder and use the AC (which is dry air) to moderate the temp which seems to work very well to prevent overheating.. My phone cover is also predominately white in order to mitigate as much solar radiated heat absorption as possible …

    • I never use navigation apps in phones. Use a dedicated NatSav device instead. Bigger and easier to see and also talks to you. Haven’t heard of an app that talks to you yet. Not to say they don’t exist though… can’t know everything that is out there now can you.

  6. I was wondering why battery is draining a little faster than when I bought it in August 2015 . A few times wgarn I had the phn still on but did not have ant apps open my phone will not restart after chrgng it. Should I chrg it with it in airplane mode it turn it off and save the battery life ! What do u think I should do ? I have taken the battery out and I put it on the middle shelf for a few minutes then I take it out and wipe it through with a micro towel. Any suggestions ?

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