Android Device Overheating? Here's How to Cool It Down

I once used my Android phone's flashlight for a while, as I needed to light my way during a power outage, and since I was holding it by the sides, I didn't realize it was ovehreating. There are always going to be situations when your Android phone is overheating, so knowing how to cool down a hot device is a must. The first thing we have to figure out in this tutorial is the cause of overheating. This will determine where the problem is located, which will help us find the right solution.

1. Check Which Apps Are Using Most Battery

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. If you find the apps that are draining the most battery, you will probably find the ones that cause overheating.

Tracking these down is pretty simple, as Android has good built-in battery management features. On your phone, go to "Settings -> Battery -> Battery usage."

Note: these steps might differ slightly depending on your phone model. For the purpose of this tutorial, we're using a Pixel 4a.

Android Overheating Settings Battery

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

It's possible that some of these apps are running in the background and heating up your phone without you knowing. Follow this guide to ensure you've closed Android apps properly every time you're done using them.

Android Overheating Battery Usage Apps

If you see that a certain app is hogging an unusual amount of battery, you should know that you have the option to change how an app uses your battery.

Tap on an app from the list to get to a menu featuring three options:

  • Unrestricted - allows battery usage in the background without restrictions but may use more battery.
  • Optimized - optimize based on your usage.
  • Restricted - restrict battery usage in the background.

If you're dealing with an overheating device, the best choice would be to choose "Restricted" or "Optimized."

Tip: accidentally dropped your phone and damaged it? Don't worry, as it's still possible to access an Android phone with a broken screen.

2. Reduce Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Mobile Data Usage

Your overheating smartphone may be due to overuse of online services, such as Wi-Fi and mobile data. Actually, some of the apps you’ve identified in the previous step might be drawing on these resources in the background and heating up your device in the process.

Android Overheating Wi Fi Off

Even if you've taken the steps outlined above, also try turning off your Wi-Fi, mobile data, and even Bluetooth (in the case of older devices) and see if that makes a difference. If you have a mobile hotspot set up, we suggest disabling that also.

Good to know: your phone doesn't have Google Play Services? We show you how to install it.

3. Keep Your Device in a Cool Place

Where you put your device is also important when 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. For this reason, try not to leave your phone lying around on your car's dashboard, for example, or out on the picnic table – keep it in a bag instead that provides protection.

Image source: Freepik

To cool your device even more, try taking it out of its cover so that the heat has a chance to escape. Many phones don’t have good airflow, which can cause them to overheat quickly, especially if they are saddled with a case that has a tendency to retain heat. It’s especially recommended to stop using your phone when you’re outside in the heat for a longer period of time or while it's powering multiple applications, including intensive games.

4. Enable Airplane Mode Until Phone Cools Down

If the phone still feels warm to you, consider switching it to Airplane mode until it cools down. You can do that by bringing up the Quick menu from the top of the display and enabling the "Airplane mode" toggle.

Android Overheating Airplane Mode
Image source: Unsplash

Alternatively, give your phone a timeout by shutting it off completely. Leave it for a few minutes, which should cool it down again so that you can turn it back on.

5. Install a Good Malware App

Notice your phone is both hot and slow? That’s an indication that your device might have been infected by malware.

Android Overheating Malware
Image source: Flaticon

If you think that could be the case with your handset, then you may want to download a good antivirus app to protect your phone from any problems, including overheating issues. Worthy options include:

Good to know: wondering whether an older phone is safe to use? We can help you answer this.

6. Don't Use Third-Party Chargers and Cables

The micro-USB cable chargers shared by most Android devices are great, largely because they're universal, but that doesn't 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.

Charger And Usb Cable Type C Over Red Background
Image source: Freepik

Different chargers have different wattages 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.

How to Prevent Your Android Device from Overheating

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 in, try applying these tips:

  • Disable features and apps you don't use. You can even batch uninstall apps on Android to make the process more efficient.
  • Lower screen brightness.
  • Lower your camera settings if they are too high and take a break from using the phone's camera.
  • Try not to play games for too long.
  • Avoid placing your phone on the sofa or bed when it’s charging.
  • Remove the case when charging.
  • Keep your apps up to date to prevent bugs.
  • For phones with removable batteries, take out and inspect your battery from time to time to ensure 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.

Tip: if your Android phone isn't charging, you should try these tips to fix the issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I put my phone in the fridge to quickly cool it down?

The answer is a firm NO. 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 to 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 may even strain the components. Instead, you can point a fan at your phone for faster results.

What’s the optimal temperature for a phone?

Samsung requests that you keep your device between 32 and 95 degrees F (0 - 35 C). This range covers your phone doing regular tasks, sitting idly, or charging. Apps like Cooling Master will display your phone’s current temperature and will also indicate whether it's well into the allowed range or not.

Can overheating damage my Android device?

Overheating spells all kinds of troubles for your phone, including seriously reducing performance, battery degradation, and decreasing the overall lifespan of the device. In worst-case scenarios, the unchecked heat may cause the melting of the phone’s CPU, and in rare cases, even explosions.

While the last scenario is unlikely to happen, it’s worth pointing to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 debacle that happened a few years back as a cautionary tale. The bottom line: don’t ignore overheating issues and make sure you take immediate action to avoid anything serious happening to your device.

Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.

Alexandra Arici
Alexandra Arici - Staff Writer

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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