How to Cool Down an Overheating iPhone

High Temperature

iOS is to date one of the most robust mobile operating systems, and with that comes automatic power and heat management. Even so, things do go wrong, even to the point of permanently damaging your iPhone’s hardware. If your iPhone is hot to the touch or you’re unlucky enough to get a temperature warning, this article will detail some of the quickest fixes to cool down your overheating iPhone and bring it back to optimum operating temperature.

What Are Optimum Operating Temperatures?

iPhones are designed to run from 32° to 95° Fahrenheit, which is equivalent to 0° to 35° Celsius. You will find this to be the case with most electronic equipment, from TVs to gaming consoles. Once the optimal temperature threshold is exceeded and you see a warning screen, the phone will automatically enter a cool-down mode.


Here is what happens in a cool-down mode:

  • Display loses brightness or goes black entirely
  • Charging becomes non-responsive or extraordinarily slow
  • Camera flash is disabled
  • Signal is weak

Nonetheless, you will still be able to make emergency calls.

What Can Cause Overheating?

There are three main causes of an overheating device.

The processor is under a heavy workload

If you’re playing graphics-intensive games or editing and exporting 4K video, you’ll likely see rapid battery drain and increasing heat. This is due to the fact there are no fans to cool down the processor, as you would find in laptops and desktop PCs, and the aluminum shell isn’t able to expel enough heat on its own. In most cases, the device will simply get warm. This shouldn’t be enough to do damage or even to provoke a temperature-warning screen.

You left your device in a hot environment

Keeping your iPhone in a hot car or direct sunlight is definitely something to avoid. This is drastically exacerbated if your phone has a black casing. Black color absorbs all light wavelengths, unlike the color white that reflects most light. This alone will cause excessive heat, which can wreak havoc on the battery and other components.

Therefore, if it’s a day at the beach, keep your iPhone under a light-colored towel or in the shade. Parking the car for a while? Keep your phone hidden under the shade and crack the windows – or take it with you. I know it seems relatively simplistic, but these two reasons alone – both due to the device being left in a warm place – are the most common culprits for an overheating device.

The battery is failing

A failing battery can expel a lot of heat. If you believe this to be the case, immediately power down the device and have it serviced. Very rarely should this be an issue, as iOS has steps to follow in case of a battery malfunction – mainly, iOS prompting the device to shut down without user input. You can run a battery diagnostic to check for signs of a battery failure, how to avoid it, and steps for having your iPhone serviced.

Additional Steps

Most definitely do not place your device into a refrigerator or freezer in hopes of speeding up the cooling process. While this is a method of solving the issue, it would do more damage than it would help. Due to the rapid increase and decrease in temperature, overall battery charge capacity would be lowered due to damage.

However, a few things you can try instead include:

  • Removing the case so the heat can escape more easily
  • Closing all running applications and disabling background app refresh
  • Entering low power mode. (This will turn off multiple features, but you can turn them off individually if you’re reliant on them.)
  • Dimming the display
  • Turning off location services, especially energy-intensive turn-by-turn map directions
  • Turning off Bluetooth
  • Keeping the device out of a warm environment
  • Running battery diagnostics
  • Servicing your device

Wrapping Up

Mobile Repair

If the issue continues to arise after attempting the tips to cool down your overheating iPhone, and it is decided the battery isn’t to blame, you may want to look into restoring your device and restoring from backup. If your iPhone gets stuck while rebooting, try this fix to fix the issue.

Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath

Rahul Nambiampurath started his career as an accountant but has now transitioned into working full-time in the tech space. He is an ardent fan of decentralized and open source technologies. When he's not writing, he's usually busy making wine, tinkering with his android device, or hiking some mountains.

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