How to Keep Things Cool When Your iPhone is Running Hot

iPhone on Fire Burning in Hand Excessive Heat Damage Credit: Amanda Carden / Shutterstock
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Excess heat is a surefire way to damage your iPhone or iPad. I once destroyed a phone when I accidentally left it on my wood stove. The protective case started burning, and the internal components were fried. I’m fortunate it didn’t catch on fire.

While my episode is somewhat extreme, overheating in iPhones is very common. It happens more frequently than you may realize.

And if you’re one of the many who use their iPhone for extreme gaming or other intense activities, you should consider buying a specifically designed phone cooling fan.

For everybody else, here are common-sense tips to prevent your iOS device from overheating.

1. Avoid Sources of Excess Heat

You shouldn’t leave your iPhone or iPad on a wood stove as I did. There are more subtle forms of excess heat that you need to consider. The dashboard of a car can be a deadly location. It can reach a sweltering 160 degrees on a hot summer day.

2. Turn Off Your Phone

If you notice your phone is overheating, turn it off immediately. This prevents overheating caused by an overactive processor or a faulty battery. You can turn the phone back on after it cools down and watch it closely as you use it again. The overheating could have been a one-time iOS glitch or the chronic symptom of a failing component.

3. Use a Fan to Cool Down Your iPhone

Turn on a fan and use the cooling airflow to quickly remove the heat from your iPhone or iPad. Don’t have a fan? No worries! You can grab a piece of paper and fold it into a makeshift fan. Clothing like a hat or shirt sleeve also works in a pinch.

4. Remove Your iPhone from Its Case

Bella fino iPhone 12 Wallet Case

If your phone is overheating, remove it immediately from its case and place it on a cool surface. Your case is like a jacket for your phone — it traps in the heat. Removing it helps the heat dissipate more quickly.

5. Stop Charging Your iPhone

Faulty cables can cause your phone to overheat when you are charging it. If you notice your phone is getting overly warm, unplug it immediately and let it cool before plugging it in again. It would be best to replace the charging block or the cable to prevent overheating and possibly a fire. Avoid buying cheap knockoffs and buy Apple or Apple-certified charging hardware.

What Not to Do

Be patient and let your iPhone or iPad cool at room temperature. Don’t put your iOS device in the refrigerator or freezer, as the rapid temperature change could cause condensation inside the device. This bit of moisture could damage your iPhone or iPad.

Built-in Protection is Designed to Help

If your device gets too warm, don’t panic. Both the iPhone and iPad have built-in protection to prevent damage from overheating. If your iOS device exceeds its normal operating range, your iPhone or iPad will enter a standby mode designed to protect the internal components.

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