Phone overheating: understanding why and how to fix it

08/27/2019     Author: Billy Gray

Before you grab a firework and blast your phone into orbit, read on for possible reasons it’s getting so damn hot and what you can do to fix it.fried-egg-on-a-phoneYou’ve been burnt before, maybe by an ex rejecting a chance of reconciliation, or leaving your popcorn in the microwave for too long. But not like this.The last thing we ever expect as loving smartphone owners is for them to turn around and sear us with temperatures akin to the depths of hell. But it happens. Phones get hot, for various reasons and start to show some serious performance issues from time to time.Don’t panic. There are a number of reasons your precious device could be overheating. Usually, your phone does so to compensate and cope with things like overloaded processors.So, before you skim your phone across a pond in frustration or shove it in the freezer (this is what I would do), read this guide as we attempt to answer the age-old question: “Why is my phone overheating?” and more importantly, what can you do about it? 

Why is my phone so hot?

Let’s try to understand the problem as best we can before we take active steps to fix it. Phones tend to get warm from time to time. So, if you’re here for this reason, you probably shouldn’t be.  This completely normal due to the fact that your phone is an electronic item. Electricity creates heat.However, if you find your phone overheating to the point that it could be used as an emergency aid device for frostbitten Sherpas stuck on Everest, here’s why. The main culprits for overheating are battery, processor, charger, and screen. Each of these components can generate heat; chemicals inside your phone’s battery create electricity, the processor transfers information at high speeds, and your phone’s screen emits light. The problem is figuring out which one of these components is causing such a raucous. All we can do as ordinary folk is take an educated guess. Here’s how. 

The battery

remove-the-battery-of-a-phoneIf the back of your phone is overheating, it could well be that battery. Most high-end phones these days use lithium-ion batteries that despite their size, output an impressive amount of power. They also have a tendency to go off the rails sometimes. Remember the Galaxy Note 7 suicide bomber incident that self-destructed? Don’t worry, your phone is most likely entirely safe, however, lithium-ion batteries pack a punch. 

The charger

Is the bottom of your phone getting hot? The charger could be the culprit responsible. If you’re using a charger that wasn’t made by your phones manufacturer or a reputable electronics brand, it could be damaging your phone and its performance. 

Malware

malware-warning-on-smartphone

Stop downloading shady apps and visiting questionable sites in incognito mode.

We’re not here to judge you but be informed that your phone could be infected with malware, which consumes a ton of CPU power and ram, which can cause your phone to overheat. We’re praying that your precious device hasn’t fallen victim to a cryptocurrency mining malware. If so, try using a trusted Android anti-virus software like AVG. 

Sub-optimal settings

If your screen brightness is dialed up to 11, or your wallpaper is animated, or your home screen is littered with widgets, these could be potential culprits also. Try deactivating widgets (do you really need them), turning off unnecessary settings and dialing your brightness down to see if the problem disappears. 

Too much gaming

playing-game-on-phone

Take it easy on the PUBG.

High-intensity gaming for hours on end can be a factor in your phones transition into Satan’s spawn. These games can take a toll on your phones core and graphics processors. Whether its Candy Crush or Goat Simulator, the end objective is the same - spend less time on simulators and get outside and experience the world of real goats and other adorable farm animals. 

The solution to your hot problems

Let me start off by saying, contrary to popular belief, you certainly should not run for the freezer at the first sign of overheating. Exposure to extreme temperatures and moisture can cause even worse problems for your device. And guess what, a freezer literally has both of these things. Here are some things you can do to battle that dreaded mobile heat stroke.Take off your case: Sometimes (and I mean sometimes) your phone case can restrict its ability to cool itself down, trapping heat. Remove to help quikcly cool your baby down. Use less power: Low Power Mode on iPhone and Battery Saver Mode on Android reduces the amount of power your phone is using, and can also help preserve your phone’s battery life. Install junk cleaning software: Another useful way to minimize drain on your phone’s battery and processor power. Cleaner apps, like CleanMaster make it easy to clean out junk files, identify apps that are slowing down your phone’s performance, and remove useless pre-installed apps to help improve your phone’s performance and extend its battery life. Dim your screen brightness: Keeping the screen at a reasonable brightness (not full blast) will take some strain off your phone’s battery (and your eyes). Turn off Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth: Disabling battery-draining features such as these gives your phone a break, allowing it to cool down. Restart your phone: Occasionally restarting your phone can help prevent overheating due to minor software problems. Remember, prevention is often better than a cure, even when it comes to an overheating phone. Developing some basic phone-care habits can really make a difference when it comes to prolonging your phone’s life, or having to completely replace it.Charge your phone properly, with a reputable cable and adaptor. Update your apps regularly to make sure they don’t misbehave. Keep your phone out of direct sunlight. Don’t charge it under your pillow. Use credible anti-virus software to stay on top of malware. These days, losing a phone to overheating is like losing an arm. Technology is our second skin - take care of it!

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