Help! My Phone is Overheating! – UK Heat Wave 2023

Therm scaled

With summer temperatures reaching record highs across the UK, many of us are struggling to keep ourselves – and our devices – cool. As much as we ourselves may enjoy a sunny day at the beach or a hike in the great outdoors, our mobile phones might not be quite so thrilled about the heat. Overheating can lead to performance issues, battery drain, and potentially even permanent damage to your device. But fear not! The Big Phone Store are here to give your our top tips to deal with an overheating phone.

Why do phones overheat?

Let’s start with understanding why phones overheat in the first place. Inside your phone are various electronic components, including your processor and battery, which generate heat as they work. This heat is usually dissipated into the surrounding environment, but when the environment itself is hot, this process becomes less efficient.

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One factor that can add to this heat is sunlight hitting the phone’s screen. Most smartphone screens are black, which means they absorb rather than reflect most of the sunlight that hits them. This can significantly increase the temperature of your device, especially on bright summer days.

Your phone can also heat up from high-intensity activities, like running a demanding app or game, having many apps open at once, or using it while it’s charging.

Which Apps are Most Likely to Cause Overheating?

Certain apps are more likely to cause overheating because they require more processing power and energy from your phone. Here are a few categories of apps that might contribute to your phone getting hot:

1. Navigation Apps

Navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze can cause your phone to overheat, especially if you’re using them for extended periods while charging your phone in the car. These apps use your phone’s GPS, which can be a significant drain on your phone’s resources.

2. Streaming Apps

Apps that stream video content, like Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube, can also cause your phone to overheat. This is because streaming and playing video content requires a lot of energy, which generates heat. To help manage this, consider lowering the video quality or downloading content to watch offline later when your phone isn’t as hot.

3. Video Conferencing Apps

In today’s world, many of us are using video conferencing apps like Zoom or Google Meet more than ever before. These apps can make your phone work hard, especially if you’re sharing your screen or using high-definition video.

4. Social Media Apps

While less intensive than games or streaming apps, social media apps can still contribute to overheating. Apps like Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat often run in the background and send frequent notifications, which can cause your phone to heat up over time.

5. Gaming Apps

High-end games often require a lot of processing power to run smoothly. This is especially true for games with advanced graphics or multiplayer capabilities. Examples might include “Fortnite,” “PUBG,” or “Call of Duty Mobile.” If you notice your phone heating up while playing these or similar games, consider limiting your playtime or taking breaks to let your phone cool down.

Remember, if you’re using these or other intensive apps and notice your phone is getting hot, it might be time to take a break and let your phone cool down. Alternatively, consider using lighter versions of these apps if available, or adjusting your settings to limit their impact on your phone’s temperature.

How can I tell if my phone is overheating?

Common signs that your phone might be overheating include: a sudden drop in battery life, the device becoming hot to the touch, warning messages appearing on the screen, or the phone shutting down without warning. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to take action!

How can I prevent my phone from overheating?

Infographic showing five ways to prevent your phone from overheating
What do you do if your phone is overheating?

1. Keep it out of the sun

The sun’s rays can quickly heat up your phone, especially if it’s in a case. This is particularly true because of the large black screen, which traps sunlight and converts it into heat. Keep your device in the shade or in a cool place when you’re not using it.

2. Close unnecessary apps / Use battery saving mode

The more apps you have running, the harder your phone has to work, which means more heat. Close any apps you’re not using to lighten the load on your phone. Most phones have a battery-saving mode that reduces the strain on your device by limiting some functions, including preventing apps from running in the background.

3. Reduce screen brightness

A bright screen requires more energy, which can generate more heat. Turning down your screen brightness can help keep your phone cool.

4. Remove your phone case

While a case can protect your phone from damage, it can also trap heat. Removing the case can help your phone cool down more quickly.

5. Turn it off!

Yes, I know – the thought of being without your mobile might be concerning – but if you can afford to go without it for a short time, switching your device off when you don’t need it is the best way to stop it from heating itself up any further.

What should I do if my phone keeps overheating?

If your phone is already overheating, turn it off and let it cool down. You could also remove the case, if you have one, and place the phone on a cool surface. Try not to use it until it has cooled down. If your phone regularly overheats, it might be worth taking it to a professional to check if there’s a hardware issue. Here at The Big Phone Store, we offer a fantastic repair service!

Remember, while it’s important to keep your phone cool, it’s even more important to keep yourself cool. Stay hydrated, find shade, and make the most of the summer weather – safely!

What NOT to Do When Your Phone Overheats

Just as important as knowing what to do when your phone overheats is knowing what not to do. Certain actions can potentially harm your device or even make the situation worse. Here are a few things you should avoid:

1. Don’t ignore it!

The first rule of an overheating phone is not to ignore the problem. Overheating can cause serious damage to your device’s internals, and in extreme cases your device’s battery could catch fire! If your phone is regularly overheating, it’s a signal that something isn’t right. Don’t just shrug it off and hope it will go away.

2. NEVER put it in the fridge or freezer!

While it may be tempting to put your hot phone into a cold fridge or freezer, this can be a VERY bad idea. We’ve all seen water beading up on the outside of a cold drinks can, haven’t we? It’s the same with your phone – the rapid change in temperature can cause condensation to form INSIDE your device – leading to water damage. Not only will this most likely void your warranty, it will only make the overheating problem much, much worse. At worst, you could be damaging your battery – meaning that instead of your phone cooling down, it could burst into flames!

3. Don’t charge it while it’s hot

Charging creates additional heat. If your phone is already overheating, charging it can exacerbate the problem. Wait until your phone has cooled down before plugging it in.

4. Don’t cover it up

If your phone is hot, make sure it’s not covered by anything. Blankets, cushions, or even being inside a pocket or bag can insulate the device and prevent heat from escaping. Give your phone some air to help it cool down.


So, the next time you plan for a day in the sun, spare a thought for your electronic companion. With a few simple precautions, you can help ensure that your phone stays as cool as a cucumber, even in the hottest of weather. Make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight to avoid the extra heat generated by its dark screen. Enjoy your summer, and make sure your phone enjoys it too!

Remember, while it’s important to keep your phone cool, it’s even more important to keep yourself cool. Stay hydrated, find shade, and make the most of the summer weather – safely!

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