AVG Signal Blog Performance Hardware iPhone Getting Hot? 11 Potential Causes and Solutions

Written by Anthony Freda
Published on August 13, 2021

Why is my iPhone getting hot?

Your iPhone gets hot because the battery and other hardware inside generate heat whenever your phone is working, even if it’s just charging. Your iPhone is designed to dissipate heat, but an old battery, too many apps running, and even direct sunlight can make your phone overheat.

Are you an Android user? Read up on what you should do if your Android is overheating.

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    A little warmth is fine, but it’s another thing if your iPhone feels like it’s about to melt. The battery might be affecting internal components in your phone, or a software issue could be making the processor run at full power.

    Some of the reasons your iPhone gets hot include:

    • Faulty battery. A bad battery outputs energy irregularly. It might overwork itself unnecessarily, and heat is definitely one indication of that. If you get a notification that your battery should be replaced, heed the warning. Navigate to Settings > Battery to check this.

    • It’s been left out in the sun. Direct sunlight can increase the air temperature a lot. Couple that with all the heat generated by everything your phone is designed to do, and you’ve got an overheating iPhone.

    • Too many apps running. Having tons of processes running concurrently makes your iPhone work harder and hotter. Double-click your iPhone’s home button to scroll through every app that’s currently open (then swipe upward on the app to close it).

    • Heavy streaming. Keeping your screen awake is one of the most power-hungry activities your phone can engage in. Unsurprisingly, online streaming leads to excess heat.

    • Suboptimal settings. Your iPhone should adjust its brightness automatically according to the ambient light. Lower brightness, often used when inside, is easier for the phone to handle than high brightness.

    • Software or apps that haven’t been updated. Updates can deliver critical security patches and improved functionality. You might be running an outdated version of an app that can overload the processor. Stay up-to-date of the fixes that developers are always working on.

    Switch to Airplane Mode, take the phone off the charger, and read on to see what else you can do to stop your iPhone from overheating.

    What happens when your iPhone gets hot?

    Your iPhone’s battery life and overall longevity take a hit when exposed to high heat for too long. You won’t notice it right away, but your phone will start running slower sooner, and you won’t get to keep using it for as long as you wanted.

    Thankfully, iPhones are designed to turn off before they get dangerously hot. This should prevent the phone from breaking under the pressure. Apple also has tips about iPhone overheating.

    Apple's warning when your iPhone is overheating.

    Worried about your iPhone getting hot and draining battery? Don’t fret if your iPhone just went through a hot spell. If you take action quickly, you can minimize the damage. iPhones tend to last several years — make yours last longer by keeping your phone secure.

    But what if your phone fails to turn off? In very rare cases, your iPhone can break from overheating. That’s why it’s good to know how to cool down your phone.

    It’s also good to get your mobile security squared away, in case the heat is happening because of spyware on your iPhone or a hacked phone. While Apple prioritizes cybersecurity, they aren’t perfect, and any device can be at risk.

    AVG Mobile Security for iPhone analyzes the network security of any Wi-Fi connection, and it lets you know if a password of yours has been leaked. What’s more, the premium version includes a built-in VPN, so all the data you send and receive remains encrypted. Add an extra layer to Apple’s defenses with AVG Mobile Security.

    How to cool down your iPhone

    The best methods for cooling down your phone are easily manageable and mostly involve removing the instigating factor (heat source or software problem) and letting it sit. Anything more drastic will only make things worse.

    If your iPhone is getting hot, follow these steps to cool it down:

    Act quickly

    High heat can damage your iPhone. Treat this immediately so your phone doesn’t come to harm —  your phone will thank you.

    Unplug the phone and turn it off. Remove it from any heat source, including sunlight, and place it on a smooth, flat surface, with nothing else within a few inches of it. After it’s been cool for several minutes, you can turn it back on, but use Airplane Mode for a while.

    Remove your case

    Your iPhone case might be blocking airflow, so take it off to let the heat escape more quickly. Your iPhone needs to cool down. Keep the phone “naked” and well away from small, enclosed spaces or heat sources.

    Do not charge

    You want your phone doing as little as possible. Charging can increase its temperature. Harmless when in regular use, but a major problem if your iPhone is already pushing 90 degrees.

    Fan your iPhone

    Fan or blow on your iPhone to regulate the temperature. Remember that you should gradually cool the phone because a rapid change in temperature can cause condensation. Water will form in and around the phone, causing more damage than the heat itself.

    That’s why you should never put your iPhone in a refrigerator, freezer, or other cold place.

    Follow these steps to cool down your iPhone.

    You’ve done your best if your phone is:

    • In the shade or out of direct sunlight.

    • Unplugged.

    • Taken out of its case.

    • Turned off.

    When you turn your phone back on, keep it in Airplane Mode and close all apps running in the background. That should be it — though you could always look into getting better apps, like a secure message app that keeps your activity private.

    If the temperature remains stable after all this, your iPhone is probably fine. If not, check for shady activity. AVG Mobile Security ensures that you’re connected to a safe Wi-Fi network and your passwords haven’t leaked to hackers. Strengthen your security and your phone should function properly, staying cool in the process.

    How to stop your iPhone overheating

    Take preventative measures to ensure you never have to save your iPhone from the brink. Keep yourself from worrying over a too-hot iPhone with these steps. You may also find that your iPhone speeds up if you practice these tips.

    Here’s how to stop your iPhone from overheating:

    icon_01Avoid direct sunlight

    Direct sunlight can get your iPhone heating up fast. Bringing it out of the sun and into the shade is like giving a glass of water to a person who’s been working out. The shade is where the iPhone and its components stay comfortable.

    Keep your phone in the shade to prevent overheating.Electronics are happier in the shade.

    The reverse is also true: electronics can malfunction in low temperatures. Don’t expose your phone to freezing temperatures.

    icon_02Close unused apps

    Background apps can deplete the energy stored in your battery, overworking the processor. This might be why your iPhone feels hot. Close background apps to ensure your phone isn’t wasting a ton of effort on something you’re not using.

    When closing apps, you may come across an unfamiliar app. iPhones can’t get viruses, but they can fall prey to other malicious code or even simply malfunction. If you spot something fishy, you may want to scan your phone for malware and make sure your phone isn’t tracking you.

    To close apps, open your phone to the home screen. Double-tap the home button and then slide left and right on this screen to see every app that’s open. Swipe up with your finger on an app to close it.

    If you want to protect certain apps, you can choose to hide some apps on your iPhone. Doing so will improve your iPhone’s security and privacy, since it will be harder for strangers to find them.

    icon_03Don't keep your iPhone near other devices

    Have you ever put your hand on or near a device when it’s working and wondered if it could boil an egg? Electronic devices change the temperature of the surrounding air, and your iPhone might be sharing air.

    Say your phone is in a bag with other devices. Where is that hot air going to escape to? It has nowhere to go, and your phone will bear the brunt.

    Keep devices powered down when stored, and give your phone plenty of space. That should keep your iPhone from overheating.

    icon_04Use Airplane mode

    Airplane Mode disables a ton of iPhone features, including the processes that turn the temperature up. With Airplane Mode on, your iPhone doesn’t maintain a signal, search for a signal, or send and receive data over the internet. That helps to regulate the temperature.

    icon_05Turn off Bluetooth

    Bluetooth is another function that requires constant power from your phone, whether it’s searching for a device or staying paired to one. Keep Bluetooth turned off when you’re not using it so your phone isn’t overworked.

    To turn off Bluetooth, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap the Bluetooth icon so it’s not lit up.

    icon_06Don't leave it under your pillow

    The iPhone was specially designed for heat dissipation. But a lack of proper airflow can put your phone over its limits.

    If your phone is feverish, keeping it smothered under pillows and sheets will only make it worse. You might not be awake to notice that your phone is seriously overheating.

    While this usually means an automatic shut-off, in rare cases the phone could reach dangerous temperatures. Maybe your iPhone’s security isn’t up to snuff, and a strange app is keeping it from turning off. Components might fail, a power surge could occur, and the flammable material all around the phone could catch fire.

    Again, these are rare cases. But it’s best to control what you can: let your phone breathe so it doesn’t overheat, and add a mobile security app designed specifically for iOS.

    icon_07Tweak your settings

    High brightness can drain your phone’s battery quickly. Brightness usually adjusts itself based on environmental conditions, but maybe that function has been turned off accidentally. You want it on.

    To check if it’s still on, go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size. Scroll down to the bottom and ensure Auto-Brightness is turned on.

    icon_08Update your apps

    Keep your apps updated so you always have the latest version of each app. Go to the App Store, tap the profile icon in the upper-right, scroll down to Available Updates, and tap Update All. There’s no risk in doing this, as all your settings and data are kept intact across app versions.

    icon_09Cut down on streaming

    Constant uptime might be taking a toll on your phone. Not only is the phone designed to stay in your pocket most of the time, your eyes can only take so much. If phone heat corresponds with screen time, find a different device to stream from… or start getting into podcasts.

    icon_10Use low power mode

    Low power mode reduces battery drain to help preserve battery life, like keeping the screen awake for a shorter time.

    Tap Settings, scroll down to Battery (green icon), and tap Lower Power Mode. Your iPhone turns this function off every so often, so you’ll have to re-enable it if you want to keep using it. The battery icon in the upper-right will appear yellow when it’s in low power mode.

    icon_11Restart your phone

    Restarting your phone might kill the process which was overloading the phone before, so check to see if that makes a difference.

    Keep your iPhone secure with AVG Mobile Security

    You can easily cure your iPhone overheating issues with the tips above. But if a hacker gets access to your device or data, things can get complicated.

    AVG Mobile Security uses powerful detection technology to assess if a network is safe before you use it. Avoiding unsafe Wi-Fi means hackers can’t get anywhere near your phone, so you’ll stay safe against data theft and other issues that might cause overheating.

    Plus, you can lock down sensitive photos in the Photo Vault and get alerts if your passwords ever leak. Try AVG Mobile Security today.


    Why is my iPhone hot and battery draining?

    If your iPhone is hot and the battery’s draining quickly, it could be due to several reasons, such as running too many apps, a software issue, or a hardware problem. Try closing background apps, updating your iOS, or taking your phone to an authorized repair center.

    Should I worry about my iPhone getting hot?

    It’s not uncommon for iPhones to get warm, especially during heavy usage or while charging. But, if the temperature is too hot to touch or the battery drains unusually fast, it could be a sign of a problem, and you should identify and resolve the issue.

    Why is my iPhone overheating so quickly?

    Your iPhone may overheat quickly if too many apps are running in the background, you’re using it while charging, you’re using high-intensity apps for extended periods, or if the device is exposed to direct sunlight for a long time.

    Is it bad if your iPhone gets hot?

    It’s not necessarily bad if your iPhone gets hot occasionally, but consistent overheating can damage your phone's internal components and decrease its lifespan.

    Why is my iPhone overheating when I'm not on it?

    If your iPhone is overheating when you're not using it, it could be due to background apps running, outdated software, or a malfunctioning battery. To prevent overheating, you should check for software updates, close any unnecessary apps running in the background, and keep your phone and battery cool. If the issue persists, it may require professional attention.

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    Anthony Freda