Charging On Hold Warning: What To Do If You See It

charging on hold warning in iOS 16

Maybe you’ve seen this warning already in iOS 16, and wondered what you’d done wrong. You look down at your iPhone, plugged in and supposedly charging, but see a notification that says “Charging On Hold.” That’s when you might wonder what caused it, and what, if anything, you need to do about it. Here’s the scoop on that message.

Your iPhone Can Only (Safely) Charge Below a Certain Temperature

Generally speaking, extreme heat is bad for electronics. This is especially true when they’re being charged, since that process alone generates heat. If your iPhone or, more specifically, its battery gets too hot, bad things can happen. These can, potentially, include swelling or just internal damage to the battery. Either one can reduce the battery’s health and lifetime.

With iOS 16, Apple has introduced a system to stop charging the iPhone if it’s excessively hot. This way, the operating system can try to keep charging safe for the battery’s health and your safety. When this process kicks in, iOS 16 lets you know it’s putting charging on hold until the temperature normalizes.

You’ll most often see this when you’re driving. Many of us plug our iPhones into the car to use CarPlay, and have our devices on a dash mount. This means your iPhone is near the windshield, baking in the sun. Or, perhaps you just have your iPhone plugged in and resting in a particularly hot part of the vehicle.

What To Do When You See a ‘Charging On Hold’ Warning

Basically, you just have to let your iPhone’s temperature drop to a safe level. Apple recommends keeping the ambient temperature around your iPhone between 60º F (16º C) and 72º F (22º C).

This takes time, of course, but there are some ways to reduce how long you have to wait for the charging to resume.

The first thing you should do is pull off the road safely, if you’re driving. Remove your iPhone from direct sunlight, whether that’s by taking it off your windshield or dashboard mount or just moving it into the shade. You can also take your device out of its case, since that will help it cool down faster.

Should you want to speed up the cooldown process even more, here are some other things you can do. Note that many of these will stop you from being able to use your iPhone for navigation or music, though.

  • Lower the brightness of the display, or use Auto-Brightness in Accessibility settings
  • Enable Low Power Mode
  • Enable Airplane Mode
  • Turn off your iPhone for 10 to 15 minutes

At the same time as any of these, you should keep your handset out of direct sunlight. Another step you can take is to stop any apps using cellular data. This is anecdotal, but staff from both The Mac Observer and AppleInsider have noted this step does seem to help cool the iPhone faster when charging is on hold.

Keep It Cool, Keep It Safe

Now, you might think the thing to do is stick your iPhone in a cooler. This might help, but you definitely don’t want to just put the handset on ice. Ice melts, turns into water. Yes, the iPhone of today has much better water resistance than its predecessors, but let’s not put that to the test, hey?

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