iOS: What to Do When Your iPhone Gets Too Warm

2 minute read
| Deep Dive

Have you ever noticed your iPhone feeling a bit warm to the touch, or even downright hot? Or perhaps you’ve run across a screen on your iPhone telling you that your device needs to cool down before you can use it. If so, don’t rush off to the Genius Bar just yet. Here are some steps you can take to possibly fix the problem when your iPhone gets too warm.

iPhone gets too warm

This is the last thing you want to see on your iPhone, but all hope is not lost

Why is My iPhone Hot in the First Place?

I’m going to assume here that you haven’t intentionally tried to blow up your iPhone, like these guys did:

There are a number of other reasons for an iPhone to feel too warm to the touch. If you let it sit on top of a radiator, for example, it will definitely overheat. The same applies to letting it sit in the direct sunlight on a warm day. When that happens, your best bet is to remove the iPhone from the source of heat.

What to Do When My iPhone Gets Too Warm—Go See Apple?

Slow your roll, we’re not done yet. There are other possibilities. For example, if you just updated to a new version of iOS, your iPhone is liable to run warm while the device reindexes the data on your device. This is especially true with an update to iOS 10.3, since a completely new file system is put in place.

Here are some other common solutions for a warm-to-the-touch iPhone.

  • Remove the case: It’s debatable whether or not Apple intends for iPhones to be kept in a case. If your iPhone is running warmer than you’d like, try removing the case for a bit and see if that solves the problem. Cases stop air from circulating around your device, allowing heat to build up.
  • Quit apps: Sometimes, an app can be using too much of the iPhone’s resources. This can cause the device to heat up pretty rapidly. If this happens, try quitting your apps to fix the issue. You can do this pretty easily by following my tip on closing all of your running apps at once.
  • Update your apps: You might have a buggy app, with an update already available to fix the issue. Head to the App Store and go to the Updates tab. Then choose Update All. Just make sure you’re on Wi-Fi when you attempt this.
  • Update iOS: On rare occasions, the problem is iOS itself. If so, a software update will usually patch things up. Back up your iPhone, then head to Settings > General > Software Update to see if there’s an new version of iOS available.

It Might Be Time for More Drastic Measures

If none of those have helped the problem, there are still a couple more possibilities.

  • Reset Your iPhone’s Settings: If nothing is working, your next step is to reset your iPhone’s settings. This resets customizations and app settings to their defaults, leaving all of your data in place. Things like brightness settings and Wi-FI preferences can cause problems if they aren’t configured properly. To reset your iPhone’s settings, open Settings and then go to General. From there, tap Reset > Reset All Settings and confirm that’s what you want to do. You might want to back up your device just to be on the safe side.
  • Nuke and Pave: This is your final resort before heading to the Genius Bar. Restoring iOS can solve a lot of problems, and this is a troubleshooting step that Apple is liable to have you take anyways. Back up your iPhone, then connect your device to a computer with iTunes. Next, choose Restore and go through the process of restoring your device from a backup.

None of That Worked

If none of those steps worked, you might have a problem with your battery or hardware. Now’s the time to have the device serviced, either by Apple or an authorized Apple repair service.

4 Comments Add a comment

  1. Lee Dronick

    “There is a layer of white stuff, I don’t know if it is safe to touch or not” as he touches it.

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