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How to stop your phone from overheating — 7 essential tips

hot phone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

You'll definitely want to know how to keep your phone from overheating, especially when the temperatures are rising. You probably know all about keeping yourself cool in hot weather, but have you ever given any thought to your phone? The device you carry around is especially important, and it’s just as prone to overheating as you are.

Not only is an overheating phone too hot to hold, extreme temperatures can also cause performance issues and permanent damage — especially to the battery. When you drop several hundred dollars on a new phone, that’s the last thing you want. 

Fortunately, it’s very easy to keep your phone a comfortable temperature. Here's how to stop your phone from overheating

Looking for other ways to beat the heat? Be sure to check out our picks for the best smart air conditioners, 7 essential tips for staying cool in a heatwave, how to cool a room down in a heatwave, how to cool down your car and what to look for when buying an air conditioner.

Keep it out of the sun 

woman with ice cream holding phone on sunny day

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The biggest source of heat in hot weather is the sun, which means the best course of action is to keep your phone out of it. After all, if you don’t want to be sitting in direct sunlight for extended periods of time, neither does your phone. 

So avoid spots that get a lot of sunlight, or heat up to pretty serious temperatures over the course of the day. Cars, green houses, windowsills or any spot with direct sunlight. Better still stick to cooler rooms, like those with air conditioning, or shady spots where the heat isn’t as intense. 

Take off the case

Best Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus cases

(Image credit: kwmobile)

Phone cases are useful for a lot of things, but reducing heat generally isn’t one of them. No matter what case you have, it’s essentially just another layer of insulation that keeps heat inside. So you better take it off if you want to help keep your phone cool and avoid overheating.

Of course, if your case is more than a fashion statement, and has some practical use, then you might want to keep it if you’re heading out into the world. But if you’re at home, work or staying in a single place for a while, you should think about stripping it off and letting your phone get some ventilation

By that same logic, you’re also better off keeping your phone out of your pocket. Especially if you’re already pretty hot or wearing black pants. 

Avoid power-intensive apps

lg g8 playing racing game

(Image credit: Future)

Weather or not, certain apps and processes can be pretty intense, making your phone work hard and produce a bunch of extra heat in the process. So be sure to avoid things like photo and video editing, games, performance boosting modes and even extended use of the camera.

It’s also worth switching off some of the features you’re not using, like GPS or Bluetooth. While they don’t generate a huge amount of heat by simply being switched on, every extra degree counts when overheating is concerned. 

Don't fast or wireless charge

phone being placed on wireless charger

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Phone charging is more convenient than ever these days, but you’re better off avoiding fast and wireless options when the temperature rises too much. The issue is that both of these charging options tend to produce excess heat, which is not what you want when you’re trying to cool your phone off.

If you do need to recharge, be sure to use a slow wired connection if possible. Or, at the very least, do it somewhere cool so any excess heat has somewhere to go.

Avoid water and the freezer 

phone being dropped in water

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Forcing a cooldown is just about the worst thing you can do to stop a phone from overheating. Phone’s don’t like rapid changes in temperature, and you may end up causing extra damage to your phone in the process.

Running your phone under a tap, or submerging it in water, runs the risk of causing water damage — IP rating or not. Not only could you have the limits of the IP rating confused, your phone’s water resistant seals may have been damaged without you realizing it. Similarly, putting the phone in a fridge or freezer will run the risk of water condensing inside your phone and causing problems.

To top it all off, your warranty won’t cover water damage. Even if the phone did come with an IP68 rating.

But fans are OK

table fan on wooden table

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A fan doesn’t have any of the same risks as using water or ultra rapid cooling. A regular fan will work on a phone the same way it will work on a human being. The fan will help reduce the heat around the phone, but in a way that’s slower and safer for the device itself. More so if you combine it with other heat-busting tips.

Buy a phone cooler 

Razer Cooler Chroma image

(Image credit: Razer)

As obvious as it may seem, there’s also a simple solution if you have some cash to spare: Buy a specialized phone cooler. These devices are what you might imagine if a fan and phone case had a baby. You attach them to the back of your phone, either with a clip or some sort of magnet (including MagSafe) and the device can start sapping away heat.

The coolers work using a combination of heat sink and fan-based technology, which means it’s more effective than putting your phone in the path of a fan. They can also be found relatively cheaply, with Amazon offering a number of options (opens in new tab) under $15. However, some of the more advanced models, like Razer’s MagSafe Phone Cooler (opens in new tab), costs $60. 

Tom Pritchard
Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.