I don’t know about you, but for me, one of the worst sensations in the world is the heat that emanates from an overly warm phone.
Whether it’s because it feels like the device is burning a literal hole through my pocket, or that it’s some kind of impending explosive device about to blow, it’s definitely unpleasant, to say the least.
Overheating of a phone’s battery is actually quite common. It can happen during charging, while playing heavy-duty games, or even during software updates.
But have you ever pondered whether it is indeed safe for a phone battery to overheat often?
And just how hot can a phone battery get without causing any permanent damage or creating a fire hazard?
A truly accurate answer depends on the chemical composition of the battery. However, the general rule of thumb is to not allow the phone battery to get any hotter than 35°C (95°F).
If the battery were to reach even higher internal temperatures (50°C (122°F) or more), the phone could then potentially suffer from permanent heat damage.
In an ideal world, a phone’s temperature should stay between 0 and 35 degrees celsius (32°F to 113°F). Unfortunately, things aren’t always ideal!
Why Is My Phone Overheating?
A simple search on the internet will reveal that a phone overheating is not a strange or uncommon occurrence at all.
Many users have reported and noted that both Android devices and iPhones get a little too hot at times.
Devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 took it to the extreme with high temperatures, resulting in the now-infamous explosive incidents and subsequent banning of the device on aircraft all around the world.
Most modern cell phones contain a lithium-ion battery to power the circuitry. These batteries have a tendency to become a little hotter during charging, or when the phone is used for longer periods.
Both scenarios are quite common and are nothing that you really need to worry about.
However, some phones do get abnormally heated and can hit extreme temperatures. Why does this happen? Why do phones overheat?
There are several potential reasons for this, including:
A phone that is infected with viruses and malware will heat up faster than one without.
This is because malware consumes a large percentage of a phone’s resources and puts excess pressure on both the processor and RAM.
The phone’s performance will decrease as a result, and you will more than likely experience it becoming hot or freezing without warning.
Bloatware is the term for any collection of unnecessary apps that occupy a phone’s memory space.
These apps- despite being useless- take up a disproportionate amount of battery power and can result in an overheated phone.
The worst part is that some bloatware comes built-in and cannot be deleted!
Large Games And Apps
A phone with large, heavy-duty games or apps will also become overheated more easily- especially when the software is in use.
This can be clearly observed when playing HD games on your phone. Live streaming apps also require a ton of resources and heat up the phone as a result.
Too Many Background Apps
Many apps keep running in the background even when they are not being used.
If your phone has too many background apps running when you are using another app or even while charging the device, the battery will get hot faster and result in an overheated phone.
In fact, even outdated apps can overheat a phone. An app with a bug or missed updates will also have more glitches and consume more resources.
Slow And Fast Charging
Fast charging is extremely convenient, but you do need to be careful about the charger you use.
The majority of the latest smartphones in the market have rapid charging capability and can be charged using special fast chargers utilizing 7W to 25W of power.
The good thing about fast charging is that it doesn’t generate heat when carried out correctly.
In fact, phones tend to heat up more during slow charging. In fact, charging a phone at a slower rate can be more dangerous than fast charging!
Don’t use the phone when it’s charging, as charging a phone more slowly than usual can actually overheat the battery and lead to fire hazards.
Using The Wrong Charger
A major cause of fire accidents and permanently damaged phones is the use of the wrong charger.
Compare the volts and amperage requirements before plugging a charger into the phone to make sure that they match up. Don’t forget to consider the output of the power socket as well!
Phones can become overheated easily during hot summers. An increase in outside temperature increases the phone’s internal temperature as well, resulting in a phone that becomes dangerously hot.
How To Fix An Overheating Phone Battery
We’ve briefly listed above some of the possible reasons that can make a phone battery hotter than normal. Though occasional overheating isn’t a serious problem, it is still a cause of concern.
Repeated occurrences can be dangerous, so it’s important to address and fix the problem as much as possible.
Unlike computers and laptops, phones don’t have tiny internal fans built-in for the purpose of cooling down the processor. Laptops have been known to catch fire even with their fans, which only goes to show how careful you need to be with overheating phones!
Here are some best practices that you can implement if your phone is burning up a little too often:
How and where you charge the phone is also very important. If the phone is placed on a bed, pillow, couch, or other soft material while charging, it will tend to become hotter in less time.
A better course of action would be to place a charging phone on a sturdy table or surface- preferably one made of wood or stone. Strong plastic is also fine, though it is not recommended.
Make sure that you do not cover the phone with anything while it is charging, and to really protect your phone you can even remove it from its case while charging so as to prevent overheating.
Turn Off The Phone
Yes, it feels like an impossible task- but if your phone feels too hot, stop whatever you’re doing and turn off your phone!
Leave it to cool naturally before turning it on again. This will allow the battery and the processor to get back to a normal, safe temperature.
Though it might seem like something that MacGyver would do, don’t use hair dryers to try to reduce a phone’s temperature.
Replace A Faulty Charger
A charger with a broken cord or that is otherwise damaged is dangerous and can overheat the phone when charging. It is vital to immediately replace such a charger with a new one.
Purchase another ASAP from the original manufacturer, or compare the specifications carefully and buy a universal charger.
Put Your Apps To Sleep
Your phone does not need that many background apps running round the clock!
Isolate the apps that you don’t use often and put them to sleep (or disable/uninstall them entirely).
By doing this, you will be able to reduce the workload on the processor and maintain optimal phone temperature.
Manual Software Updates
Software updates can heat up the phone due to their size and the strain that they exert on the processor and RAM.
If you’re worried that an update will happen without your knowledge and overheat the device, switch the update settings from automatic to manual.
However, do make sure that you still check for updates regularly and install them on time. Outdated firmware will also overheat the phone, so it’s important to keep everything up to date!
Identify And Delete Malware
Install antivirus software on your phone so that you can detect whether there’s any malware lurking.
Kaspersky, Norton, and Quick Heal are some well-known antivirus solutions available for computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
Can I charge my phone overnight?
Though it’s undoubtedly convenient, we can’t recommend leaving a phone to charge overnight.
Even though the power supply does cut off once the battery is 100% charged, leaving the battery at full charge for long periods is not ideal.
Similarly, don’t wait until the battery dies to charge the phone.
The best practice is to charge your phone when it is around 25-30% capacity. Optimized charging reduces the risk of overheating, keeps the battery healthy, and extends battery life.
We know that phones become hotter while charging or when used for extended periods.
But how hot is too hot?
Experts say that a phone is considered hot when it reaches 35°C (95°F).
However, at this temperature, there isn’t any permanent damage done to the phone, and the battery will cool down accordingly when the phone is left to rest for a while.
Once the battery temperature reaches 50°C (122°F), it edges the phone closer to the danger zone.
If a phone gets too hot for too long, it can become permanently damaged and even turn into a fire hazard. A phone that goes beyond 45°C (113°F) can even result in a voided warranty in certain cases!
Therefore, it is extremely important to do all you can to keep your phone at its optimal temperature at all times by reducing the strain on its processor and by using correct charging equipment. Stay cool!
Just like us, smartphones consist of a pretty complex anatomy. Take a close look HERE at all the vital components that make up a modern-day smartphone!