How To

Cell phone getting hot? Here’s how to fix it

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Written by techmanish

Has your cell phone started getting unusually hot? Does your mobile phone feel like it’s about to burn a hole in your pocket? Does your phone get so hot that it powers itself off? Then you are in the right place. This guide describes some common reasons as to why this can happen and best of all how you can try to fix it.

Before we get started – cell phones get warm

Now cell phones can get warm. Smartphones are electronics after all, so if you are a new smartphone owner and are concerned about your warm cell phone then your phone might be ok, but cell phones shouldn’t get HOT. If your cell phone it getting hot and your concerned that your cell phone might be overheating to the point of becoming damaged or causing damage to something or someone else, especially yourself, then you’re in the right place and you should certainly try to figure out what is causing this to happen and how you can stop it from happening any more.

Also, before we begin, please note that this article is geared more towards trying to fix smartphones that are running on the popular Android Operating System BUT most of the advice found throughout this guide can be applied to just about any smartphone that’s getting hot or overheating regardless of its Operating System or software that it runs on.

Where does your cell phone seem to be getting Hot?

The first thing that I recommend you try to do is pinpoint the area of your phone that seems to be getting hot.

It might not necessarily be an issue with the phone getting hot. It could be the battery or the charger that’s having or causing problems. So where does your phone seem to be getting hot?

Back of the cell phone getting hot

When your phone starts to get warm does it seem to be the whole phone or does it seem to be mostly on the back area where the battery sits? Perhaps it’s not the cell phone that’s overheating but the battery within the cell phone.

If the back of your phone seems to be heating up, especially where the battery sits, then take few seconds to visit how to check if the battery on an Android smartphone is overheating. Replacing a defective battery is going to be much more affordable and less troublesome then trying to repair or replace a cell phone that’s overheating.

So check out that article and if your battery passes the battery test and seems to be functioning properly then you can come back to this guide to review some of the other possible causes as to why your cell phone is overheating and of course some possible solutions on how to fix it.

Bottom of the phone gets hot

Is the phone getting warm towards the bottom where you plug in the charger? Is your cell phone only getting warm while being plugged into the charger? If so then there might be an issue with the charger itself. Make sure to try a different charger, preferably one approved by the manufacture of your cell phone, to see if your phone continues to heat up.

If a new charger fixes the problem then you can dispose of your previous charger and enjoy your working cell phone. If it’s not the charger then you might have to check a few more things.

Getting hot on the back above the battery compartment

If the back of the phone seems to be getting hot and it’s not exactly where the battery sits then there is a good chance that the cell phone itself is overheating. If this is the case then there can be a few reasons which can be read in the tips listed below.

Cell phones heats up by the speaker

If the part of your cell phone that you hold up to your ear is getting hot, then not only is this a major annoyance, irritation, and health concern (you don’t want to burn yourself after all) it can also indicated a high possibility that there is an issue with the cell phone itself. See the cell phone troubleshooting tips listed below for some possible causes and better yet some possible solutions.

Cell phones screen seems to be too hot

Cell phone screens can get warm of course but if the touch screen or display screen is getting too warm or even hot then this is another indicator that there is an issue with the cell phone itself, and you should consider the advice listed below.

How to fix a cell phone that keeps overheating

Now that we have narrowed it down to the phone and not necessarily an issue with your phones battery or its charger it’s time to discuss what you came here for in the first place; how to fix an Android that’s overheating.

Below is a list of the most common reasons and best resolutions that you can use to combat overheating on your cell phone.

To many things running

Things on a cell phone are like things in life. They can certainly pile up over time and at times even seem overwhelming. If your cell phone has started to unexpectedly get warm or hot then chances are good that your cell phone has processes, such as applications, that are running in the background and you don’t even know that they are running. Some of which might even start running as soon as you power on your phone.

Take a moment to review How to view running applications on an Android cell phone for more information on this topic. You might just be surprised at what you find.

To heavy of a load for too long of a time

Android phones are awesome! No doubt about it 😉 and what makes them so awesome is what you can do with them. You can play games, watch videos, listen to music, capture pictures, watch movies, search the web, send messages and believe it or not Android cell phones can even be used to make phone calls. All of these wonderful things in one single device and all in the palm of your hand.

All these things are what Androids are good for and they do them very well. Like all things though there are limits to what even an Android can do and for how long it can do it effectively. Here are a few things that Androids do well but after a while might cause them to start to overheat.

Heavy streaming

Watching videos and other media content is another one of the things that make smartphones so great. Watching a movie when traveling can make the time it takes to get to your final destination go by a lot faster. Watching movies and playing videos constantly however can certainly require more work from the phones processor and not only can it consume a lot of power but it can cause things to get warmer over time as well, especially as our standards for media consumption moves to a more clearer picture with a higher definition. How long will it be until the first 4k Android cell phone screen is released?

Combine the load of playing a video with the load of a data connection when streaming content along with other processes running in the background (heck you don’t want to miss any calls or texts right) and over time your phone might start to get a little warm.

Heavy gaming

The Android App store has a pretty wide selection of some pretty fun and entertaining games and more and more applications are being created and released every day. Some of these games and applications require more processing power than others depending on the complexity of the app and when you add this required processing power with lengthy usage then things can start to heat up a bit.

You got to try to remember that many games may require other resources from your phone as well. Many apps require a data connection which means that your phone not only has to run the game but also an internet connection through mobile data or Wi-Fi data, it might require access to your contacts list or friends list from a social network such as Facebook… that’s another resource etc. etc. They can add up quick and of course the higher the load the harder your phone has to work and the hotter it may get.

Bad battery

If the battery itself isn’t heating up then the problem is less likely your battery that’s causing the problems but if your battery is old or malfunctioning (even if it passes the battery test mentioned above) then you might want to consider replacing the battery. You might also consider taking your battery out of your phone (if your phone has a removable battery) to check and make sure that it’s not bloated or warped. If your battery is misshaped or does not sit flat on a flat service then there is a really good chance that it’s defective and should be replaced.

If your battery is defective or malfunctioning and you have had it (and your phone) for less than a year then you might be able to get a free replacement battery by filing a warranty claim. I don’t know about you but free is always in my price range. If your phone is a little older and no longer covered under warranty then you might be able to find a great deal on a new replacement battery online from stores like Amazon or eBay.

Ventilation

Hot in the pocket

If your cell phone seems to start overheating when it’s in your pocket then take it out of your pocket to let it breath a little. Think about it… when you’re walking somewhere in the cold and the wind is blowing and you’re not wearing gloves where do you often put your hands? In your nice warm pockets :). Probably not the best example but perhaps your phone just needs a little air to breathe. This isn’t always possible at school or at work but if you are not really supposed to check or use your phone somewhere can you choose to suffer from some separation anxiety instead so that you don’t have to your phone inside your nice cozy pocket? Could you instead keep it in a backpack, locker, or hidden in a protective case on your waist? It might just give your phone what it needs to breath and cool off a bit.

It’s hot in this Armor

Protective cases are one of the best investments that you can make for a cell phone. They help keep your phone well protected and can certainly help save the phone from an accidental fall or accidental damage. While I do recommend investing in a good case for your smartphone you may want to try using your phone outside of the case for a little while to see if the phone continues to overheat or if it helps prevents the phone from getting hot.

Other Possible Reasons

Other less common but possible reasons a cell phone can get hot.

Water Damage

Do you listen to music from your cell phone while taking a shower? Do you keep your cell phone in a sweaty pocket all day? Or has your phone simply had an accident where it was exposed to liquid? Power issues and overheating are common problems that a water damaged cell phone can experience.

You might want to try and locate the LDI (Liquid Damage Indicator) sticker(s) on your phone to just make sure that your cell phone is not experiencing any side effects of moisture or liquid damage. Your phone might have moisture damage and you might not even know it.

No rest

When was the last time your cell phone got to rest for a few minutes? Does your cell phone remain turned on constantly throughout the day then remains on and plugged into a charger all night? It might just need to be powered off to rest for a little bit.

As Androids get used apps and processes can start to run and continue to run until they are manually stopped or the phone reboots (which was mentioned above) but being constantly powered on can also cause minor software problems which can often be solved by simply restarting the phone, so I thought I would add this little tip to the list.

Disable unneeded functions and features

This suggestion kind of goes hand in hand with too many things running at once but if you have an animated wall paper with 10 different widgets such as a clock widget, a weather widget, a favorite contacts widget, an alarm widget, a calendar widget, a music widget, etc. then these things are going to be running all at once, are going to be causing your phone to work harder, and could be causing your phone to heat up a bit. If you are not sure what widgets are then you are not alone and you can read more about widgets at what is a widget on an Android and how do I use them? Chances are your Android smartphone has some widgets on its home screen(s) and you didn’t even know it.

Overclocking

If you don’t know what overclocking means then you can likely disregard this little piece of advice all together but a smartphone is just like a computer. If you have manipulated or customized the software on your Android smartphone to get it to go faster or run differently then heat might be the price you have to pay to do so. Unlike a PC though you can’t simply add a fan or heat sink to your cell phone to try and keep it cool.

Just remember that if you choose to overclock your Android and as a result it’s getting hot, heat can lead to a shorter life span for your electronic and can even result in hardware damage depending on how hot your phone is getting.

Outdated software

Outdated software is not likely the culprit for your phone heating up but I thought that I would add this to the list as updated software can help a cell phone run smoother which can cause less strain on your phone and might help to lower its average temperature.

Hardware

Much like the possibility of liquid or moisture damage if a piece of the phone itself has become damaged then that piece may need to be repaired or replaced in order for your cell phone to function properly again; in this case for your phone to stop overheating.

Try to think back to when your mobile phone started to get hot. Can you remember anything happening to the phone around that time that could explain this problem? Was the phone dropped accidently? Are there any signs of physical damage on the device? If so then this might be the culprit and fixing it might be more of a challenge as the damaged piece that’s causing the phone to heat up would have to be located and repaired or replaced.

Software

Just like a possible hardware issue can you remember downloading any new applications or programs etc. around the time that your phone started to get hot? If so then you may want to locate that application and disable it or even temporarily uninstall it just to rule out the possibility that it’s not that app that’s causing mischief.

This should go hand in hand with checking your running applications, which was mentioned earlier. If you notice that a certain application is running every time that your phone starts to heat up and you have to force stop or force close that application to get your phone to cool off then you might need to decide if it’s worth it to continue to use that application. You might want to rule out that application completely by temporarily uninstalling it. If you uninstall it and your phone seems to stop getting hot then you will have located the issue and you could try re-installing it to see if a fresh copy helps but if not you might need to decide to keep that app (or apps) off your phone.

If you have done everything that you can think of to try and get your cell phone to stop heating up and it’s still getting hot then you might also want to consider backing up all of your phones important information and then performing a hard reset on the unit. A hard reset or factory data reset removes all user data from the phone and puts the phone back to like new condition. This can help rule out the possibility that something found its way onto your phone and is causing problems as the reset would help remove that “something” (whatever it may be) from the phone. The only catch is that it removes all of your other information as well.

If you have reached this point in troubleshooting then you might find how to backup and reset an Android smartphone helpful with this process. You can read more about hard resets and how they affect Android smartphones in this Hard Reset FAQ guide as well.

What NOT TO DO when your phone is overheating

Do NOT put your cell phone into the fridge or worse a freezer. Exposing your cell phone to extreme temperatures coupled with moisture is just a bad idea all around and I definitely don’t recommend it for any reason.

Phone is still getting HOT!

If you have tried ALL of the suggestions in this article then chances are your cell phone is experiencing a hardware malfunction or another issue that cannot be resolved through standard troubleshooting and at this point you will likely need to look into your possible repair or replacement options. Luckily if your cell phone is still less than a year old and doesn’t have any physical or liquid damage it is highly likely that your cell phone is still going to be covered under the manufactures warranty. If so then your cell phones manufacture may be responsible for the repair or replacement of your unit. If you would like to read more information about this then you might find how to file a warranty claim on a cell phone helpful. If your cell phone is no longer covered under warranty and your cell phone is still getting hot then you may need to look into some of these other options.

Thanks for reading

Thank you for visiting the site and for reading this guide on how to try and fix an Android cell phone that keeps overheating. I hope that it has given you an edge in resolving this annoying and troublesome issue with your mobile phone.

If you did enjoy the article or if you found it informative or helpful then please let me know that you liked it by pressing the Facebook Like or Google + buttons or by sharing it with others by linking back to this article in some way shape or form. Feel free to also leave a friendly remark in the comment section below.

Thanks again for reading, I hope you and your cell phone can stay cool and I hope you have a wonderful day.

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techmanish

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