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How to Troubleshoot and Fix An Overheating Cell Phone

It’s always alarming when a relatively new cell phone starts to get unusually hot, begins to power itself off or runs into other problems. However the numerous reasons for it happening do have various fixes. While minor overheating may not be of any serious concern, severe overheating can actually lead to permanent damage to the cell phone itself, not to mention the possibility of injuring you or somebody else. Here’s your complete guide to cell phone overheating, and what to do about it:
Getting Started
The first thing you need to do is establish which part of your cell phone seems to be overheating, as this will help you determine if it’s the cell phone itself, the battery or the charger that’s causing the problem:

Back of cell phone

If it’s the back part of your cell phone that seems to be causing trouble, then the likelihood is that it’s the battery that’s on its way out. While in this scenario a replacement battery is still an expense, it’s much more cost-effective than having to repair or even replace your entire cell phone.  

Bottom of cell phone

Does your cell phone seem to be overheating exclusively at the bottom, or when you have it plugged in to the mains via a charger? In this case, it’s possible that it’s the charger itself causing problems, rather than the cell phone or battery. The best thing you can do in this instance is ensure that you’re using a manufacturer-approved charger. Another is to try a different compatible charger to determine if the charger you use regularly is at fault. If the second charger doesn’t appear to be creating excessive heat, then you’ve determined the cause and it’s time to dispose of your old one.

Above battery compartment

Does the offending area of your cell phone appear to be just above the battery compartment? If so, then it’s likely that there’s an issue with your cell phone itself rather than the battery pack or charger. We’ll expand more on the possible reasons for this occurring below.

By the speaker

Similar to the previous point, if the troublesome area appears to be the speaker (especially if it feels hot when you put it up to your ear to answer a call), then the likelihood is that it’s an issue with the cell phone itself. Make sure that you’re particularly careful using it until you get it fixed, because such a problem could turn into a health issue.


Yet another indicator for the cause of overheating coming from your cell phone itself is if its touch screen feels too hot when you try to use it. As with the previous two points, we’re going to delve into the reasons for this below.

Not the battery or charger? Reasons for Cell Phone Overheating

1. Too many apps open at once

The simplest way of trying to get your cell phone’s temperature down to acceptable levels is to close any applications that you don’t happen to be using. For instance, if you’re just using Facebook and making calls on a given day, then it isn’t necessary for you to have a further five or 10 application open on your cell phone. With particular reference to cell phones running on the Android operating system (eg. Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Sony or Google Nexus), take a look at the things that your cell phone runs as soon as you start it up. You might want to halt these processes too to see if it makes a difference.

2. Overloading the cell phone through heavy usage

If you’re using your cell phone for things like gaming, or streaming videos on the internet and keeping other applications open at the same time, note that you need to give it a break at some point. This is because all these data-heavy processes require your cell phone’s processor to go into overdrive, with a by-product being overheating. Try putting down that game you can’t stop playing for 15 minute, or try streaming videos over the WiFi network in your home rather than using cellular data networks such as 3G or 4G. Alternatively, with reference to the latter point, consider keeping YouTube or similar sites for your computer, laptop or tablet.

3. It’s not getting enough cooling

It’s possible that your cell phone could be overheating because it’s spending too much time in your pocket, not getting enough ventilation and therefore having a diminished ability to cool itself down. If you suspect that this might be the case in your particular instance, try holding it in your hand or leaving it exposed for a while to see if it makes a difference. Another thing to consider in this context is the cover you have bought for your cell phone (if you have done so). Metal cell phone cases, for example, conduct heat rather than dissipate it, so you should consider getting rid of yours if you have one. For other less conductive case materials, consider using your cell phone for a while with the cover removed, as this also might help the overheating.

4. Water damage

Did you happen to have a small accident involving your cell phone and liquid recently? If you did, it might be the cause of the problems you’re experiencing. Furthermore, a sweaty pocket might also be the cause. Even if none of these things are a possibility, your cell phone might have experienced liquid damage without you even knowing it. Get a technician to check it out if you think this might be a possibility.

5. No rest

Sometimes your cell phone needs to be switched off rather than constantly going through a cycle of usage, charging overnight, then usage again. Try turning your cell phone off for just a few minutes, giving it a chance to cool down and “rest”. Turning it back on after about 10 minutes should do the trick.

6. It needs software or app updates

Make sure that your cell phone has the latest software update from the manufacturer of its operating system (either iOS [Apple] or Android). Ensuring that its software is up to date could take some of the strain off of its processor, thus reducing overheating and helping it to run more smoothly. Also consider checking whether your applications are up to date, as this might also help your cell phone to run cooler.

7. Hardware damage

It could be that the actual chipsets within your cell phone (hardware) are to blame for its overheating issues. In this instance, the only two avenues you can explore to resolve them are either to get it repaired or replaced. Note that if you’ve dropped your phone accidentally, this is likely to be the cause of such a problem.

Overheating DON’T: Refrigerators or Freezers

Exposing your cell phone to temperature extremes, coupled with moisture, is just a bad idea. Forget about putting it in the refrigerator or freezer in a bid to cool it down – you’ll likely just make everything worse.


Help! I still can’t figure it out

If you’ve exhausted all of the overheating possibilities listed above, then you simply need to consider getting your cell phone replaced. It could be that you’re experiencing problems due to a manufacturer defect. If your cell phone is less than a year old, then it should still be under warranty. Head back to the place of purchase and, if the store finds no evidence of liquid or water damage, it should replace your cell phone. If it’s over a year old, consider repairs or paying for a replacement.


Content Source: Smart Mobile Phone Solutions 

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