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Tip of the Week: Keeping a Smartphone from Overheating

Tip of the Week: Keeping a Smartphone from Overheating

If your smartphone has ever been blazing hot for no apparent reason, you know how worrying it can be to try and use it. Many smartphones will automatically shut down if they get too hot, but either way, this excess of heat can also be very bad for the device itself, so it is important to try to keep it as cool as you can. For this week’s tip, we’re sharing a few simple and safe ways to cool your overheating phone back down.

Why is My Phone So Hot?

There are various reasons that your phone may be excessively warm, many of which have nothing to do with the environmental temperature. In fact, you can sometimes tell what component may be casting off excess heat based on where the heat is emanating from.

For example, if the back of your phone gets hot, your battery may be overheating. If it’s at the bottom—specifically, as you’re charging the device—the charger may be to blame. Other locations on the phone could suggest other issues.

It could also be what you’re using the device to do. Many mobile games and other intensive applications will require a lot of processing power, and streaming content means that your device is constantly loading data and keeping its screen awake. These tasks require your phone to work hard, which is going to generate some heat. Your settings can also overtax the CPU on your phone, again leading to excessive heat being produced.

Software bugs and the updates intended to resolve them can both contribute to heating challenges—although those caused by the software updates will be much more temporary. Unfortunately, malware can also be a culprit, as there are many mobile varieties out there that hijack a phone for a criminal’s purposes. These purposes can range from mining cryptocurrency to installing ransomware to extort money from the user.

Regardless of the reason, your priority if your device does begin to feel hot to the touch is to cool it down as quickly as possible. Here are a few ways to help you to keep your device cool.

Tips to Keep a Smartphone Cool

Before we begin, it may help to know how temperature works. 

Heat is a form of energy, which likes to spread out to accomplish equilibrium, from higher concentrations to the lower ones. The sensation that you feel when you perceive “hot” is that energy flowing to you. Conversely, “cold” is the absence of that energy, and your perception of “chill” is your energy flowing into what you’ve touched.

Basically, all temperature changes are caused by energy seeking some personal space. So, with this principle of “hot heats up cold” in mind, let’s go over some tips.

Tip: Don’t Keep It in a Hot Environment

We’ve already established that your phone’s operations will generate some heat. So, in keeping with the principles we just reviewed, this heat will move so that it is equally distributed. Under normal conditions, this means that the phone’s environment will help cool it down.

However, if the phone is someplace warm, like in a pocket, a car, or in direct sunlight, its surroundings will also be warm, giving this heat energy nowhere to go. Your case can even contribute to this. If heat is to be a concern, keep your phone in a relatively cool place, and consider removing its case. You wouldn’t wear a coat if you were already too warm, would you?

Tip: Cool It Off Like You Would Cool Off

A quick disclaimer here: while you might find a quick dip in a pool to be refreshing, your phone will not share that impression. So, when we say cool your phone off like you cool yourself off, keep in mind that we aren’t encouraging all methods of doing so.

Instead, simply keep it in a cool place, and turn on a fan. This should be enough to dissipate any heat that would be a concern. If you prefer air conditioning, there are also phone peripherals that you can purchase that keep it cool with somewhat higher tech than a simple fan.

Also, like the human body, rapid temperature changes aren’t good for your phone. You don’t go and stand in a freezer for an hour, so don’t put your phone in the freezer. This could damage its internal bits by accumulating moisture and condensation inside it.

Tip: Play with Some Settings, Not Games

The more processing that a phone is instructed to do, the more heat it will generate. This is because two major culprits of heat generation—the battery and the CPU—are called upon for each process. Reducing screen brightness, turning off data if not necessary, and even utilizing airplane mode when you can all help to minimize the requirements on your battery.

On a related note, you can play a part in your phone’s processing demands as well. Using mobile apps, like games or photo editing, can heat it up more quickly. As we mentioned above, charging can have the same impact. On a hot day, you may want to hold off on these tasks if you can until you’re in a place where it can be done at a more appropriate temperature.

If your phone just gets hot, for no apparent reason, there might be a bigger underlying issue, and it could make your trusty mobile device dangerous. If the problem persists, it’s a good idea to call your phone provider for technical support.

Hopefully, this will help you to beat the heat where your smartphone is concerned. Make sure you subscribe to our blog for more handy tips, tricks, and best practices from BNMC!

 

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