My phone gets hot, what gives?

There are many advantages to using your smartphone on a regular basis. It's a means of interaction and a source of entertainment. However, just like any other piece of technology, your phone is susceptible to malfunctions in operation, the most common of which are malware, viruses, storage issues, and cyber attacks.

Consider the possibility that your smartphone is running hotter than usual. This could be a minor issue brought on by excessive use, or it could indicate a more serious issue. Let's examine how to handle a hot phone through preventative measures and cautious use.

Origin of the Warmth

You could be strolling along with your phone in your pocket when all of a sudden you notice that it is getting hot. When this occurs, finding the source of the heat is your top priority. The origin of phone heat differs between the front and the back.

Since the phone's battery and central processing unit (CPU) are responsible for processing all of your phone's activities, they are also the primary sources of heat. When a battery fails, it can generate dangerously high temperatures, sometimes reaching 45 degrees Celsius or higher. The typical operating temperature range for a smartphone is between zero and thirty-five degrees Celsius. Your phone's battery may be to blame if the back of your device starts to heat up to an uncomfortable degree.

Meanwhile, the central processing unit gives life to all open programs. Whether you're using it for an exciting game or a less thrilling spreadsheet, it performs calculations and manages data with ease. The front of your smartphone will get hot when you put a strain on its processor.

Here are the specific causes that affect the battery and the CPU, resulting in overheating, depending on which one is the source of the heat:

Stress-induced heat

Overuse is the most common cause of an overheated phone. When you're bored and need something to do, pulling out your phone is a simple solution. Some of the most enjoyable pursuits, however, necessitate additional computing resources and battery life.


High-definition (HD) video streaming places a substantial computational burden on your mobile device. Watching multiple episodes in a row can cause your phone to heat up significantly. One simple solution is to reduce the video quality or resolution of the media you're watching, which will result in less demand on your battery and CPU.


Without a charger, you've probably noticed that certain games are harder on your battery than others. The power needed for a game is proportional to the game's complexity. The CPU in your phone won't have to work very hard to complete a puzzle game. Virtual Sudoku allows you to spend hours playing without overheating.

A different story is told in the realm of 3D shooters and MMOs. These games feature cutting-edge visuals and nonstop action. Your phone's processor will be put through its paces when you're in the thick of the action. If you notice that your phone is getting too hot while playing the game, try turning down the graphics settings. You'll save some power, but your gaming may suffer if you do this. So Before getting into any kind of serious games, it's wise to take a step back and assess your situation.

Purposes and History

Users of smartphones often forget that programs do not terminate themselves. It's not uncommon for apps to keep running in the background even after you've turned off your phone. The battery life of your phone decreases slightly as you keep opening apps. A little more is required by some programs. Applications that monitor your whereabouts, for instance, may be working invisibly in the background. If your phone is running hotter than usual or more slowly than usual, check to see if any unattended apps are to blame.

Trying to Locate a Cellular Signal

Finding yourself in an area without cell service is becoming increasingly rare. A warm phone is a sign that you've been out of range for too long. This indicates that your phone is searching for a network that is currently providing service in your area. This can be avoided by adjusting the settings before leaving the coverage area of your cell phone or internet provider.

Diverse Heating Concerns

There are a few things besides hardware and software that can cause your phone to temporarily overheat. Fortunately, these problems are simple to fix.

Light from the sun and the general temperature outside

When using your phone outside by the pool, you may find that it gets quite warm. Having a black case on your phone will make it even more susceptible to overheating in direct sunlight. Your phone will cool down if you put it inside.

Controls for Display Brightness and Other Options

Maximizing screen brightness is another common practice that can lead to overheating. This option will cause an increase in energy consumption and temperature. Turning up your phone's volume and screen brightness to their maximum settings can cause overheating.

Malware's Toasty Radiation

Most phone heat is due to temporary issues. You can solve the issue of your phone being overworked by either giving it a rest or shutting down unnecessary apps. Malware, on the other hand, is a much more serious cause of a warm smartphone.


In today's economy, data is king. Even legitimate software may be infected with spyware, which steals sensitive information and sends it back to the program's creators. If you don't read the fine print before downloading and installing an app, you might be giving them permission to do this. Phone heating is another capability of spyware programs.


Trojan viruses have historically been a major issue for both traditional computers and mobile devices. These are designed by hackers to steal personal data. Trojan horses, for instance, propagate malicious code by hiding it in seemingly innocuous sources like emails, links, and software. Malware, once installed on your device, can lead to a variety of issues, such as the unauthorized use of your email account or the theft of personal data.


Even more recently, there is malware that can make phones overheat. Several tech firms claim that criminals are now using cryptojacking to steal data from smartphones. It takes a lot of computing power to mine cryptocurrency. It can be costly for miners to acquire the necessary processors. Criminals can infect your phone with malware that steals processing power in the background and uses it to mine cryptocurrency. Your phone may have been cryptojacked if you notice it gets hot even when you aren't using it, or if the battery drains quickly.

Tips for Keeping Your Mobile Device Cool

Smartphones typically run between 37 and 43 degrees Celsius (98 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit). 6 to 109 4 °F) Don't freak out if you notice that your phone is running hotter than usual. First, you should wait for it to cool down before attempting to pinpoint the root of the problem.

However, it's best not to subject the phone to a sudden drop in temperature when trying to diagnose issues. The sudden change in temperature could cause the screen to crack or other damage. How to safely reduce the temperature in your home is explained below.

Take Off the Wrapper

Your phone will stay warmer in its case or cover. The device can better cool down and release heat if the cover is removed.

Turn on the Jet Stream

A cell phone's constant searching for cellular or wireless networks can disrupt flight signals and lead to overheating in an aircraft. If your phone is overheating, turning on airplane mode may help reduce power consumption.

Get Rid of Extraneous Parts

You may have spent a few extra dollars on a 3D background and some extra apps for your phone when you first bought it. If you're having heat problems, you might want to disable these features if they require a lot of processing power.

Keep Current

Phones of the same model may all overheat in the same way when using the same app or operating system. The software's performance issue will be fixed in a future update once developers become aware of the problem. Having fewer processing issues is a side effect of keeping your phone updated to the latest software version.

Safeguarding Your Electronics

You shouldn't ignore an overheating phone because it can lead to other disastrous performance issues like shorter battery life and lag. Therefore, it is essential to pinpoint the issue and find a solution without delay. If your phone is overheating, follow these precautions.

Is a Hot Phone Dangerous to Use?

A smartphone's lifespan decreases if it overheats frequently. The phone's battery, screen, and other essential components are vulnerable to heat damage. Depending on the origin of the heat, this can cause both hardware and software to malfunction.

What You Can Do If Your Phone Starts to Get Too Hot

If your phone is consistently overheating, you should get it checked out right away. The diagnosis may reveal any of the following issues:

  • Streaming or gaming too much can lead to overuse.
  • Functioning invisibly, in the background, apps or processes
  • Thermal environment
  • Malware such as spyware

Once you've identified the issue, you can try to fix it by implementing some of the solutions mentioned above, such as shutting down unused applications, disabling features, taking a break, etc.

McAfee is prepared to assist if malicious software is suspected. Before malware can infiltrate your device and cause hardware and software issues, including overheating, we create cybersecurity products that actively seek to block it and protect your personal data. Anti-malware software like McAfee Mobile Security will not only protect you from malware and other cybercrimes, but it will also safeguard your data.

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