A phone on an outside table with flames coming out of the screen.

It’s never a welcome sight: the message, often accompanied by an icon of a flame or thermometer, that tells you your phone is overheating. While every smartphone can get a little hot from time to time, an iPhone or Samsung phone that’s constantly overheating is definitely a cause for concern. There are so many potential causes of a phone overheating, from harsh sunlight to bugs and viruses. Because of this, it can be hard to know at first whether it’s an easy fix or time to invest in a new phone.    

Overheating is a problem that can strike any smartphone, iPhone or Android, regardless of the quality. Unlike PCs, smartphones don’t have internal fans to cool them down during intensive tasks. While smartphone manufacturers recommend keeping your device at a temperature of 32-95° Fahrenheit/0 to 35° Celsius, it’s not unusual for it to run hotter when you’re engaged in CPU-intensive activities like gaming, streaming or syncing heavy amounts of data.

This article looks at the most common causes of an overheating phone and the best ways to address it. When does a too-hot phone have a simple solution, when is it time to upgrade, and why should you upgrade your phone to a refurbished model?

The Reasons Your Phone is Overheating 

Some common causes of your phone overheating (and the best fixes for each issue) include:


While modern flagship smartphones are designed to be powerful and have suitable processors for multitasking, it’s possible to overheat your smartphone simply through overuse. Having your screen’s brightness up too high, streaming media consistently for hours with no break, taking a long Zoom call while your phone is charging – these actions can start to push a phone’s temperature to the max after a while. To stop your smartphone’s CPU from overloading, take a break before you start to feel the heat.


Charging your phone overnight might be convenient for your schedule, but it can shorten your battery’s lifespan and lead to overcharging. When your phone is still plugged into its charger at 100%, it will “trickle charge” when background apps or updates cause it to drop to 99% or lower. Trickle charging reduces a battery’s lifespan, and overcharging generally causes too much heat to build up. For best results, charge your phone to 80% at most.

Too many apps open

Too many apps running or updating in the background, whether you’re using them or not, take their toll on your smartphone’s CPU. If you know which app is the culprit, you can simply force-close it to give your phone a break. You can also make putting unused apps to sleep your default setting. For example, if your Samsung phone is overheating, you can select Settings > Battery and Device Care > Battery > Background Usage Limits > Put unused apps to sleep to free up power.

Leaving it in direct sunlight

A phone with the weather displayed on the screen showing it to be 39 degrees Celsius.

Whether snapping photos to capture the moment or enjoying a playlist by the pool, having your phone out with you during summer is normal. However, too much time in the sun or a hot place like your car raises your phone’s internal temperature. In the worst-case scenario, it can permanently damage the insides of your smartphone or even melt the CPU. To reduce the risk of your iPhone or Samsung phone overheating, avoid exposing it to extremes of heat for long periods.

Technical issues

If your smartphone overheats while charging, the problem could be everything from a damaged charging port to a worn-out cable to a faulty battery. Some fixes include using a manufacturer-approved charger, using a different charging cable, replacing the battery or upgrading your phone to a refurbished one when the time is right.


Viruses, bugs, spyware and other malicious software are among the most common causes of phones overheating. Malware can push your phone’s CPU to capacity, overheat your battery and permanently damage your smartphone. Good antivirus provides a decent level of protection, as does making sure your phone still receives security updates.

You can take steps to stop the causes of an overheating phone from doing severe damage: turn off Bluetooth, turn on Airplane Mode, take off your case, take your phone into the shade, and clear your cache. Even getting some cool air on your phone by fanning helps; however, these measures can only do so much. If the causes of your phone overheating persist no matter what you do, it’s probably time to upgrade your phone to a refurbished model.

When Is It Time For a New Phone

An overheating smartphone doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to go shopping immediately, but it can be a pretty strong indication. While occasional overheating is normal, if your smartphone frequently or severely overheats, that’s a clear sign that you need an upgrade. Other factors to consider are the state of the battery, whether the overheating is causing performance issues, the age of the phone and whether the phone has suffered any physical damage. When you consider all of these factors, it’s easier to assess when it’s time for a new smartphone.

Why Upgrading to a Refurbished Phone is a Good Idea

If the causes of your phone overheating are beyond repair, there are many reasons why a refurbished iPhone or Android makes a quality replacement.

A refurbished phone is a little different to the regular used smartphones you may be used to buying if you’re a bargain hunter. While a refurbished phone usually has a previous owner, it has since been repaired and restored, with essential parts replaced and the previous owner’s data erased. Apart from a few superficial blemishes, there’s often very little difference between a refurbished smartphone and a store-bought one.

Refurbished smartphones are sold with warranties, come unlocked and are better for the environment and your bank account. When the causes of your phone overheating have become too much to fix, refurbished phones provide a reliable and trustworthy solution. Upgrade your phone to a refurbished one to put an end to the hassle of your iPhone or Samsung phone overheating.

Buy Refurbished Phones at OzMobiles

A woman sitting on cement stairs, holding a phone with her nails painted red and wearing a black hat with a white wool cardigan.

When shopping for second-hand phones, finding quality models with long lifespans that won’t suffer from problems like overheating is crucial. Also, with refurbished phones, if anything goes wrong, you get the security of a warranty.

OzMobiles’ refurbished phone range includes refurbished iPhones, Samsung Galaxy smartphones and a whole selection of other Android phones from brands like Google Pixel, Huawei and Oppo.

Every device that OzMobiles sells is fully functional and comes with a 12-month warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Our smartphones are put through 72-point checking processes to ensure they’re in excellent condition and live up to high Australian standards. This includes the always-important battery life, which we ensure is at least 80% capacity, and the CPU. Buying through OzMobiles reduces the risk of ending up with a phone prone to overheating (and any other dangers of buying a second-hand device).

For more information or help finding the right long-lasting refurbished smartphone, contact the OzMobiles team

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