Helpdesk Challenge – What to do if your iPhone or iPad overheats

by , Technology Researcher Computing Helpdesk 20/07/2013
iPad overheat

Now the Great British summer has finally kicked into life, your iPhone or iPad runs the risk of overheating as its own processor contends with the heat around it.

If you spot the image above pop up on your Apple-made mobile or tablet, it’s well worth knowing what to do next. Follow our handy tips and to ensure you avert a heatwave-induced disaster.

Computing helpdesk – read more advice or commonplace computing problems

Why is my iPhone/iPad overheating?

According to Apple, “Operate iOS devices where the temperature is between 0º and 35º C. Low- or high-temperature conditions might temporarily shorten battery life or cause the device to alter its behavior to regulate its temperature.

In laymen’s terms, hot weather could land you with a faulty iPhone. Though it takes more than a bit of sun to send any mobile haywire; the following increase the risks of a hot Apple:

  • Leaving your iPhone/iPad in a car
  • Leaving your iPhone/iPad in direct sunlight
  • Using GPS navigation via Google Maps or a sat nav app
  • Playing a graphics-intensive app or game

Some of these recommendations from Apple are just common sense, but playing a 3D gaming app like FIFA 13 or Minecraft – Pocket Edition shouldn’t really put your phone or tablet at risk of shutting down. Whatever the case, they all leave your iPhone or iPad prone to overheating, so consider yourself warned.

What do if your iPhone/iPad overheats?

Although we’ve heard reports of iPhone owners placing their handsets in the fridge upon receiving an overheating message, and we’d advise against doing this. You run the risk of condensation gathering in your phone, which is arguably more risky than the initial overheating warning.

Some more appropriate advice would be to turn off your phone’s GPS, lower its screen brightness and consider taking a break from wi-fi unless you desperately need to pick up new emails. Charging your phone can also cause it to heat up too, so if you have to plug it into a power socket then be sure to remove any cases or accessories you’ve adorned it with.

Follow these tips and, with a little time out of direct sunlight, your iPhone or iPad should be back to working condition in no time at all.

More like this…

How to boost your iPad’s battery life – our handy guide
Transform your iPad into a laptop – in five simple steps
How to edit Word documents for free – on your iPad or iPhone


Add your comments


Paul Nielson

If you have a protective case consider removing it to allow the device to dissipate the heat quicker.



When my iPad was new I bought it a neat little case, a bit like a large spotty envelope. When I removed it from the case after less than 2 hours it was so hot I thought it might burst into flames. It hadn’t been anywhere near a heat source of any kind, so high temperatures are not the only danger.


Steven Sage

I just bought a Salt Case from their website. Its got some kind of space age technology in it that supposed to keep my phone from overheating.



My iphone got so hot it scolded my hand, apple are arranging collection to check what is wrong!

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