Cell phone technology has come a long way in these past few years with the addition of smartphones. However, the greater the technology, the more heat is produced, which can lead to your phone overheating.
This can happen because there are too many intensive processes running simultaneously, the phone was left in direct light for a prolonged period, or it could even be caused, in the worst case, by a faulty battery.
Unlike a PC, it wouldn’t be practical to cram a fan inside of a phone case, so we need to resort to other methods to keep the phone cool. I’ll be covering every method out there, barring any urban legends about Yeti tech support, so let’s get started.
Method 1: Give Your Phone a Break
This method is pretty self explanatory, but it warrants a mention. If you can’t remember when it was you last rebooted your phone, it may be time to let it rest for a little while.
Power down your phone completely, and leave it in a cool or shady place — as in under shadows, not a dark alleyway, though both could rid you of a hot smartphone. Make sure the area is room temperature or lower, but don’t chuck your phone in the freezer overnight.
After you’ve made sure your phone has completely powered down, wait at least fifteen minutes before touching it again. This should give it sufficient time to cool down, so that hopefully when you turn it on again, it won’t heat up as quickly.
Once time has passed, reboot your phone. If after some time using it, your phone doesn’t become too hot again, a nap was all it needed. However, if it still runs hot after a short period of use, there are other methods to investigate and solve the problem once and for all.
Method 2: Starcode Battery Check
This method makes use of a special star code ” *#*#4636#*#* ” in order to access detailed information about your battery. If you already know that a star code like this doesn’t work on your phone, like mine, I know an application that can get the job done that is available on the Google Play Store.
This method may be less of a solution, and more of a problem identifier, but that can easily lead you down the path to a fixed phone. With this method, as well as the next, we’ll determine if your battery is what’s causing your smartphone to overheat.
The code you need to enter, once more, is ” *#*#4636#*#* ” just without the quotations. To enter the code you’ll need to get to your keypad, and then dial it in exactly as it’s shown above.
If you enter the last ” * ” and your entered numbers in the box above disappear, I’m afraid to say that your phone has this feature disabled. If you skip ahead to the next method, I discuss an application that can, at the very least, determine battery health.
If you have instead advanced to a new screen, you’ll want to navigate to, and select, Battery Information to proceed.
For most phones, you should see ten different statistics about your battery being displayed. I’ll briefly touch on each, and what they mean.
They may not be in this order, but you should see:
- Battery Status: This displays how your battery is doing relative to its charge, or if it’s charging currently.
- Power Plug: This displays what your phone is using to charge, if at all.
- Battery Level: Unlike Battery Status, this shows the estimated percentage of your battery’s charge.
- Battery Scale: Ideally, this should display the number, “100.
- Battery Health: This is one of the most important pieces of your battery information. Hopefully, this reads “good,” but if it instead reads “unknown” or “unknown error” then your battery could be defective. If this is the case, try powering down your phone, waiting fifteen seconds, and then checking your battery information again. If the result is still the same, you may need to take a physical look at your battery.
- Battery Voltage: This could vary anywhere from 3.7-4.2V, but is generally unimportant for figuring out why your phone could be running hot.
- Battery Temperature: If Battery Health is important, this is the most important. The temperate of your battery could normally fluctuate anywhere between 30 °C and the low to high 40s depending on your phone. If your battery temperature is above this, then it’s definitely running hotter than it’s supposed to be, and should confirm that your battery is the reason behind your hot smartphone.
- Battery Technology: Most Android devices contain Lithium Ion batteries, so this should display Li-ion. If it displays something different, this is no reason to panic.
- Time Since Boot: This just displays how long it’s been since you last booted up your phone, but could be useful as a wake-up call to give your phone some rest once in a while.
With this information in hand, you should be able to confirm whether or not your battery is the culprit. If your battery isn’t the hot fiend playing dirty, you’ll need to move on to method 4 to see what is.
Method 3: My Battery Status
My Battery Status is an app that, well, shows you the status of your battery. I’m always happy when an app’s name is self-explanatory. With this app you’ll be able to see a few details about your battery that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise, so let’s take a look.
The first thing you’ll want to do is download My Battery Status, or just Battery Status depending on if you’re looking at it from the store or your app drawer. You can download it here with the click of a button, and then most likely another click to confirm that.
It’s a small application, so installation shouldn’t take very long.
The list of information in My Battery Status isn’t as impressive as the Battery Information log you can access with star codes, but it has the two most important pieces of information.
Here you can see the current status of my battery, the two most important sections are off to the left.
Ideally, you want your Health to be Good, and your Temperature anywhere from 30 °C to somewhere in the low 40s. If your Temperature is above this, your battery is most likely the culprit for your overheating phone.
If both your Health and Temperature are outside of ideal levels, you may have a defective battery in need of replacement. However, if your Health is still Good, but your Temperature is still high, you may want to give your phone a rest, or install apps that can help monitor heat production and what causes it.
Method 4: Cooler Master
I’m not sure what master Cooler Master is cooler than, but it can help you with apps causing your phone to heat up, so it’s pretty cool in my book, and in my app drawer.
Cooler Master is a short download away from helping your phone lose a few degrees here and there, and just in time for swimsuit season.
Once you’ve downloaded it, open it up to help you feel a little cooler than you were before with just a few taps.
After opening Cooler Master, you’ll be greeted with a handy and aesthetically pleasing chart that updates in real time.
Mine is currently displaying the temperature in Fahrenheit, but you can switch that to Celsius if you want by tapping the three vertical dots in the top right corner, and then Settings at the top left.
Once here it’s just a flip of the switch, and you can even mess with the Advance Settings to enable Long-lasting Cooling. It’s a process that takes a little longer than usual, but could be worth it if you’re having troubles with heat generating apps that like to open back up even after being closed.
Back on the main page of Cooler Master, you can see a Detect Overheating Apps button below the graph and percentages. If you give it a tap, you can let Cooler Master scan your CPU.
After you do this, it will show a number of open apps in the background, and ask you if you want to close them, as well as giving you the status of your CPU.
You can see that mine is fine currently, and the list of apps I could clean up down below. All of them are selected by default, but you can deselect apps individually if you want, or just select Not Now to scrap the process.
If you let Cooler Master clean up, it will close down the apps and ask you to lock your phone and leave it be for a little while. Letting your phone rest in standby for a minute or two certainly couldn’t hurt, and if your phone was running hot, it could use the time to chill.
Method 5: Physically Inspecting Your Battery
For this next method you’ll want to consult your warranty, for two reasons. One, you need to see if removing your battery will violate your warranty, and two, you need to see if your warranty will replace the battery for you if it turns out to be faulty.
Accessing your phone’s battery is different for every model of Android phone, and with some there’s no way to access it easily. If you cannot remove your battery without voiding your warranty, or without digging into the phone where you normally shouldn’t, proceed at your own risk.
Once you can see your battery, you’ll want to check for signs of bloating, warping, or has had its shape changed. If you could easily remove your battery before, and you can’t now, that’s a telltale sign that it needs to be replaced because of some form of damage.
If you’ve never been able to remove your battery, but can at least get some kind of access to it, try balancing your phone on top of your battery. It should be able to hold still, but if it can’t, it’ll require more investigation.
If you’ve detected problems at this point, and your warranty covers your battery, it’s recommended that you take advantage of that option. Otherwise, it may be time to start shopping for a new battery before this hot one starts causing permanent damage.
There you have it, five methods that will end your hot battery woes. When all else fails, replace your battery, or make sure you keep that warranty in check. Just don’t try dipping your phone in a pool to cool it off, you may have another problem—trying to fix moisture damage—on your hands if you do.
If you know any other ways to let a hot battery know it needs to cool down, please share it below in the comments! If your battery is already nice and cool but runs out of juice faster than a lemonade stand in August, here is an easy way to save battery life.