Culture April 20, 2017
Overheated phones can be a huge nuisance. Not only can they burn you if they get too hot, but by overheating—not just once in a blue moon, but frequently—they can cause damage to your phone software.
When you have a headache, the headache can cause problems by itself, but it can also be just a symptom of a larger problem. Your phone is the same way.
A smartphone is a tiny, portable computer with many of the same components as your laptop or desktop. However, you may have noticed one of the things that your computers have that your phone doesn’t is a fan. This is supposed to cool down your CPU—the central processing unit, which is known as the brain of the computer and controls your phone’s memory. It’s what is most likely to overheat out of all the hardware in your phone, as is makes all your apps run.
When many apps run at once, especially graphic intensive games, navigation apps or camera apps, it mean that it may be doing too much.
And here’s where you really need to pay attention. Just because you turn your screen off or press the home button doesn’t mean you ever actually closed the app. For iPhone users, double press the home button twice and then swipe up on each app that appears. For Android users, you know that stack of boxes overlapping each other, on the opposite side of the “go back” button? Press that, and then press “close all.”
But that probably still isn’t enough. Apps can still be running in the background, leeching your wifi or your data and making your phone hotter than it is supposed to be. Disabling certain apps from running in the background may stop the problem. There are a few apps you can download that tell you which of these leechers are currently running in the background.
You know another function on your phone that does this and leeches a lot of battery life that you may not know about? Push mail. You know how almost the moment you get a new email, you’re sent a notification letting you know that it’s there? Well, that means your email is constantly running.
Also, anything involving your location uses a good deal of battery and memory. Unless you need it for a specific reason, like trying to find the fastest route through traffic, we recommend keeping your location off.
Having a bright screen constantly can also overheat your phone. Try touching a lightbulb or a flashlight a decent amount of time after you’ve turned it on. They’ll be hot to the touch. A smartphone isn’t any different.
But there may be a few other reasons your phone is overheating, and it can be the environment that you keep your phone in. Is your phone in a place where it might overheat? Just like you get warm in the sun, so can your phone. If it’s constantly in your pockets, try keeping it in a different place.
Your phone case could also cause overheating. Most phone cases are made out of plastic and are very good insulators—they keep the heat in and the cold out. Now this is great for winter, but it’s not the best during the hot months of summer. Try taking it out of its case once and a while and see if there’s any improvement. Also, don’t leave your smartphone in your car.
Another potential cause of phone overheating is water damage. Do you sometimes listen to music while showering? Even if it’s nowhere near your shower, water can get into your smartphone. Did you once drop it in water, and think oh, lucky, it still works. Well, it may be overheating because of the water damage.
If there is water in your phone, all hope is not lost. Buy a bag of rice, and immerse your phone completely in it. Leave that alone for a few days—not hours. Rice is great at absorbing moisture and is the perfect thing to draw water out of your phone. Keep in mind, putting it in rice is not a guarantee that it will work again, but accounts say that doing this will save your phone.
It could also be malware (viruses). As mentioned, your phone is a mini computer. Hopefully you’ve installed anti-virus software on your computer. It may be just a phone, and malware doesn’t work quite the same way as it does on your computer, but the end result is the same—a nuisance that messes up your electronics.
Do you ever turn your phone off? And we do mean turning your phone all the way off, not just putting it on standby by pressing the button on the side. You also need to hold it down, until the words “power off” appear. It’s recommended to leave it for a few hours, or at the very least a few minutes. And remember those pesky apps running unknowingly in the background? They turn off when you restart your phone.
Another issue might be you never turn off bluetooth. There is a specific icon you can press that turns on and off the Bluetooth. Keeping bluetooth on can cause your phone to overheat, drain battery and use up your data.
Now, if none of these solutions worked, another way to determine what’s wrong is to locate where exactly the phone is hottest. If it’s at the back of the phone, it could be the battery. Sure, it might cost a little bit of money to replace the old one, but it is so much cheaper than buying a whole new phone.
If your phone gets hot when charging, or if the area by the charger is hottest, you may have your answer. Yes, it may have been cheaper than one of the chargers approved by the manufacturer, but there is a reason that the charger was so cheap. You get what you pay for. Buying the phone manufacturer’s recommended charger may be a few dollars more expensive, but better a new charger than a phone.
Also, don’t use a freezer or a fridge to cool down your phone. They have a lot of moisture and it’s bad to subject your phone to extreme temperatures.
If all of this fails, you might have a serious problem with your phone. Trust me, back up all your data, pictures, contacts, and whatever else you would be devastated over losing. The absolute last thing you can do is get a system restore. Remember how your phone was right when you brought it home from the store? That’s what will happen. It might help. But barring that, we’d recommend bringing it to the closest help desk.
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