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Apple iPhone SE Overheating: Why is my iPhone SE very hot? [Troubleshooting Guide]

Overheating issues can manifest in any mobile device from lower to the high-end models due to many reasons and in different instances. Possible causes can be either software or hardware-related. This post aims to address a relevant concern relayed by one of our readers through email, asking why her #Apple iPhone SE (#iPhoneSE) smartphone is very hot.

To offer further assistance on this inquiry, we also have made a rundown of potential solutions and workarounds that are used to determine and fix the underlying cause. If by any chance you have come across this page while searching for answers to a similar question on the same iPhone, then you might as well consider reading this entire post for possible solutions.

iPhone Overheating Symptoms

The normal operating temperature for an iPhone including the iPhone SE variant is between 0 and 35 degrees centigrade. Below or beyond that range, the device may show some unusual symptoms. Exposure of an iPhone device to an extremely hot environment would typically result to an iPhone overheating as well as quick battery draining. Other atypical behaviours may also arise on the device including slow or sluggish performance, lagging, freezing, not responding, apps crashing, and the like.

A warning prompt will generally appear on the screen when your iPhone has already exceeded the normal temperature range. The message prompt says that the, “iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it.”

In this state, you would also notice that your iPhone stops charging, the screen dims or goes black, and the camera flash is temporarily disabled. Cellular radios will also enter a low-power state, which means that the signal may also weaken. Nevertheless, navigation functions will still be working normally, which means that your device can still provide you with audible turn-by-turn directions when necessary.

Possible reasons as to why your iPhone gets very hot

If you have got an iPhone that is hot or noticed that the back of your iPhone is very hot that it felt like it might burn your hand, then it denotes something is wrong with your device and that you need to do something in order to mend it.

Aside from exposure to too much heat, there are also other factors that can cause your device to become extremely warm or overheat.

Your iPhone can become very hot or may overheat when you use it overtime like when playing video games or multitask on it. During these instances, the processor of your iPhone carries out a series of tasks. The longer you use your device, the busier its processor would become which then results to your iPhone to heat up. Remember that your iPhone is just like a handy computer. And like the computer, the part that heats up faster on your iPhone is the CPU or processor. The key variation between these two devices (aside from size) is that unlike a computer, your iPhone does not have a fan or heat-sink on top of or nearby the processor (CPU).

Contrary to what most people have thought about an overheating iPhone depicts potential hardware damage, 99 per cent of overheating cases in various iPhone variants were actually tied to a software problem. Unless you have dropped your phone in a bucket full of water and then it began to overheat, then more likely a hardware problem is what’s triggering it.

But if you are certain that no damage exists to any of your iPhone components, then it is safe to say that the problem lies within the iPhone software. In this case, you will need to consider looking into the possible culprits including the following:

Step 1. Corrupt application or an app has gone rogue

The iPhone has a lot of applications for every user to use. Each of these applications has their own functions and processing schemes that are capable of generating your iPhone’s processor up to a hundred per cent. Built-in apps are less likely to cause such problems to arise on a device as they are built to work according to the original iPhone system structure. But this does not mean that stock apps cannot cause problems to arise on a device at all. In fact, there are also some instances when a built-in app has encountered errors, which might likewise have affected the iPhone’s normal functions. Overheating issues can arise when an app takes up a lot of your iPhone’s internal memory and eventually overloads the processor.

Step 2. Software bug

Several issues transpiring in mobile devices like the iPhone SE are caused by certain apps that have gone rogue, as what many third-party apps are showing. Considering the fact that these applications are not specifically designed for the iPhone operating system, there is a higher chance that they can get corrupted when used under certain device settings and configurations. Aside from that, it is also possible that a software bug has infiltrated the iPhone system through a third-party app download. Hence, if the onset of the overheating problem on your iPhone SE has manifested after you’ve downloaded and installed a third-party application, then you know what to do with that app.

Step 3. Huge file downloads and uploads

Downloading and uploading of huge files can also cause your iPhone to heat up because these processes usually require the CPU to work hard until they are all completed. The larger the file to download or upload, the more time it requires for the CPU to finish its task. Eventually, this could result to your device becoming hotter than usual.

Step 4. Poor signal, no service, network issues

Network problems like low signal strength or no service are also among the factors that you need to consider. Your device will be forced to work hard to search for and find better signals from nearby towers. This is the reason why it is recommended to enable Airplane in places with no service or poor signal strength available. Aside from preventing your iPhone to heat up faster, switching to Airplane mode in instances like this can also help evade from quick battery draining issue.

Step 5. Extensive usage and multitasking

Although your iPhone is designed with a powerful processor, keeping it working straight for several hours can also make it hotter than usual. You will notice this while playing online games for several hours straight or running several applications simultaneously on your iPhone. Please note that like any other high-end mobile devices your iPhone also has its own boundaries, which means that its processor can also get exhausted in time. And that is when pertinent symptoms can transpire including sluggish performance, lags, unresponsive screen, and overheating.

Step 6. Software updates

Some cases of overheating on iPhones are linked to minor and major software updates. For some reasons, your device can become warmer than usual while or after downloading or installing a recently released iOS firmware version available. It could be due to some bugs that may have affected the iPhone’s normal functions. This is one of the reasons as to why creating a backup on your iPhone before installing an update is highly recommended. Should this be your case, then your option is to restore your iPhone from a previous backup. Otherwise, patiently wait for the next iOS containing fix to become available.

Step 7. Bad or damaged battery

Overheating can also be an indication of a bad battery or damage to any of the iPhone’s charging components. Should you suspect that the problem is due to a faulty hardware component, you need to take your iPhone to an authorized service center in your place for further check-up and repair.

How to fix overheating problem on your iPhone SE?

The best way to start when attempting to resolve an issue in mobile devices like the iPhone SE is to look into the prior actions before the onset of the main problem. In short, know what has happened or what changes you’ve made to your device before it starts to overheat. Here are some workarounds you can try on before deciding to take your iPhone to an Apple Genius and pay for a costly repair if needed.

Note: The following solutions are based on the possible causes. Just pick the method(s) that would best suit your condition.

Step 1. If your iPhone overheats after installing a third-party application

In the case where overheating occurs after app installation, you can simply remove the suspected app or have it uninstalled. But if you are not certain which app is causing the problem, then try to individually disable third-party apps and see if your iPhone still overheats after doing so.

Step 2. If your iPhone heats up while playing games straight for hours

As much as possible, try to minimize playtime especially when playing with online games on your iPhone SE. Not only that your iPhone’s processor gets busy processing tasks within the game app, extensive online gaming also requires your device to stay connected to the Internet thus adding workload to the processor. As a result, your iPhone can get extremely hot in time. So take a pause, and let your device cool down a bit before you go back to your online game.

Step 3. If your iPhone is overheating after installing a software update

In the case where your iPhone starts to show symptoms of overheating after installing an update to a certain app, then you can try to uninstall the update. But if that is not possible, then you may consider uninstalling and re-installing the app itself.

If you suspect that major software updates like iOS firmware releases have caused your iPhone to overheat, try to give it a day for your device to complete the entire update process and see if the problem continues to exist. Sometimes, a device can heat up faster when updating the main software as major software updates usually come in bigger file size, thus requiring more time for it to complete the download and installation process. This process then can likewise trigger your device to become warmer and then returns to its normal state once the update is complete.

Step 4. If your iPhone is overheating due to network issues

To prevent overheating while using it in areas with low signal or no service at all, switching to Airplane mode is recommended. Enabling Airplane mode on your iPhone will likewise turn off other network services including GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Cellular Data at once.

Step 5. If your iPhone gets hotter after making changes to some settings or apps options

In this case, improper configuration of certain settings or apps is likely to blame. If you can no longer recall the changes you’ve made to your device settings prior to the onset of the overheating problem, then the best option you have is to reset all settings. Doing so will reset your iPhone settings back to default configuration, thereby correcting any possible errors from the changes you made.

Other recommendations to prevent iPhone overheating problems

  • Use only Apple casing or accessories. Some cases of overheating issues on the iPhone have been tied to the use of third-party casing or accessories. A temporary yet simple solution is to remove the case or use the original. A slight variation with the design in third-party casing or accessories can result to certain issue transpiring on the device, including overheating.
  • Keep your iPhone software up to date. Software updates could be a potential solution especially if the problem is triggered by certain bugs affecting the iPhone’s system functions. Aside from enhancements and additional features, software updates also contain bug fixes, which may be the one thing needed to resolve the underlying cause of your iPhone’s overheating problem.
  • Do not charge your iPhone when it’s hot. Charging an overheating iPhone is highly discouraged because your device can even get hotter when charging in this state. To ensure safety, let your device cool down before charging it.
  • Check and ensure no damage to the battery. While it may sound a bit bizarre for a new device to have a damaged battery, it is but possible. Overheating can also be an indication of a bad battery so you also have to consider checking on the battery especially if the device overheats quickly while charging. You may consider replacing your iPhone’s battery if necessary.
  • Turn off your iPhone. There are also some instances when all you need to do is turn off your device and let it be in that state for a few minutes to completely cool down.

If none of these workarounds brings positive result and that your iPhone SE is still overheating after doing everything, then you should consider asking for a professional aid already. It is possible that a hardware damage might be present on the iPhone and that is what needs to be dealt with first, in order to resolve the underlying cause. For further assistance and recommendations, you may also contact your carrier or Apple Support.

Engage with Us

We are here to help! Should you need our support in dealing with other issues on your iPhone or other iDevices, you may do so by filling up this form available in our iPhone Troubleshooting Page. Simply fill up the form with all the required information and then submit it to us. We would appreciate if you could provide us with all significant details including error codes, warning messages, or any other prompts you may get, as they will help us determine what has possibly gone wrong with your device and what needs to be done in order to fix it. The more information we have the easier for us to come up with more efficient solution and recommendations. You may also browse for more solutions to other iDevice issues we’ve previously addressed through dedicated contents posted in our troubleshooting pages.

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