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Why your iPhone struggles in hot weather - and how to fix it

Why your iPhone struggles in hot weather - and how to fix it
© Prykhodov | Dreamstime.com

Wow, this year's summer season is definitely intense! Wherever you are, you're probably feeling the heat.

It doesn't matter if you're in the dry heat of the deserts of Arizona, where it's scorching hot, or the humid heat of almost everywhere else, you're most likely sweating it out.

But did you know that your gadgets and electronics are affected by the summer heat, too? From their batteries to their internal circuits, a huge uptick in temperature could mean bad news. The hotter it gets, the worse it is for your phone.

Telltale signs that your iPhone is overheating

Your smartphone may start acting out as temperature rises.

According to Apple, iPhones work best when the ambient temperature is 32º to 95º F.  Anything above or below this range and your iPhone will start changing its behavior to protect itself.

One obvious sign in this "overheat" warning that will prevent you from using your iPhone unless it cools down.

Other telltale signs are performance hits as your iPhone tries to protect its internal components from heat damage.

Symptoms include:

  • Charging slows down or may even stop
  • The display dims or may even go black
  • Cellular signal weakens as the radios go in a low-power mode
  • Camera flash is unavailable
  • Your phone's performance slows with graphics-heavy apps like games
  • Display may turn off during navigation (turn by turn directions are still provided)

Using your iPhone in hot conditions also has this unfortunate side effect: it can permanently shorten its battery life.

Apple also stated that the appropriate temperature range to store an iPhone is between -4º to 113º F. For this reason, never store your iPhone inside your car since temperatures inside a parked car can exceed this range.

Leaving your phone in a hot car or under the sun speeds up the chemical reactions that make batteries lose their capacity. This means the battery will hold less of a charge every time it's exposed to higher temperatures.

Tip in a Tip5 ways to seriously extend your Apple gadget's battery life

How to cool down your smartphone

It can be harder than you'd think to cool down your phone. What if you work outside and you're in the heat and direct sunlight all day? We all use our smartphones to call and text co-workers.

No matter where you are when your smartphone's overheating, there are a few ways to cool it down. Some of these are common-sense solutions. Others are secret tips to cool down your phone, so you can get back to using it.

  1. Turn off your phone and don't use it for a few minutes
  2. Dim your screen and turn off background functions like GPS and email (or put your phone in airplane mode)
  3. Take your phone out of its protective case, which can lock in the heat
  4. Don't charge it while it's hot
  5. Cool it down it in the shade

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