It is undeniable that Apple has a great lineup of iPhones. It’s why an estimated 1 billion people use iPhones worldwide. Having said that, some of the more recent iPhone model releases have had their share of issues. One such issue, reported by many iPhone 12 users, is their phone overheating.
iPhone 12 Overheating
To fix the iPhone 12 overheating issue, close all applications and download the latest iOS software. Additionally, delete and reinstall high battery usage applications and clear your web browser cache. If the issue persists, reset all settings. As a final measure, swap out your charger and DFU restore your iPhone.
Closing all apps, downloading the latest available software, deleting and reinstalling battery intensive apps, clearing Safari and/or Chrome cache, and resetting all settings will solve the issue for the vast majority of iPhone 12 users.
In some less common cases, your charger may be the culprit and simply swapping out your current charger for a new one will prevent your iPhone from getting too hot.
As a last resort, if nothing else works, you can try to Device Firmware Update (DFU) restore your iPhone.
Let’s review each of these steps in detail from start to finish.
Importantly, these steps will work whether you have the standard iPhone 12, Pro, Pro Max, or Mini.
I am operating under the assumption that your iPhone is in the Apple recommended temperature environment range of 32 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
I highly recommend you follow these steps in the exact order outlined below.
Step 1: Close Out Of All Applications
The very first thing to try is closing out of all active applications.
It is possible there is something going wrong in the background of a specific app.
An app may have even crashed, causing a constant feedback loop that is spiking your iPhone’s CPU usage. Additionally, because iOS devices have built-in protections to prevent overheating, you may discover your flashlight app disabled, amongst other temperature self-regulating changes.
To test if this is the case, let’s close all applications:
- First, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to the center of the screen to open the the App Switcher.
- Then, simply swipe every app up and off the top of the screen to close them.
Step 2: Download The Latest iOS Software Update
A broader software bug is also a common cause of overheating.
For this reason, it is important to ensure you are operating on the latest iOS software version that is available.
To update the latest iOS software update available:
- First, navigate to the Settings application.
- Next, select General.
- Then, select Software Update.
- Here you will see if there are any recent software updates available. If there is one, select Download and Install.
One important thing to note – it’s not unusual for iPhones to get warm immediately following an update (especially during charging).
Updates result in your iPhone re-indexing your systems and applications in the background, which requires a fair amount of CPU.
For this reason, you will need to be patient and continue to monitor your iPhone over the coming days.
Step 3: Delete and Reinstall High Battery Usage Applications
For a number of different reasons, applications can become buggy and faulty overtime, causing them to use far more battery power than they should be under normal working conditions.
To determine if there is a specific app on your phone causing the problem:
- First, select the Settings app.
- Then, scroll down and select Battery.
- Next, scroll down and view the apps under the Battery Usage By App section. Here you should be looking for any apps with unusually high battery usage (i.e. 40% or higher).
- If you have identified a problem application, locate the app on your home screen, press and hold on the icon and select Delete App.
- Lastly, navigate to the App Store to reinstall the deleted app.
Following app reinstallation, if you find your iPhone is no longer giving off heat, it was likely the identified app causing the issue all along.
Step 4: Clear Web Browser Cache
Regardless of the web browser you use, it is always a good idea to clear your web browser’s cache.
Clearing cache frees up some space in your storage and can even help prevent iPhone Storage loading issues.
The effect on your phone speed and resulting temperature can be fairly significant, particularly if you have not cleared your cache in a long time.
How To Clear Cache In Chrome
- First, open the Chrome application.
- Then, select the ellipses (‘…’) symbol in the bottom right corner of the screen.
- Next, select History from the pop up menu.
- Finally, click Clear Browsing Data… in the bottom left corner of the screen.
How To Clear Cache In Safari
- First, open the Settings application.
- Then, scroll down and select Safari.
- Finally, scroll down and select Clear History and Website Data and then select Clear History and Data from the pop up window.
Step 5: Reset All Settings
Ok, so at this point you have completed the first 4 steps above, and yet you still find your iPhone is hot to the touch.
There is a likely a deeper software issue going on, and I therefore recommend you reset all settings.
One thing to keep in mind is that when you reset all settings, everything in the settings application will return to factory default. You will need to re-enter your WiFi passwords, reconnect your bluetooth devices, etc.
I will say however, that this step is a magic bullet for all sorts of iPhone 12 issues and is absolutely worth the effort.
How To Reset All Settings
- First, select the Settings application.
- Then, navigate to General.
- Next, scroll all the way to the bottom and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- Finally, select Reset at the bottom of the screen.
Your iPhone will now shutdown and reset. Once you are back up and running, your iPhone should return back to a normal temperature.
Step 6: Swap Out Your Charger
While less likely, in some instances you will notice your iPhone 12 overheating when charging.
The best thing to do is to simply try using a different charger than the one you are currently using to see if you notice any difference.
This is particularly true if you are using a wireless charge with an iPhone case that is not specifically built for wireless charging.
As a workaround, try charging your phone without the case on it. If the problem persists, try using the apple lightning charger instead.
Step 7: DFU Restore Your iPhone
A final nuclear option is to Device Firmware Update (DFU) restore your iPhone.
I say nuclear option, because a DFU restore erases everything on your iPhone. Make sure to fully backup your iPhone before you begin!
Notably, many people are under the impression that if they are having difficulties with their iPhone, they can bring it into the local Apple store and they will get a replacement.
In the vast majority of cases, the Apple technician will first try to reset all settings and then they will perform a DFU restore as a final measure. So if nothing else is working, you might as well try this yourself first.
To perform a DFU restore, follow each of the steps in the video below carefully.
If you discover your iPhone 12 is heating up, don’t panic. This is a common issue with seven proven fixes.
iPhone 12 Overheating – Top 7 Fixes
- Close out of all applications
- Download the latest iOS software update
- Delete and reinstall high battery usage applications
- Clear web browser cache
- Reset all settings
- Swap out your charger
- DFU restore your iPhone
If you’ve tried all of these fixes, and yet you are still dealing with this issue, you can try contacting Apple customer service at 1-800-275-2273.
You can also use your iPhone’s serial number to review your Apple warranty status and eligibility to purchase additional AppleCare coverage.
Were you able to cool down your phone and prevent future issues? If so, or if you fixed the issue some other way, let me know in the comments section below!
Chelsea Ashbrook is a Senior Manager of Corporate Digital Experience at Genentech. Chelsea received her B.A. from the University of Connecticut and has spent the last 10 years working in the technology field.
Her professional experience spans information technology services, web content management, and platform development.
For the past decade, long before the work from home revolution truly began, Chelsea has been working in the technology field remotely.
This blog is her outlet to share her findings with you.