Using your iPhone in high temperatures can cause permanent damage. Here's what not to do

Your gadgets don't like this heat either.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Man using phone in body of water
Photo by Ritesh Shukla/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Even though summer has only just begun, record-breaking deadly heatwaves are already sweeping across the U.S., with the mercury rising to a never before seen 116ºF (46.6ºC) in Cotulla, Texas earlier this month.

And it's not just people feeling the heat. Temperatures at these levels are beyond what many of your gadgets are designed to operate in.

Also: 7 ways to prep your tech for storm season

Take your iPhone, for example.

Apple makes it clear that this should only be used "where the ambient temperature is between 0º and 35ºC (32º to 95ºF)," and that using it outside of this range "may cause your device to change its behavior to regulate its temperature."

These behavior changes include:

  • Charging, including wireless charging, slows down or stops completely
  • The display dims or goes black
  • Cellular radios enter a low-power state and signal strength may decrease
  • The camera flash is temporarily disabled
  • Performance is degraded with graphics-intensive apps or features

It gets worse.

"Using an iOS or iPadOS device in very hot conditions can permanently shorten battery life."

Also: iPhone overheating? Here are 8 potential causes and their solutions

You read that right. Using your iPhone or iPad in heatwave temperatures can cause permanent damage.

When things get too hot, your iPhone might pop up a warning screen.

iPhone high temperature warning

iPhone high temperature warning


In this state, you might still be able to make emergency calls, but it's best to switch off your iPhone and put it somewhere cooler to prevent damage.

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Apple offers some tips on helping to keep your iPhone cool in high temperatures:

  • Don't leave your iPhone or iPad in a car on a hot day
  • Don't leave your iPhone or iPad in direct sunlight for an extended period of time
  • Try to not use demanding features such as GPS tracking or navigation in a car, playing a graphics-intensive game, or using augmented-reality apps in hot conditions or direct sunlight

Another tip that I find useful is to take the iPhone out of any case.

Just try not to drop it!

Also: What Apple doesn't want you to know about your iPhone's battery

For in-car charging here in the U.K., I've switched to a wireless charger that has a built-in fan to keep things cool. There's also a desktop version if your home or office is feeling the heat.

And remember, while other smartphone and tablet manufacturers might not publish technical bulletins related to temperature as Apple does, it makes sense to keep all smartphones and tablets and other gadgets out of the burning sun.

Everything that contains a rechargeable battery can suffer damage -- even permanent damage -- from being exposed to high temperatures. This includes iPhones, iPadsAndroid smartphones, even flashlights, and other gadgets containing a rechargeable battery.

Also: Is your iPhone 'Charging On Hold'? Here's what it means and what you should do

So, while you need to remember to take care of yourself in the heat -- keep hydrated! -- it's also a good idea to keep an eye on your gadgets, too!

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