How to keep your smartphone cool during the hot summer months

The back of the Charcoal Google Pixel 7a
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Summer is all about streaming the hits of year's past and shooting a bounty of selfies. But while you're out doing that, remember to keep tabs on how hot your smartphone becomes while you're having fun.

The warmer weather months don't offer a friendly climate for electronics, and the heat can actually be hazardous to overall device health. Here are a few tips to keep your smartphone cool for the summer.

Don't leave the phone in the car

Maxboost Car Mount

Grab one of these if you need to tend to use turn-by-turn directions, in your car, during the hot summer months. (Image credit: Source: Maxboost)

There's a reason why it's illegal in some areas to leave your child or a pet behind in a hot car (I mean, it should be illegal everywhere). Even with the windows cracked a bit, cars are effectively giant metal and glass incubators. It's also why you shouldn't leave your smartphone behind.

Overall, it's best to pre-plan where you'll put things before you get into the vehicle. If you're driving long distances, for example, grab a magnetic car mount to keep the phone affixed to the air conditioning vent as you're using turn-by-turn directions. If you have to leave the phone in the car for safety reasons, try storing it in the trunk instead. That's the part of the car with the least "greenhouse gas" effect (link is a PDF), and believe it or not it's generally one of the coolest spots in a parked vehicle.

Another rule I abide by is to never leave any gadgets in the glove compartment, even if I'm streaming music, and my phone is connected to the auxiliary cable located inside. Glove boxes are hot enough to melt the cassette tapes of yore, and unless you've got an air conditioning vent located inside, it's definitely hot enough to toast your newer electronic devices.

Turn off what you don't need

Bluetooth, LTE, Wi-Fi, and GPS — if you don't need these things while you're out and about, turn them off. That will ensure your phone isn't working in overtime in your purse or pocket while you're out gallivanting in sun-stroked gardens. It'll also be a boon for battery life, which you'll want considering how much warmer a smartphone gets when it's plugged in for a charge.

Take off the case

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

Don't bother with a case in the hot summer months. It'll just make things hotter. (Image credit: Samsung)

You wouldn't wear layers in the hot summer heat, right? There is no need to pile them on top of your smartphone, either. If you're in need of a case because you're engaging in outdoor activities, put the phone inside an Otterbox or similarly rugged case and keep the screen off during your excursion.

Keep devices separate

I don't live in a humid climate or the desert, so I've never had this sort of issue. But if you're walking around with several devices clustered in a bag or backpack and the air is positively thick with heat, be sure that they're powered off and kept in separate compartments. This gives all the metal things on your shoulder a little room to breathe as the world outside bakes everything else. Otherwise, keeping them too closely stacked together can intensify the heat, not to mention obstruct airflow.

Avoid extreme temperature changes

Thanks to the beauty of air conditioning, you can go from a hot and humid day outside to a silky and frigid breeze indoors. But this can cause moisture build-up in the device. You can prevent this by keeping the phone in your pocket, purse, backpack, or bag for a short time when you go inside before removing it to use. 

Keep it in a cool, shaded area

A beach wallpaper on the Google Pixel 6a

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Have you ever been out in the backyard on a hot day, or soaking up the sun on the beach only to look over at your phone and see a temperature warning sign of some kind? Your phone gets hot, too, and just like you, it requires shade. It isn't going to get a tan, nor does it need one. If you're using it outside, leave it in a cool and shaded area while you play soccer with the kids outside, or tuck it away into your bag or even under a towel at the beach so it isn't getting direct heat from the sun.

Use a temperature monitoring app

Did you know there are some apps that can monitor both the phone's CPU as well as battery temperature? It will then send an alert if it detects that the phone is running too hot. A simple one is called CPU Monitor - temperature, but a quick search will reveals tons of options with great reviews from existing users. If you get this warning, turn off the phone, remove the case, and/or put it into Airplane mode so it's running as few apps and functions as possible so it can cool down. You could even try fanning it or tucking it away in a cool place (not a refrigerator or cooler) so it can get back to its proper operating temperature. 

What are your tricks?

We all have our own tricks for dealing with the heat. What are some of your methods for keeping your smartphone cool, or cooling your smartphone down when the world outside is burning up? Let us know!

Once you have these tips down pat, also consider keeping your phone clean and sanitized, which will further ensure it's longevity and increase your enjoyment with it. These tips apply to all the best Android phones from every brand as well as phones from other brands and with other operating systems, too.

Florence Ion

Florence Ion was formerly an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.