Why Your iPad Is Getting Hot – 5 Quick Fixes

Get this:

Your iPad is getting hot thanks to one of four factors. The good news is that you can easily fix it, and all it will take is a slight change in your usage habits and the ability to pay attention. The bad news is that an overheating iPad can cause battery damage.

Ouch.

A dead iPad battery means a dead iPad and that beautiful slab of precision-crafted glass and metal is suddenly a paperweight. Of course, you don’t need to throw it out because there are lots of options. You could pay to get the battery replaced or use our iPad trade in service to sell it.

But you’re not there yet.

You can stop your iPad from getting hot and save yourself a lot of and money. First, you’ll need to understand why your iPad is getting hot. Once you know why you can learn how to fix it. Most importantly, you’ll also learn what not to do when your iPad overheats.

Lastly, if you’re wondering, why is my iPhone getting hot, follow that link to troubleshoot. This is the fix for an overheating iPad.

Onwards!

Why Is Your iPad Getting Hot?

Why is my iPad hot! You’re right to be concerned about your iPad overheating. The normal ambient temperature for an iPad is between 32 Celsius and 35 Celsius (89 F – 95 F). If you’ve noticed that your iPad’s temperature shoots up into the 40s (or over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) then you’re dealing with heat issues.

You’ll most likely notice this heat in the corners of the device, especially in the new iPad Pros and iPad Air. That’s because heat rises and with nowhere to go it pools in the edges.

So what’s causing the abnormal iPad overheating?

No fan

black and blue computer tower

For starters, your iPad is a computer with a powerful processor, but it has no fan. Unlike a laptop or desktop computer, which have cooling fans and radiators built-in, your iPad has no way to dissipate heat.

Furthermore, the vents on the bottom of the iPad are too small. Plus heat rises, so unless you use your iPad while hanging upside down, the internal heat needs to build up to the point where the only place to vent is the bottom speaker vents and through the metal chassis.

That’s kind of inefficient.

Then you add a variety of factors to these cooling issues, and you’ve got an iPad that overheats.

Environment

The ambient temperature conditions will affect internal components. If it’s a particularly hot day or leaving the device in a car will heat up the device limiting how much more you can use it before Apple’s safeguards give you that temperature warning.

Charging issues

Another thing that can result in an overheating iPad is your charger. If you’re using a fast charger, particularly a 98-watt charging brick, then you could be causing massive heat build-up in your iPad’s battery. Fast charging is good now and again, but if that’s the only way you charge your device, in the long term you may cause damage.

Also, using third-party power supplies that aren’t certified by Apple could cause the battery to overheat. As we learned earlier, this heat has nowhere to dissipate, and now you have a cooked iPad.

Processor exhaustion

person holding computer cell processor

Do you play a lot of games on your iPad? Do you edit video or render graphics? Heck, do you binge on Netflix for hours at a time? If so, you could be causing processor exhaustion and the symptom is your iPad heating up.

This happens when your iPad’s processor has been running at full capacity for a long time, and the heat build-up from all those firing circuits overwhelms the system. Remember, the iPad doesn’t have a fan like your computer. But it also lacks a dedicated GPU, which means the single processor onboard has to handle everything you throw at it.

That said, newer generation iPad Pros 12.9 and the 2019 iPad Air pack that powerful A11 and A12 bionic chips, which are beasts.

In pure performance, they outperform even standard desktop PCs. But without a dedicated graphics card and a proper cooling system, they’re hobbled by heat. Which means no matter how powerful your iPad is, graphics-intensive tasks are a huge culprit for why your iPad is getting hot.

If you have one of these models, read below for an iPad air 2 overheating fix. The same fix works with all iPad models.

What Happens When Your iPad Overheats?

By now you’re probably aware of what happens when your iPad gets too hot. You’ve seen it first hand. The video starts to buffer, apps need to redraw as your RAM dumps memory, and for some reason, the flash doesn’t work well.

That begs the question: why are you taking photos with an iPad? We’ll save that for another day…

App slowdown

If your iPad is getting hot, you’ll notice that all of your apps start to slow down. YouTube videos take forever to buffer, your games become laggy, and Instagram is constantly refreshing. The same thing happens on a computer that overheats. Here’s what’s going on:

At the most basic level, the processor is trying to save itself. When it gets too hot, it’s programmed to slow everything down in order to dissipate some heat.

After all, it doesn’t want to melt. So it starts shutting down cores, and reduces draw from RAM, and does everything it can to slow down the amount of electricity powering through it. All of this translates into a crappy experience for you, the user.

Display dimming

Another thing the processor will do is dim the display. It will do this by shutting off some pixels, reducing power to others, and basically stopping the flow of energy through the entire chassis of your iPad. If you’re rocking an iPad Pro then you have a gorgeous OLED display, which can manage power much better than the LCD displays of other iPads. That means you won’t notice too much dimming.

Lucky you!

Slow charging

If your iPad is getting hot because of charging, that’s where your processor will cut power. In order to cool off, it will reduce the flow of energy into the unit. That means your iPad will take longer to charge. If you’re fast-charging an iPad that’s overheating, then good luck!

iPad needs to cool down warning

If it gets really bad, you’ll get this iOS warning

The internal temperature is monitored and once the device exceeds a set operating temperature for an extended period of time the operating systems safeguard and lock all functions until it cools down.

Don’t worry, although this message is intimidating it will go away once you give it some chill time and sort a few efficient usage and charging habits we’ve listed below.

Battery damage

Thankfully you can’t damage the processor or screen if your iPad gets too hot. But the bad news is you can damage your battery. This is particularly true if you’re fast-charging a hot iPad. Your lithium-ion battery can take a lot of punishment, but it has its limits.

Sometimes the iPad battery overheating from intense use while charging is what’s causing the issue, the battery itself. Replacing an iPad battery can cost anywhere from $50 to $250. And let’s be honest here, the iPad is never the same again once you start replacing parts.

How to Cool Down Your iPad

Believe it or not, but in most cases, you can cool down your iPad. Even better, you can stop your iPad from getting too hot. Now that you know why your iPad is getting hot, it’s simple to fix.

For starters, don’t sit in the sun on a hot summer day with your iPad!

This should be common sense but sometimes you just want to have your tablet with you. If you do need to bring it outside, keep it in the shade. You want the air outside the iPad to cool the iPad not add to its heat. Aside from that, there are other things you can do to cool it down.

Close all the apps

The more apps you have open, the more draw you’re putting on the processor. And remember, that processor gets hot! So if you notice your iPad is getting hot, close all the apps. Take some of the strain off the processor and let it cool down before you start again.

Stop charging

Another thing you can do to cool down your iPad is to stop charging it. If you’ve got it plugged in and it’s getting hot, unplug it and let it cool down. You’ll save the battery from wear and tear and keep the processor firing on all cores.

Remove the case

Also, if you have a case on your iPad and you notice it’s getting hot, take the case off. You’ll help let some of the heat dissipate through the walls of the iPad and it will cool down faster.

Turn off background refresh

Did you know that your iPad is constantly refreshing apps in the background so that they’re ready for you to use? Even if you close an app, iOS will keep part of it running so you can quickly open it again. This is called a background refresh, and it causes the processor to devote power to this task.

You can turn off background refresh like this:

  1. Open settings
  2. Go to General
  3. Go to Background App Refresh (sixth or seventh down the list)
  4. Turn Background App Refresh to “off”

You’ll see a list of each and every app that is refreshing. You could pick and choose which ones to turn off, but if your iPad is getting hot, simply use the top button to turn them all off.

Check charging cables

Because improper charging can result in a hot iPad, you should check your charging cables for damage. Do you see any exposed wires or bent teeth on the USB end? If so, stop using it immediately. It could be a fire hazard or worse.

Also, if you have a third-party charging cable, check to see if it’s MFI-certified. This means that Apple has tested it and certified it to work to its strict standards. If it’s not MFI-certified, then it could be the cause of your iPad getting hot. Get rid of it and buy a proper charging cable.

What Not To Do When Your iPad Overheats

Now that you know what to do when your iPad is getting hot, make sure you’re not doing anything that can damage it. Many people have destroyed their beautiful iPads because they tried to cool it down the wrong way.

Let’s take a quick look.

DON’T put it in the freezer

Have you ever taken a warm glass of water and put it in the freezer? If so, then you know what happens. That’s right, it shatters.

Now imagine that glass was your $1,200 iPad Pro. Never put your iPad in the freezer or the fridge, or a snowbank for that matter.

There is also condensation which can pose a real water damage risk. So the freezer is a no no.

DON’T put it in front of the air conditioner

You may be tempted to quickly cool down your iPad by placing it in front of an air conditioner, but this can cause damage. Not only can cold air blowing across a hot screen cause the glass to shatter, but it can cause internal damage to your processor and battery.

That said, placing the iPad in a cool, air-conditioned room is not a problem. In fact, if your iPad is getting too hot, this is one thing you should do. Just keep it away from the vents.

DON’T put cold water on it

Believe it or not, but someone actually dunked their iPad in a pail of cold water. You can guess what happened. It shattered and shorted itself out.

You should also avoid pouring water on it, and never ever wrap it in a wet towel. If you need to clean it, there are safe ways to do so.

In fact, don’t wrap it in any towel. Why would someone do that?

How to Keep Your iPad Cool and Prevent Overheating

Guess what? You can stop your iPad from getting too hot. Best of all, it’s really easy to do. Simply adjust a few new usage habits and settings and you’ll be good to go. Check it out.

Use only Apple-certified chargers

You already know to use MFI-certified cables and chargers. The best are the ones sold directly by Apple. If you need help deciding which ones to use, contact Apple Support. They’re friendly and extremely knowledgeable about Apple products.

Reduce screen brightness

Did you know that you only need brightness on full power when you’re outside in the daylight? It’s true! The rest of the time you can keep your screen dimmer and you’ll reduce the amount of heat building up inside your iPad. Try it out!

Use wifi and Bluetooth only when needed

Wifi and Bluetooth cause the processor to devote energy to constantly scan for a signal. If you’re not using your iPad, turn the wifi off. And unless you’re pairing your iPhone or AirPods to your iPad, you don’t need the Bluetooth on. You’ll see an immediate drop in temperature.

Give your iPad a break

The best way to reduce the amount of heat generated by your iPad is to give it frequent breaks. If you’re binging Netflix for six hours, try putting the tablet down every hour or so. Take a break. Let your eyes rest and let the iPad cool down.

Do You Need a New iPad?

What if nothing works? Sometimes your iPad is simply toasted, pun intended. If your iPad is older and has reached the end of its life, it may be time to consider parting ways.

After all, everything should be stored in iCloud, so all you need is a new tablet. Sometimes if your iPad is getting hot, it just might be too old.

What do you do with your old iPad? We’ll you can try us out when you go to sell your iPad. We will give you an upfront quote right on our site, plus we’ll plant a tree for every device sold.

Please comment below with any other tips you may have on how to fix overheating problems with an iPad.

16 thoughts on “Why Your iPad Is Getting Hot – 5 Quick Fixes”

  1. My nook I found but the thing is slow and a battery icon is always showing and won’t go away why and it is. Plugged in. And. Light is on. And. It. Says on the. Scene. When Igor in to. Settings. It is. Not. Charging. Every. Time. It. Takes a month. Then it. Will suprizinly. Start. Working

  2. Mohamed Nihan Navas

    My new ipad pro 2020 just bought recently. When I use it for note taking and google meet,after few minutes (15 – 25) it starts to get hot only in the middle of the screen. By 2 hours it drained almost 50% of my battery life. Im a student so i have to face this issue daily. And I don’t game much.

    1. If you’re finding the specific app like google meet or a note-taking app is causing the heating, try uninstalling and reinstalling the app, also look for updates to both the app and your iPad.

  3. Anytime I sit outside my ipad overheats. I like to read the books on my iPad outdoors. Right now the temperature outside is not that high is there anything I can do like read with the cover off?

    1. That’s really interesting. I always use mine indoors never really thought about how ambient temperatures would affect chip cooling. Makes total sense. Definitely removing the cover and getting some shade should help.

  4. Joshua Fulkerson

    So don’t know if it works for everybody but as soon as I turned off back ground refresh I notice I cooling down. I then just for extra because I keep my bright level turned all the way up, turned it down to halfway. Another thing my I pad is almost completely cool now before I even finished my reply, Thank a bunch.

  5. Thank you! I have been using another cord to charge it, and I’m glad to know, now, not to do that! My apple charger seems to be getting hot too and I wonder if it’s defective. Also, my battery is not lasting as long as it used to, and I’ve only had this 2021 iPad pro11 for a couple of months. Is there something else wrong?

    1. This particular model is known for its impressive battery life endurance. I would consider rushing back to Apple to claim your warranty before the one year mark. Given the hot battery life, the particular model in question and absent commercial or heavy use, I would be worried about a defect with the unit. Hope this helps 🙂

  6. I have iPad Pro 2021 11inches model.Whenever I turn the brightness upto 100% it gets warm at the lower left corner (I have nothing to measure the temperature)although battery life is same it’s been 1 month since I bought the iPad and I noticed the problem just 3 days ago(maybe it was from the starting I don’t know). Please tell me if is it normal or should I go to Apple service centre?

    1. Hey there, I’d check with Apple to be sure, we don’t have any similar known issues for your iPad model. You are still within warranty so it should be covered.

  7. I have iPad Pro m1 and it gets hot when I charge it or play games like code and this heat is so noticeable what can I do and is this normal or not?

    1. Yes, totally normal when playing games especially. However, It depends on how hot it’s getting. If it gets really hot, and you might want to take it into an Apple store to take a look, especially since it’s a fairly new model.

  8. Hello everyone please help me i have ipad mini 4 not problem with my ipad but my charger cable it gets very hot in just 10 to 20 second when i plug in my ipad what i do my ipad gets not hot but my cable gets too much hot…
    sorry for bad english but please give me solution

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