What do if Galaxy S9 keeps overheating (fix for overheating issue)

Although not as common as many of you think, overheating is a fact for many smartphones, including flagship devices like the Samsung Galaxy S9. In this short tutorial, we bring you the complete set of troubleshooting steps to perform when dealing with overheating problem on Galaxy S9.

Problem: What do if Galaxy S9 keeps overheating (overheating issue)

I bought a Samsung S9 in 10/2017 from Sprint. The phone worked fine until about 4/2018. At that time I noticed that the phone was getting warm. Being ignorant of such things, I put it to having it in my pocket or purse, along with warming weather. As time went by the problem got worse. It was now warming to the point of overheating. I’m 72 years old. I don’t watch movies or play complicated games on my phone. I rarely use the phone to make calls. I do take photos and videos. These are the main uses for the phone. I also use GPS. As the weather warmed, I started going to outdoor events, taking photos and videos. The phone went from overheating to being HOT. When it got HOT, I would just stop using it. 9/2018 I was active taking photos and videos at an outdoor event. The phone got so HOT, that I would have to stop using it. About half way through the day, the phone got very hot and I got an overheating message. I immediately turned the phone off. It was sunny but not hot outside. I protected the phone from the sun and let it sit. After it cooled off, it came on again, but started to overheat as soon as I started taking photos again, but got no error message.

I realized that something was not right so when I got home I called Samsung. After telling them what was happening, the tech really had no suggestions The next festival, I took lots of photos and videos. The phone got so hot that I had to hold it on the edge to use it. I got no error message, so turned it off. The festival was in a area that I didn’t know, so I turned the phone back on. My wife doesn’t know how to use my phone and didn’t have her reading glasses, so I did what I always did, I put the phone on my thigh so I could see GPS.

While driving I noticed it was getting hot, so I would move the phone around on my thigh. When I got to an area that I recognized I turned the phone off.  The next day I could feel a burning sensation on my thigh. While dressing, I noticed a deep red area on my thigh where the phone had been. It was very much like a sun burn. I had had it.

I went to Sprint to see if they could help me. The manager waited on me and when he took the protective cover off, his eyes got real big, he looked at me and said ” you are really lucky.  The phone was deformed and swollen. The case was coming apart. As Samsung seemed to be dumb about this problem, I knew I would never trust the phone again and so ordered a Note9.

Solution: Overheating can happen for a number of reasons. In most cases, it’s also a sign of a deeper problem. If that problem is not addressed, the phone may continue to get warm or overheat. The best thing to do in this case is to identify the main reason for overheating. There’s a number of troubleshooting steps that you can do to achieve that goal.

Fix overheating by refreshing the system cache

Some forms of overheating are direct or indirect results of having a corrupted system cache. This can happen after an update or app installation. To ensure that your Galaxy S9’s system cache is in good shape, you want to clear the current one. This will force the device to build a new cache as you continue using it. Follow the steps below on how to clear this cache:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key until ‘yes’ is highlighted and press the Power button.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Fix overheating by installing updates

One least known way to fix overheating is by installing updates. Some forms of overheating are brought about by poor coding in an app or an inefficient programming at software level. To lessen the chances of overheating from these situations, you want to regularly check for updates as they become available. Make sure to regularly check app updates in Google Play Store if you change its default behavior to automatically download and install updates. If you have apps taken outside of the Play Store, it’s your responsibility to regularly check for updates for them too.

And of course, another important thing to check is system or Android updates. Such updates are usually coursed through your carrier’s network and can be downloaded over-the-air (OTA). OTA updates must be installed once they become available as they not only bring cosmetic changes but also fixes to known bugs.

Android phones are not dedicated cameras

While smartphones are equipped with cameras, they’re not primarily designed to be used for a long stretch. Capturing high quality videos is a very demanding job for a smartphone, even for top tier ones like the Samsung Galaxy S9. If done for a significant amount of time, making HD videos can lead to overheating and severe battery drain. Make sure to let the phone cool off after capturing videos for 15 minutes to prevent the internal temperature of your device from reaching a critical level.

Keep in mind that the more the battery is exposed to high heat, the faster it degrades both in the short and long term.

Check for bad apps

One of the main reasons for overheating is apps. We think there might be a downloaded or third party app that causes the device to overheat. To check, you can try booting the phone to safe mode. Doing so will block third party apps from running. Here’s how to restart the phone to safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
  3. When “SAMSUNG” appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  6. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.

Now that the phone has been set on Safe Mode, the next thing that you want to do is to replicate the problem by doing the same exact activities in the same exact conditions. If the device won’t overheat while running on safe mode, that’s a clear sign that a bad app is to blame.

To identify which of your apps is causing the trouble, you should boot the phone back to safe mode and follow these steps:

  1. Boot to safe mode.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
  4. After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
  5. If your S9is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4.

Reset app preferences

Resetting app preferences is oftentimes overlooked in many Android troubleshooting articles but when it comes to an issue like yours, it might help a lot. It’s possible that one or some of your default apps may not be set correctly, causing this glitch to occur. Because there’s no way to know if this guess is true, what you need to do is to simply ensure that all default apps are turned on. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Reset app preferences.
  5. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Calibrate the battery

Sometimes, Android may lose track of the actual battery levels. If this happens, the device may shut down prematurely or may overheat. To recalibrate the operating system so that it gets accurate battery level readings, do the following:

  1. Drain the battery completely. This means using your device until it powers down by its own and the battery level reads 0%.
  2. Charge the phone until it reaches 100%. Be sure to use original charging equipment for your device and let it charge up completely. Do not unplug your device for at least two more hours and also don’t use it while charging.
  3. After the elapsed time, unplug your device.
  4. Restart the device.
  5. Use your phone until it completely runs out of power again.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5.

Wipe the phone (factory reset)

Factory reset is a necessary troubleshooting step for every overheating situation. By reverting all software settings to their known working factory state, you can know whether or not the problem lies on the software side or not. We know for a fact that factory state software does not have overheating problem. If there’s a software bug behind the trouble, factory reset will most likely help. To factory reset the phone:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  7. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  8. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.
  10. Let the phone run for 24 hours without adding any apps.

Hardware malfunction

If none of the software solutions above help at all, you can assume that bad hardware is the culprit. It can be a malfunctioning battery, or a damaged motherboard. It’s a good idea to let Samsung check the hardware so you’ll get an expert advice on what to do. Usually, in this case, repair will most likely be performed.


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