iPads have certainly grown in processing power over the years, with the latest generation of iPads now being packed with desktop-grade Apple Silicon. Using high-demanding apps will make your iPad heat up.
One starts to wonder, how do iPads cool themselves in the first place? Do iPads have fans? How do iPads cool down? What are the things you can do to cool down your device?
iPads tend to overheat over time and even need to be cooled down. Therefore, let’s have a look at how you can cool down your iPad, how to prevent your device from heating up, how the iPad cooling system works, etc.
How To Cool Down Your iPad
There are some high-demanding apps, related to graphics and gaming that will make your iPad heat up quite quickly, so here are 8 ways you can cool down your device.
Give Your iPad a Break
Just like us, our devices need breaks, too. If you notice your iPad or iPhone getting hot, give it a breather. Close any unused apps and let your device rest for a while. I suggest turning on Airplane mode. If that doesn’t help – shut it down for a while and let your iPad cool down.
Your device’s environment can contribute to overheating. Keep your iPad or iPhone away from direct sunlight or other heat sources. Using it in a cool, well-ventilated area can help prevent heat build-up.
I’ve lived in Spain for 6 months and I can’t tell you how many times my iPhone showed me a message “iPhone needs to cool down” just because it was out in the sun for too long. The same goes for iPads. Cool surroundings are important for these devices.
Stop Charging Your iPad
If possible, avoid using your device while it’s charging. Also, consider using a high-quality charger that’s designed for your specific device to avoid battery-related heat issues. Charging your iPad will make your battery heat up, using high-demanding apps while charging will make it heat up even more, so if it’s heated up – give it a break.
Limit Background Activity
Some apps, even when you’re not using them, can run in the background and make your processor work harder. Regularly update your apps and turn off background app refresh for the ones you don’t need running all the time.
Lose the iPad Case (Temporarily)
Some cases can trap heat, making it difficult for your device to cool down. If your iPad or iPhone is running hot, try removing the case to let it cool off faster.
Stop Using Heavy Apps
Heavy applications constitute of games and applications that use a lot of your CPU / GPU. Using them for an extended period of time can lead to your components overheating. If you feel your iPad heating up, take a break and give your iPad a break as well.
Lower The Brightness on the iPad
You have probably noticed that when an iPad or iPhone gets too warm, the display dims automatically, and the maximum screen brightness decreases temporarily until it cools down. It’s a good idea to lower your brightness when you feel your iPad is heating up.
How Do iPads Remain Cool?
Your iPad remains cool in general because its CPU does not consume a lot of electricity which means it doesn’t generate a lot of heat in the first place. To further drive this point home, let’s quickly contrast the most powerful iPad currently released, the iPad Pro M2, and a powerful desktop-class CPU, an Intel i7-12700K
|Apple Silicon M2||20 Watts|
|Apple A15 Bionic||6 Watts|
|Intel i7-12700K||125 Watt|
As we can see, there’s a significant difference between the power consumption of an M2 chip compared to a 12700K. This is the primary reason why you’d end up frying your CPU if you didn’t focus on cooling it with an Intel-based chip.
However, the M2 chip doesn’t produce enough heat for it to require active cooling. In fact, it can be passively cooled with no issues whatsoever. Just for comparison’s sake, we’ve also included the A15 Bionic, used to power the iPad Mini (6th Generation).
And, what do you know? Older Apple Silicon actually ends up consuming an even lower amount of electricity which is a further indication that under normal circumstances, an iPad really does not need to be actively cooled.
Does An iPad Have A Cooling System?
No iPad model has a cooling system installed. There is no fan, motor, or liquid-based cooling system that leads to your tablet’s heat being actively dissipated. The iPad follows a passive cooling model. This is because the iPad does not produce enough heat in the first place for Apple to warrant thickening the entire iPad’s chassis to implement an active cooling system.
In fact, the Apple Macbook Air M2, which has the same processor as the iPad Pro M2, also does not have a fan since the CPU simply does not produce enough heat in the first place for it to require cooling.
Why Does My iPad Get Hot?
An iPad is an electronic device that is subject to wear and tear after extended periods of use. Depending on how you navigate your device and what you do on it, there is a chance that your device may heat up from time to time.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, an iPad that’s running without any issues should not require any sort of cooling and will not overheat either. With that said, here’s a quick look at some of the reasons why your iPad may just be overheating.
So what causes iPad to overheat and what to do:
You Have A Case On
Most iPad cases are bulky and aren’t designed to consider the iPad’s thermal dissipation. While yes, the iPad doesn’t produce a lot of heat, it still needs to dissipate some of it. And, a bulky case prevents it from doing so.
Once that happens, while you won’t notice the heat emanating from the iPad, if you feel like your case is warm to the touch, chances are that your iPad is sweltering hot underneath. Therefore, quickly change your case or remove it entirely to avoid further damage.
Poor Battery Health
Lithium-ion batteries have a tendency to overheat once they are damaged and reach the end of their life. This can be alarming since they tend to explode if they are significantly hot. Thankfully though, the iPad underclocks itself and maintains your battery at a particular temperature to ensure that doesn’t happen.
If you do end up with random shutdowns when you are charging your iPad or on occasions when it is being heavily used, then chances are that your battery has given up, and your iPad is now underclocking itself to ensure the battery doesn’t heat up any further.
We find this to be particularly annoying because the iPad does not have the infamous Battery Health feature. So, you can’t really identify whether your battery is going to give up until its too late.
If you place your iPad in the middle of the desert and expect it to remain cool, that probably won’t happen. Jokes aside, a high ambient temperature is a very obvious reason why your device is overheating. After all, if you are sweating, doesn’t your iPad deserve a break too?
Generally, electronic devices like iPads and iPhones can operate at far more extreme temperatures than humans. But, the batteries still are sensitive to extreme bouts of temperature. Here’s a quick look at the temperatures wherein you can use your iPad / iPhone without them being damaged:
|Temperature (in F)||Temperature (in C)|
|Considered Extreme (Cold)||-4||-20|
|Considered Extreme (Hot)||113||45|
But you will get a warning from your device a lot sooner before it reaches this temperature.
The main culprit of heat generation is the processor. When you’re playing graphics-heavy games, streaming videos, or using multiple apps simultaneously, the processor works overtime. The harder it works, the more heat it produces.
Do iPad Cases Cause Overheating
Yes, some of the cases you can buy for iPad do cause overheating and don’t allow your iPad to cool down especially when you are using heavy apps on it, especially if the case doesn’t have any vents – in that case remove it temporarily.
- Your protective case should fit your iPad. If it is too tight and made of rubber, the case could stick to the back of the device and the sides. It can cause the temperature to rise no matter what you do on an iPad.
- Find a protective case that has vents. There are so many different cases available online, and some have small openings designed to keep your device cool. Unfortunately, these could also have a higher price tag.
iPad minimizes power consumption, thus generating minimal heat.
However, occasional overheating is a reality, often attributed to external factors. Bulkier cases that hinder thermal dissipation, poor battery health that compromises efficient energy distribution, or operating in high-temperature environments are culprits that can disrupt the delicate thermal balance.
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I'm a writer and editor in iPads & Android Tablets, Windows Tablet section. I'm passionate about technology, especially about tablets. I'm on a mission to assist people in discovering their ideal tablets. In addition, I'm dedicated to producing helpful how-to guides and sharing top-notch tips and tricks. In my early carrier I founded and became and editor at worldoftablet and have been a guest author at many other tech blogs. In wolfoftablet I'm focusing on iPads, Tablets, Apple Pencil, Apps, Reviews, Buyers Guides and Tablet Accessories. In free time I like to play games on my PS5 or iOS.