A Fix Is Here: Apple Resolves iPhone 15 Pro Overheating Issues in Latest iOS 17 Update
Apple confirmed that the iPhone 15 Pro overheating is due to an iOS 17 bug, not a design flaw.
Patrick HollandManaging Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
Patrick's play The Cowboy is included in the Best American Short Plays 2011-12 anthology. He co-wrote and starred in the short film Baden Krunk that won the Best Wisconsin Short Film award at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.
Editor's note, Oct. 7: On Wednesday, Apple released an update to iOS 17 to address a bug that, in part, caused the iPhone 15 Pro and other models to overheat. Apple spoke with CNET about what caused people's iPhones to get hotter than normal. The original version of this story that published on Sept. 30 is below.
Widespread complaints about overheating of the new iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max can be traced to several factors, including a software bug in iOS 17, Apple told CNET on Saturday.
The company said the new phones' titanium frame and aluminum substructure aren't contributing to the issue, and that they dissipate heat better than the stainless steel used in prior Pro models.
While spending time with the phones for my iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max review, I didn't have trouble with either one overheating. The 15 Pro Max did become noticeably hot after I used my MacBook Pro's 140W power adapter to charge it. It also got quite warm after I played Resident Evil Village for 30 minutes.
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"We have identified a few conditions which can cause iPhone to run warmer than expected," Apple said in a statement to CNET. "The device may feel warmer during the first few days after setting up or restoring the device because of increased background activity. We have also found a bug in iOS 17 that is impacting some users and will be addressed in a software update. Another issue involves some recent updates to third-party apps that are causing them to overload the system. We're working with these app developers on fixes that are in the process of rolling out."
Tech reviewer Faruk Korkmaz published a video earlier this week documenting his iPhone 15 Pro Max's temperature climbing to 98 degrees within minutes after he opened the Instagram app. The same thing occurred on his iPhone 14 Pro Max running iOS 17.
Apple explained that recent updates to some third-party apps on iOS 17, like Instagram, Asphalt 9 and Uber, overload the A17 Pro chip's CPU, causing the iPhone to get warmer than normal. The company is working with third-party developers to implement fixes. As a result, Instagram released an updated version of its app on Sept. 27.
Gameloft told CNET that a hotfix (a patch) is in the works.
"Gameloft is currently working to deliver a hotfix in Asphalt 9: Legends that addresses the overheating issues when playing on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro," said Daniel Perez, Gameloft's senior public relations manager. "The hotfix – which will be optional when available – will significantly reduce the load on the CPU's cores. This will in turn lower battery consumption and improve heat management."
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites
Instagram nor Uber immediately responded to requests for comment.
There's no word when the software update that addresses the iOS 17 bug will come out, but Apple did explain that the fix won't reduce the iPhone's performance.
In terms of charging, Apple said the 15 Pro and Pro Max support any USB-C adapter that's compliant with the USB-C standard, including USB Power Delivery. The company said the iPhone regulates itself to cap charging to a maximum of 27 watts and that if you're using a 20-watt or higher charger, the phone can temporarily get warmer as a result.
Apple's support page notes that the iPhone may feel warm when you first set it up, restore it from a backup, or wirelessly charge it. That's been my experience with a number of previous iPhone models and Android phones.
If you have an iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max and are experiencing overheating, there are a few things you can try until Apple releases the iOS 17 update. Turn on Low Power Mode from the Control Center or in the Battery section of the Settings app. This will kill any background tasks, temporarily limit the display's refresh rate to 60Hz and reduce the brightness. Don't keep your phone in direct sunlight or in an extremely hot environment for prolonged periods. And if, like Korkmaz, you suspect an app might be the issue, disable background refresh for that app under the General section in the Settings app.
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