Fix iPad Temperature Warning: iPad needs to cool down before you can use it

Feb 29, 2024 - Leave a Comment

Fix iPad Temperature warning - iPad needs to cool down before you can use it

iPad may display a warning message on the screen if it gets too hot, becoming unusable until the iPad cools down again. This happens if the iPad is overheating, and there are various reasons this can happen.

The specific message on screen is “Temperature – iPad needs to cool down before you can use it.” And this is accompanied by a red thermometer icon in the middle of an otherwise darkened screen. You may have seen this on iPhone too, but obviously we’re focused on the iPad overheating here.

We’re going to review some of the most common reasons an iPad may overheat, and what measures you can take to potentially resolve the problem.

Fixing the iPad Temperature Screen ‘iPad needs to cool down before you can use it’

Remember, iPad does not have an internal fan, so the device can only radiate heat and has no other means of cooling itself down except by turning off and/or reducing activity. With that in mind here’s what you can do to help cool down iPad if you see the temperature message screen.

1. Avoid Direct Sunlight on iPad

iPad can overheat if it’s used outdoors in direct sunlight – even on mild temperature days.

If you’re going to use iPad outside, avoid having it directly in the sun, and instead aim to place the device in the shade.

The screenshot of the error message accompanying the top of this very article was taken after my iPad Pro overheated while using it to play podcasts outside, on a sunny 52º day – not exactly scorching. After about 20 minutes in direct sunlight, the iPad stopped playing podcasts and became unresponsive with the heat warning. Moving it into the shade allowed the iPad to cool down and resolved the issue quickly.

2. Consider Other Heat Sources & Environmental Factors

An outside heat source of some kind is the most common reason an iPad will overheat.

We just discussed the sunlight specifically, but any other environmental source of heat can potentially cause an iPad to overheat. Things like heated blankets, hot pads, heater vents, sauna, fireplaces, stoves, etc, all can put off considerable amounts of heat, and if touching or in close enough proximity to an iPad, could potentially cause the device to overheat.

If the iPad feels hot to the touch and is displaying the heat temperature message, and it’s near any sort of external heat source, don’t discount that as a contributor. Move the iPad to a cooler location.

3. Remove Any Cases from iPad

Many iPad cases will cover the entire device to protect them from getting damaged from drops and other use. While these can be very effective at preventing accidental damage to iPad, they also basically insulate the device, and this can lead to the iPad being more likely to overheat and display the temperature warning screen.

Remove the iPad case if it’s in one, and the iPad should cool down quickly.

4. Be Mindful of Resource Heavy Apps & Games

Resource heavy apps and games can cause the iPad to heat up, and you may feel the device getting warm to the touch when this happens.

Generally speaking the iPad should never overheat simply because you’re running resource heavy apps, or graphically intensive games. However, a resource heavy app can be a contributing factor that could lead to the iPad overheating. For example, if the iPad is in direct sunlight that is warm, and you’re playing a graphically intensive game, that could potentially lead to the iPad overheating. Or if the iPad is using a very resource heavy app while enclosed in a case that insulates the device, while also being in a warm environment, that could cause the device to overheat.

Again, app usage alone is very unlikely to lead to an iPad overheating. But combined with another environmental factor, the iPad may be more likely to display a temperature warning.

5. iPad Frequently Overheating? No Obvious Cause? Contact Apple Support

If none of the above factors apply to the iPad, or the iPad is frequently overheating with no obvious cause or contributing environmental factor, then it’s time to reach out to official Apple Support.

It’s theoretically possible for there to be a physical hardware issue with the iPad that is causing the temperature warning to display.

Apple Support can be reached by phone or online, from just about anywhere in the world. You can get started by going to and take it from there.

If your iPad is within the warranty period, and there is a hardware issue that is no fault of yours, Apple will likely provide a solution under your warranty coverage.

Excessive heat is the enemy to tech, as it can reduce performance, or even damage internal components, and the iPad is no different in this regard. If you find the “Temperature – iPad needs to cool down before you can use it” warning message on your iPad, you will want to address the issue right away so that you can cool down the iPad, dissipate heat, and prevent the issue from happening again.

Has your iPad ever overheated with the “Temperature” warning screen? Did you resolve the issue with the above troubleshooting tricks, or did you find another solution? Did you discover the cause of your iPad overheating? Have you ever experienced a similar warning screen on your iPhone or had an issue with a Mac overheating? Share your experiences in the comments below.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

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