iPads: Hot or Not...?
October 30, 2022 5:06 PM   Subscribe

Answer: NOT! Not at all. In fact, my iPad is objectively cool. And yet, it keeps insisting it's overheating. Why?

If you Google "iPad temperature warning when not hot" or any variation of that, you get a lot of articles about how to cool down your iPad or what to do if it overheats. I haven't found anything at all to explain why, when I can touch my iPad with my own fingers and it is objectively not even slightly warm... I keep getting the temperature warning screen with the scary red thermometer.

This happens repeatedly when I'm doing things no more complicated than reading Reddit. Just scrolling through things. Each time, I remove the iPad from the case or take it off the Magic Keyboard backrest and check it, and it's perfectly cool, no warm spots.

This happened in iPadOS 15 and is now continuing to happen in iPadOS 16. No other programs running, I'm definitely not overclocking this thing. Every time it happens, I have to wait a few seconds for the screen to clear before I can resume my previous activities. It has happened in the car during a drive; in my chair in the slightly chilly living room at night; at my desk during the day; after being on for several hours; after being on for maybe 15 minutes; really just at any unpredictable interval and for no discernible reason.

I've restarted it, factory reset it, upgraded fully... and yet.

Is this a known bug? I haven't found anything that says so, but I also haven't found anything other than ways to cool down my iPad. Is there something actually overheating in my iPad that is so deep and microscopic I can't feel it?

It's a 12.9 inch iPad Pro (5th gen), and it's not under warranty / apple care so I can't just exchange it. (technically it's not even my iPad, I'm "borrowing" it more or less permanently.)
posted by invincible summer to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This warning means a temperature sensor on the CPU is reporting a high temperature. This could mean some sort of failure with the thermal paste that is supposed to help conduct heat away from the CPU toward the outside of the device. (This could also explain why the outside of the device doesn‘t feel hot.) Unfortunately, I don’t know of any way to solve the problem if this is the case. :(
posted by mbrubeck at 5:19 PM on October 30, 2022

Best answer: You can contact Apple Support through Twitter, and they will answer your question or refer you to a specialist you can reach via email with more details. In my experience, they don't care whether the device is under warranty. I suggest you do this, in case it is a hardware issue as mbrubeck describes. If there's a problem with thermal dissipation, it could lead to device failure.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:16 PM on October 30, 2022

Best answer: Sometimes I get this screen if I accidentally leave my phone in the tropical sun until it is completely burning hot, like almost too hot to hold. This makes me think maybe there is a faulty sensor, because the device is not thick, so even if there was an internal thing getting this hot, I think it would be perceptible from the outside.
posted by snofoam at 6:47 PM on October 30, 2022

Response by poster: Thanks everyone... I haven't gotten around to deleting my twitter account yet, so I'll head there now to contact Apple support!
posted by invincible summer at 6:51 PM on October 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Even if it's past warranty you could still visit an apple store to get advice /diagnosis
posted by bbqturtle at 6:55 PM on October 30, 2022

The magic keyboard is apparently a big drain on your iPad, both the battery and while externally powered.

The keyboard could be pulling so much current through your iPad that the power handling circuits in your iPad are overheating even though the iPad itself isn’t using enough power to be overheating.
posted by jamjam at 7:14 PM on October 30, 2022

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