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Can Extreme Cold Kill Your iPhone?

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The Polar Vortex is coming this week across much of the midwest with cold temperatures that we haven’t seen since before smartphones were a thing, let alone the iPhone. This is what you need to know about using your iPhone in extreme cold.

With temperatures below zero and windchill approaching, and surpassing, -40 degrees, you can get frostbite in minutes and you’ll also want to protect your phone.

This is what you need to know about the iPhone and super cold temperatures.

How Cold is Too Cold for the iPhone?

Can you use the iPhone in extreme cold?

Can you use the iPhone in extreme cold?

Apple recommends that you, “Use iOS devices where the ambient temperature is between 0º and 35º C (32º to 95º F).

If you live in an area where winter comes full force, you already use your iPhone outside below freezing without much concern, but if temperatures drop you can experience some issues. If for some reason you are storing a backup iPhone in your garage or car, you should bring it in, since Apple recommends not storing an iPhone in a place colder than -4F.

If you are going to be outside during this time, you should be careful not just of your exposed skin, but of using your iPhone in the cold.

What Happens When the iPhone Gets Too Cold?

If you use your iPhone outside in the cold during the 2019 Polar Vortex, you may see odd behavior on your iPhone. This includes;

  • Shorter battery life
  • Slow or sluggish performance
  • It could shut down

The good news is that the iPhone should turn back on, resume normal performance and normal battery life when it warms back up.

That’s different from how the iPhone responds to hot conditions, which can permanently ruin your iPhone battery life.

How to Safely Use the iPhone in Extreme Cold

What you need to know about using the iPhone in extreme cold.

What you need to know about using the iPhone in extreme cold.

If you do need to venture outside when it is extremely cold, you will need to make sure that you are protected from the elements, so keep your phone in an inside pocket. It’s a good idea to put it in a jacket pocket rather than in a pants pocket. This will keep it warmer.

You don’t need to turn the iPhone off while you are outside, and you can take it out to take a picture or make a call, but you won’t want it exposed any longer than your hands are safely exposed to the cold.

When you are done using it, put it back in an internal pocket and when you get indoors take it out of your pocket and let it come up to internal temperatures normally. Don’t use a hairdryer or set it on a vent — just let it come back to room temperature normally.

Finally, don’t leave the iPhone or an iPad in your car during the extreme cold, even in a garage. This will make using it the next time harder if it is still cold, and if you leave it there for a few days of cold it can cause damage to the battery life.

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