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Recently, there has been a growing interest in the effects of electrostatic discharge (ESD) failure on tunneling magnetoresistive (TMR) recording heads because it directly affects reliability in manufacturing of these heads. Therefore, we study the magnetic degradation in TMR junctions caused by the temperature increase using three different ESD models. A 3-D finite-element method is used for analyzing the spatial and temporal profiles of the temperature during the discharge. The results from the three models show that, although the highest temperature occurs in the MgO barrier layer, the initial magnetic modification likely arises in the IrMn antiferromagnetic layer due to its low Néel temperature. We also found that the increase in temperature is proportional to the square of the ESD voltage. The magnetic instability of the antiferromagnetic layer due to the ESD effect is the important parameter realized for development of the future TMR devices.