KillBackground: Kill All Running Apps from Your Multitasking Bar

By , Aug 6, 2011

Although Apple took a couple of years to implement system-wide multitasking in iOS, it seems to do the trick. It’s easy to access the multitasking bar from any application, and for the most part, apps running in the background don’t slow you up.

Note that I said for the most part. It seems like once you have 10 or more apps running, your iPhone starts to feel a bit sluggish. And to close them all one by one can be a tedious task. So why not download a jailbreak utility that’ll do it for you in one step?

KillBackground is a simple utility that allows you to close out all background running applications in a single tap. The tweak installs itself into your multitasking bar, so there’s no need to mess with 3rd party applications.

I currently use RemoveBG, with the SBSettings toggle, and it works pretty well for me. However, the convenience of having the kill button in the multitasking bar is enticing enough to make me consider switching.

My one gripe about this utility has to do with the cosmetics. It consists of 2 large skull-and-crossbone buttons that sit on either side of the app switcher. I don’t happen to have a pirate theme, so the 2 buttons stick out like a sore thumb.

If you can get past the skulls, the tweak works great. It’s a nice alternative to some of the other offerings. If you want to download KillBackground, it’s available in Cydia for free.

Have you tried KillBackground? What do you think?

UPDATE: Since its release, KillBackground has received a few updates. Included changes are now only one low profile button and added settings options. In the Settings app, you now have the choice of which side the button goes on, turn it off unless the icons are wiggling, and prevent it from closing apps that are playing music. So head on into Cydia and download this new and improved free tweak.

If you don’t like the little skull and crossbones icon simply do the following:

  1. SSH into your device using iFile or a desktop program like iPhoneExplorer and navigate to System/Library/CoreServices/SpringBoard.app.
  2. Scroll until you see Kill-Badge.png and Kill-Badge@2x.png and delete those 2 files.
  3. Open your multitasking tray and you will see that there is no icon but tapping the corner will still close your running applications.

What do you guys think? Is this app better? Let us know your thoughts below!

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  • https://twitter.com/#!/21pLays Aleks

    sticking with removebackground. one quick swipe and poof, all apps that are running in the background are no more.

  • Aux

    MultiCleaner works great… all i have to do is double tap status bar to “quit all apps”

    • Soto

      I use pinch the home screen and it gives it a guesture-like feeling to it.

    • MDS

      Multicleaner is a mobilesubstrate add-on and drains your battery. Not worth it.

      • Irha

        What is the alternative that doesn’t require mobilesubstrate?

  • http://howt0jailbreak.blogspot.com/ iPodJoe

    I use REMOVEBACKGROUND and found it to be the best and easiest app to use for closing out all background apps! Works great with SB Settings!

  • Sharpe340

    My preference lies with Switcher Plus.

    • Joe

      Do you find it easy to use

      • Sharpe340

        Defo…3 taps on the Home button and 1 on the little arrow and you’re good to go :-)

  • @Max_Kas

    Im so glad someone made this without activator. I also dont like the skull and crossbones, same with how big they are on both sides.
    To fix it just go to system/library/core services/springboard.app. Find KillBackground-Right@2x.png and KillBackground-Left@2x.png on the iPhone 4. It will automatically replace them with the 3GS pngs which is a lot smaller and better, and it still looks retina. If you delete the 2 pngs for either the left or right side, it will only show on one side. So if you delete the 2 pngs with Left in it, it will only show on the right side.

  • @Max_Kas

    Or just delete all 4 pngs and no icon will show but if you tap either side it will still delete the multitasking

  • Joe

    I actually happen to like SwitcherPlus better.  

  • gaz

    Every now and then removebackground will crash my springboard. Also it has no exclusion list – there is one app I need to leave running in the bg. Any suggestions for an alternative? Does this app have an exclusion list?

    • numbnuts

      RB’s always worked ok for me and it can exclude :-| just add your choices to the exception list!

      • gaz

        Doh! I forgot it had an icon. I was trying to find remove background in the settings list. Cheers.

  • Tabs

    Remove bg set to volume +- buttons pressed together. Works best for me.

  • SimonOrJ

    THIS TWEAK IS AMAZING!
    It’s better than RemoveBackground because you don’t need Activater to use this!

    Pros: There’s button to remove all background apps right on app switcher!

    Cons: the buttons clutter the space for volume or choosing app to switch to.

    If only there’s ONLY one button to kill all apps… =)

  • Paul

    Just tryed this one, works perfect for me :) I think I’ll keep it for a while :)

  • ian

    i use both… hahah

  • kokhean

    SwitcherPlus looks the best. It looks like how it would look like if Apple implemented it.

  • James

    I don’t get why people keep complaining about activator and mobile substrate, I bet know 1 who’s jailbroken doesn’t have them installed, they come with so many tweaks, especially mobile substrate and tbh i’ve never had any issues with them but then I don’t install loads of shit and wonder why wsomething conflicts .. RemoveBackground is by far the best, works perfcetly and you have the sbsettings toggle or the gesture.

  • Chano

    FYI:
    My Ipad 2 was working fine no problems at all, I installed this and few hours later my ipad crashed and had to restore :(

    Not sure it this as a bug or what but I just want to give the heads up.

  • SimonOrJ

    They updated this tweak and made it EASIER TO USE!!! :)
    Now it only has one “button” to kill all running apps on bottom right corner! Feels like they listened to me! I really love this tweak now!

    … um, where can I tell this to this tweak’s developer?

    • Li

      Here maybe XD!!!