One of my major pet peeves is seeing people double press the Home button and force quit applications thinking it will help them save battery. I spent close to 2,000 words explaining why this is a terrible idea, and Apple itself has said force quitting should only be done when an app is unresponsive, yet people keep doing it.

But with iPhone X, Apple is making it a little harder for people to force quit applications. Gone is the old way of double pressing the Home button and swiping up on an app card to quit it. Force quitting now requires an extra step.

In order to force quit an app on iPhone X, you first have to go into multitasking, then press and hold your finger on a card until the Delete button appears. Then and only then can the user swipe up or press the Delete button to force quit an app.

If the user is unaware of this new action, swiping up on a card in the App Switcher will immediately take the user back to the Home screen, which I hope will be enough to fool people into thinking they actually force quit.

For the record, it’s not that you should never force quit applications, it’s just that this should be done only for applications that are unresponsive or that are known memory of battery hogs (I’m looking at you, Skype).

For more details, read our post on why force quitting apps to save battery life is a terrible idea.

  • I don’t think Ive ever forced closed an app! Most of mine are camera apps that only really run when they are actively open ^^; but Sébastien, “I’m looking at you, Skype”. Skype shouldn’t drain any battery because you don’t need to have it installed as no one uses it xD

    • My entire company uses it for internal communication… j/s.

      • Pedro Amador

        You might be using Skype for Business which is different…

      • My dad’s business has totally ditched Skype. They all use Discord now believe it or not.

  • Stephen Hedger

    I always close sat nav apps like tomtom as they run in the background.

    Everything else is fine as it just goes to sleep anyway

    • brian.

      Same here. Stuff like Google Maps, I close. Others can stay open.

      I never had slow downs because of this before and after I started just keeping apps open and closing them all. Battery is also not affected.

  • Jonathan Talbot

    They might change this. It was the case with earlier versions of ios 11 on my ipad but then it went back to the swiping up! I had read your post that you talk about – however the flaw in your post is that you dont explain why its bad idea. Sure, you explain why it doesn’t necessarily help, but there’s no way in which its actually a negative thing to do :p So i wouldn’t classify it as “a terrible idea” or worth arguing around the point at all. There’s more chance its something positive than negative…. just not as positive as people tend to believe….

    • iFunk

      I agree with your comment. I remember going to the Apple Store with iPhone issues over the years. The first thing the Genius would do was double tap my home button and begin closing apps. He/she would make a comment “look at all your open apps.” The company I’m employed at works very closely with Apple. For years it was expressed that users should close all apps. Only a year or so ago did I begin hearing Apple employees state closing all apps does “nothing” for battery and the user. Good luck Apple trying to reinforce this now. This is engrained in the minds of millions of users. Unless there are additional UI changes to stop the user from doing this it will continue. Closing all apps just seems like a common activity now. Hell you can even close 2/3 apps at a time via swiping up the cards (I’m still using iPhone 7). Sure it may not be necessary or help the user one bit with battery life but this activity will continue. I ignore it when my friends do it all throughout the day. Its almost like road rage… a friend of mine gets so stressed seeing what other people do. I just ignore it and move on. Ha.

    • Cerberus The Wise

      It can be negative in the respect that repeatedly opening an app you just closed over time would just consume more power than if you just kept it in the background, plus you’re waiting a small amount of time for the app to launch from scratch.

  • Benedict

    Nice.. I hate to see people doing this after every use of an app!

  • AMB_07

    Say what you will but it’s a natural habit of people to close something they finished using and the fact that it has a negative impact on your device is a poor design choice of Apple imo. Closing an application should never impact your device negatively.

    • jacjustjac

      Um… that’s what pressing the home button once does though. Okay, well, it “suspends” the app. In iOS 1-3, pressing the home button DID close the app… and then they introduced multitasking.

    • Krits

      what are you talking about??? it is like on a normal computer that when you open the application your CPU usage instantaneously peaks. If you close the app, opening it again will cost you resources. And this is usually more than just keeping it on the ram which is less power hungry.

  • Josh

    I’ve always been worries about Location Services running While Using App and not only about the tracking but the battery drain? Real or perceived?

  • jacjustjac

    On the contrary, the iPhone X seems to make force quitting all apps even easier! Just keep tapping the red X rapidly and Watch all your apps disappear!!!

    • igobythisname

      LOVELY!

  • Digitalus

    Nah, it’s still the same number of steps, orignally it was HomeX2+swipe up to quit, now it’s swipe+hold+swipe, still 3 steps.

    But really, some people force quit out of habit, or because they don’t like to see a bunch of apps on the switcher, two very valid reasons. Your focusing on that one issue seems a tad silly.

  • There’s no real research or evidence done to even support that article. What is the difference in battery life between force quitting and not force quitting? Is it enough to warrant an article or is the difference so insignificant that it’s negligible? Also, you yourself state the benefit of force quitting. Apps can still run in the background and use up the battery. Force quitting prevents this from happening. Is that not considered a benefit of force quitting, maybe even offsetting the supposed battery drain of force quitting and restarting?

    • 9to5Slavery

      bump!

      • I’m sure my points will be ignored and not addressed but I truly want to know. There is actual evidence that apps can still run in the background and cause battery drain when not force quitted. Is there any proof of the battery drain associated with force quitting and restarting? How much battery drain is it?

      • Christopher

        Apple’s argument is that it consumes more battery to re-open an app from scratch than to just wake it it up from its “sleep mode”

      • Bill

        Their argument holds water assuming all apps in the background are operating properly. They are not taking into consideration any apps that are acting up.

      • 9to5Slavery

        I think it depends on the generation of processor chip.
        Variable would be location access &/ background refresh.

    • igobythisname

      quit all apps ftw!

    • MMA Rules

      Oh sh*t nuff said is back

    • Mr.Coolfreak

      Apple themselves have said that force quitting and than starting those apps fresh wastes more battery than in background. iOS itself manages apps in background to make sure they aren’t wasting battery.

      Craig Federighi also has said that personally via email

      • Apple has also said that certain apps have caused battery drain from running in the background. Which I think is a more significant drain than this unnoticeable battery drain associated with force quitting apps.

      • Bill

        Personally, I really only force close apps that I’m reasonably sure are causing a problem in the background. Otherwise I don’t worry much about it. For instance the Reddit app, if I leave it in the background for awhile, the next time I open it, it does not load anything properly. So when I’m done using it for awhile I usually just force close it so it starts fresh the next time.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying leaving the apps suspended is all bad. I just think we need more information on the matter. How much battery is drained from reopening the app? If it’s not that much then who cares. It’s better to for e quit some battery draining apps anyway. Facebook was a big one that caused massive drain in the background.

    • Victor Morales

      i guess it’s the same concept as turning off your car when in traffic, it wastes more gas starting up again than just standing idle. but if you are going to stay a loong time without moving then is logical to do so… close your apps if you won’t be using them again in a while, don’t force close an app you’ll be opening again in 15~20 minutes. but again the OS closes an app you don’t use for a while or another app needs the memory the suspended app is using. so basically yeah just close an app if you really need to or if is an badly coded app like Skype, iOS pretty much handles the battery drain and memory hog for suspended apps.

      • this is exactly correct. there is ZERO evidence to support this theory

  • Connor Rimmer

    But then why when I close my apps from multiswitcher, my phone actually is a lot quicker? When i leave them all open, there not. and the phone is slower

    • Cerberus The Wise

      Either you have an older iPhone or you’re really just imagining it. Yes, I remember that was the case in the iPhone 5 days in earlier, or if you’re jailbroke but not anymore on any recent 64 bit iPhone. I’ve going a day with and without closing my apps and there wasn’t any tangible benefits to closing my apps throughout the day.

      • 9to5Slavery

        The same is with the iPhone 7. There are some apps like GPS on ALWAYS (for some or all apps that require it), Homekit, apple watch, games like pogo, live updating apps, background refresh, etc etc.

        @cerb. you may not be using your iPhone to the fullest potential. The backgrounding does not make it perfect when the apps want a different direction in how much ram it uses in many different ways.

  • Dylan33x

    I’m a long time supporter of this site because of how informed they usually are, but i feel like sebastien is wrong here. The whole “never close your apps” thing to me is just apple trying to loop it into the “works like magic” rhetoric. If i have a bunch of apps open, my phone runs slower. simple as that. However, closing messages every time isn’t useful, because i’m gonna re open it in a few minutes. Apple has claimed open apps don’t hurt your battery life since iOS 4 multitasking, but we know that to not be true. So close your apps people.

    • Cerberus The Wise

      It really doesn’t slow your phone down at all, not unless you have fairly old iPhone or a jailbreak with lots of heavy tweaks. I don’t close a single app ever and my phone’s battery outlasts everyone else’s I know.

    • igobythisname

      like i said, nothing, absolutely NOTHING beats first hand experience and knowledge! thank you for sharing your insight!

  • pnh

    I miss my Jailbreak tweak that gave me a simple “quit all” button.

    • 9to5Slavery

      Still have those ! Went back to iPhone 6S iOS 9 instead of iPhone 7 iOS 11 or buying the new one.

      • 9to5Slavery

        Speed intensifer is my favorite tweak.

    • igobythisname

      jailbreak ftw! quit all apps ftw!!!

  • Jose Rivera

    I honestly close all of my apps when I’m done with them. I have seen them tell me, “Oh you don’t need to do that. The OS is good at managing all that on its own.” I actually haven’t seen it do what they claim it does. I could have multiple apps open, and they’ll still refresh themselves as if they had quit. So what’s the point in keeping them open if they’ll just refresh themselves after a while? Plus, I have NEVER seen my battery take a hire the way they’re saying it does. I still maintain a whole day of battery life with my habit of swiping to close. I only do that when I know I’m done with the app and won’t be using it again for a while. I only ever keep one or two apps open at a time and when I do have a lot of then open. I always quit them all and then clear the RAM/background activity. (You do that by pressing until “slide to power off” comes on and then hold the home button until it goes away. This always helps me when an app won’t work right, or I’m having OS issues.)

    • igobythisname

      amen!

    • brian.

      I have gone from closing all my apps to not doing so, except for GPS apps or something of that sort. I have yet to experience any difference either way. No slow downs either.

      It’s your device, I’m not going to tell you how to use it. This article however…

      I would really like to see some data on this too.

  • igobythisname

    gotta love Tage and all ‘Quit All Background Apps’ tweaks! you can write all the 2,000 word pieces you want, Apple can issue as many statements as they please, but nothing, absolutely NOTHING beats first hand knowledge and experience! i dare not let my phone run with more than a dozen apps running in the background, i know right away when it’s time to QUIT ALL APPS, because apps start running sluggish. add an amazing tweak like CLOAKY and put Memory in your status bar and you’ll see first hand the importance of quitting all apps. when apps run in the background, system memory dips and drops, and when your apps run sluggish, you’ll notice how low memory you have available. quit all apps, memory jumps, and apps run very well! 😀

  • MaRz Franco

    Future Request : add an Accessibility setting that you can trigger on which gives option to quit all apps. Kinda like how on control center you can add stuff like low battery mode

  • Kappamello

    Yeah sure, I really like it when there are hundreds of apps still in the app switcher blocking my view and the mere existence of those “cards” in the hundreds start to lag the phone, if the app is active or not.

  • thunderqus

    YouTube while casting to chromecast drains a lot of battery even after TV is turned off, I know its the app’s fault but force quit is easy way to fix it, has anyone else experience that?

    • David Ruiz

      Haven’t experienced that bug. Sometimes I forget my charger on my work and arrive to home with 20-25% on mi SE and cast a lot of videos to my TV and my phone still have charge remaining in the morning (5-10%).

      Well… I’m not a hardcore phone user, but last for Messenger and WhatsApp too.

  • Edward

    amen!

  • chjode

    Don’t care. I’m still going to kill all apps when I’m not using them.

  • Retro4K

    I force close certain (not all) apps because otherwise it becomes like trying to find the 5 of spades in a deck of cards when trying to find an app in the app switcher.

  • nonchalont

    It shouldn’t be a pet peeve. Let people do what they want with their phone, yeah? 🙂 …if they think force quitting makes their phone go faster, so be it. We won’t lose sleep over it or go broke.

  • Boaz van Veen

    I only force quit facebook every day. I dont need their battery drain and spy shit when im not using it. There’s been an article that showed facebook still does some stuff even if background loading is turned off.

  • Jonas Rasmussen

    Turn off Background Refresh for some or all apps.

    The most annoying thing is apps like Facebook or Messenger where they force the background activities on to keep the app updated instead or relying on Push Notifications…

    So when you don’t force quit Facebook it will continue to run various background tasks, that can be proven if you go into Battery and click on Background Activities. Certain apps just keep on roiling whatever the time period is.

    I would not trust an app like Facebook or Messenger to run in the background as their main asset is your information and behavior.

    Remember that story with Facebook “accidentially” left the mic on so that it would continue running in the Background?

    That is also why some force quit relatively used apps.

    Luckily I only use Facebook when a Notification arrives, so I am safe to close it without burning unnecessary battery.

    Just my thoughts on this.

  • spoken like a true fanboy that has no concern for other people’s wishes.

    you actually think that after spending more than $1000 on a piece of ____ phone that people should then be forced to use it the way apple (and YOU) think they should use it.

    so arrogant…