How to force quit apps on iPhone and iPad

When an app freezes, misbehaves, gets stuck, and does not work as intended, you can force close it and reopen. In many situations, doing this fixes the ongoing issue, and the app starts working fine. The steps to force quit apps differ according to the iPhone and iPad models. This post shows you how to force close apps on any old or new iPhone and iPad.

Hand holding iPhone showing the App Switcher

Should you force quit apps on iPhone and iPad?

It would be best if you only force close the app when it’s unresponsive, or you don’t need that app for a very long time.

For example, the Uber app on my phone has access to my location. So after taking a ride, if I feel that I won’t be using it again today, I force close it. But for productivity, browsers, music, and similar apps, I rarely force quit them.

We have talked more about this topic and explained why force quitting apps to save battery life is a terrible idea. Also, it is worth noting that Apple semi-officially confirmed that force closing apps doesn’t extend the iPhone’s battery life. If interested, have a look at both these articles.

That all being said, if the app isn’t working properly, hangs, doesn’t respond, or has any such problems, here are the steps to force quit it on any type of iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

How to force close apps on iPhone with Face ID

These steps apply to iPhone models with Face ID: iPhone X, XR, XS, 11, 12, and 13 series.

  1. From the iPhone Home Screen, or from inside an app, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold.
  2. Swipe horizontally to see all open, recently used apps and find the one you want to force close.
  3. Drag the app’s preview card all the way up to close it. You may also place two fingers on two adjacent cards you’d like to dismiss and then swipe up together.
Steps showing how to force close apps on iPhone with Face ID

Read next: How to use Reachability on iPhone X and later

How to force close apps on iPhone with Home button

These steps apply to iPod touch, iPhone SE, 8, 7, SE, 6S, 6, 5S, 5, and other models with a Home button.

  1. Quickly double-click the circular Home button to see all open apps.
  2. Swipe right or left to find the app you want to close.
  3. Drag the app’s card all the way up to force quit it.
Steps showing how to force quit apps on iPhone with Home button

Do you have difficulty quickly double-clicking the Home button?

Due to old age, weak muscles, or a possible disability, if you aren’t able to click the Home button twice in very short succession, you can change its click speed.

To do this, go to iPhone Settings > Accessibility > Home button and choose Slow or Slowest under Click Speed. Now, even if you press the button twice after a relatively long gap, it’ll register as a double-click.

How to force quit apps on iPad

Similar to iPhones, some iPad models have a front Home button, and some, like the high-end iPad Pro, do not have a Home button. However, irrespective of this fact, the steps to close apps on all iPads are the same as long as they have the newer versions of iOS.

Here’s how to force quit apps on any iPad:

  1. From the Home Screen or inside an app, swipe up from the screen’s bottom and hold. You will see all open apps and their preview.
  2. Swipe horizontally to find the app you wish to close. Finally, swipe up the app card to force quit it.
Steps to force close an app on iPad

Note: If you have an iPad with a Home button running a very old version of iOS, double-click the Home button to see all open apps. Now, drag the app card up to close it. This is similar to iPhone with a Home button.

Must-see video: How to use iPadOS 15 Multitasking

How to reopen a closed app on iPhone or iPad

Now you know how to close apps on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. If the app was unresponsive and you closed it, you can relaunch it using the following methods.

  • Tap the app icon from the Home Screen or App Library.
  • Ask Siri to “Open [app name].”
  • Tap the app widget from the Home Screen or Today View, and that app will open. For example, if you tap the Clock widget, the Clock app opens. The same goes for third-party widgets like Reddit, Spotify, and more.

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