No, you should not be routinely force closing apps on your iPhone and iPad

“I force close my apps all the time. I double click the home button on my iPhone 6S and close out of every app I’ve used, even in the past 20 minutes. It’s a terrible habit, but it makes me feel good,” Ashley Carman writes for The Verge. “Maybe it’s even an obsessive-compulsive tendency? Regardless, I’ve always wondered: is force closing apps good for my phone? Is it actually bad for it?”

“I called up an independent iOS developer, Ish Shabazz, who recommended against it,” Carman writes. “And even Apple says it’s not a good idea. In an email to a user last year, Apple’s SVP of software engineering, Craig Federighi, said that quitting iOS apps doesn’t help battery life. He doesn’t do it. Apple’s support page also says to only force close apps when they’re unresponsive.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Maybe iPhone X (or a future variant) will someday break Ashley of her nasty, waste-of-time habit? There’s no Home button to double click and, thankfully (and perhaps by design), it’s not quite as easy to needlessly force close apps on iOS devices sans Home buttons.

Force quitting apps in iOS is only for extraordinary circumstances when an app is misbehaving, not something to be done on a regular basis.

So, as we’ve been saying since 2010, if you’re doing it, just stop.


Don’t worry, not all of these apps are “running.” In fact, most of them are not. Those 42 apps are the last 42 apps you used, they’re not churning in the background, sucking up your battery life. Think of them sort of like Han Solo encased in carbonite; they’re in suspended animation, so they spring back to life right where you left them when tapped. So, that app list is there for your convenience, not to stress you out, so don’t worry, be happy! … Your iPhone is taking care of multitasking, so you don’t have to. — MacDailyNews, June 28, 2010

Still not convinced? Take it from no less than the ultimate authority:

Just use [iOS multitasking] as designed, and you’ll be happy. No need to ever quit apps. – Steve Jobs, June 29, 2010

iPhone and iPad users: Do not regularly force quit apps by swiping them away, warn experts – July 20, 2017
Apple’s software SVP: Quitting multitasking apps in iOS not necessary – March 10, 2016
Steve Jobs on iOS multitasking: ‘Just use it as designed and you’ll be happy’ – June 29, 2010
Why is my iPhone 4 running 42 apps? Don’t worry, it’s not – June 28, 2010


  1. Have iPad pro 10.5. Have to force quit after 15 or so apps to keep the system responsive. Otherwise hangs, or just takes forever to respond. Even worse since moving to iOS 11.

    Had to do save on iPhone 6. So far after a few days with an X haven’t had to do any force quits. Have had to hard reset a few times, think that was old apps. Specially when I accidently tried to open a 32 bit app.

    1. I call bullshit. I am an iOS developer and whist a codehead not fully into hardware – what you said is BS.

      “Accidentally” tapped a 32-Bit app? On iOS 11…on an iPhone X?

      Are you a paid South Korean troll monkey?

    2. You “accidentally” tried to open a 32-bit app on iOS 11…on an iPhone X?

      Are you a paid South Korean shill monkey?

      Your English is so bad I couldn’t even be sure how to fix it your text? I am not trying to be the grammar police. I make a lot of typos myself. But this…

      [I have] [a 10.5” iPad Pro]. [I have] to force quit [the device] after 15 or so apps [are running] to keep the system responsive. Otherwise [it] hangs, or just takes forever to respond. [it’s even] worse since [installing] iOS 11.

      [I had] “to do save on iPhone 6” (sorry I don’t even know what that meant?). So [far,] after a few days with [an iPhone X] [I haven’t] had [to force quit any apps]. [I have had] to hard [reset it] a few times, [I think] that was [because of old apps]. [Especially] when I [accidentally] tried to [launch] a 32 bit app.

      Get of me and get of this forum Sam!

  2. I have to quit the BBC News app as soon as I finish using it, because I’ve narrowed it down as the culprit in overuse of battery while it’s in the background. This has been true for several versions of the app. I’m a bit disappointed in Auntie Beeb for not having fixed this in such a long time.

    1. If one app is the source of the problem (in your case), open the Settings app and go to General->Background App Refresh. Then deny that one app the ability to perform background refreshing.

    2. Same with FaceBook (Yes, I’m ashamed to admit that I still use it) and PokeMon Go (I don’t play that one much anymore, but it happens). Nothing else needs to force quit except one game that occasionally locks up when it needs an update, but those two are nasty battery wasters.

  3. When going back two or three apps, you can accidentally select the wrong one and then you have to exit and start the process all over again. I don’t know how others operate, but I never really use the multi-tasking carousel for a very old app that I last used a few days ago. I only use it mainly to go back between the last app and a current one so I can copy and paste something, for example.

    The less apps in the carousel, the easier it is to operate for me. So I close them out every once in a while because I don’t want them unnecessarily crowding the pane. Why have some app in there that I rarely ever use?

  4. Every few months I’ll go through and close all the ones I’ve not used for ages and likely won’t use again soon, purely so it becomes more useful as a switcher. Performance wise it does nothing.

  5. The best reason to force close an app is to skip an “unskippable” ad. When a “free” game starts playing an ad between levels, I instantly look to the corners for a close button. If I see a 15 second timer instead of a close button, I immediately hit the home button, then double click home and close the app. If I do happen to see what the ad is selling, I add it to my “don’t ever buy” list.

    I always choose paid ad-free versions when available. I am more than happy to pay reasonable price for useful apps. I consider the cost of watching ads to be unreasonable.

  6. This article and the MDN take miss a couple of critical points

    Personally, I almost never force quit, but for the less techy user there some clear gotcha’s in this topic which are not often discussed

    Many apps use location services in the background. Now, a techy user can completely avoid this issue by being very careful about privacy/location/background privileges and by always remembering to choose END ROUTE from any maps app after you reach your destination

    So if you’re aware of these things and you know what you’re doing then yes there’s no advantage to force quitting all the time.

    But for the less educated user, It will save battery life in some situations.

    Now, If anyone has a counter argument that includes the info I’ve mentioned, I’d really like to hear it.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.