Why Apple Geniuses sometimes tell people to kill all their apps

Yes, sometimes you  do need to kill all the apps in your multitasking dock

A little over a year ago I wrote a rather controversial editorial stating that iOS users don't ever need to kill all the apps in their multitasking dock (fast app switcher). A couple of months ago the subject was brought back to the spotlight, with other developers and bloggers reaching pretty much the same conclusion.

It remains true. There's no need to regularly "clear out" all the apps in your multitasking dock. We've said it, other developers and bloggers have said it, even Apple has said it.

But here's the thing -- sometimes Apple Geniuses will tell users to do just that. Which is what makes it controversial. Here's why:

Trouble-shooting is sometimes a slow, complicated process.

If a customer comes to the Genius Bar with one poorly coded app or rogue process that's continuously slowing down their iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, or causing massive battery drain, figuring out which app it is, and fixing it, can take a lot of time and effort. It can involve buying system monitoring apps, rebooting a lot, launching apps, testing, checking system status, killing apps, rebooting, deleting apps, reinstalling apps, etc. etc. It can involve a lot of things that some Apple Geniuses believe mainstream, non-technical users will have trouble understanding and doing.

It flies against Apple's recommendation, it flies in the face of best trouble-shooting practices, and it makes advanced users cringe, but...

Killing everything, in that specific case, for mainstream users, is the fastest, easiest path to problem resolution.

So if a Genius tells your mom to kill all her apps every day or week, that's why.

It's wrong. It's unnecessary, and you can certainly take the time to properly Unless you want to take them time to trouble shoot it for them.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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