How To: Force Quit in iPhone 3.0

With iPhone 1.x and 2.x, you could hold down the Home button to "force quit" an application (kill the process) and return to the Home Screen. With iPhone 3.0, however, holding down the Home button now activates Voice Control on the iPhone 3G S.

So, how do you Force Quit under iPhone 3.0? iPhonejunkie3 provides the answer (via EverythingiCafe):

To force quit an application in 3.0, press and hold the sleep/wake button until the slide to power off screen appears, then press and hold the home button until the application quits (about six seconds).

Yes, this does indeed mean holding down Home is now useless on iPhone 1.x and 2.x, but that most likely will only affect jailbreakers and others who have specific reason for not upgrading. Everyone else gets a slightly more complicated, but still functional, Force Quit.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter,, Google+.

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There are 22 comments. Add yours.

fassy says:

Thanks -- I was wondering how force quit would work now. Is the hold trigger duration comparable to the hold force quit press-and-hold time, or is it faster/slower?

Big Willie says:

They're saying it only works on 3G S iPhones, not on 3G iPhones running 3.0 OS. (I so hate that they put a friggin "S" at the end of 3G. Soooo retarded!!!)

Greyscale says:

I don't use force quit much anyway, seeing as if an app crashes, it usually takes the whole OS with it, I find (especially Facebook).

Fassy says:

Right - but curious as to the implications for Backgrounder running in that combination.

icebike says:

I use force quit much less frequently since OS 2.2.1 was released. It used to be that Safari would freeze (not crash, just freeze) fairly frequently.
But I find it often takes much longer than 6 seconds, it has been taking something like 15 seconds lately.
It seems to me that force quit would speed up the application (especially safari) perhaps by forcing a memory reload or something.
I've heard of people who power off their phone daily in the belief that this "wards off problems". I think this is an old Windows habit, which Unix based systems have never needed, but old habits die hard. My phone hasn't been rebooted in well over 2 months.
But @Big Willie, the article refers to OS 3.0, not the new version of the hardware.

Zak Saber says:

People! People! The only time I use Force Quit is when I open Safari, Mail, iPod. If you don't Force Quit these applications then they will eat up your battery! Apple is annoying me now that there's a longer process to Force Quit apps. what the fuck? seriously..
If you have applications like Free Memory 1.3 or MemoryInfo. So what if the battery is better with the iPhone 3G S with Safari, Mail, or your iPod running in the background its bye bye to your battery.

robbiebisme says:

this only applies if you have a iphone 3gs with 3.0 software because the iphone 3g does not have the voice control option so the home button cannot open up that force quit on the 3g and original iphone will remain the same

taroliw says:

I can also tell you from experience that battery behavior with 3.0 (final) on the 3G is much much better. I'm noticing even better behavior than I saw with 2.2.1, and that's with my heavier use of CalDAV and ICS (so more going on regularly in the background).
The only apps I regularly had trouble with in terms of eating cycles when crashing were jailbreak applications. And it's worth pointing out that using force quit on some Apple provided apps (esp things like Mail) don't actually have the effect you think they do... the GUI may skip away, but there are other background tasks you can't kill that way.
In reality, if I notice the phone getting hot because the battery drain increases due to high CPU, I reboot the phone. It's the only way to be /sure/ the offender dies. And since applying 3.0 GM I haven't had to do this even once. YMMV, but this one looks solid. :)

icebike says:

8 Robbiebisme:
How can you say that since nobody has a 3Gs yet, and yet people have seen this behavior on the 3G with t.0 software?

Eric says:

I have a 3G with 3.0 GM and you have to do this to force quit. Its the same for all three hardware platforms.

tom says:

@Eric: Agreed. This is the behavior of release version of 3.0 on the 3G.
I upgraded to 3.0 on my 3G at the office yesterday, and was chagrined to find that a Force-Quit no longer worked -- I need to force-quit iTunes to retake control of the iPhone from my Mazda iPod connector every time I plug it in -- it's useless otherwise.
The new technique seems to work well, even on a 3G. Whew!

Ron Merrill says:

3.0 on 3G. Force-quit procedure does not work! Must turn off phone to exit app and return to home page. Spent most of my day trying to figure out. Very Frustrating! If you haven't upgraded, I wouldn't.
Yesterday I loved my iPhone - Today I HATE it!

Chris says:

@Tom (or anyone that can help)
Have a iPhone 3G S. Also have a 05 Mazda 3 with an OEM Mazda iPod connector. I used the old force quit method on my old iPhone 3g (before 3.0) to retake the iPod controls so I could select music from the device and not with the car. The new force quit method will not break the car's connection to the iPod app on the iPhone 3G S. It will stop music playback and exit to the home screen, but when you enter the iPod app again, you still get the "accessory is connected" screen. Any ideas on how to wrestle back iPod control to the 3G S? I've tried lots of different combinations of things, including turning the device off and on while connected to the car. You can actually get back in to the iPod app that way, but the car won't recognize the device and music won't play through the stereo.

Steve morris says:

I have the same problem using my 3gs on a BMW with a dice stereo. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Marc says:

I have been trying for like a day to get accessory connected problem on 3G with OSX 3.0. Even a forced quit with holding down the sleep button till "slide to turn of" comes up and then hold down the home button for 6 seconds. After pressing the Ipod function it still comes op with "accessory connected" crap. It worked fine on OSX 2.2. Is there anyone out there with a decent solution???

ak says:

This is a big headache, who the hell thought it would be better to leave CD manufacturers to design control interface for the iPhone? Apple should give iPhone owners the option of controlling their device from the handset, it used to work in 2.2 so it is Apple who have put the block on this. If anyone figures a workaround it will make a lot of people happy.

ert3 says:

Just to comment on response 3. this works on any iPhone running 3.0 software not just the 3GS. if your going to troll you need to be able to both read and dedicate it to the lulz.

Robt Vanhaitsma says:

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Rural says:

Ha ha - very Apple thing to do - hide an essential command behind an obscure set of steps.

chuck says:

Thanks needed to use this. Went on a website that cause a grey block to appear in the browser and all the options buttons would disappear. If I turned the phone to the side the browsing icons would reappear for a split second than disappear again. Force quit and I'm back on track. Wasn't really a crash but more like an incompatibility between the site and the iphone. Good stuff. What an annoying procedure though.
What I don't like about apple products. They never go wrong.. until they go wrong. then it's a pain to get it working again.