How to quit or kill multiple apps at once on your iPhone or iPad

Multitasking now provides full on background processing for every app — and intelligently so! Basically, iOS waits until it thinks you need something, then makes sure it's there when you do. If one app needs access to data, it organizes other apps that might need access too. This all combines to let your iPhone and iPad stay responsive, and your battery life stay long-lasting. But what happens when something goes wrong, or you decide you want to quit or kill an app and its processes? Easy! With the multitasking card view, you can close up to three apps at one!

How to close up to three apps at time on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Double tap the Home button to launch the fast app switcher.
  2. Close a single car by touching it and flicking it up and away towards the top of the screen.
  3. Close up to three apps at once by touching each one with a finger and flicking them all up at the same time.

It's much easier if you see it in action, so make sure you watch the video above before you give it a try. Once you do, let me know — how does it work for you?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to quit or kill multiple apps at once on your iPhone or iPad


Try using BatterySaver. Its a nice app that tells you how much power your apps are using. Most apps dont use any power and so dont need to be shut down. The app also has a lot of other uses like showing the amount of time left to fully charge and what services are using battery such as location, wifi and bluetooth.

Agreed but i have seen problem apps in iOS 7 with background refresh that don't stop polling or get stuck. If you don't want to turn that feature off all together, some apps seem to have issues with it.

Thanks Ally! Great tip.

This makes me think that OS X needs a similar task manager. The current "Force Quit Applications" window is pretty clunky. Then again, OS X has virtual memory so apps aren't as memory-constrained as on iOS.

Why would that mean failure? This is either caused by 2 things: apps running out of control or the device not having enough memory. Android tends to have problems with the first, and Apple tends to have problems with the second. Rooted Android phones can, however, greenify apps, resulting in the perfect blend.

Clearly you have failed if the app crashes the computer. If it can be killed by app manager but you have to use one you failed because your normal UI should have let you kill it .

In particular the lack of a force quit option in the dock for unresponsive apps is a giant fail . I shouldn't need to run a special menu or start activity manager to kill it .

Android has made great strides in the past few years and this is no longer a problem. The only devices I've ever experienced running out of memory are my first gen iPod touch, second gen iPod touch and iPhone 3G. So in the same time period, both iOS and Android have fixed memory issues in the last several years.

Actually, there is a force quit option in the dock for unresponsive apps. Just wait until an app becomes unresponsive, and right click its icon in the dock. The quit option automatically changes to a force quit option.

Steve Jobs said a lot of ridiculous nonsense.
He said you'd have to "file down your fingers" if you wanted to make the original iPad smaller.
He said the original iPhone was the "perfect size".
He said the "Good artists copy, great artists steal.", then decided to sue every Android manufacturer for "stealing", whilst stealing many of Android's features.
He said "There's nothing wrong with the iPhone, you're holding it wrong." In response to the defective iPhone antenna fiasco.
And quite a bit more...

I didn't know you could do multiple apps at once! Thanks for the tip! With my big fingers, I have trouble doing 3 apps with the iphone, i'm guessing this will be much easier on the bigger screened iPad.

Perhaps it's my big fingers too, but I have not been able to accomplish 3 at a time yet. It works flawlessly when I do two at a time, tho. Great tip, thanks.

Already knew about this but it's useful for people that don't know about this. Another tip: if you are on iOS 6 you can close two apps at a time by pressing on two of the minus buttons at the same time.

Even better one.. "Jailbreak only" Download SLIDE2KILL 7. Slide up to kill one app, slide down to kill all.. They need to make this native, great tool

Admittedly, I'm new it iOS. I've been on Android for a long time, but had to get an iPhone for work. Generally, I don't mind the iPhone, but there are so many things, simple things, it could do better. When I saw the title of this article, I thought, "Oh great! I've been wondering how to close all the apps at once. It was so easy to do in Adroid. Just click a "close all" button. Why wouldn't iOS have something like that?" Then I read the article, and it tells me to use 3 fingers to swipe away three apps at once?? And I still can't close all at once? This is why Android users laugh at iOS.

eh, if you timed it right, the old way with the little red X was faster. I was excited for the new way to close apps until I saw that it's actually slower.

I still wish they would give a "Close all" option. I know this isn't an Android, But it would be a nice option for those of us who feel the itch to close out applications.

Why isn't there a simple CLOSE ALL app? I've gotten used to that with my Galaxy Note 2, and while I consider going back to Iphone with the 6 plus that was something I was looking for. Perhaps it's not a neccessary? Do the open/background apps drain a droid more???