How to kill or force quit apps on iOS 9

You shouldn't need to force your apps to shut down, but it can occasionally help when something goes wrong.

iOS is designed to manage its own multitasking. When you leave an app, the interface pauses, background tasks that need to finish are allowed to do so, and a very few — like audio streaming, turn-by-turn navigation, and voice-over-IP calls are left running. Periodically, iOS will even check new content while the app is in the background.

If you start forcing apps to quit, you mess with this process, prevent background tasks from completing, new content from getting updated, and require the app to launch from scratch the next time you hit the button. And that can use more power and take more time than just letting iOS handle it.

But some apps — especially the Facebooks, Snapchats, Pokémons Go, and big media apps of the world — don't always behave perfectly. Sometimes they even abuse things like the audio stream to stay active in the background beyond what they should be allowed. Other times, an error happens that causes the app to crash over and over again.

Either way, once in a while, you may really need to force quit an app. Don't do it often. Certainly don't do it regularly. But know how to do it when you need to.

How to force quit an app on iPhone or iPad

  1. Double click the Home button (or 3D Touch/firmly press the left side of the screen on iPhone 6s or later) to bring up the fast app switcher.
  2. Navigate to the app screen you want to quit.
  3. Swipe up on the app card you wish to shut down by flicking it up and off the screen.

If you suspect an app like Facebook, Pokémon Go, or Skype is causing an exessive amount of power drain and needs to be force quit more often, you can check Settings to make sure.

How to force quit three apps at once on iPhone or iPad

If you can't find the source of a rogue battery drain issue or are otherwise pressed for time and just need everything to stop, you can force quite multiple apps at once. Again, don't do it regularly, but know how to do it whne you have to.

  1. Double click the Home button (or 3D Touch press the left side of the screen on iPhone 6s or later) to bring up the fast app switcher.
  2. Navigate to the apps you want to force quit—up to three at a time.
  3. Using three fingers, swipe up on the app cards you wish to shut down by flicking them up and off the screen.

How to force quit an app without using the fast app switcher

If for some reason you don't want to use the fast app switcher interface to kill an app, you can still do it the old-fashioned way: By holding down the Power and Home buttons.

  1. Visit the app that you want to forcibly shut down.
  2. Hold down the On/Off button until the "slide to power off" screen appears.
  3. Hold down the Home button until you're dropped back onto the Home screen.


There's a subtle difference in how the system tracks this version of force quitting, but the result is the same.

Any questions on force quitting apps?

Have any questions about troubleshooting your iPhone or iPad? Drop them in the comments below!

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