Stop force closing apps on your iPhone, it's not making it run faster or last longer

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2015
Yes, you can force close iOS apps by double pressing the home button and sliding the app window up, but you shouldn't make a habit out of regularly doing it. Here's why.




tl;dr: Constantly swiping up on all apps to force close them is a waste of time.

For years, iOS has included the ability to force close an app by accessing the app switcher view. While the look and feel of multitasking has changed with different iOS updates, the basic functionality and intent have stayed the same --?the app switcher is just an easy way for users to quickly jump between recently used apps.

However, many users mistakenly believe that all apps shown in the app switcher are currently running in the background on their phone, draining performance and battery. That's incorrect.

Apple's iOS platform does allow for intelligent multitasking, meaning some apps will operate or finish a task in the background, then automatically close.

However, the iOS app switcher shows all apps that have been opened on an iPhone or iPad, regardless of whether or not they are actually running in the background.

Misconceptions about the iOS app switcher have led many users to adopt the habit of double pressing the home button and swiping up on all apps, constantly, in a futile effort to improve their handset's battery life or performance.

The truth is, that habit is a waste of time.

For proof, restart your phone, then double-press the home button without launching anything. You'll see all of the same recent apps in the app switcher, despite the fact that iOS has been completely rebooted and nothing has been opened.

The only time you should force an app to close is if it becomes unresponsive or erratic. For example, if you're using Facebook and the app has crashed, return to the home screen, then double press the home button, then swipe up on the Facebook window to force it to close. Reopening Facebook should return the app to its normal state.

If you're truly worried about battery life and performance, actual effective ways of improving it include lowering your screen brightness, manually turning on the iOS 9 Low Power Mode, or digging into settings to disable Background App Refresh (under Settings, then General).
brettschulte
«13456712

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 236
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Yes, you can force close iOS apps by double pressing the home button and sliding the app window up, but you shouldn't make a habit out of regularly doing it. Here's why.







    tl;dr: Constantly swiping up on all apps to force close them is a waste of time.



     

     

    Except for Facebook App, which runs all the time in the background.  Kill that all the time.

     

    https://www.macstories.net/linked/the-background-data-and-battery-usage-of-facebooks-ios-app/

  • Reply 2 of 236
    I don't buy this author's OPINION for one second. I have three apps on my iPhone and iPad right now that OBVIOUSLY drain the battery when they "aren't running": An IP camera app, a photo filter app, and a chat app. Time and time again I've found that "force closing" will stop the battery bleeding. The chat app will even cause the phone and other apps to hang if it is running (not running?) in the background.
  • Reply 3 of 236
    Quote:

    For proof, restart your phone, then double-press the home button without launching anything. You'll see all of the same recent apps in the app switcher, despite the fact that iOS has been completely rebooted and nothing has been opened.

     

    How is that proof? The whole article is based on this as the proof? On Mac OS X, that is a feature. How do they not know that iOS is just not relaunching all of those apps into the background after reboot? We know they are not "running" like a foreground app, but background processing can be occurring in those apps. 

  • Reply 4 of 236
    b9botb9bot Posts: 238member
    I disagree. I have seen IOS stop responding many times when all the apps are left open. After closing them things work again.
  • Reply 5 of 236
    This is incorrect. There are apps that run in the background that drain significant battery even if they are in active. I'll call out facebook and Map My Run as being two I am personally aware of. Also, some GPS apps run in the background and while they try to be smart about battery usage, it is still better to quit them. If you don't know what apps are draining battery, what harm is there in quitting them all?
  • Reply 6 of 236

    As mentioned, Facebook is designed to ignore system settings (apart from being a terrible app in general) and drains the battery so it should be closed completely (or better yet, deleted entirely).

     

    There's also a point where you can have too many apps open in the background. I try to keep it to the four or five I actually use the most, which in my case is Messages, Twitter, Mail, Safari and a forum app.

  • Reply 7 of 236
    This is so not true, based on which app it is. GPS apps like Waze burn through battery like crazy even when running in the background. Essentially, any application that uses Location Services needs to be closed to preserve battery life.
  • Reply 8 of 236
    thrangthrang Posts: 760member
    At least as of a year ago, when I was in a Apple Store last for support, killing apps this way was a technique used by geniuses...
  • Reply 9 of 236
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thrang View Post



    At least as of a year ago, when I was in a Apple Store last for support, killing apps this way was a technique used by geniuses...



    I was in the store a few days after iOS 9 came out for battery issues, he said they'd recently changed to recommending this now.

  • Reply 10 of 236
    Yes, there are some apps and instances where force-quitting is helpful. But for the majority of apps, it's not needed.

    The harm in doing this to every app all the time is that if you're doing it to apps you use frequently, it actually can use more battery life as it has to fully boot the app each time instead of pulling data from its frozen state.

    So if your phone is slowing down or apps are hanging, by all means, shut some of them down. But I agree with this author that it shouldn't be a habit. If your phone is running smoothly, don't close the apps.
  • Reply 11 of 236

    I'll jump in and also state that another app that runs in the background is the ShoreTel Mobility app.  If it isn't open in the background, you won't get instant messages from the corporate chat server.  So, it must be checking in while running in the background to keep the connection alive and receive messages from the server and is utilizing processor cycles and battery.  During working hours, I leave it in the background, but I typically close it when I leave work.  There are other methods in place to reach me outside of business hours, so I don't need the app using any resources, however minimal.

  • Reply 12 of 236

    I'd have to pretty much quote everyone above me, but most of them are wrong. I have some more proof.

     

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201330 which states:

     

    Quote:


    Generally, there's no need to force an app to close unless it's unresponsive. When you press the Home button two times quickly, the recently used apps that appear aren't open. They're in an efficient standby mode to help you navigate and multitask.


     

    There's also a video of someone actually monitoring ram and cpu usage of apps that are open and closed (this is back in the iOS 6 days, this was true even back then), which you can find here: 

     

    For a more in-depth explanation, read this: http://www.speirs.org/blog/2012/1/2/misconceptions-about-ios-multitasking.html

     

    TL;DR: Article is correct, most of the replies up to this point are incorrect personal variations "well MY experience using this app or this app means that the whole app ecosystem behaves this way"

  • Reply 13 of 236
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,690member
    AppleInsider needs to pull this article because there is no basis in fact for the claims made!!! It has been demonstrated again and again that there are apps out there that do in fact run in background in a way to have significant impact on battery life. Facebook is just one of these apps but possibly the worst example.

    What kills me here is that people are unwilling or maybe just not smart enough to ready the iOS developers materials to realize that, yes background processing can and does happen. Not all apps do this of course but you need to be aware that there are methods to do this and that some of those methods get exploited in a way that isn't ideal.

    Now one shouldn't do this after every single app launch, but a bit of monitored usage should highlight to the user those apps that do have an impact on battery life. Exit those apps regularly once identified. There is also plenty of evidence that too many apps in background / suspended does in fact cause performance problems. I've seen people that have had several dozen apps suspended that had their performance issues immediately solved by exiting out of most of them.

    It just perplexes me that people continue to promote an idea that is completely bogus. In a perfect world iOS might work as the article implies but the real world is a different story all together.

    Dave
  • Reply 14 of 236

    Even if the dubious notion that closing apps will have no effect on performance is correct, it's often just a matter of tidiness in closing out apps so I can more readily find the app card I want to get back to.  

  • Reply 15 of 236
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,817member

    Thanks to others for calling BS on this "advice". Save me the trouble of doing so.

  • Reply 16 of 236
    GPS apps can continue to GPS your location even when they're in the background.
  • Reply 17 of 236

    In my experience Map My Run/Walk, etc., also gets confused by other apps that use GPS and can sometimes knock its accuracy off track and force quitting those other apps is essential to maintain accuracy and battery life.

  • Reply 18 of 236
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post



    GPS apps can continue to GPS your location even when they're in the background.

     

    Which can be disabled.

     

    I agree with the article if you properly manage your "Background App Refresh" settings.  

     

    Disable location tracking in the background for almost every app.  Disable background app refresh all together for apps you use sparingly - such as a wallpaper app.   

     

    If Background App Refresh is enabled only for apps you want, you can stop force closing apps forever.  

  • Reply 19 of 236
    The stupidest article ever on Ai.

    Not only is it pure fallacy,

    But even if we get to an os that someday handles everything for you perfectly, you still need to close an app that's functioning funny.

    And hate to break it to you, but leaving apps in the background DOES affect performance and battery life.

    In fact, the "geniuses" at the Apple Store recommend you switch off unused apps.
  • Reply 20 of 236
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by broderik View Post

     

    I'd have to pretty much quote everyone above me, but most of them are wrong. I have some more proof.

     

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201330 which states:

     

    Quote:

    Generally, there's no need to force an app to close unless it's unresponsive. When you press the Home button two times quickly, the recently used apps that appear aren't open. They're in an efficient standby mode to help you navigate and multitask.


     

    There's also a video of someone actually monitoring ram and cpu usage of apps that are open and closed (this is back in the iOS 6 days, this was true even back then), which you can find here: 

     

    For a more in-depth explanation, read this: http://www.speirs.org/blog/2012/1/2/misconceptions-about-ios-multitasking.html

     

    TL;DR: Article is correct, most of the replies up to this point are incorrect personal variations "well MY experience using this app or this app means that the whole app ecosystem behaves this way"


     

    For apps not performing background operations, this article would be correct. For apps performing background operations, this article is incorrect. If you don't know the difference between the two types of apps, better safe than sorry when something is draining your battery in the background and kill them all. 

    brettschulte
Sign In or Register to comment.