How to close apps on your Android phone

Most times, you press the back button on your screen repeatedly and think you’ve exited an app when it disappears. But what you’ve done is leave the app running in the background until you close it. Closing apps is among the simplest tasks you can do on your favorite Android tablets and phones, and it solves many problems. For one, the procedure refreshes apps to normalcy when they become unresponsive. Second, it keeps apps from draining the battery and using RAM.

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Although Android devices automatically optimize your battery and memory performance, leaving apps open can make your phone slow, especially if you installed resource-intensive apps. If you haven’t been closing apps properly, we share effective steps in this post to help you start doing so.


What happens when you close Android apps?

Closing apps on Android means shutting them down, and it isn’t the same as permanently uninstalling them. Instead, app closing ends all current foreground processes. These processes are app activities that you can see. The media players and Google Play Store app updates that appear in the notification panel are examples of foreground processes.

You can close an app when it’s misbehaving, consuming memory, or when you’re through using it. Most Android phones have an App Overview menu where you can see every open app. Closing apps only ends foreground processes, and stubborn apps may remain actively running in the background. A background app works invisibly to perform tasks whether you open them or not. Their activities include, but are not limited to, scanning for updates, downloading and updating user content, running ads, and sending notifications.

Closing background apps may free up memory, but it can also stop them from functioning properly. You may not receive notifications, or the app may crash frequently. Services like Bluetooth and the One UI launcher are examples of background system apps. We don’t recommend closing those apps unless you want to damage your phone.

Background apps aren’t visible in the App Overview straightaway. If your phone runs Android 12 or the latest OS version, you may see an option to stop actively running apps in the menu. If you don’t see it, you can either force close the app from the settings menu or enter developer mode.

How to close apps on Android phones and tablets

By default, the Android navigation bar is set to buttons. Tapping or long pressing the Overview button on your phone’s navigation bar accesses the App Overview menu. If you switched your navigation bar to swipe gestures, swiping up and holding the lower-left side of your screen displays the menu.

Close apps on Android phones

  1. Tap or long press the Overview button in the lower-left or lower-right corner of your screen. For navigation gestures, swipe up and hold the lower-left corner.
  2. You should see your recently opened apps. Swipe up an app to close it.

  3. To close all open apps at once, tap Close all.

Close apps on Android tablets

  1. Tap or long press the Overview button in the lower-left or lower-right corner of your screen. For navigation gestures, swipe up and hold the lower-left corner.
  2. You should see your recently opened apps. Swipe up an app to close it.
  3. To close all open apps at once, tap Clear all.

How to force stop apps on Android phones and tablets

You can force stop background apps via the App Overview, settings menu, or developer mode. Force stopping apps or services ends all foreground and background activity. The app no longer accesses caches and resources necessary to function until you open it again. However, you can only force stop an app from the App Overview menu on an Android smartphone, but not on a tablet. Additionally, the App Overview doesn’t show you all background apps. The settings menu is the best solution.

Developer mode is also useful for shutting down background running apps. But unless you’re a developer, we don’t recommend entering that mode as it involves tinkering with settings that could affect your device’s performance.

Force stopping doesn’t erase existing user data stored on apps. If you have unsaved works, such as downloads in progress, documents, or notes, the procedure erases that data. Also, apps may not function properly afterward. If you must force stop an application, do it only when the app freezes, lags, crashes, or restarts repeatedly.

Force stop apps on Android phones using App Overview

  1. Tap or long press the Overview button. For navigation gestures, swipe up and hold the lower-left side of the screen.
  2. If there are any active background apps, you should see a text such as 3 active in background in the upper-right corner. Tap the text to manage your background activity.
  3. Next to the listed apps, tap Stop to force close them.

Force stop apps from the Settings menu on an Android phone

  1. ​​​​Go to Settings > Apps.
  2. Tap an app.
  3. In the App info menu, tap Force stop.

  4. Tap OK to confirm the action.

Force stop apps in developer mode on an Android phone

  1. Go to Settings > About phone > Software information.
  2. Tap Build number seven times to unlock Developer mode. You may need to confirm your security pattern if you have one.

  3. Return to the settings menu.
  4. Tap Developer options.
  5. Tap Running services.

  6. You should see a list of active background apps and how much RAM they consume. Select an app to view its info.
  7. Tap Stop to end the app’s processes or services.

Force stop apps in the Settings menu on an Android tablet

  1. Go to Settings > Apps.
  2. Select an app from your recently opened apps, or tap See all apps to expand your options.
  3. In the App info menu, tap Force stop.

Force stop apps in developer mode on an Android tablet

  1. Go to settings > About tablet.
  2. Under Device identifiers, tap Build number seven times to unlock Developer mode.

  3. Return to the settings menu and tap System.
  4. Tap Developer options.
  5. Tap Running services.

  6. You should see a list of active background apps and how much RAM they consume. Select any of the apps to view their info.
  7. Tap Stop to end the app’s processes or services.

Uninstall apps you no longer need

Closing or force stopping apps is an effective way to free up memory and reset faulty apps. However, these perks don’t last forever. Background activity resumes when you open apps in the future. Most Tecno and Infinix phones or tablets with the HiOS launcher have a unique freezer that stops these activities without uninstalling them. However, other devices can’t access the feature even if you download the launcher, and many third-party freezers in Google Play Store require you to root your device.

If you don’t want to root your Android device, download and install Shizuku. If you no longer need an app, uninstall it permanently to erase all activity and data. Since some apps come preinstalled with your device, you can only disable them temporarily.

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