How to Close Apps on Android

Freeing the extra load

Brunchtime Selfie

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Having too many apps open at the same time can sometimes slow down your device. Navigating away from an app might allow it to keep running in the background, so the only way to close applications for real is to do so manually.

Do You Need to Close Apps Manually?

In case you were wondering, Google doesn't really recommend closing your apps manually on an Android phone or tablet. The operating system, which is built for flexibility and versatility, knows how to manage its resources in a sufficient way even with multiple apps running in the background. However, there are situations where you might be forced to shut down apps manually after all. On devices with lower storage and internal memory, having too many applications open at the same time can cause the device to lag. Moreover, apps downloaded from the Play Store are often known to freeze or crash, but continue running in the background. In these cases, closing them off manually is the only remaining option.

How to Close Apps via Overview

  1. Android smartphones generally come with a dedicated Overview button located at the bottom of the screen. On Pixel, LG and Nokia devices, this is a small square icon located at the bottom-right. On Samsung phones, it's a physical button in the appearance of two overlapping rectangles, and it's located on the bottom-left. Tap it.

    Close an Android app via the Overview
  2. You will be taken to the Recent Apps menu, a screen which showcases every single app that you have currently running in the background. You can cycle through them bu swiping up and down to see the full list of running apps.

  3. Swipe left (or right) on every application that you wish to close. This will quit any running applications, although it may not stop any processes certain apps may have running in the background. For that, you're going to need to move on to the next method.

How to Close Apps via Apps Manager

In order to force close apps so that it also stops any and all background processes it has got running, use the Apps Manager. This is a more direct, system level, way to manage your apps. Be aware that this option isn't as friendly and is geared more towards killing an unresponsive app than exiting gracefully.

  1. Open your Settings app and scroll until you see Apps and Notifications. On older Android versions and some manufacturer modified ones, you would look for General then Apps or simply Apps.

    Force stop and Android app from settings
  2. Next, you'll arrive on a list of apps. Again, depending on the version of Android you're running, it'll either be a complete list of every app or a list of your most recent ones with the option to see them all below. In either case, locate the problem app that you want to close, and tap on it.

  3. Once you've selected an app, you'll see its App info page. This page contains information about how the app is running on your system, how much data and battery it uses, and other useful stats. At the top, though, you'll notice the option to Force Stop. Select it to stop the app.

  4. Before Android goes ahead and gives the app the ax, it'll ask you one last time if you're certain. Agree to kill the app. Once the app is stopped, you can restart it normally. Be advised, though, that the destructive nature of Force Stop may have caused some corruption or unintended behavior.