How to Force-Quit or Close an iPad App

Did you know hitting the Home Button doesn't actually close an app? It might look like it closes because the app goes away and you can see all of the icons on your Home Screen, but most apps will stay present in the background. And some apps may continue to run in the background. This is important for apps like Pandora Radio to continue streaming music, but for other apps, they might take up precious processing power from your iPad.

Under normal circumstances (that is to say, the vast vast majority of time), iOS handles this. iOS stops an app from running wild in the background so the user doesn't have to worry about anything.

If your iPad is acting erratically or if it seems to be operating especially slow, shutting down apps running in the background can speed up the iPad and clear up problems.

How to Force-Quit an App

To force an iPad app to close, you must get to the multitasking screen. This is the screen that shows the most recent apps that have been opened on the iPad. It's great for switching between two apps and essential for closing apps.

Open the multitasking screen by double clicking the Home Button at the bottom of your iPad. This is the physical button just below the iPad's screen. It is also used for Touch ID.

The multitasking screen will appear with the most recently opened iPad apps displayed as windows across the screen.

Each window has the icon above it along with the name, so it is easy to identify a particular app.

Apple has made it easier than ever to "force close" an app. Simply hold your finger down on the app window you want to close and then slide your finger to the top of the screen without ever lifting your finger from the iPad's display.

This will cause the app to shut down immediately. Think of it as "flicking" the window off of the iPad.

Remember, in order to quit the app, you must drag the miniature window, not the app's icon. You should also be careful to keep your finger on the screen throughout the entire process. Try "grabbing" the app by touching in the middle of the window and then swiping up toward the top of the display.

What If Closing the App Doesn't Resolve the Problem?

The next step after force-quitting an app is rebooting the iPad. When you click the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the device, the iPad simply goes to sleep. To properly reboot the iPad, hold the sleep/wake button down for several seconds until you see the instructions to "slide to power down" the iPad. Follow these instructions and wait until the iPad's display goes completely dark before clicking the sleep/wake button to power it back on again. Get more help rebooting the iPad.

If you are having problems with a specific app and rebooting doesn't solve it, you should try deleting the app and then download it again from the App Store. Don't worry, you won't have to pay for the app again. However, you will lose anything that you have saved in the app unless the app saves it to the 'cloud', such as Evernote saving your notes to the Evernote servers.

 

Am I Supposed to Force-Quit Apps All the Time?

No. iOS is intelligent enough to know when you are using an app or need an app to run in the background. When you switch apps, iOS tells the app it has a few seconds to wrap up what it's doing. Likewise, the app can ask iOS "Hey, I need more time to do this" or, in the case of audio, "The user will be all kinds of bummed out if I stop playing music, so I'll just be playing music, okay?" and iOS is supposed to grant those apps the power they need. For all other apps, when you decide to switch to another app, iOS suspends the app you were in and that app stops getting resources like the processor, screen, speaker, etc.

Don't let anyone tell you any differently: force-quitting an app is not anything you need to do on a regular basis.