Complaints Mounting About iOS 13.2 Being 'More Aggressive at Killing Background Apps and Tasks'

A growing number of iPhone and iPad users have complained about poor RAM management on iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, leading to apps like Safari, YouTube, and Overcast reloading more frequently upon being reopened. We've lightly edited some of the comments to correct things like capitalization.


MacRumors forum member Rogifan:

I was watching a video in YouTube on my iPhone 11 Pro. I pause the video to respond to a text message. I was in iMessage for less than one minute. When I returned to YouTube it reloaded the app and I lost the video I was watching. I noticed this a lot on my iPad Pro too. Apps and Safari tabs reloading a lot more frequently than they did in iOS 12. Very annoying.

MacRumors forum member Radon87000, using an iPad Pro on iPadOS 13.2:

I was working on a spreadsheet in Excel and I switched to a YouTube video for like 10 mins or so and when I switched back, the app was no longer in memory. Not just that, it also flushed all Safari tabs out of memory too. None of the games are staying in memory after 20 mins.

MacRumors forum member HappyDude20:

iOS 12 was perfect and [I] miss it for the main reason that any time I use the app switcher to go back to my previous app such as Safari or Instagram or Facebook or anything really, the app refreshes. Back in iOS 12 I could go back [to] multiple app(s) and it wouldn't refresh. It was perfect. I'm running on an iPhone 7 Plus if it makes any difference but feel it shouldn't.

Based on anecdotal comments from affected users, the issue appears to have become worse as of iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2. Artist, designer, and developer Nick Heer wrote this on his blog yesterday:

I'm used to the camera purging all open apps from memory on my iPhone X, but iOS 13.2 goes above and beyond in killing background tasks. Earlier today, I was switching between a thread in Messages and a recipe in Safari and each app entirely refreshed every time I foregrounded it. This happens all the time throughout the system in iOS 13: Safari can't keep even a single tab open in the background, every app boots from scratch, and using iOS feels like it has regressed to the pre-multitasking days.

On his blog, developer Michael Tsai has rounded up similar complaints on Twitter.

Marco Arment:

I've noticed this since the first 13.2 betas, and Overcast users keep reporting it as well: background apps seem to be getting killed MUCH more aggressively than before.

(Especially on the iPhone 11 if you use the camera, presumably because it needs so much RAM for processing.)

Christopher Stephens:

Every single app on my iPhone 7 iOS 13.2 gets killed every time I close. No backgrounding. And each tab on Safari when I move to a new one. So frustrating

Cabel Sasser:

This really affected Prompt. Extremely annoying to lose SSH connections when switch apps.

In yesterday's update we rolled out a semi-cheesy but effective fix: "Connection Keeper" keeps a running GPS-based log of where you connect to servers. Side effect: connections stay alive.

More complaints are found in this Twitter thread, in this Reddit thread, in the Apple Support Communities, and elsewhere on the web.


Affected users are hoping this issue can be resolved in a future software update. We've reached out to Apple for comment.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
12 months ago
It's very "meta" to do an article on MacRumors that quotes a whole bunch of posts from the MacRumors Forums... lol
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago
I refuse to believe that this is intentional. It HAS to be a bug, otherwise this is a HUGE step backwards.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago
They keep assuring us we don’t need more RAM, but then if so, it needs to be managed a lot better than this. The iPad will never be a laptop replacement if apps continuously refresh.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago
Lol at this rate I’m never leaving iOS 12
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago
We reached out for a comment from Apple, they replied: "Trick or Treat !?"
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago
I’ve had this issue and have been reporting it since the first bloody beta. Lots of people on the iosbeta sub are also experiencing this same issue.

I CANNOT believe apple released 13.2 with that garbage memory management in play, it’s not like they weren’t aware! Sheesh Apple.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 Will Be Released September 16

Tuesday September 15, 2020 11:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced that iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 will be officially released on Wednesday, September 16. Apple has seeded the final Golden Master beta versions of each update to developers in advance. ‌iOS 14‌ and iPadOS 14 introduce dozens of new features, including a redesigned Home Screen that supports widgets on the iPhone and iPad for the first time. For more...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Full Transcript of Apple's 'Time Flies' Event With Apple Watch and iPad Updates

Tuesday September 15, 2020 8:46 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Time Flies" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut new Apple Watch and iPad models, but it appears we may not see the iPhone 12 until next month. While we're not expecting to see new iPhones today, Apple's software updates for its various platforms are likely nearly ready for launch, so we may be hearing more about them today. Check...

Everything Apple Announced at Today's iPad and Apple Watch Event in Just Seven Minutes

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:19 pm PDT by
Apple today held its annual September event, but this year was a bit different because no new iPhones were announced. The "Time Flies" event focused on the Apple Watch Series 6 and the iPad Air, and saw the debut of a new Apple One services bundle. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce the new devices, but we've recapped the event in...