How to Close Apps on iPhone X, XR, XS, and 11

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When Apple launched iPhones without Home buttons, a whole new set of gestures were introduced, changing the way that we were used to interacting with our iPhones.

One of these changes involved the App Switcher and the way open apps are found, with Apple introducing a gesture to reach the App Switcher on devices with a Home button.

closing apps on iPhone

How to close an app on iPhone X, XS, XS Max, XR, iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max

  1. At the Home screen of the ‌iPhone‌, or while in an app, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause while still pressing the screen.
  2. When the App Switcher comes up, swipe left and right through the different app cards to find the app that you want to close.
  3. Use a quick swipe upwards to close the app.

Using this gesture exits out of an app and effectively closes it, which is useful if you need to restart an app for some reason. There's generally no need to close your apps to improve performance, though, as Apple has built-in management systems for dealing with all of the apps that you have open on your device.

Most apps that are not active are in a suspended state and are not using up any resources, but some apps can run in the background for a period of time if background refresh is activated.

According to Apple, force quitting an app will not improve your battery life, and it's possible that doing so can actually drain battery because it causes the ‌iPhone‌ to load it all over again.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

Top Rated Comments

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24 months ago

Here's proof right from Craig Federighi:

https://www.macrumors.com/2016/03/10/force-quitting-apps-doesnt-help-battery/

Apple has been saying that for years, but it doesn't change the fact that some apps (especially Facebook) are notorious for running in the background and draining your battery when (according to Apple press releases) they are supposed to be suspended.

Killing the offending app is the only way to make it stop. And since you have no way of knowing which apps are good and which are bad, it's far easier to just kill them all when you're done with a session.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 months ago
iPhone X user here. It was never necessary to press the red minus. Once it appears, swiping up to close apps works as well. This just eliminates one step in between which is welcomed!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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24 months ago

Interesting...

Quitting apps used to be a thing which folks weren’t really aware off. As a somehow geek person, I used to advise people to do so. It became an act that showed that someone knew the logic of background activity draining battery performance, especially apps that were using GPS, or that were constantly connected to the internet to receive push updates.

I am somehow sceptical about the text in the OP, since perhaps the OS is smarter att handling performance, but ... some principles must pertain with regards to battery performance and awareness of apps, with regards to being able to log your online presence or your location or whatnot.

Can we take the statements above with a grain of salt, or do I really need to rethink my understanding on the matter?

Here's proof right from Craig Federighi:

https://www.macrumors.com/2016/03/10/force-quitting-apps-doesnt-help-battery/

Edit: More documentation from Apple.

https://developer.apple.com/library/archive/documentation/iPhone/Conceptual/iPhoneOSProgrammingGuide/TheAppLifeCycle/TheAppLifeCycle.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40007072-CH2-SW1
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 months ago

Apple has been saying that for years, but it doesn't change the fact that some apps (especially Facebook) are notorious for running in the background and draining your battery when (according to Apple press releases) they are supposed to be suspended.

Killing the offending app is the only way to make it stop. And since you have no way of knowing which apps are good and which are bad, it's far easier to just kill them all when you're done with a session.

I don’t care what anyone says, I usually kill all the apps running each morning,pretty much from the day before and start clean..

Why keep apps running if they don’t need to be.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 months ago

Thanks for the references. I can conclude that my scepticism belongs to those threads instead.

Nevertheless: users should use common sense and close apps as they feel for doing. The principle of the oposite being true (it would more drain your battery than preserve it) is a long shot. If you relaunch an app, you are intentionally adding load to the processor and therewith asking for battery power. I can never believe that the loss of power trough intentional processes would be higher than the gain of battery by not doing so for a good while.

Off course, if you pick up the phone every minute, open an app and close it, it would not be so smart for battery life.

My point being: we as a user should be fully entitled to close apps to our likings, as you never know what happens when they are lurking in the background.

For macrumors to pertinently stress on a statement by Frederigi, is quite off the hook. Commons sense will prevail amongst us users.

Of course, that's why the feature exists. You can close apps, and there are absolutely valid reasons to do. In the post, I'm just saying that you don't *need* to for reasons like preserving battery life because it is a common myth that if you don't close apps they're constantly running in the background or eating up too much memory.
[doublepost=1532119816][/doublepost]

EXACTLY.

You absolutely do and can save battery by closing the apps that use background battery (aka, facebook and instagram among others, but those are the two worst offenders). They are 100% NOT in a frozen state and they 100% use resources.

I'd argue that it's ultimately more efficient to turn off background refresh on these apps rather than to worry about closing them each time you use them. I have background refresh off for Facebook and some other apps that are notorious for using system resources.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 months ago
Uhm, that's not all that different than what I do now. It's not necessary in iOS 11, for example, to use the red minus (I don't get a red x ??) but just swipe up on the desired app to close it.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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