" />

iPhone Tips: How To Use Force-quit to Force iPhone Apps To Close


Image Source: ehow.com

Another quick tip for iPhone beginners here (veterans please look away).  I ‘ve realized recently that even some of my fairly techie friends had not realized how to use the ‘Force-quit ‘ feature of the iPhone.

Force-quit is a way “ the only way “ to make a badly behaving or just plain frozen iPhone application close.  It ‘s very simple to do, once you know how, and very useful in several situations.

To use force-quit, when you are in an app that seems to be frozen or is just acting too flaky for your liking, simply hold down the Home button for a little over 5 seconds.  You will not get any message or confirmation on screen as to what you ‘re doing, but you ‘ll be dropped back to the Home screen when the force quit is complete.

A few other things worth noting about force-quit:

Again, you ‘ll get no confirmation message when it ‘s done “ you ‘ll just be back at a home screen.

Force-quit can also be useful if you ‘re concerned about certain apps continuing to leave certain processes open and chewing up a bit of your available memory (as in RAM memory that programs run in, not storage memory that music and photos etc are stored in).  These are generally only Apple ‘s own apps “ like Safari and Mail “ that have any ability to do this.  You might want to force-quit them if you ‘re looking to free up as much memory as possible before running a game, for example, or just to give them a full shutdown to help get past an issue you ‘re having with them.

If you ‘re running one of the iPhone OS 3.0 *beta* versions 1-5, you will not be able to use force-quit “ for some reason it has disappeared from these betas.

If an app absolutely won ‘t respond to a force-quit effort and your whole phone is ‘frozen up ‘ you ‘ll need to do a hard reboot.  That is achieved by holding down the Home and Power buttons (as shown in the photo at the top of this post), for a period of 10-20 seconds or until you see the iPhone ‘s screen go black and the Apple logo appear as the start of its reboot process.

Continue reading:


  • Facebook User

    You can force an app closed by simply holding the Home button a few seconds.

    • i have 3gs model and when i hold home button I activate voice control help

      • Under iOS 3.0 and later, you need an extra step, as per Steven's comment below:
        hold down the power button until "slide to power off" comes up. Let go of the power button and hold the Home button until the app exits

        • That is a super useful tip! Thanks Patrick. I'm jailbroken with SB settings installed and have always used the processes menu to quit apps to save memory but it's good to know there is a way on a non JBed 3GS

  • In OS 3 (betas), to force quit an app, hold down the power button until “slide to power off” comes up. Let go of the power button and hold the Home button until the app exits. I wonder if Apple has another function in mind for holding down Home for 6 seconds now that it no longer forces-quit an app.

  • patrickj

    Facebook User – DOH, short brain vacation on my part – now corrected 🙂

  • patrickj

    Steven – thanks and cool – did not know that one – like it. I hope Apple has something cleverer in store in one of these next betas and / or final version of 3.0 …

  • christyxcore

    Well, that explains why force-quit wasn't working for me a little while ago. An app froze and I tried to force-quit it but since I'm on beta 5, I was wondering why it wasn't working. hah, now I know, thanks 🙂

  • patrickj

    Christy – glad to hear Steven's cool tip helped you out too. Thanks again Steven.

    Justin, Shankey – no more pimping posts with links on your first post – links stripped …

  • Eddie Chan

    Hi All,

    Any idea of closing an apps for 3GS?
    Seems that it's eating up half of my memory.
    Please help.

    • You hold the Power button down until the 'slide to power off' strip comes up – then let go of the Power button and press the Home button until the app closes.

  • patrickj

    Sounds like a restore is going to be in your future. Just in case, have you tried a hard reboot or even a few of them?

  • Robbie

    For anyone attempting to “force-quit” a program on the Iphone 3gs or earlier, DONT. There is a much safer way to close the applications. double tap the home key, then press and hold like you would to move applications. Once you do this, you can turn off the applications by clicking the red sign.

  • Emmy

    Thank you for the tip! I had to hard boot in order for the app to finally close. From reading your directions, it finally made sense also why I was chewing up tons of data usage, thanks again