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How to force close apps in Android

Have you ever before noticed that after the first time you open an app on your Android smartphone, it loads quicker? Tapping the Home button on your device, or swiping up to return to the home screen, doesn’t close out an app — it leaves it running in the background. Similar to minimizing a window when working on a PC, merely returning to your home screen keeps applications running in the background to be resumed faster in the future.

However, when problems arise or your smartphone begins to slow down, you may wish to close a few applications. First, let’s look at how to close an application from the multitasking interface, then, if all else fails, we can force quit that pesky app.

Closing an Android background app

If you wish to close an application, your best bet is to swipe it away within Android’s multitasking interface. Depending upon your version of Android and your smartphone manufacturer, this process can differ slightly. Follow the instructions below to close applications with ease.

Step 1: Access your multitasking interface using one of the following options:

  • If your smartphone has three icons at the bottom of the screen, tap either the three vertical lines button (Samsung Galaxy devices) or the square button (most other Android devices).
  • If your smartphone has a single horizontal line and uses a swipe-gesture system to navigate, swipe up from the bottom to the middle of the screen, hold for a moment, then release.

Step 2: Place your finger on the app you wish to close, then swipe it up and away.

Note: Due to the vast array of smartphone manufacturers, some older Android devices may handle accessing multitasking differently. Visit your manufacturer’s support page for more information on using multitasking with Android.

Force close an Android app

There may be instances when an application refuses to close in a usual manner or leaves other services running in the background. You may choose to force close the application in these situations, using the Android Settings app to halt the app completely. On most Android devices, force closing an app can be handled in the following manner:

Step 1: Open the Settings apps.

Step 2: Select the Apps or Apps & Notifications option.

Step 3: You may need to select See all apps to view all opened applications.

Step 4: Tap the application you wish to force close.

Step 5: Choose the Force Stop option.

Step 6: Confirm your decision by selecting OK.

Close all Android background apps

Another option that may allow you to work more efficiently with your smartphone is to close all Android background apps with a single button press; this can be useful when you want to free up your smartphone’s memory to help run other applications. Follow the steps below to close all Android background apps with a single tap.

Step 1: Access your multitasking interface using one of the following options:

  • If your smartphone has three icons at the bottom of the screen, tap either the three vertical lines button (Samsung Galaxy devices) or the square button (most other Android devices).
  • If your smartphone has a single horizontal line and uses a swipe-gesture system to navigate, swipe up from the bottom to the middle of the screen, hold for a moment, then release.

Step 2: Continue swiping to the right in the multitasking interface until you reach the list’s end.

Step 3: A Clear All button should now be visible; tap it to close all open applications.

Note: As noted previously, due to the vast array of smartphone manufacturers, some older Android devices may handle accessing multitasking differently. You can visit your manufacturer’s support page for more information on using multitasking with Android.

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How to force close apps in Android

Are you having trouble with an Android app? We show you how to close any background apps, and if all else fails, how to force close any application with ease.

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