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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Force Apps to Stop on an iPhone or iPad

How to Force Apps to Stop on an iPhone or iPad



  A hand holding an iPhone X.
Khamosh Pathak

Sometimes an app gets stuck on a screen or stops responding. If you force the app to quit on your iPhone or iPad, everything is "canceled". We show you how!

What causes Force Quitting?

If you close an app on your iPhone or iPad and return to the Home screen, the app will not quit. It is still running in the background. You can imagine that the app is "paused".

If an app crashes, gets stuck, or behaves badly in general, forced shutdown is probably the best option. This actually quits the app, and when you reopen it, it reloads. Any temporary issues you have with this app should be resolved.

RELATED: How to Force an App to Stop on a Smartphone, Computer, or Tablet

How to Force Apps to Stop on an iPhone

Opening the App Switcher and Enforcing the App Quitting an app on an iPhone will differ slightly depending on which model and which iOS version is being used.

First let's talk about the newer iPhones (X, XS), XS Max, XR or higher), which have the notch at the top of the screen and no home button.

Stay on your iPhone in the problematic app or open the app that you want to quit. Swipe up from the bottom of the iPhone screen.

 Swipe up from the taskbar.

Hold your finger on the screen as you approach the center of the screen. If you see a preview of the app in map format, raise your finger to open the app toggle switch.

 Swipe up from the taskbar and hold down the mouse button to display the App Switcher.

Now you can scroll in this interface horizontally to see all previously opened apps. When you see the app you want to quit, swipe up in the preview. The map should disappear at the top of the display.

 When you see the app you want to quit, swipe up in the preview.

If you're using an iPhone X running iOS 11, you'll need to tap and hold the app preview, and then tap the red minus sign to exit the app.

If the iPhone has a physical home button, double-click it to open the App Switcher, and then swipe up in the app preview to exit the app.

How to Force Apps to Quit on an iPad

The Forcing Quitting Apps on iPad option is similar to the one for the iPhone, but the interface is different.

If you're using a newer iPad Pro with Face ID (iOS 12, iPadOS 13, or later), swipe over the bottom of the screen to the middle area, hold it down for a second, and release then go ahead to view the App Switcher.

 Swipe up from the bottom of the iPad screen to display the App Switcher.

You see a grid of previously opened apps. Find the one you want to force to quit and swipe up to close it.

 Swipe up in the preview of an app to end it.

If your iPad has a physical home button, double-click it to open the App Switcher. If you run iOS 12 (or iPadOS 13) on a legacy iPad with a Start button, you can still swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the App Switcher.


After you exit the app, find it on the Home screen (or use the Spotlight search to find it) and tap it to reopen it. The app should now work properly.

If you're still having problems, try our tips to fix the app crash. If all else fails, we recommend that you restart your iPhone or iPad.

RELATED: Fixing Crashes of Apps on an iPhone or iPad


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