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5 Best Ways to Close Apps on Android

Put resource-hungry apps to rest.

Ever since we started using smartphones, our interactions with technology have evolved. We no longer use one app at a time. We juggle between a multitude of apps at a time. 

Hold on, though. Is keeping a bunch of apps open for a long time good for your phone? Not really. Clearing apps that you are not using goes beyond app management. It can optimize your device’s performance and extend battery life.

To close apps on Android isn’t just tapping the back button. Even when you think they’re gone, they might still be hanging around, eating up your phone’s resources. In this article, we will walk you through -how to properly close apps on Android.

5 Ways to Close Apps on Android

To close apps on Android, either swipe up from the bottom of the screen and wait for the recent apps menu to appear (with gesture navigation), or tap the recent apps button (with button navigation). You can then swipe apps up individually to close them or use the ‘Close all’ button to shut down all background apps at once. The process might vary based on your phone model, with some devices requiring horizontal swipes and not all having a ‘Close all’ option.

Now that you’ve grasped the fundamental technique, let’s explore further ways to tailor this process to your preferences. Here are more methods that offer flexibility in closing apps, ensuring a seamless user experience on your Android device:

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Button Navigation

Button Navigation- close apps on android
Button Navigation- close apps on Android

If you are comfortable using the default buttons that most Androids come with, you can do that.

First, locate the dedicated recent apps button, usually represented by a square or two overlapping rectangles, at the bottom of your screen, either on the left or right.

As you tap the button, the app switcher that shows recently used apps will show up in horizontal or vertical order. With this app preview, you can navigate through the apps that are open.

If the apps are horizontally placed, to close apps on Android swipe the app up or down. Otherwise, swipe the app left or right. If you have the option, you can tap on the close button as well.

Gesture Navigation

If you prefer fluid gestures to navigate your device, here’s a modern and intuitive approach. First, try swiping up from the bottom of the screen, then pause briefly at the center. If that displays recent apps, you are good to go. If not, let’s set it up first.

Open Settings and scroll down to find System Settings.

Depending on your device and Android version, you might see an option labeled ‘Gestures’ or ‘Gestures & Navigation.’ Tap on this option.

As you enable Gesture Navigation, you’ll likely have different gesture styles to choose from. These might include options, like ‘Swipe up from navigation bar,’ ‘Swipe up from home button,’ or similar variations. Select your preferred style.

Once you have set the gesture navigation, swipe up to see a preview of recent apps, and close the particular apps you want close apps on Android, again with gestures or by tapping on the ‘Close All’ button.

Quick Ball Navigation

Quick Ball Navigation- close apps on android
Quick Ball Navigation- close apps on Android

If your device features additional navigation options, like Quick Ball or Assistive Touch, why not give it a try?

Open Settings. Scroll to ‘Accessibility’ or ‘Accessibility & Gestures.’ Enable ‘Quick Ball’ or ‘Assistive Touch.’

You can customize its functions, appearance, and position to easily access the app preview.

A double tap on the quick ball may take you to the preview of the recent apps.

Scroll through it and close apps on Android by swiping its preview or tapping the designated close button. You can also use the ‘Close All’ button.

Voice Assistant Navigation

Voice Assistant Navigation
Voice Assistant Navigation – close apps on Android

Now, here’s an interesting hands-free approach to close apps on Android.

You can activate Google Assistant by either saying the wake words (‘Okay Google’ or ‘Hey Google’) or by holding down the home button. If it is not enabled, go to ‘Google Settings’ in Settings and set it up. 

Now, wake up Google and give the command.  For instance, say ‘Close apps on Android [By App Name].’

The assistant will confirm the action and execute it as you approve. Remember, not all apps are closable through voice commands.

Reboot / Restart

Rebooting or Restarting the phone is yet another way to close apps on Android at once, just that it doesn’t let you close one at a time. Restarting is a quick and simple solution that requires no technical know-how. It’s especially useful if you’ve noticed a decline in your device’s performance and suspect that apps might be the culprits.

How to ‘Force Stop’ – Close Apps on Android

Before we get to how to do this, you should know when to ‘Force Stop’ and app, because it essentially ‘kills’ the app, so you should do this sparingly. You can use this when an app freezes, crashes, drains excessive battery, exhibits background activity, or malfunctions after updates. 

Using App Manager

The Android Settings menu provides a more comprehensive approach to managing apps and their background activities.

Open Settings and navigate to ‘Apps,’ ‘Applications,’ ‘App Management,’ or a similar term. Here, you can view all installed apps. If not, tap on ‘See All Apps.’

Scroll through the list of apps and select the app you want to close apps on Android. Inside the app’s details page, you should find the “Force Stop” button. Tapping this button halts the app’s background processes and effectively closes it.

Using Third-Party Apps

Third-Party Apps- close apps on android
Third-Party Apps- close apps on Android

Though Android’s built-in app management tools are typically sufficient, you can also try third-party task-killer apps available on the Google Play Store.

Search for and install a safe task-killer app from the Play Store. Exercise caution and choose apps with positive reviews and a significant user base.

Once installed, launch the task killer app. The app should present a list of currently running apps. Some task-killer apps might also display the amount of RAM each app is utilizing.

Select the apps you want to close from the list, and then tap the ‘Kill’ or ‘Close’ button. The app will attempt to force-stop the selected apps.

Note: Force-stopping apps should be done judiciously. Frequent force stops of essential system apps can lead to instability or unexpected behavior. Use these methods when you encounter unresponsive or problematic apps to regain control and ensure a smoother experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does force-stopping an app uninstall the app?

No, force-stopping an app temporarily halts its background processes, but doesn’t uninstall the app. Uninstalling an app removes it from your device entirely. Force stopping is useful for troubleshooting unresponsive apps or managing resource usage.

Will closing apps affect notifications and background updates?

Close apps on Android should not prevent notifications or background updates from functioning. Apps that give notifications or regular updates should continue to produce them even if they are not actively open. Android’s system manages these processes separately from active apps, ensuring you stay connected and informed.

Are there apps that should never be force-stopped?

Some apps, like system apps or apps that provide essential services, should not be force-stopped. Force-stopping system apps can lead to instability or malfunctions. It’s best to close apps on Android system for proper management.


For optimal utilization of the battery and energy of your phone, you should not leave unnecessary apps unclosed for an extended period. You can be clearing your apps with just a few taps.

To maintain your device’s performance, consider simpler methods first. If an app misbehaves and slows down your phone, try closing it through the recent apps menu. If the problem persists and if a reboot brings no change either, you may have to ‘Force Stop,’ or sometimes, uninstall the app.

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