Android apps usually don’t close on their own when you exit them. Instead, the apps keep running in the background so that you can open them again faster next time. It’s similar to how a minimized window or background processes work on your PC or laptop.
This can be a problem on Android devices with a limited amount of RAM, as low memory heavily impacts the device’s general usability and drains the battery faster. The only way to improve the situation is to manually close apps on the device.
This guide will tell you how to fully close apps on Android phones and tablets. The process is relatively straightforward, but it can significantly improve your device’s performance and standby time.
Closing apps from the Android home screen
Unlike iOS, Android mostly doesn’t look the same across all phones and tablets. Some manufacturers preload a slightly tweaked version of stock Android on their devices. Others add a heavily customized skin on top of the core Android operating system that looks nothing like the vanilla version.
This is a reason why the Recents menu looks unique on each Android phone. However, the basic concept of closing apps is universal regardless of which Android device you use. In the steps below, we will show you the process of closing apps from the home screen on a Google Pixel 4 running Android 11.
- Assuming you are using gesture-based navigation, simply swipe up from the bottom of the device’s screen.
If you have three-button navigation enabled, tap the rectangular icon in the navigation bar.
- The following menu that appears on the screen is called the Recents menu. Here, you will see all of the apps you have most recently opened. Swiping left or right lets you go through all of the app cards.
- To close a particular app, simply swipe the app card upwards. It should disappear from the menu.
- If you wish to close all the apps, swipe to the left end of the Recents menu and tap the Clear all option.
The following process applies to all Android devices running a stock version of the OS. Newer Samsung devices pretty much have the same Recents interface. On other devices, the wording for the ‘Clear all’ option may vary, like ‘Close all’ or an ‘X’ button. Furthermore, a vertically-scrolling Recents menu will require you to swipe an app card to the left or right for closing it.
Force closing apps from app manager
Sometimes, apps that you use on a regular basis might suddenly stop responding or get stuck on the splash screen. Closing and re-opening the app resolves such issues most of the time. However, some apps tend not to work correctly even after trying the fix multiple times.
In that case, force closing the bugged app remains the only option alongside reinstalling it. Many people find force closing an app to be more effective than closing it from the Recent menu. Here’s how to do it:
- First, tap and hold the app that you wish to force close, then select App info from the pop-up context menu.
- After that, tap the Force stop option on the App info page. You should see it next to the Uninstall option.
- Finally, tap OK to force close the app. You can then return to the home screen and relaunch the app to check if it works.
Not every Android device offers users the option to access an ‘App info’ page directly from the home screen. If you can’t find it, you will have to head over to your device’s Settings app and search for the app manager yourself.
On other Android phones and tablets, the ‘Force stop’ option might be renamed to ‘Force close,’ but it basically has the same function.
This is how you can close apps on Android. It’s worth mentioning that closing an app doesn’t remove it from your device. Force closing an app is similar to how you end a task or process from the task manager on a computer. Thus, it will also kill all the background processes related to the app. Relaunching the app causes all the processes to restart back again. In case an app still doesn’t work properly after force closing and re-opening it, reinstalling the app is your best bet.
Closing apps on an Android device certainly decrease the battery drain and results in an overall snappier user experience. Hence, it would be best if you make a habit of closing your apps from the Recents menu right after exiting them.