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How to Quit Backgound Apps to Make the Battery Last Longer?


Do you turn off your apps every time after you used them?  If you are like me, chances are, you did not.  I believed that if you minimize the app, the app stops working, means it is off.  — WRONG!  If you just minimize the app, it is actually still running in the background and is still consuming the power.  I didn’t know about this till a friend showed me how to REALLY turn off an app.

Step 1. Double-press the home button.  You will see a screen similar to the picture below.  There will be a row of app icons at the bottom of your screen.  It is called “Multitasking app switcher”.  Any app shown here in this switcher is still running in the background, even if you don’t see it on your screen.  If you scroll the icons left or right, you can see how many apps are still running.  How many do you have?  I had more than 20.


Step 2. Hold you finger on any icon in the “Multitasking app switcher” area, ie. the bottom of the screen, till all those icons start wiggling.  On the top-left corner of each icon, you will see a little red dot with a minus sign in the middle.  Tap on the red dots one by one to completely turn off the apps. BackgroundApp

Now, see how much longer you battery will last.

I will search for more baterry saving tips and post them periodically.  If you have any tips, please leave a comment to share with everyone.  Thank you!

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Lynn

    I read this article fully concerning the comparison of most up-to-date and earlier technologies, it’s amazing article.

  • Thanks for that tip! I didnt know.

  • Have you heard of the “battery doctor” app? My son turned me onto it and he says it takes over the manual part of closing your apps…well something handy like that. Whatever it does, it maximizes your battery usage and life. So I’ve been told. I confess I haven’t looked into yet myself.

    • I looked it up very quickly. Seems there are different opinions about it. I think the battery life depends so much on how each person uses the device, and each person has different preferences, some functionality is important to A, but not important to B. This makes each one has a different experience, thus different opinions on feature trade-offs.

  • Great tips. Love your site.

  • penneyfox

    That’s pretty cool – I did NOT know this. Do these steps work for driod phones too?

  • Thanks! Who knew. No wonder my iPad has been draining so quickly!

  • What a fantastic tip! Thanks so much for posting this, I had no idea that apps could be running in the background like that. Now I know how to fix it!

    • iGameMom

      After I did it, my iphone’s battery seems last longer.

  • I do this all the time with my iPad, but had completely forgotten to tell our son, who got an iTouch for his recent bday, to do this. Thanks so much for the reminder!!!

    • iGameMom

      ha, you are ahead of most people. Any other tips you can share?

  • thanks for the tip! So is there a way to really turn off the app when you exit it? I thought by clicking the home button, I was exiting and turning it off.

    • iGameMom

      I hope I know an easier way. But looks like (at least from what I know) the only way is to “double tap” the home button, click through the “red dots” for each app in “multitasking app switcher”. I did notice longer battery life after I did that.

  • great tip. thanks!

  • thanks for the like on the article about teacher’s unions. you have a cool website.

  • I love your tips! Thanks so much, iGameMom!

    • iGameMom

      You are welcome! Glad you find the tips helpful.

  • Great tip for all of the apple users. My twenty-something son clued me in on this tip! At least it wasn’t my grandson. Thanks for sharing!

    • iGameMom

      Do you see any changes on your battery life before and after you do this?

  • Hi iGameMom,

    Someone has been giving you misleading information. The iOS multitasking bar shows the most recently used apps, not apps that are currently running. There is no need to worry about manually removing apps from the multitasking bar. As soon as you close an app, iOS suspends it and stops it from using further resources. There are a few very specific exceptions, but for the most part, you never need to worry about what apps are doing in the background. iOS takes care of everything for you.

    For a more detailed discussion, including the few caveats — which you still don’t need to worry about — see Fraser Spears excellent recap:



    • iGameMom

      seems he really knows what he is talking about. However, couple things make me feel like to stick with closing all apps in the “Multitasking Switcher”:
      1. It is verified with the Apple store genius;
      2. some of the apps running on my iphone in “Multitasking switcher” had not been used for long time (several months), so they are not recent, yet still in there.
      3. after turning off the background running apps, my iPhone battery does seem to last longer. I will test for couple more days. …

      I wonder if anyone else have heard about this or not. Can anyone used the tip mentioned here share some personal experience?

      • I love the Apple store Genius Bar, but they’re as susceptible to misinformation as everyone else. This closing apps/battery life thing has developed a life of its own. I’ve seen it repeated all over the net.

        The icons in the multitasking bar do seem to stay around for a very long time. Here’s Apple’s article on the multitasking bar and battery life:


        When they say “recently used” apps, I think it means every app you’ve ever used. Even a hard reset doesn’t seem to clear the icons out.


        • p.s. I develop iPhone and iPad apps — Peterson Birds of North America etc. I’m certainly not infallible, but this battery thing does seem to have been successfully debunked by some very smart people whose opinions I trust.

        • iGameMom

          Thanks for sharing the info. It is very helpful! This is a perfect example of how conflicting information could co-exist … We, as consumers, have to decide what is best for us. For me, it seems my battery life improved. Plus I don’t start apps from Multitasking Switcher, and I had always go to the icon on my regular screen. So I will continue keeping those at multitasking switcher at minimum. I can see that folkse who use Multitasking Switcher a lot, might want to keep their regular apps there for easy and quick start.

  • Kate Baltrotsky

    My husband is always on my case about leaving my apps running! Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  • Elizabeth

    Ummmm…I had 70 open.
    Thank you for the tip.

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