How to close background apps on Android and iPhone

Close app Lots of guides on the Internet I suggest closing the apps in the background to speed up the phone and make it snappy at any occasion. In reality things are different and, in most cases, it is not enough to even close them all but only those that have actually stuck in memory or consume too much CPU (rare, but possible).
So we should never be too tragic: let's try to understand which apps deserve to be in memory and which ones can be canceled from time to time (not always).
So let's see in this guide how to close apps in the background and how avoid wasting time by deleting background apps (or use the task killer on Android, which is definitely useless nowadays).

How to delete background apps on smartphones

As we probably already know many applications remain running in the background to work properly: WhatsApp, Facebook, Gmail and other apps that send update notifications work in the background, otherwise we would not receive any notification!
Unfortunately, not only useful apps remain in memory: many useless apps remain in memory only because they are programmed in this way or because the system at that moment decides not to suspend them, consuming resources such as CPU and RAM.
We see in the following chapters how to close useless apps in the background, how to "fix" useful ones (which must never close) and why this practice is not very useful today, given how the new versions of Android and iPhone operating systems work.

How to close background apps on Android

To close the apps in the background on any Android device, simply press twice on the central Home button (for smartphones equipped with the three physical buttons at the bottom) or press the dedicated multitasking button (only some smartphones).
Android keys

On modern Android smartphones a mechanism similar to that seen on the iPhone X and later can be integrated: to open the apps in the background we will have to drag from the bottom edge of the phone to the center of the screen and hold down until the task manager opens.
Once the list of background apps is open, we can close the unwanted one by dragging it to the left, upwards or immediately close all the apps by pressing the X-shaped button (present only on some smartphones).

If, on the other hand, we want to avoid closing some useful apps (such as those that show notifications), it is usually sufficient to keep the app pressed in the task manager and press the padlock icon, so as to lock it in any memory what happens (even if we press on the X the apps with the lock will not be closed).
To learn more we can read our guide How to manage active apps and processes in Android.

How to close background apps on iPhone

On the iPhone we can close the apps left in the background by pressing twice on the Home button (models previous to the iPhone X) or by dragging the finger from the bottom edge to the center of the screen and holding down (from iPhone X and later).
IPhone app

We can scroll through the apps from right to left and, as soon as we find the one to close, just drag it upwards.
This menu is rarely started on the iPhone, since the apps are managed by the operating system very efficiently; in fact it can be useful to quickly switch from one app to another, even if practically all iPhone users prefer to open the homescreen and press on the respective app icon.

Is it really useful to close apps in the background?

One might think that, as on Windows, terminating all the applications left in memory will free up hardware resources to make the smartphone in our possession go faster.
In reality iOS and Android do not work as Windows and the applications that are seen in the list of recent apps rarely use the CPU and RAM resources, since they are "put to rest"; they take up a bit of RAM but it is intended to make operations faster.
There is no reason to worry that the RAM is almost full because both iOS and Android are able to manage it in a more intelligent way, freeing it from unused apps just in case it needs to be used for another app. Recent apps remain in memory because in this way, when they are launched again, they will open much faster; in fact there is no point in wiping memory from background processes.
Android RAM

The iOS and Android systems, by default, automatically suspend applications when they go into the background. For example, when you are playing a game and you exit by pressing the Home button (if on Android you press the back button, you exit the application and the problem does not arise), the system keeps the game data in RAM so that he can quickly go back and pick up where he left off. However, the app is suspended in the sense that it stops using CPU resources and, consequently, draining the battery. Practically an app on Android and iPhone phones is never running in the background when not in use.
When you reopen one of these applications, the phone can find it in the RAM memory (much faster than the physical memory) and relaunch it quickly; if, on the other hand, it is not in RAM, it will take longer to start and will take up more resources on the spot, worsening the device's performance.

There are very few scenarios where it is really useful to close an app: for example if it has blocked (does not respond or remains a white screen), it is better to open the app manager and close it from there, so that you can restart it quickly.


As easily understood by the guide close the apps displayed in the task manager not only does it not speed up the system, but it tends to slow down the device, since most of these apps will restart on their own and take up many more resources, significantly worsening the performance of our smartphone.

If we notice that our smartphone runs out of battery too quickly, we advise you to investigate the causes by reading our guide Why does the smartphone battery last so short?
Is our Android smartphone still slow and unresponsive? Let's see how to significantly improve performance with the advice visible in our guide Optimizing Android: what to do and not to do.


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