Force Quit An Unresponsive iOS App

If you find that one of your iPhone apps is hanging and causing your device to stop working, you don't have to reboot it entirely. Here's how to force quit the current app if it stops responding.

If an app is hanging and not letting you return to the home screen, try these steps:

  1. Press and hold the power button at the top of your device. Wait for the "Slide to Power Off" notification to appear.
  2. When the red slider appears, release the power button, then press and hold the home button. After a few seconds, the app should close and return you to the home screen.

This function has actually been around forever, though I had never heard of it until a tipster sent it in as a way to "recalibrate" your home button. That tip was pretty much debunked as snake oil long ago, but its original purpose — force quitting apps — is actually quite useful, not to mention much quicker than rebooting your phone from scratch.


    Things like this really make you wonder WHY oh WHY does Apple not document these simple, handy, useful things into a nice little Manual to accompany devices... I'm getting a bit sick of finding these things out by accident, from tech blogs, Twitter and the interwebs at large. They take the time to develop and include so many "cool" little tricks and niceties into iOS... and then NEVER tell anyone about them. Almost as if it's some perverse in-joke amongst Apple's in-house developers... "Let's put that in there... we will know it's there.. and we will use it ourselves... but everyone can find it themselves... if they are "worthy" enough"...

      Exactly. The tools are there, but the company is so focussed on minimalism and "discovery" that they ignore functionality.

    This seems to be a bit of nonsense. I tried it on Safari, and although it does appear to do this, in reality it has just taken you back to the home screen -- the App is still listed when you double-click the home button. This would be why Apple haven't explained it. It simply doesn't do this.

    What's wrong with pressing the home button to get back to the home screen, double-pressing the home button to bring up the recent app list, pressing and holding on one of the icons until they start wiggling, and then clicking the red "close" icon on the frozen app?

      yup, that's the recommended way to force-quit apps in ios 4 and above. It's a lot more intuitive than the method in the summary.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now