How to close open Apps on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch

This brief tutorial will show you how to close (quit) any currently running Apps on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch (with instructions for iOS 9 and earlier versions).

If your iDevice is using a version of iOS lower than iOS7, click here for the instructions. If you’re using iOS 7, 8 or 9, just keep reading :)

  1. Double-click the Home button on your iDevice (the physical button on the front of your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch).
  2. the iphone and ipad home button

  3. As illustrated in the screenshot below, the “App bar” will be displayed at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Note: as of iOS 9, the “App bar” has a new look (see screenshot below). The procedure to quit open/running Apps is exactly the same, it just looks a tiny bit different.

    closing open apps on iOS9

  5. Swipe from right to left (sideways) to locate the App you wish to close.
  6. When you’ve located the App you wish to close, swipe it “up” towards the top of your screen.
  7. The window will “scroll off” the screen – the App is now closed. You can continue to swipe back and forth horizontally to switch between and/or close other Apps.

Instructions for versions of iOS 6.x and lower

  1. Start out by “double-clicking” the Home button on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. The Home button is the one at the bottom of your iDevice, as illustrated in the image below.
  2. the ipad iphone and ipod touch home button

  3. This will bring up the ‘list’ of currently running Apps – by way of an “App bar” at the bottom of your screen. Tap and hold down on any one of the currently running Apps (even if it’s not the one you want to close).

  4. click to enlarge

  5. You’ll notice that each App will start to “wiggle” and now has a small “minus sign” circle in the upper left corner. Tap the “minus sign” of the App you want to close/quit.

  6. click to enlarge

  7. That App will now close. NOTE: This will close the App, not delete it. For instructions on how to delete an App from your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, see this tutorial.

  8. click to enlarge

  9. You can continue tapping the “minus signs” to close all open Apps, if needed.

  10. click to enlarge

  11. That’s it!
{ 103 comments… add one }
  • wendy November 30, 2010, 12:46 am

    there should be a better way. i for one do not like over using the home button….

  • F December 23, 2010, 9:31 pm

    I don’t know why this does not work with my ipod touch. Is there any configuration required?

  • chris December 25, 2010, 5:25 pm

    Is your iPod touch a “3rd gen”, 8GB version? if yes, then it’s not a true 3rd gen device and does not support multitasking. I have the same problem :-(. If no, then I’m not sure…

  • RJ January 1, 2011, 8:15 am

    This is fine but why should I need to go through the extra step of “checking” periodically for open apps? There should be a way, as there is on computers, to close an app when navigating away from it, leaving it open only if desired.

  • EB January 15, 2011, 12:37 am

    I completely agree with RJ. There needs to be an easier way to close an app.

  • Nina February 10, 2011, 8:54 pm

    What happens if you do not get the minus signs, just the wiggling?

  • chris February 11, 2011, 3:01 am


    What device a you using? IPod or IPad?

  • Claree February 12, 2011, 5:57 pm

    Does this not work on The 3rd generation or something? Because I changed the settings so when i double clicked that button it would go to my music. Can i change it back somehow? or is it just because its a 3rd gen?

  • Claree February 12, 2011, 5:59 pm

    NINA~ its because you are holding down the button not double clicking :)

  • Chris Brown February 12, 2011, 7:20 pm

    Claree: What device are you using? Is it an iPod Touch or an iPad?
    If its an iPod Touch, is it the 8gb, 16gb or 32gb version?

  • Tamara March 25, 2011, 7:56 pm

    I have a 3Gs 16GB and double clicking goes to the search iPhone…. How do I close them out?

  • chris March 26, 2011, 4:00 am

    Hi Tamara
    If you double click the home button, it should bring up a line of app icons at the bottom of your screen. Tap and hold one of the icons and after a couple of seconds a little red circle with a White bar in the middle will appear in the top left hand corner of each icon and the whole row will start to wobble. Then just tap the little red circle of each one you want to close. When you are done, click the home button to return to the app you want. One question. Does the row of icons appear at the bottom of your screen when you double click the home button?

  • Tamara March 28, 2011, 2:06 pm

    I tried that and it doesn’t do that…

  • Ross McKillop March 28, 2011, 4:04 pm


    Which part doesn’t work? And, which version of the iOS are you using on your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch ?

  • Tamara March 29, 2011, 4:16 pm

    Guess they close by themself when I leave the app or page…. What someone told me anyway..

  • chris March 30, 2011, 3:01 am

    Hi Tamara
    Sounds like you don’t have the latest version of the operating system loaded on your phone. From the home screen, touch ‘settings’ then select ‘version’. What number do you see there?

  • Tamara April 4, 2011, 6:38 pm

    3.1.3 (7E18)

  • chris April 6, 2011, 1:57 pm

    Hi Tamara

    Ah! There’s the problem! You need version 4. Version 4 of the iTunes software introduced multitasking. The latest version is currently 4.3. Looks like you only have 3.1 installed. You need to connect your device to iTunes and down load the latest version of the software. Are you familiar with how to do that?



  • Tamara April 7, 2011, 2:34 pm

    Thank You!! I got it now ; )

  • Peter April 8, 2011, 6:20 pm

    Apparently open apps are the reason the Masters Tournament app performs poorly. Once I closed out all open apps, it worked fine. Is that a design flaw for the MT app?

  • Claree April 8, 2011, 6:53 pm

    Chris Brown;

    i am using an 8gb i pod touch

  • chris April 9, 2011, 5:41 pm

    Hi Claree

    Unfortunately no, the 8gb 3 rd gen touch has different hardware inside and will not support the multitasking function, whereas the 16 an 32 gb versions do support multitasking

  • James April 13, 2011, 3:48 pm

    I was wondering if there was an app that deletes it for you. I overheard someone saying there was an app that does it for u. I was just wondering.

  • Josh April 14, 2011, 10:30 pm

    Thanks! I m new to this

  • chris April 17, 2011, 3:36 am

    Hey James

    What do you want to delete?



  • Jacklynne June 3, 2011, 1:08 pm

    Hello! Please help me. Why is it when I double click my home it does nothing but lock my iPhone :( It closes. :(

  • Chris June 3, 2011, 2:48 pm

    Hi Jacklynne

    What model iPhone do you have? 3, 3G, 3GS or 4?



  • Jacklynne June 3, 2011, 10:15 pm

    My phone is an iPhone 3GS 8gb, version 4.1

  • Chris June 4, 2011, 11:15 am

    Hummm… So it should work… Best bet would be to connect the phone to your computer, launch iTunes and download the latest version of the software (4.3 or 4.4) and see if that fixes it. Let me know how you get on



  • Darryl June 11, 2011, 10:17 pm

    Hi Chris,
    I am new to idevices and I cannot figure out how to close my email so that it must be opened each time I use the ipad2. Any ideas? Thanks for your helpfulness to everyone!

  • Chris Brown June 12, 2011, 3:28 am

    Hi Darryl

    OK, so can you walk us through step by step what you are doing and what results you get? So, for example, you start by touching the mail application icon on your iPad home screen. Then the mail comes up and you get a list of the messages that are in your In Box. Then what happens?

  • Cody June 15, 2011, 1:47 am

    I have a 1gen ipod touch, It is jailbroke.someone said go to sysinfo but i cant find it… it dosnt exist. or says api error but everything else works. How do i close all my apps in the background, which is a lot?

  • Cody June 15, 2011, 1:48 am

    please write back asap!

  • Chris June 15, 2011, 2:01 pm

    Hi Cody

    I don’t believe that your device supports version 4 of the software. Can you look under settings and tell me what version of the operating system you have. Take a look earlier in the post to see how you do that if you are not sure. Let me know how you get on.

  • Julie June 19, 2011, 11:13 am

    Awesome ~ Thanks.

  • Sebi July 31, 2011, 6:31 pm

    It doesn’t work, IM+ still pops up when there are new messages.

  • Mark Hoult October 4, 2011, 4:27 am

    Thanks – really helpful. No wonder the battery on my iPhone was running down so fast. I had all the apps I had ever used open in the background. Doh!

    Great tutorial.

  • Isabela October 19, 2011, 11:17 pm

    Hey Chris, i haave the same problem as Jacklynne , same iphone but 4.2 ver and it doesnt lock my iphone, just goes to the fav contacts. I’ll try tomorrow and let you know. Thanks

  • Lou Lou November 16, 2011, 10:02 pm

    When I double-click the home button all my apps come up except the “mail.” I cannot figure out how to close out my email on this iPad. For example, when I click on mail whatever email I had open is still there. How do I close the email out to where the screen is blank or just the box with the list of emails show up? Thanks.

  • adam December 23, 2011, 3:04 pm

    Ok,how do you re-open them, when I click the app icon only a brief flash of the app starting occurs then it closes itself.

  • rednectar December 24, 2011, 6:01 am


  • Chris brown December 24, 2011, 6:11 am


    Double clicking the button from the home screen should bring up a line of icons that represent the apps that are running. From here you can do two things:

    1. Briefly touch one of the icons to bring that app up to run. I.e. touch the mail icon to bring mail to the foreground, iPod icon for music etc

    2. Touch and hold one of the icons until they all start to wiggle and have an ‘x’ in their top left hand corner. Then touch the x on each app that you want to close.

    Hope that helps


  • Lily December 26, 2011, 7:50 pm

    I have an iPod touch 2 and this way isn’t working. Any ideas?

  • Chris brown December 27, 2011, 4:40 am

    Hi lily

    What version of the operating system are you running? (See posts above to find where to find that info). Are you double clicking the button?

  • Lily December 27, 2011, 9:20 am

    Morning Chris
    I have a 8 gb 4.2.1 iPod touch 2, and yes as far as I can tell I’m double clicking it. But when I do I takes me to the home screen or the search bar.

  • Chris brown December 27, 2011, 8:39 pm

    Hi Lily

    Does your device have a camera?

  • Lily December 27, 2011, 8:57 pm

    Hey Chris
    No my iPod doesnt have a camera. I wish it did though. 

  • Chris Brown December 29, 2011, 9:03 am

    Hi Lily

    Ok, so I think you must have a 2nd or 3rd generation iPod Touch. If that’s the case, then I am afraid you, like me, are out of luck as far as multitasking goes :-( The 8GB version of the 3rd Gen Touch, has some different hardware to the 16 and 32 GB versions. The difference means that the 8GB version of the 3rd Gen device does not support multitasking, whereas the 16 and 32 MB versions do! Very frustrating for us 8GB owners ;-(
    Sorry the news is not better.. :-(

  • shutterbug February 10, 2012, 1:32 pm

    the problem i seem to be having is that i AM able to close the apps, such as my Mail app, but then a 1 in a red circle shows up after i’ve closed it, even though i have already read the email.

  • Luke February 14, 2012, 5:41 pm

    How can I change the apple id for my apps-imlogged in with my id in apps and iTunes but my daughters I’d keeps popping up and can’t change back to my I’d?

  • Michael June 9, 2012, 9:22 am

    Is there any way to close out all open apps, rather than one by one? Except by a reboot?

  • Chris Brown June 9, 2012, 9:31 am

    Hi Michael

    Not that I know of :-( It would be useful though.. Hopefully Apple will include it in a future software update…

  • Jeyps June 16, 2012, 1:00 pm

    Very helpful. Thanks jeyps

  • Kristiiina July 2, 2012, 5:02 pm

    Root your ipad, I can close out all my apps :)

  • Maurice July 18, 2012, 1:07 am

    I thank you very much, I was starting to get a little nervous but I am good now.

  • Lauknowsbest July 25, 2012, 11:55 am

    That was proper!! Thanx..

  • staceylogan44 August 21, 2012, 8:46 pm

    Thank you so very much!!! :)

  • Mike September 16, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Anyone, 4S just want to close my apps. Thanks, michael

  • Phani September 17, 2012, 12:27 am

    Thanks you soooooo much

  • Judi September 23, 2012, 6:34 am

    My iPhone 4 freezes whenever I try to open email – for a Up to 15mins it says ‘checking for email’. . I have 3 email accounts on the phone. I have closed apps. Any suggestions?

  • Karen October 13, 2012, 7:13 am

    I can’t seem to close out of safari.could you upheld me.

  • Doris October 31, 2012, 12:45 pm

    I am having the same problem. Please help

  • Sainik Biswas November 14, 2012, 11:31 am

    Now I know how to close running apps on my ipad. Thanks for the post

  • nihatra November 29, 2012, 9:21 am

    thank u so much :)

  • Robo December 10, 2012, 7:15 pm

    double click does not bring up icon, tried many times.
    This is the first generation, any hints?

  • Blackjack December 16, 2012, 4:37 am

    Hi my iPad has crosses you can only delete the apps it seems? Am I doing something wrong I followed the instructions on screen

  • Dude January 2, 2013, 11:44 pm

    Thank you my iPod was very slow now it is very fast :) :)

  • Betty March 8, 2013, 8:48 pm

    When I tap on my apps a window comes up with a Facebook icon and says free etc. however when I tap on anything nothing happens. And I can’t get it off. Can you help me. I have an iPhone.

  • buning May 28, 2013, 1:11 pm

    Thank you very much!

  • Kabelo June 2, 2013, 10:36 am

    thanks for your help

  • swebbsy July 29, 2013, 3:36 am

    i have one app which is still very slow, can i speed it up some how? it is called order up

  • Dennis August 17, 2013, 7:40 pm

    So very helpful ,

  • Prince September 16, 2013, 9:50 pm

    Thank you. It works.

  • Caroline Grubb September 18, 2013, 3:02 pm

    How do I close apps on the new IOS 7

  • Chelsey King September 18, 2013, 9:05 pm

    Double tap the button like normal than Touch the app n slide it up that’s how you close the apps

  • Ross McKillop September 19, 2013, 12:03 am

    Hi @carolinegrubb:disqus –

    I’ve updated the tutorial to include the new instructions (and thank you @chelseyking:disqus for beating me to it!) :)

  • Laurent September 21, 2013, 2:12 pm

    Thanks a lot it works. Greetings from Geneva

  • Dakota September 21, 2013, 8:04 pm

    So simple! I couldn’t find the instruction on the new iOS 7 manual

  • Fi September 24, 2013, 12:54 pm

    My 3rd generation Ipod Itouch needs recharging every day. Is it just getting old or is there something wrong? I can’t close any apps that I’ve opened in the last n years. Can you help?

  • Fi September 24, 2013, 12:58 pm

    My Ipod Itouch 4.2.1 battery is discharging daily. Is it because it’s old or is there something running in the background? I can’t close apps by pressing the home button twice – is there another way?

  • Ross McKillop September 24, 2013, 1:06 pm

    Have you tried completely powering it off recently? These instructions are for an iPad but the same holds true w/ the iPod Touch:

  • Ross McKillop September 24, 2013, 1:07 pm

    4.2.1 was so long ago that I honestly don’t remember – when you double-click the “home” button, what does happen?

  • Lynne October 1, 2013, 6:19 pm

    I play WORDS on my ipad and sometimes have to close it as I have a problem with it (as in leaving your finger on the icon so that it disappears off the bottom) then I just go to the page it is on to open again and the app works fine. Now with this new iO7 I cannot close it!!!! Any help would be so appreciated. I have a lot of grey hair and I think had mastered my ipad now I just wish I had never done the update!

  • Mike October 21, 2013, 8:32 am

    Double tap the button like normal to close the open apps Instead of holding down the icon you now slide the bigger part of the icon up off the page it’s pretty cool

  • Steve December 7, 2013, 5:28 pm

    When I double click the icons are displayed I make them wiggle but no minus signs appear. Help please

  • Susie December 13, 2013, 12:18 pm

    Holy smokes. Cool. Been using an ipad for over a year and missed learning this. Maybe closing all those apps will help with memory problems and Safari freezes and crashes of ios7.

  • gayan perera 88 July 1, 2014, 11:05 pm

    Thank you its work

  • Maureen September 8, 2014, 4:14 pm

    When I double click the home button the open apps across the bottom don’t happen…. It used to ..anyone know what’s occurring?

  • Eva September 23, 2014, 11:44 pm

    Thank you, I’ve been looking for this for about 3 years!

  • Cheryl Young Brown November 14, 2014, 7:36 pm

    No minus signs in upper left hand corner of apps-what do I do?

  • Chris January 17, 2015, 9:28 am

    Question. When. I try to open a word doc on my iPad as soon as I tap on it it takes me out of outlook right to the main screen. The doc won’t open . Any suggestions. Thanks chris

  • Jerome March 19, 2015, 8:39 pm

    how do I make the ibooks banner (eating up my scree!!) go away. I closed the “running app but it won’t go away, please help

  • Jerome March 19, 2015, 8:42 pm

    Nevermind. Just had to tap bookmarks symbol ?-?

  • Trav March 26, 2015, 2:12 pm

    How did u fix you problem

  • Kathy Kumler June 1, 2015, 8:51 pm

    Go into Settings>Notifications. Go into the listed app then choose None.

  • Richard Villalba November 3, 2015, 6:44 pm

    ipod is stuck in running apps list when there are no running apps, i can’t click on the main window, i use an on screen home button (real button doesn’t work) and that doesn’t work either, im trying to drain the battery and then plug it in to a wall outlet and see if that woks

  • Richard Villalba November 3, 2015, 6:45 pm

    they should make a new home button so it doesn’t get stuck or broken

  • Oz Hog February 23, 2017, 11:49 pm

    How do I COPY an icon to another page, every tutorial I find is to move, which is not what I want.

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