3 Best Ways To Close Apps On Android Devices

Have you ever noticed that your smartphone gets slow if you run multiple apps simultaneously? In most cases, Android manages your memory and distributes it perfectly among apps.

However, memory usage reaches a critical point in some situations, and the system takes much more time to operate or process information. 

Close Apps On Android

This article explains how you can overcome this situation by close apps on Android. Note that closing or shutting down the apps doesn’t mean that you’re uninstalling them from your smartphone. 

3 Ways To Close (Shut Down) An App On Android

You can close (or shut down) an app on your Android phone/tablet in different methods, which are:

  1. Close Apps From The Home Screen or Recent Apps Menu
  2. Force Closing An App Using The Android Apps Manager
  3. Stop A Running Service Using Developer Mode On Android Phone

Method 1: Close Apps From The Home Screen or Recent Apps Menu

Closing apps from the Recent apps Menu or the Home screen of your smartphone is the easiest & quickest way among the three methods of shutting down unresponsive apps.

  • You can start by accessing the Recent apps menu to view all Active/running apps. Depending on the Android version and the manufacturer’s UI version, they have different ways of access.
  • You can access the recent apps menu in the Samsung Galaxy smartphones or tabs by pressing the Home button’s Recent Apps menu button to the left.
  • Swipe up the screen, but don’t swipe too far. In some Androids, swiping up the screen opens the App drawer.
  • You can also access the running apps list by tapping the small square icon at the bottom of the screen (Mostly located at the bottom left corner of the screen.)
Access the running apps list by tapping the small square icon
  • If your Android has physical buttons, you can press the button with a square icon (or two overlapping square icons).
  • Now that you have accessed the recent apps menu find the active app you want to close. 
  • Swipe up or down if the apps are arranged in horizontal order.
  • Swipe left or right if the apps are arranged vertically or in a grid.
Swipe left or right if the apps are arranged vertically or in a grid.
  • In the Recent Apps menu, you can find a small ‘x’ icon (exit icon) at each app’s upper-right or upper-left corner. Tap the exit icon and close the active apps individually.
  • If you feel it is more of a hassle to close each app by swiping, you can press the ‘x’ icon wrapped in a circle at the bottom of the list and close all running apps.
Press the 'x' icon wrapped in a circle at the bottom of the list and close all running apps.

Method 2: Force Closing An App Using The Android Apps Manager

In the previous method, you’ve learned how to close apps by swiping up & down or left & right in the recent apps menu.

Some apps don’t display the running status in the Recent Apps menu(background apps). So how to access the working of background apps? 

For this, Android has a built-in manager (Apps Manager) that keeps a record of all apps installed on Android. You can Force Stop an app, clear out the memory (cache, media, etc.), and uninstall an app using the Android Apps Manager.

  • Let’s start this method of closing apps by accessing the Apps Manager.
    • Launch the Settings app on Android.
    • Navigate to General-> Apps or Apps-> Apps Management.
  • Now tap the ‘See all <number of apps> apps’ option. You can see the complete list of apps that are currently installed on your Android smartphone.
Launch the Settings app on Android.
  • Find the app that you want to close or shut down. Scroll up & down the list, or you can enter the name app name in the search bar. Tap on the app.
  • Scroll down the App Info screen and tap on the Force Stop option.
  • If Android asks for permission or prompts you, tap Ok or Force Stop.
Tap Ok or Force Stop.

Note: Force Stopping can cause corruption, data loss, or any other unforeseen situation.

Method 3: Stop A Running Service Using Developer Mode On Android Phone

First, you must understand that services are a kind of background process and don’t have a graphical user interface.

Other than mobile developers, there is hardly anyone among normal users who would like access to these services.

All services are hidden in the Developer options in settings. So to alter or close a running service, you must first access the Developer Mode.

  • Launch the Settings app on your Android.
  • Tap About Phone. This option can be found either at the top or scroll down to the bottom of the Settings.
  • Scroll and find the Build number info (usually grouped with the Android version info). Tap on it several times (> 5 times.)
  • The notification ‘You are now a developer!’ will pop up at the bottom of the screen when you’ve successfully accessed the Developer mode.
Tap About Phone.
  • Navigate back to the Settings screen and tap on the Developer options.
  • To access the services list, find and tap Running services. Some Android versions can also have terms such as Processes or Process Stats.
  • Find and tap on the service you want to close.
Force Stop a background service from the Android Developer Options.
  • Tap Stop. If you’re asked for confirmation, tap Ok or Stop.

Note: Services are an essential part of the operation of Android. Don’t close or shut down a vital service to keep the Android running.

Always keep in mind not to touch services that are related or with terms such as ‘Android’ & ‘Google.’


Apps have become an integral part of our life. You can read the news, entertain yourself with movies & music, manage your finances, and keep in touch with your family & friends.

So an excellent Android smartphone can operate multiple apps simultaneously and not break down due to memory overload.

However, there are situations where apps undergo unintended behavior such as lag, no response to instructions, or your Android is running low on memory.

You may need to shut down an app and re-launch it to solve such cases. Previously you have seen three different methods to close a running app, namely closing a running a from the recent apps menu, force stop an app using Apps Manager, and shutting down a running background service.


How Do You See What Apps Are Running On Android?

You can see the list of running apps in the Recent apps menu. In some versions of Android, the ‘Recent apps’ list is also termed ‘Recently used Apps.’ Press & hold the Home button to access the Recently used Apps list. Also, you can tap the square icon at the bottom-left corner of your Android. And in Samsung Galaxy devices, you can access the Recent Apps menu by pressing the side button.

How Do You Close Apps On A Samsung Android?

Press & hold the Home button, then tap Task Manager. Tap on the End option. If you want to close all running apps, tap End all. You can also swipe the app left or right to close it.Navigate to Settings-> More-> Application Manager-> Running. Tap on the app you want to close and select Force Stop.

How Do I Stop Apps From Running In The Background And Draining My Battery?

Launch the Settings app, navigate to Apps-> Manage Installed apps. Tap Show all apps, and the complete app list will be displayed on the screen. Select the app that you wish to close or shut down. Scroll down the App info page and tap Force Stop. Tap on the Ok or Force Stop option if Android asks for confirmation.

Should You Close Apps On Android?

The answer to this query is NO. Android users should avoid closing apps and only attempt this action if an app isn’t responding normally or your Android is running low on memory. Closing background apps aren’t equal to more computing resource for foreground apps, and frequent closing of apps may negatively affect your smartphone’s battery life.

Meet the Author

Abdul Rahim has been working in Information Technology for over two decades. Learn how Abdul got his start as a Tech Blogger , and why he decided to start this Software blog. If you want to send Abdul a quick message, then visit his contact page here.