How To Turn Off Apps


September 23, 2013: I’ve been away from my computer for a few days, but like most of you I also upgraded to iOS 7.  The first thing I did was double tap the home button to see if I can still turn off my apps by holding and tapping…and quickly realized that there has been a change! Thanks so much to everyone who has written in below with instructions on closing apps in iOS 7.0.

If you have upgraded your iOS to 7, or purchased a new iPhone 5C or 5S and are looking to see how many apps are running in the background, or need to shut down a buggy app, here are the new instructions:

1) Double tap the home button

2) You will now see a little icon of each app and, above it, a card with a current snapshot of the app

3) To close, simply touch the card (not the little icon) and swipe up.  That’s it!

iOS 7.0 has a lot of great new features that we are discovering together.  We hope to have a post up on the most useful features shortly.

When I updated to the iPhone OS 4.0 I knew that it would allow me run apps even while I was using other apps. I thought it would be nice for the apps that send me push notifications to keep working all the time. So I updated the software and went on my merry little way. About a month ago I noticed my iPhone was running through battery life at an alarming rate. I knew something had to be up because my kids hadn’t been using my phone much and that’s usually my guaranteed battery drain. I deleted apps, cleared off my camera roll and the battery life did improve. A little.

On Saturday my husband was looking for something on my iPhone and he discovered that I had at least thirty apps running in the background. He said something to the effect of don’t you know how to turn off apps when you are done using them? I said yes, you just leave the app, tap the home screen button and be done with it. Well….apparently I’ve been delusional because there are many apps that will continue to run even when you’ve left them. Which is fine if they’re apps that need to run but if you have a bunch that don’t then your phone memory and battery life are going to suffer. There was my lightbulb moment of the week.

Perhaps I’m the only one out there who didn’t realize that I had so many apps working overtime for me. Here are the steps to truly shutting down an app – just in case I’m not the only one who didn’t know how to do it.

  • Tap the home button twice.
  • At the bottom of the screen you’ll see a row app icons. These are the apps that are running. Slide your finger to move forward or backward through the apps. Chances are you’ll have more than the four that first show up.
  • Touch one of the app icon’s and hold your finger on it until they all start wiggling. A small red circle will appear at the top left of the icon.
  • Tap on the red circle and the app icon will disappear. The app is now no longer running in the background.
  • When you’re done shutting things down tap the home button and the apps will stop wiggling.
  • Tap the home button again to return to your home screen.
  • These steps will work even if you are currently using an app. In other words, you don’t have to be on the home screen to bring up the row of running apps.

Now that I know how to manage them I can (hopefully) make better use of this feature. Go ahead, give it a try and see how many apps you’ve been running in the background!