When you exit an app on your smartphone to return to your home screen or move on to another task, that app doesn’t actually close.  Instead, it continues to run in the background just in case you need to bring it up again quickly.

Apps running in the background are similar to a window being minimized on your computer. When you minimize a window on a computer, you’re not fully closing it; the only way you can fully close a window is to press the X in the top right corner.

Fully closing apps on your phone will make it run faster, and drain your battery more slowly. So, what’s the best way to do this? The answer depends on which type of operating system you’re using—Android, or iOS (iPhone). Here are the steps you need to follow to close out apps on each.

Android Smartphone: The easiest way to close apps on an Android device is to start by swiping up from the bottom of your phone screen. This will reveal all of the apps that are currently still operating—and often, you’ll be surprised by how many there are!

Each phone will have a slightly different method for closing apps from here. Some may show slightly different wording or symbols, like Close All, or an X. Other devices sometimes require you to swipe all the way to the end of your open apps before you’ll see any type of Close all button.

Regardless, simply work through the open apps and close any that you don’t plan on using anytime soon. And remember that closing an app doesn’t permanently remove it from your device (that’s an entirely different process). It simply closes down the app until the next time you need to use it.

iOS (iPhone): For iPhone users, the need to close apps isn’t quite as urgent. The iOS operating system is designed to “intelligently” manage apps, putting them into a suspended, low-power and low-memory state when you’re not using them.

That said, there may be times when you really want to close an app, like for instance if it’s not responding. In that case, how you close them depends on the model of iPhone. On models iPhone X or later, which don’t have a “home” button, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to see all the apps you currently have open. Then, swipe side-to-side through the apps, and swipe up on any app you want to close.

For earlier (iPhone 8 and older) models, double press the Home button, then swipe through the apps as described above to close them. Having too many apps open won’t damage your phone in any way, but it will definitely result in slower performance, and you’ll probably notice your battery draining faster. Try to get in the habit of closing your apps right after you use them, or to close your apps at the end of the day before you go to sleep. Your phone will thank you!


  1. Carol Shaw says

    Good advice

    reply to Carol

  2. Amy says

    I always forget to close the app, then I’m surprised and how many of them are still open at the end of the day. Thanks for the reminder to turn them off

    reply to Amy

  3. Gwen king says

    Is there a larger XR phone?

    reply to Gwen

  4. Sarah Hunnefeld says

    What phone are on special now?

    reply to Sarah

  5. Joseph A Farruggia says

    Great advice

    reply to Joseph

  6. Nancy J Curtsinger says

    I don’t think my bill for September is accurate.

    reply to Nancy

  7. John Rajczewski says

    On Motorola Android, tap square on lower right and on extreme left click Clear All, or swipe up all individually that you want to close.

    reply to John

  8. joself c says

    what if you can’t get in your phone to the sim card can i still switch it over to consumer cellular?

    reply to joself

  9. Patricia Alonzo says

    where can I pay my bill?

    reply to Patricia

  10. William R Palmer says

    My wife’s phone(7s) has suffered lately. It won’t load apps like google or facebook and now mine(11) is showing the same symptoms. We’ve been on Apple assist with no solution. Has something changed in the network that would explain this?

    reply to William

  11. Lorraine Bueti says

    I am weary trying to get to speak with an agent. I signed up with Consumer Cellular in 2006. Up until now, I have been happy with Consumer Cellular’s customer service. Not so much anymore. I do not have the time to sit at my phone for more than an hour trying to reach an agent. If I hear that piano playing one more time I’m going to seriously consider going with another company. Over the course of October, I have tried contacting a Consumer Cellular agent at least 8 times, and I cannot get through. The situation is getting worse and worse. No matter what time of the day I call, I keep on hearing that the company has ‘unusual high volume.’ You can play that card just so long, and then you give up. If I cannot speak with an agent in the next week, even waiting for more than an hour, then it’s time to walk away and go with a company that is more responsive to my needs.

    reply to Lorraine

    • Hi Lorraine, thanks for taking the time to post your experience. We understand that the wait times are frustrating for our customers, and we are diligently hiring and training new agents to get this resolved for our customers. This process can take time because we want to make sure our agents are properly trained to provide the best customer service possible, and we appreciate your patience during this time.

      reply to Jacob

  12. Alice says

    Don’t know how to shut down apps on my Samsung Tablet

    reply to Alice

    • Hi Alice, thanks for your quesiton. If you’re using the tablet with our service, we’d be happy to help with your questions about this. Give us a call at 800-686-4460 or chat with one of our agents here. Otherwise, I would reocmmend reaching out to the manufacturer’s customer service for further assistance.

      reply to Jacob

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