How to Force Quit an App on iPhone

The steps needed to be taken to force quit an app on iPhone is not similar for all iPhones. In other words, the fact that a set of steps worked for the iPhone 6 doesn’t necessarily mean it’d also work for the iPhone XR. This further means there isn’t a single set of steps that unlocks all iPhones. So rather than having a single set of steps, we have multiple ways of unlocking iPhones. But in this article, we’d be combining all these methods into a single set of steps. And here we go:

How to Force Quit an App on iPhone

Here is the way to force your apps on iPhone to quit.

Step 1: Unlock your iPhone

As we all know, before you can do most things on an iPhone, it first has to be unlocked. Without unlocking the device, you wouldn’t be able to carry out the steps needed to force quit an app. In other words, if you’re not the owner of the phone you’re trying to operate, you’d need the owner to unlock it. And as for people who wouldn’t be operating a device that hasn’t been locked, this step doesn’t matter to you.

Step 2: Bring up the Fast App Switcher

The fast app switcher, as its name implies, is an interface that allows people to select what app to be brought up. For instance, assume you’re chatting on WhatsApp, and suddenly, you remember you have to send someone an SMS. The next thing you’d like to do is to go to the SMS app.

But let’s assume you already opened the SMS app about 15 minutes ago and didn’t close it, then this means you don’t have to go to your home screen, to reopen the SMS app again. What you’d rather do, is switch over to the SMS app, using your home button or some gesture. And the interface that comes up, when you do this, is what we call the Fast App Switcher.

Here’s a picture of what we’re talking about:

How to Force Quit an iPhone App

From the picture, it’s possible you already know how to bring up the Fast App Switcher. But if you don’t know all you simply have to do, is to double-tap your home button.

However, as for people who are running versions of iOS which do not display the home button, all you have to do is to simply swipe up, from the bottom of the screen, up to the middle of the screen.

Step 3: Swipe up The App’s App Card

Upon carrying out the action needed to bring up the Fast App Switcher, the Fast App Switcher of your phone should come up. And if it does not, you can retry it.

However, once it comes up, the next thing expected of you is to locate the app card of the app you’d like to quit. This app card we’re talking about is the UI object which represents the app you’d like to quit.

To locate the app’s app card, you might have to swipe left or right — but regardless, just locate the app’s app card. And once you’re done locating the app’s app card, the next thing that would be expected of you is to swipe up the app’s app card.

As you make you swipe up gesture, you should see the app card move with your hand, and later disappear from the Fast App Switcher. And once the app’s app card disappears, it means you’ve successfully force quit the app.

You should, however, note that for some iPhones, swiping an app card up wouldn’t do anything. And if your iPhone is one of such devices, there is something you have to do before swiping the app card up. Before swiping the app card up, first give the app card a long press [without lifting your finger], until a red circle appears. Then after the red circle appears, you can then swipe the app card up.


The information we have provided above should work for all iPhones. In other words, if you’re having a problem making a force quit, then it’s very likely you’re making a mistake somewhere. It is also worthwhile stating that the force quit is not a feature you should abuse. This feature should normally be used when you wouldn’t be using an app anymore, at least for an hour.

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