How To: Force-Close Running Apps on the iPhone X

Force-Close Running Apps on the iPhone X

While fully closing apps on your iPhone can keep it running at peak efficiency since it frees up memory and stops background refreshing, it's most critical when dealing with unresponsive apps. If you have an issue with a certain app, you can just force-close it instead of rebooting.

Ever since iOS 7, force-closing apps on all iPhones has remained the same and has carried over into iOS 11. You just double-click the Home button and swipe up on the unresponsive app to force it to quit. But the new iPhone X doesn't have a Home button ... so how do you do it?

Force-closing apps on the iPhone X is still very intuitive, and with a little bit of practice, can be mastered faster than you can say "Qi."

Step 1: Access the iPhone X App Switcher Without a Home Button

To access the app switcher, you'll need swipe up from the bottom of the screen, then pause with you finger in the middle of the screen for a second until all of the app cards appear. That pause is key. If you swipe too fast and don't hold, you'll just go back to the home screen.

Basic multitasking on the iPhone X. Image by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

Step 2: Force-Close Your Apps from the App Switcher

Unfortunately, it appears that you can no longer simply swipe apps away from the multitasking screen on the iPhone X to dismiss them — at least, not directly. When you swipe up on a card in the multitasking view, the phone interprets this as a Home button gesture and simply minimizes the app, taking you back to the home screen. When you swipe down on a card, the app goes into full screen.

No more swipe-to-close gesture on the iPhone X. Image by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

So far, the only way we've found to properly close apps from the multitasking screen on the iPhone X is to use the older long-press gesture employed in iOS 4 through iOS 6. To try it out, just long-press any app in the multitasking UI, and a red button marked with a minus ( - ) sign will appear at the top of each card. From here, just tap the minus button to close any app of your choosing.

Force-closing an app on the iPhone X. Image by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

But the swipe-to-dismiss gesture isn't completely gone. When the red minus buttons are displayed, you can then swipe up on cards to force-close them. So you still can swipe up to close, but only with those red minus buttons present. If they aren't present, you will just be going back to the home screen.

Swiping still works when the red minus buttons are present. Image by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

With the iPhone X's interface being so gesture-based thanks to the bezel-less design and the lack of a home button, it's understandable that Apple has added an extra step to the swipe-up-to-dismiss gesture in the multitasking interface. After all, it wouldn't be very user-friendly if the same basic gesture performed different functions in different parts of the operating system.

Cover image and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

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