It’s a long-held belief that force-quitting apps that are running in the background on your iPhone will free up memory and help to preserve battery life.
This idea is so ingrained for some iPhone users that they will religiously go through closing down every app running on their phone by swiping them away several times a day.
But experts have warned, yet again, that it is a complete waste of time. In fact, it could actually being the opposite effect of the one that is intended.
Apple pundit John Gruber explains that the practice of closing down apps is based on a misconception about how iOS works on iPhones and iPads.
“Apps in the background are effectively ‘frozen’, severely limiting what they can do in the background and freeing up the RAM they were using,” he wrote in a blog post .
“iOS is really, really good at this. It is so good at this that unfreezing a frozen app takes up way less CPU (and energy) than relaunching an app that had been force quit.
“Not only does force quitting your apps not help, it actually hurts . Your battery life will be worse and it will take much longer to switch apps if you force quit apps in the background.”
Gruber is by no means the first person to make this point. In an email to MacDailyNews in 2010, Steve Jobs himself said: “Just use [iOS multitasking] as designed, and you’ll be happy. No need to ever quit apps.”
Apple’s multitasking feature is one of the big technical advantages that iOS holds over Google’s Android operating system, which forces apps to quit when they are not in use to stop them using up memory.
This means the Android apps have to be relaunched again when they are reopened – a much slower process than simply “unfreezing” them.
“Every iPhone user in the world who habitually force quits background apps manually is wasting all of the effort that went into this while simultaneously wasting their own device’s battery life and making everything slower for themselves,” said Gruber.
When should you force quit an app?
According to Apple’s official support document on forcing applications to close, the only time you should use this feature is when an app freezes and becomes unresponsive.
In this case, you should double-click the Home button to see your most recently used apps, swipe right or left to find the app you want to close, and then swipe up on the app’s preview to close the app.
When you return to the Home and re-open the app, it should be working as normal.