How to Close Background Apps in Android

Running Apps

In Android, once you launch an application, it will continue to run in the background, even after you’ve left it and moved on to other tasks.  After enough applications are opened in a session, you may notice your device lagging a bit due to the number of open applications using up your device’s RAM. This isn’t so much of a problem on newer, highly-specced devices like the Galaxy S4, but several less powerful devices still stutter a bit when too many applications are open and running. Also, if someone else picks up your phone, they will also be able to see what apps you’ve been using which is a privacy issue.

Here’s how to kill background applications running in the background that you’re no longer using.

1. Launch the recent applications menu. How you get to this menu will vary a bit from device to device. On the HTC One, for example, you tap the home button twice to get to Recent Apps, whereas it takes a long press on the Samsung Galaxy S4’s physical button, and an on-screen button takes you to this location on the Nexus 5.

MORE: How to Backup Your Android Device

2. Find the application(s) you want to close on the list by scrolling up from the bottom.

Android apps menu

3. Tap and hold on the application and swipe it to the right. This should kill the process from running and free up some RAM.

Android apps menu

4.  Navigate to the Apps tab in settings if your phone’s still running slow. On Samsung phones, this menu is called “Application Manager.”

Android apps menu

5. Select the Running tab to see what’s still running.

Android apps menu running tab

6. Return to the “All apps” tab, scroll to the application(s) that’s running, and click on it.

7. Tap “Force Stop” to kill the process for good.

Tap force stop

Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

  1. Rhonda Says:

    Thank you !!! my first smart phone. This is exactly the info I needed. You Rock!

  2. MsATX Says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I soooo needed this \m/ Awesome

  3. Morgan Says:

    This is what keeps me using a 6 year old webOS phone. Multi-page TUTORIALS on how to quit an app. Holy moly. And bear in mind some apps you have to quit in the multitasking screen AND the notifications area, like iHeart and other music stuff.

    Here’s me quitting any app completely on webOS: tap once, swipe upward.

    At least Apple almost was able to copy the webOS method now. Android needs an easy way to quit.

  4. marje Says:

    Do I have to delete all Ram Manager, Clear inactive and background processes., If so how do I do it once instead of clear memory click by click

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options