Today I Learned: Force Quitting Your iPhone Apps Does Not Save Battery

It is a well-perpetuated myth that closing apps on your iPhone will help save battery and make your phone’s performance improve. The result of closing apps on your phone has the opposite result compared to the desired effect.

When you “force close” your apps by double-tapping the home screen to show the Multitasking Menu and swiping up to close them, it creates more harm than good. When you see how many apps are open on your phone, you think that they must all be running in the background, draining the battery, and making our phones slower. However, you need to understand how iPhones suspend apps when they are not in use.

Most apps have three states:

  1. Active – This app is running in the foreground and is receiving events. This is the normal mode for an app that you are using currently.
  2. Background – This app is in the background and still receiving events. An app can run in the background momentarily while it is on its way to being suspended or it could run for longer. An example of this is when you have a navigation app giving you directions to a location. You may not be in the map app; however, it is giving you directions intermittently.
  3. Suspended – This app is the background and not receiving events. The system moves apps to this state automatically and while suspended, an app remains in memory. This means that the app will remember what you were doing last but, it will not get updates, use any battery, or harm the performance.

When you close the apps, you are taking the app from that suspended state and putting it into an inactive state. This makes it more laborious for the phone to re-open the app next time you use it. Closing the app will also drain the precious battery that you are trying to save. The only time that it is necessary to force-close an app is when the app is unresponsive. Otherwise, forcing close apps is much like turning your car off at stop signs, unproductive and wasting resources.

If you are concerned with battery, you can go into Settings>General>Background App Refresh and disable the refresh from apps that you don’t use or need to refresh frequently. Background App Refresh is a setting that lets certain apps check for new content and download updates in the background when they receive notification that it is available. Background App Refresh allows it to be ready for use the next time you open the app or you could just turn Background App Refresh off and let it update the next time you open the app.



  • By Gary Hussar 03 Aug 2017

    Excellent information!! I always thought the opposite. I shared it with everyone I know that has an iPhone. Thanks for providing the insight.

    • By Chynna Sherry 03 Aug 2017

      We are happy to hear that you gained some valuable insight from our blog!