Android Quick Tip: How To Effectively Manage & Close Apps

We all know the joys of true multitasking featured in the Android OS. The ability to have multiple apps open simultaneously is what we consider to be a must. This is particularly true in the age of dual-core (or soon-to-be quad-core) processors and 1GB+ RAM on a lot of high-end devices that are built to handle heavy workloads simultaneously, though older devices can handle their own when it comes to running multiple apps at the same time too. Android users must remember that while you should take advantage of being able to have multitasking and running several programs running at once, those programs will ultimately show your phone and even crash your device, no matter how high-end your phone might be. There’s a simple answer to keep the slowdown to a minimum and prevent your phone from crashing– using a task manager. Many of you are thinking, “great, no problem– I’ll download a third-party app to use now”. Well, not so fast young Jedi. Users should be aware that while you indeed can use a third-party task manager, they’re largely ineffective and often costs money to use in order to use full features. Here’s a more specific and cheaper solution, use your device’s built-in Task Manager.  This Quick Tip guide will show Android owners how to effectively manage apps from their device.

How To Switch From One App To Another (on Any Android & UI)

Let’s begin with the basics. Start off by opening any one app and then pressing the Home button in order to have the app quietly running in the background. After going to the Home screen, you will then have the ability to open up any other app of your desire. You can open up as many apps as you want, so long as your phone’s memory can handle it. To switch from one app to another, just press and hold the Home button and a new screen will pop up, allowing you to freely switch from one app to another. You can see examples of this in the screenshots below. One screenshot is from a stock Android OS system, the second is from my own phone which uses a custom UI (Motorola Atrix 4G, Gingerbread 2.3.4 and MOTOBLUR).









How To Manage & Close Apps (Stock Android & HTC Sense UI Devices)

Now suppose you have one too many apps open and your device’s resources become low and your phone is now sluggish. No need to hit the panic button just yet folks, there’s a simple solution. Open up your phone’s Settings. Go to Applications and then Manage Applications. You will then be able to view the apps currently running and Force Stop any app you’re not using individually.

How To Manage & Close Apps (Motorola devices running Gingerbread 2.3 with MOTOBLUR)

If you’re on a Motorola device, you’re likely using the MOTOBLUR UI. To manage your apps, start by hitting the Menu button and select Manage Apps. Then point to Running and you will be able to see all the apps currently running– including the processes within MOTOBLUR itself. Simply select any one of the apps eating up the most of your memory and close it.










How To Manage & Close Apps (Samsung TouchWiz devices)

TouchWiz is a fan favorite among all the Android UI skins out there. The skin includes effective, though criminally under-underutilized tools to help your Samsung device run buttery smooth. TouchWiz devices include a built-in app called the Task Manager that’s really quite simple to use. To open the Task Manager app, simply press and hold the Home button until the app window appears. Once in, you’ll have the ability to view active apps and shutting down each app separately by tapping at the top right corner of the app’s icon and hitting the old X button. Check the screenshot below as an example.









There you have it gang. You now see there’s no need to purchase or download a third-party task manager when your device has some built-in features to help it run smoothly and at a optimal level. Here’s to keeping our devices running as smooth as possible and no lag. Let us know if this has been helpful to you and what you think of this brief guide in the Comments section below.



About the Author: Roy Alugbue

Conceived as Spock’s 4th cousin, Roy has had quite the life. He was born in beautiful San Jose, California, raised in Los Angeles, California and now resides in the greater New York City area. He has always been fascinated and obsessed with technology, especially the continuous advancements of mobile platforms. He was a Blackberry slave since his undergrad days at the University of Southern California until realizing in Feb. 2011, there were greener pastures in the land of Android. His first Android phone was the Motorola Atrix 4G, and he hasn’t looked back. He currently works in corporate media, enjoys following media and technology trends, reading a good book, weightlifting, playing on his XBOX 360 and conversing with total strangers.

  • David

    Could you recommend a 3rd party app that does work ? thanks 

  • Spencer M

    Hey Roy, I’ve had my Tab for months I have played with every feature on it, except that hold the home button idea never entered my thought process. I always used the app try. That was pretty good my man. ;-)

  • Elainexxjames

    thank you for explaining how to use TouchWix its easy when you have been told
    ……. please contiue to give us this back to very basic info many of us do need it cu

  • Norberto Moritz

    Helps a lots, thanks

  • rajesh

    i am thinking of something about RAM….if i have a RAM of 20 mb and i opened 5 apps and press home button by those the RAM is full…now i am opening another 6th it gonna open ?..if yes on which basis ?.

  • ahmed eid

    can i switch in apps on motorola milestone??

  • Quotes

    Hi, i have samsung galaxy s3. And my home button is not responding,it is broken. Is there tweak or app that i can tap and hold for the manage app shows up? My phone is not rooted. Please contact me here

  • ali

    down vote

    i tried many kill apps, and found that the
    best way is to install both (go taskmanager) and (fast reboot). when
    used together, it will work, and will free the memory. another option is
    to upgrade to android (ice cream sandwich 4.0.4), which allow control
    (close) of apps. good luck.

  • Dan John

    Thanks alot you have saved alot of agony moments

  • wrbird

    When I press and hold the home button on my tablet it shows recent programs, not running programs. Am I doing something wrong? Currently I’m Smart Taskbar and it’s working well.

  • Mikey

    Thank you so much for this article. Very helpful to us newbs. :-)


    Just a quick note on the Samsung Galaxy S2, when you press and hold the home button, task manager displays the apps that are open. There are no “old x buttons” to close the apps. But if you swipe each app individually to the left, they’ll close. Thanks for the article Roy. Almost a year later and still useful !!

    • cellepo

      Same on Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G.

      *Also: Left-swipe only works in vertical screen view; in horizontal, you must swipe DOWN.
      Regardless, is that the same as explicitly choosing force-stop with Task Manager?

  • mh..

    once you force stop an app on Droid Incredible,can you get it back on??

  • Tony Barfield

    I hired this Samsung for £18 per month from 3 , & had to cap it to stop overcharging , since when can no longer call 0845’s or 0800 numbers ! Any way to improve the scam ?

  • a guy

    Thanks for that!

  • Florence Bayongan

    I got a big problem on my android phone i acccidentaly stop the running service for skype but they said it will be back to normal once i turn it off them on again. But it doesnt work out. I try to uninstall my skype and install agaim yes installing complited but when i open that apps it has stopped unexpectedly got problem on running service.. I cant figure it out how to put it back or set it back. ..Help me pls. Tnx for concern

    • godfather!

      just try to restart your mobile once!

  • Blindy

    thanks, I had no idea how to close apps on my Samsung Epic 4G until finding this site. You explanation was clear and simple.

  • Ricardo

    Just got a Samsung Acer IIx. Great to find out how to close an app. Thanks.

  • mccshe

    recently upgraded from razr phone to Samsung galaxy 3 note, since then I have been unable to post listings on the poshmark app. very frustrating. have gotten no support from poshmark and Verizon was unable to help. when I go to task manager it says no active applications. Is this the problem and if so how can I fix it?

  • latido44

    i not understand why my current phone keep closing my popup video when playing online games like real racing 3. Even my music on background will close automatically. Anyone can help OR advice? Why this happen, not enough RAM? or what? I m using S3 I9300 RAM 1GB. TQ

  • Matt Mentor

    Funny… your first tip was a killer …just press and hold the home button … thanks

  • bob

    I’d like an option that would close an app while it was open. Here’s what happens. I tap an icon on home screen to open an app, then when I go to the home screen for another app, the one I opened first pops into the background. I’d rather have it cose at this point. What happens is that hitting icons on the home screen is easyest, fastest thing to do, so I end up tapping icons for app I want to use, but then instead of going to the app that is running, it opens a second version. Soon phone is glutted with running apps I’m not using. Think about it…