How to Quickly Fix a Frozen App on iPhone

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Ever had an app freeze and become unresponsive? Your iPhone has a built-in App Switcher that you can use to force close an app whenever it becomes unresponsive. We'll show you how to close apps on iPhone so that whenever an app is misbehaving, you can fix it quickly.

Why You'll Love This Tip:

  • Quickly fix unresponsive apps.
  • Force close apps that are not behaving as expected and restart them to fix bugs.

How to Close Apps on iPhone

This tip works on the iPhone X or later and iOS 16 and later.

In the past, you could press the Home button twice to open the App Switcher on iPhone, but modern iPhones no longer have a Home Button. Instead, you'll use iPhone gestures to open the App Switcher. For more iPhone shortcuts and advice, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter. Here’s how to close apps on an iPhone with no Home Button:

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  1. Open the App Switcher by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to just below the center, holding for a second, and letting go. Pro tip: if you're having trouble pulling up the App Switcher, try swiping up to the center of your screen, and then continue moving your finger to the right edge.

    iphone home screen with red arrow pointing upward from the bottom of the screen
  2. You'll see your open apps displayed as a row of screenshots overlapping each other. Swipe right or left through your apps to find the app you want to close.

    iphone app switcher with red arrows pointing left and right
  3. Swipe up on the app you want to close. When it disappears at the top of the screen, the app is closed.

    iphone app switcher with one app slightly raised and a red arrow pointing upward from the center of the screen
  4. Alternatively, you can tap on an app to open it.

    iphone app switcher with one app outlined in red
  5. Tap anywhere outside the apps to return to the Home Screen.

    iphone app switcher with red box indicating to tap outside the app switcher

That's how to close apps on iPhone. Keep in mind that, according to Apple, closing your apps isn't really necessary unless the app is frozen or unresponsive. In those cases, closing an app allows you to quickly restart it so that it can resume functioning correctly.

You may see many apps appear when you open the App Switcher, but the apps farther back in the Switcher aren't using data or slowing your phone down; your iPhone has simply suspended these apps on its own. You've probably seen this process in action if you've ever been scrolling through Facebook, switched over to another app, and switched back to Facebook later only to find the app has scrolled back to the top of your feed like it was just opened for the first time. That was your iPhone putting the app in a sort of "standby mode" until you were ready to use it again. Next, find out more about using your iPhone without a Home button here and how to close apps on Apple Watch.

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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.