How to Force Quit Applications on the iPhone/iPod Touch

The iPhone may be known for its incredible stability, but even it occasionally suffers from a frozen or non-responsive app every once and a while. Luckily, there is a simple way to force quit these applications. Think of it as a ctrl+alt+delete or option+shift+command+escape for your iPhone or iPod Touch.

There are actually two different ways to do this, depending upon the version of the iPhone or iPod Touch OS that you are running. I’d tell you how to go into settings and check which version are are running, but it is actually much more simple just to try one, and if it doesn’t work, then you need to use the other. If you really need a way to tell, try swiping your home screen (the one with all of the icons) all the way to the left. If you find the Spotlight search page to the left of your first page of icons, then you want option number one here. If you don’t find that search page, then you want option number two:

  1. For devices running 3.0 or later Press and hold the hold button (on the top of your device) until the Slide to power off” slider comes up. Then, hold the home button (the one on the front of your device which takes you back to the apps screen) for about 6 seconds, or until you see the currently running application close. Congrats, you’ve performed a force quit.
  2. For devices running software before 3.0 Just press and hold the home button for about 6 seconds, or until the see the currently running application close. Voila, no more frozen app.

It’s rare but every once and a while you may also need to force the device to shut down if it is completely unresponsive. This is also very simple. Just press the hold and home buttons at the same time and keep them held until your device turns off (this will take about 10-15 seconds).

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