Your iPhone gets SLOWER and loses battery life if you always swipe apps closed

CONSTANTLY closing iPhone apps is a waste of time – and could actually hurt your handset.

Gadget experts have poured scorn on the popular myth that swiping apps closed saves battery life and boosts iPhone performance.

Instead, it can actually hurt your battery life, degrade your battery faster, and make apps take longer to load.

Many iPhone owners think swiping apps away is a good idea.

But Apple says you shouldn't bother unless an app has frozen.

"When your recently used apps appear, the apps aren’t open, but they're in standby mode to help you navigate and multitask," Apple explained.

"You should force an app to close only if it’s unresponsive."

iPhone apps are 'frozen' – don't swipe them away

Part of the problem is that it's tempting to think apps in your "carousel" are running.

But they're actually frozen by your iPhone, so they don't drain resources while you do other things.

"Apps in the background are effectively “frozen”, severely limiting what they can do in the background and freeing up the RAM they were using. iOS is really, really good at this," said famous gadget writer John Gruber, who runs the Daring Fireball blog.

"It is so good at this that unfreezing a frozen app takes up way less CPU (and energy) than relaunching an app that had been force quit.

"Not only does force quitting your apps not help, it actually hurts.

"Your battery life will be worse and it will take much longer to switch apps if you force quit apps in the background."

Closing frozen apps hurts your iPhone

Having to restart apps completely after being swiped away sucks up more battery life.

Also, the more strain you put on your battery, the faster it will degrade over time.

And that app will take longer to restart.

It's like loading a TV from standby, versus having the telly reboot completely.

Part of the problem for everyday iPhone owners is that the system's speed makes it hard to believe that apps are frozen.

"In fact, apps frozen in the background on iOS unfreeze so quickly that I think it actually helps perpetuate the myth that you should force quit them," Gruber explained.

"If you’re worried that background apps are draining your battery and you see how quickly they load from the background, it’s a reasonable assumption to believe that they never stopped running.

"But they did. They really do get frozen, the RAM they were using really does get reclaimed by the system, and they really do unfreeze and come back to life that quickly."

How to force-quit an iPhone app

Here's the official Apple guide…

  • On an iPhone X or later, or an iPad with iOS 12 or later, or iPadOS, from the Home screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause slightly in the middle of the screen
  • On an iPhone 8 or earlier, double-click the Home button to show your most recently used apps
  • Swipe right or left to find the app that you want to close.
  • Swipe up on the app's preview to close the app.

Should you ever force-quit iPhone apps?

Of course, it can be beneficial to force-quit some apps.

If an app has frozen or stopped working properly, you should quit out of it.

Some apps also do use resources in the background, like Facebook.

You can check in Settings to see if any apps abuse their permissions to operate in the background.

It may be beneficial to swipe away these apps, especially if you rarely use them.

But on the whole, swiping all of your apps closed will do more harm than good.

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Do you make a habit of closing iPhone apps down constantly? Let us know in the comments!

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