Close all running apps on your iPhone at once isn’t something Apple included in their iOS. But there are workarounds. Let’s first talk about the necessary information. How do you know which iOS apps are running in the background? Well, there is a feature called App Switcher, and it provides a list of applications you’ve launched.

To open App Switcher, all you have to do is double press on the Home button. This function has not changed since iOS 5. However, Apple did make some improvements throughout their iOS releases.

Take a look below.

This is how it used to look. Source: iMore
This is how it used to look. Source: iMore

And then Apple start redesigning it with one of their major firmware: iOS 7.

Hands-on with iOS 7 on the iPad by iDownloadblog
Hands-on with iOS 7 on the iPad by iDownloadblog

Everything else remain unchanged for the most part. (as of writing this post)

Why Use the App Switcher?

Most iPhone and iPad users, including myself, believe that closing unused apps will save battery. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. According to Apple and various research on the internet, closing background applications in iOS doesn’t help to preserve battery life at all.

Some people also use the App Switcher to switch between apps faster and kill an app that stopped working.

How to Close “Multiple” Running Apps At Once

Even with the latest iOS version (10.x), you still can’t close all background apps at once. However, in an effort to make it less painful, Apple now allows users to use multiple fingers and up to 5 apps altogether.

  1. Start off by accessing the App Switcher
  2. Ten tap on the X button on top of each icon (if you use iOS 6 or lower).
  3. For iOs 9 and above, you can use multiple fingers and swipe up.

This method works universally, meaning doesn’t matter if your iOS device is jailbroken or not.

Using SmartClose tweak

If you have a jailbroken iPhone, you’re in for a treat. There is a jailbreak tweak called SmartClose by developer Ryan Petrich. This time, all you have to do is perform a quick activation gesture, and the tweak will completely close out all running applications. Does it really save battery, though? We don’t know!

  1. Open Cydia
  2. Go to the Sources tab and add the following repository: http://rpetri.ch/repos/
  3. There are a bunch of free tweaks in there, but for now, just look for SmartClose tweak and install it

Once the tweak the installed, it will create an options panel in your Settings app. You will need to go there to assign a gesture for SmartClose so that you can close every running app in less than 3 seconds.

Although this Cydia tweak is really useful, there are many alternatives to it such as ClassicSwitcher or SwitchSpring that add an additional style to your existence App Switcher. For example, ClassicSwitcher will bring back the old iOS 6’s App Switcher while still letting you force-close all apps.

It’s up to you to decide which one you want to use. Again, we highly encourage you to only use this feature when necessary not for saving battery because it won’t help.