Quitting Apps Revisited: Does Cleaning Up the Multitasking Bar Save the Battery?


iPad battery indicator

During the past few weeks, I’ve heard from a few iPad and iPhone users that you need to force quit apps. That is, you must go to the multitasking bar (fast app switcher) and end or quit the apps you find there to save battery life or conserve memory. I’ve addressed this issue before, but let’s revisit it.

Multitasking in iOS allows you to switch instantly between apps. Apps you’ve used recently continue to be available in a suspended state. When you return to an app using fast app switching, you pick up right where you left off. Multitasking doesn’t slow down the performance of the foreground app or cause a significant drain of the battery.

A few apps continue to use memory or a bit of battery life as they stay active in the background. The most common are GPS apps and VoIP apps. GPS apps include most mapping and navigation apps. VoIP apps are apps such as Skype. Also apps that play music in the background, but you know they’re running because you hear the audio while using other apps. If you are concerned about getting every last bit from the charge on your battery, then you can quit or end the app. In the case of music apps, simply stop playback.

Remember, what you see on the multitasking bar is simply a list or ribbon of recently used apps. So let the iOS (Apple’s mobile operating system) take care of app memory management for you. You don’t need to actively manage these apps to save memory or battery life.


About Andy Brovey

Dr. Andy Brovey, The Portable Prof, has over twenty-five years experience in educational technology, including teaching, administration and professional development. In 2007, Apple Inc. recognized his work and named him an Apple Distinguished Educator. Andy now runs a professional development business, working on site and online to help others make sense and make use of digital tools. He started the iPad Academy website shortly after the first iPad went on sale. His iPad Academy helps others become more comfortable and competent with the iPad, in person and online through a video training series. Video Message from Andy