Force-quitting apps on the new SE doesn't work

OK, despite misgivings about its size, I bit at the new iPhone SE. Not bad, but force-quitting apps doesn’t work at all. The usual double-tap of the home button lowers the active app window, exposing an “up” carat that does nothing except raise the app window again.

Am I doing something dumb?

Sounds right to me. This is what Apple has to say about it.

The reference Simon gave should straighten things out for you. Double-tap no longer is the way to accomplish what you want on modern hardware running a current OS.

But I need to ask why you find a need to force quit an app. Apple doesn’t want you to do that routinely as that will shorten battery life and waste your time relaunching it every time you use it. If the app is misbehaving, then that’s the only reason you should be force quitting it.


The double-tap opens reachability, which lowers the screen so you can more easily reach items on the top of the screen when you are using the phone one-handed. The carat gives you a control to return the screen to normal.

So, rather than double-tap the home button, you need to double-click it. That was always the way to open the fast app switcher.

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Thanks! Reachability was the culprit. You’d think Apple Support would have encountered this enough (especially for SE users) that it would be the first thing recommended.

Al’s point here is important. Force Quit on iOS only as a last resort. And if you have friends or family members who think that view shows apps that are “running,” tell them to knock it off too. Friends Don’t Let Friends Habitually Force Quit. :slight_smile:


I’m using one of the new iPhone SEs running 13.4.1, so as modern as you can get, and double-clicking the Home button brings up the application switcher. Swiping from the bottom and pausing in the middle just brings up the Control Center, despite what Apple’s article says. Double-tapping the Home button sometimes opens reachability, maybe 1 out of 5 times.

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The article simply hasn’t ben updated to include instructions for the 2020 SE. Read it as if what they describe for Phone 8 and older to apply to the new 2020 SE. Double-tap is reachability, double-press is app switcher, and swiping from bottom is control center. In this regard, iPhone X and later designs follow a different paradigm than the home button iPhone designs (≤ 8 and the 2020 SE).

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Thank you all. I was invoking Reachability, and I clearly need to adjust my tapping/pressing habits. (For now, I’m inclined to turn off Reachability.)

To address Al and Gordon, I needed to force-quit because (to be more precise than anyone probably cares to hear), the Words With Friends app had frozen—as it tends to do for some reason when I switch to a new phone—so I repeatedly needed to take dramatic measures to get out of it.

Thanks again.

P.S. If Apple knows a user has just upgraded from an older (non-haptic) iPhone to a newer phone—as it does, because I migrated directly from an old SE to a new SE—wouldn’t it be nice if the new phone offered a tour of differences? That’s the kind of thing Apple used to be very good at, hm?

If you never force quit, you must be running a very reliable set of applications. I don’t force quit “habitually”, but I force quit when things hang, or when Mail doesn’t seem to correctly reflect the state of things on my IMAP server or thinks it can’t load a message, or when I’m getting other inexplicable behavior.


Ok, I see now that if I scroll all the way down it was last updated in October of last year, so obviously wouldn’t include the new SE. This does seem though like the sort of detail Apple should get right. Part of a new phone release process, particularly for a phone that operates differently in substantive ways from previous recent releases, should be to update all their help.

The new SE is small enough and my hands big enough that I can still operate it with one hand, although it’s a stretch to the top, left corner, so Reachability could be handy at times, but it’s still very hit and miss for me. I assume I’m tapping too softly or too hard or not at the right speed or something, but so far I haven’t been able to find the sweet spot, it still only comes up about 1 in 5 tries for me.

I’m the same. Sometimes an app just won’t work, or work properly, until it’s killed and allowed to start from scratch.

I once sat next to a guy on a plane who had two iPhones, and he would open an app use it briefly and then force quit it. I couldn’t restrain myself and explained why he was making his iPhones (why he had two, I don’t know) slower and have worse battery life doing that.

Force quit is a last resort for when an app has frozen. I do it extremely infrequently.

So this is now called “force quitting”? Is there some other way to quit an iOS app that I’ve never heard of before?

But seriously I doubt there’s anything worthwhile saved in memory from an app I last used 3 weeks ago. And I’ve often lost data when accidentally letting the battery run out (ain’t no “save” or “auto-save” anywhere that I’ve seen) - closing an app is the only way I can figure to best ensure saving. And like another responder, Mail often hangs or ceases behaving correctly, as occasionally does Safari and other 3rd party apps, requiring a “force quit”.

I have to force quite Weather all the time because Apple neglected to include a ‘refresh’ button. I’d prefer not to. But looking at stale weather data is rather unsatisfying.

Closing the app this way will almost certainly not result in a save. It’s essentially like force quite (or kill -9), i.e. the OS will nuke the app without giving it a chance to save anything.

Like @ace pointed out above, if you’re worried about battery life you should stop killing apps anyway because backgrounded apps vs. starting them from scratch lowers your overall power draw. In very brief terms, a backgrounded apps draws next to zero power. Starting an app from scratch requires the CPU and memory to draw power.

This is beyond disturbing! You actually have apps on your iDevice that you have never heard of before? That should not in any way be possible unless you allow others to use your device, it’s been jail broken or you have simply forgotten having installed it. I suppose you could have accidentally opened an Apple app that was installed by the OS, but other than that I would be super interested to know the name of such an app you stumbled across.

Oh brother. Calm down.
I sarcastically meant was there a way of quitting that I had never heard of.

This is a great example of the dangers of misplaced relative clauses!


c.f. “eats shoots and leaves”.

Does that phrase refer to a panda’s diet, or a person who fires a gun in a restaurant after finishing his meal?


Thanks! I didn’t know about this. My very ancient iPad, which hardly ever leaves my side these days, is always freezing, and doesn’t fully download, when I try to access Apple News. I’ve been force quitting, trying in vain to get it to update. It just gets stuck spinning whenever I open it? I guess I’d better start thinking about a new iPad.