What happens when you force stop an app?

Force stopping an app can be a confusing or daunting concept for some. Phones usually offer the option to force stop an app in their settings, but don’t make it clear what the feature entails. In this article, we’ll go through what force stopping an app does, and other related details.

What happens when you force stop an app?

People usually go to force stop an app when the app is having issues. It essentially gives you the option to restart your app. First, we’ll go over how you can force stop an app.

How to force stop an app

For iOS:

There’s no actual option to force stop an app on iOS devices. However, there is a way to mimic the effect of force stopping an app.

First, you must ensure that the app’s tab is closed.

Double-press the home button to show all open tabs.


Then, swipe up on the app’s tab to close it.

Next, turn off the app’s background activity if applicable.

Go to Settings>Background App Refresh.

Find the app you wish to force stop, and press the green switch next to it. This will disable its background activity.

If the app is not on the list, then it means they have no background activity to disable. You can skip this step if that’s the case.

For Android:

Android devices actually provide the option to force stop an app.

Go to Settings>Apps.

Find the app you wish to force stop, and press on it.


Press the force stop option in the bottom-right.


A notice will appear. Press ‘ok’ to confirm the action.


What it means to force stop an app

Force stopping an app essentially means stopping an app’s activity. This includes background activity, which can occur even when an app is closed.

However, it does not reset or permanently disable an app’s activity. It merely pauses it. You can reactivate an app’s activity by either opening it again, or enabling background activity.

Force stopping an app basically lets you restart an app. It stops an app’s current activity, and gives you the option to start it again. This can help troubleshoot issues an app may be having.

What does force stopping an app affect?

When you force stop an app, it can affect various things on your device. For instance, since it decreases app activity, it can boost your phone performance and speed. It can also allow other apps to perform better.

As a result, it can save battery. However, this is only true if the app you force stopped was taking up a lot of your battery usage. You can check whether this was the case in the settings.

For iOS:

Go to Settings>Battery.


Scroll down to see your battery levels throughout the day. Or, scroll even further to see a list of apps by battery usage percentage. This will tell you how much battery each app consumed recently.

If the app you force stopped is either not on the list, or the battery percentage is unavailable, force stopping the app will not affect your battery.

For Android:

Go to Settings>Battery and Device Care>Battery.

Press on the battery usage chart. This will show a list of apps by battery usage, since your device’s last full charge.


Alternatively, you can press on the ‘last 7 days’ tab, and see a list of apps by battery usage for the last 7 days.


Is it safe to do?

Force stopping an app is safe to do. It can solve issues an app may be having, and get it working again.

However, it should not be done frivolously or too frequently. If force stopping an app once doesn’t solve the issues, doing it again most likely won’t yield any better results.

You should only really force stop an app if the app is either malfunctioning in some way, or using a lot of battery/CPU power in the background. Be careful when you choose to force stop an app, as it can cause unsaved data to be lost.

Can I reverse force stopping an app?

Once you force stop an app, it cannot be undone.

However, you can reverse the effects by opening the app again, or re-enabling background activity.

For iOS, you can simply toggle the switch for background activity on, again. This will enable an app’s background activity once more.

For Android, when you force stop an app, the option will become unavailable. However, re-opening the app should make the force stop option available, again.


In conclusion, force stopping an app simply stops all the app’s activity. This can result in better phone performance and speed, as well as a longer battery life.

However, whilst it is safe to do, the force stop option should not be abused. Use it when you find it to be necessary, such as when an app is having issues functioning properly. Force stopping an app essentially gives users the ability to restart an app. This can sometimes solve an app’s malfunctions.

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