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.

However, force stopping apps is actually pretty normal, and in some cases, it’s a good idea. In this article, we’ll go through what force stopping an app does, and other related details.

What does force stopping an app do?

When you run a force stop on your app, you’re essentially running a command to tell your device to kill the app immediately.

It will completely stop that particular app, though it won’t remove the app cache memory and delete data the app has saved already.

However, you may lose any unsaved data from the app if you’re currently in the middle of a session. You won’t lose app data from previous sessions, or if your app saves data automatically.

People usually go to force stop an app when the app is having issues. It essentially gives you the option to restart your app if you want to, and it can fix any frozen apps that may have crashed or stopped working.

First, we’ll go over how you can force stop an app.

How to force stop an app (on Android or iOS device)

For iOS:

There’s no actual option to force stop an app on iOS devices, which make be a little surprising if you’re used to using an Android device.

However, there is a way to mimic the effect of force stopping an app, which can be a good idea if you have too many apps running and it’s causing an issue.

Before you start, you must ensure that the app’s tab is closed, then;

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.

This means that there are no background processes related to the app, and you can skip this step if that’s the case.

For Android:

The good news is that Android devices actually provide the option to force stop an app, and the process is relatively straightforward to follow too.

The first thing you need to do is to Go into Settings and then 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.


The truth is that you can use this to save battery life, close misbehaving apps that stop responding on your device and stop processing running in the background.

What does force stopping an app affect? – Save battery power

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 help to increase the battery life of your iPhone. 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 Android apps by battery usage for the last 7 days.


If you want to save battery power on your Android phone, it’s a good idea to consider force stopping apps that won’t close.

Common Questions about Force Stopping Apps

What does it mean 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.

Is it safe to force stop an app?

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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I love reading, writing, drawing, and other creative pursuits. I wish to travel more and do extreme activities, such as bungee-jumping and skydiving. I'm a casual gamer with an affinity for narrative-driven games and unique art styles. I like watching a variety of different media, but I particularly enjoy animations and musicals. My favourite genre, for both books and visual media, is psychological-thriller.

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