Does closing smartphone apps actually save your battery? The truth might surprise you

November 22, 2016


Closing your smartphone’s background apps has become a habitual and cathartic exercise. As well as appeasing your mild OCD need for a clean, uncluttered smartphone – even if you can’t see the clutter – it helps prolong your battery life too, right? Wrong.

No apps doesn’t mean no drain on your battery. And instead of giving your piddly power unit a new lease of life, force-quitting all open apps in one go can actually make things worse and cause your handset to lose battery juice even quicker.

Don’t just take our word for it, though – the people who built your phones and their operating systems have spoken out to dispel this battery-saving superstition.


Posed with the question “Do you quit your iOS multitasking apps frequently, and is this necessary for battery life?”, Apple CEO Tim Cook and iOS chief Craig Federighi recently replied “No and no.” Pretty unambiguous.

Instead of saving your battery, former Apple technician and Martiancraft CEO Kyle Richter has suggested manually closing apps could have the opposite effect.

“Force-quitting suspended apps will, under most circumstances, drain your battery faster than simply waiting for the user to return,” he wrote in a blog post. “The very process of quitting an app will use up a measurable amount of battery life. This is doubly true for any app that you are frequently launching and using.”


It’s not just iPhone owners accidentally killing their battery life with good intentions either. The same phone faux pas can be said for your Android smartphone too.

Fielding questions on the matter, Google’s VP of Engineering for Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, said that closing apps could have a small negative effect on your handset’s battery. He stated it “could very slightly worsen”.

OK, so you’ve been responsible for your phone’s shoddy staying power, but at least you can save your fingers from some frantic app-killing swipes from now on.

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