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How to force close apps on an iPad

Older iPads actually make this easier.

Published onFebruary 15, 2023

Let’s get one thing straight — most of the time, you don’t need to close apps on an iPad. Apple’s iPadOS automatically cycles older apps out of memory as necessary, and with decent RAM on newer models, the experience is pretty seamless. If an app is giving you trouble though, you can often solve problems with it by force-closing — here’s how.


To force-close apps on an iPad, open the App Switcher, then swipe the app you want to close upwards, offscreen. On most iPads, you can open the App Switcher by swiping upwards from the bottom bezel (no matter your orientation).


How to close apps on most iPads

The current iPad lineup and most recent models use a gesture-based interface first introduced on iPhones. It works slightly differently in iPadOS than it does in iOS, but the fundamental concept is the same.

  • From the bottom bezel of your screen (no matter the orientation), swipe upwards. You don’t have to swipe far, but wait for a collection of app cards to appear. This is the App Switcher.
  • Drag the app you want to close upwards, off the top of the screen.
  • When it’s gone, tap on another app to open it, or on a blank space to go to the homescreen.

How to close apps on an iPad with a home button

Apple iPad 2020 with Apple Pencil
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

While iPads with home buttons are on their way out, they do have an advantage here — easier access to the App Switcher. Just double-press the home button, then swipe the app upwards offscreen.