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How to Force Kill Android Applications Without a Task Manager

If you heavily use your Android phone, you’ve probably come across a situation where a buggy application wasn’t working quite right, but there was no way to exit from the application in the interface. Here’s how to kill any application without a third-party task manager.

Note: we realize that most people probably have a task manager application installed, but for those of you that don’t, or if you just want to learn more about your phone, here’s how to do it.

Kill Android Apps with Built-In Tools

Start by opening up the Settings panel on your phone, and then head into Applications –> Manage applications.

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Now switch over to the Running tab, where you’ll see all the applications that are currently running on the system. You could find the application in one of the other tabs as well, but it’s often easier to filter through the Running list.

Once you’re on the application that’s causing the problems, you can simply click the Force stop button to kill the process.

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And now you know how to kill processes without a task manager. Easy, wasn’t it?

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/14/10

Comments (7)

  1. bkj216

    I’ll say the only real advantage of using a 3rd party application to kills apps is that most 3rd party solutions will have an “Auto-Kill” feature. Although in Froyo, I’m finding the Auto-Kill feature isn’t really necessary anymore (Droid OG user here)

  2. tuxnet

    This procedure is only for Froyo BTW.

  3. sure

    I’m not so sure this is really working. I mean if I use this method to kill something then when I hold down home button (samsung galaxy 3) I can still see the app in the multitask pop up window. And this also happens if I use ASTRO file manager which also has an app manager to kill the app. It’s still there in the multitask window. What do you think?

  4. Tim

    @sure

    Force stopping application will kill the process. What you see when you hold-down the Home button is the recently opened applications even when the application is no longer running.

  5. Ronald A. DeWitt

    Thank you. That made things so much easier.

  6. PR

    I’m using Hasta La Vista Is’t way more simple that go to settings->applications -> manage applications etc etc

  7. David

    I want to totally delete an app from my Samsung Google Nexus S.

    Google Wallet keeps updating and launching and killing my battery. I want to nuke it forever. The steps shown above don’t work against Google Wallet as there is no uninstall button when I get to that step.

    Thanks if anyone knows how to help.

    David

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