Like all operating systems, sometimes iOS will slow down or applications will freeze. Today, we’ll be showing you what to do in those scenarios by explaining how to force quit applications and how to force reboot the OS.

If you do have an application freeze, your best bet will be to try and force quit the application first. It that doesn’t work, or your device is completely frozen, you can force reboot your device instead.

Force Quit Apps Using Task Switcher (iOS4 Only)

There are two ways to quit apps on iOS devices: the manual method, and the software method, which only works on newer devices able to run iOS4 with multi-tasking enabled.

Since multitasking is enabled on iOS 4, all we need to do to quit an app is open the task switcher by hitting the home button twice, and then hold down on the app we want to quit until it starts jiggling. A red “-” should appear on the corner of the app icon. If we press it, it will quit the app:

Manually Force Quit Apps

If you’re using an older device that doesn’t support multi-tasking, you can quit an application manually—though this also works as a force quit on the newer devices if you prefer. You’ll need to follow the following steps:

  • Hold down the Sleep/Wake Button on the top.
  • Wait for a red slider to appear. Don’t slide it.
  • Let go of the Sleep/Wake Button.
  • Hold down the home button and the app will force quit.

Once you’re back on the home screen the application should be closed, and you can re-open it normally again. Here’s a diagram to better illustrate how it works:

Reboot Your Device Normally

If your device is completely frozen, or you’re having other problems, you’ll want to reboot your device instead of just quitting an app. You can simply hold down the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears, and then slide it across.

Once the device is off, you can use the Sleep/Wake button to turn it back on again—just hold the button down.

Force Your Device to Reboot Manually

If the device is just completely frozen—which shouldn’t usually happen, but every so often it does—you can hold down both the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time until the device reboots itself.

Make sure you let go of the buttons once the device starts rebooting, otherwise you might end up in Recovery Mode, which you probably don’t want.