An iPhone SE illustration with a grey screen

If an app ever hangs or malfunctions on your iPhone SE, it’s easy to force the app to close in just a few swipes. While you don’t normally need to do this, it sometimes comes in handy. Here’s how.

Normally, You Don’t Need to Close Apps

Unless an app is malfunctioning, you typically don’t need to manually force iPhone apps to close. That’s because the iPhone operating system (iOS) handles system resources automatically. Doing so regularly can slow down your iPhone experience.

Still, there are times when an app freezes, hangs, or misbehaves. In those cases, it’s OK to force the app to close. When you relaunch the app, it will be forced to reload completely, which might solve temporary problems caused by bugs.

How to Force an App to Close on iPhone SE

To close an app on an iPhone SE, you’ll need to launch the app switcher first. The app switcher is a special screen that lets you switch between open apps and also close them.

To open the app switcher, quickly press the home button on your iPhone SE twice. (The home button is the large circular button just below the screen.)

Press the Home button on the iPhone SE

If you do it correctly, the app switcher will open, and you’ll see images representing the apps you currently have open (or suspended) on your iPhone SE.

Using your finger, swipe left and right through the app thumbnails until you locate the thumbnail of the app you’d like to close. To close the app, flick its thumbnail upward (toward the top of the screen) with your finger.

In iPhone app switcher, swipe upward on the app thumbnails to close the apps.

The thumbnail will disappear, and the app will be forced to close. You can close as many apps as you’d like using this method, but remember that it’s not necessary unless an app is malfunctioning.

If you’re still having trouble with an app after you relaunch it, try updating the app using the App Store. Also, restarting your iPhone SE can solve many temporary problems. For larger bug fixes, see if there are any iPhone system updates available. Good luck!

RELATED: How to Update iPhone and iPad Apps

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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