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How to close open windows on iPhone 11

Mobile operating systems were developed after desktop computers became mainstream. By then, most users had learned certain concepts e.g., opening and closing apps that are common on a desktop OS. These same actions don’t necessarily translate the same way on a mobile OS.


Close open windows on iPhone 11

On mobile operating systems, apps run in their own ‘window’ but the OS doesn’t present them as a window. An app is its own container. With apps like Chrome, you can open several tabs but they all open in the Chrome app and not in different windows. Even incognito tabs in Chrome for iOS open within the same app and not as a separate window. 

How to close open windows on iPhone 11

You can open an app on iPhone 11 and by that logic, it stands to reason that you should be able to close it. This is somewhat close to what you can do. When you switch from one app to another, the other app enters a somewhat suspended state. It will continue to update if that’s the sort of app it is but it will run in the background.

To ‘close’ this open app, you need to quit it. On iPhone 11, you can quit or close an app;

  1. Swipe up and hold the home bar.
  2. You will enter multi-tasking mode.
  3. Swipe through the open apps until you find the app you want to close.
  4. Swipe up on the app window to quit/close it.

Note: This method works on all iPhone models that do not have a home button. For iPhone models with a Home button, you will need to quickly press the Home button twice to enter multi-tasking mode. This method also works on iPadOS.

What happens when I close an app on iPhone 11

When you close an app window on an iPhone, the app;

  • Will remain signed in, unless it has a security feature that signs out the user e.g. banking or payment related apps.
  • You will continue to get notifications from the app.
  • You will not lose any ‘unsaved’ data e.g., if you’re composing or editing a file in Numbers or Excel.
  • The app will reload and refresh data when you next open it e.g. the Facebook app refreshes the feed if you quit and re-open it.
  • The app may stop syncing data. it depends on the app type. Google Maps and YouTube may suspend download but Google Drive and Dropbox will continue to upload files.


Mobile operating systems are not designed to work the same way desktop operating systems are. The difference isn’t just cosmetic. It is fundamental difference in how apps and processes are run. If you use a mobile device for a few days, you will quickly learn the difference between the two and why you, generally, cannot close windows on a mobile OS.

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