Sometimes when you exit an application, it doesn’t mean the app has stopped. Most of the time, it’s actually still running in the background. Luckily, Android makes it very easy to clear out these applications. Here’s our guide on how to clear recently used apps.

KEEP IN MIND: Not all Android phones are the same. Some will have more steps required to complete each task, others will have less. At AndroidGuys, we will do our best to walk you through each task as well as we can.

First, find your “recent apps” key. On phones that have on-screen buttons, it’s the button usually off to the right side that looks like two squares stacked on each other.

Recent apps 1

Note: If you’re using a phone without a recent apps key, you may need to hold down the home button to get to the same menu.

Next, you’ll see a list of all of the applications that you’ve recently used on your device. These are the applications that are still open and running in the background. Swiping them to either side of the screen closes the app, making sure that doesn’t take up precious battery or data.

 Recent apps 2

Swipe them all away until you see this screen:

recent apps 3

Checking your recently used apps isn’t only good for swiping them away. It is also a handy task switcher if you don’t want to exit an app every time you need to use a different app. Just tap the button, click on the app you’d like, and you’re instantly moved to that application.

Still having trouble? Head to the comments and we will do our best to help you out! If there is anything you would like to suggest to AndroidGuys or to any other readers, feel free to use the comment section below!

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21 COMMENTS

  1. I want to be able to clear ALL the recent app in just one move, to swipe one by one takes long time. Is it possible to configure in setting not to collect at all the app history.

  2. I can’t adjust my volume. It says unfortunately settings has stopped. I also don’t know if an application failed or not. The side buttons now when I touchtthem cut my phone off instead of adjust volume, this is a brand new phone please help. Oh also incoming calls don’t always show up for me to slide to answer them either. Help please

  3. Hello.
    I recently force stop my Google play services app. The App, deleted off my phone. I didn’t think I was able to delete apps that came with my phone. But in this case I couldn’t find it in my Application Manager.so I tried downloading it from a download that came to my phone. Well I don’t know if I did it right because there’s no icon foreplay services. A little puzzle piece that usually shows up on my desktop. I think I downloaded it. But I don’t know if its connected to the rest of my apps or not. Is there any help you give get me.
    thank you.

  4. Thank you for this useful information. I never knew that this meant these recent apps were still running. I will now clear them when done using them.

  5. My problem is I purchased this HTC desire510 on February08 2015 and the phone storage is had only about 1 GB available for me. There were all preloaded apps on it. That is ridiculous and they say that there is nothing they can do . I can only put some app on my SD CARD .I am so disappointed. I thought I had the ideal phone.

  6. Sir I owe Micromax canvas nitroA 310. Here I am getting problem while transferring my any apps from internal memory to external memory.It just displays that your internal and external memory are same. So sir please help me from this which made my phone hazy.I would like just as all other android supports.thank you.

  7. my message in my mobile , recently used appln is not showing anything…its is blank !!!
    pls tell me where i will change to setting !!!

  8. Isn’t it grand all searching for the exceptionable smart phone. Reminds me of the days Color TV showed up and all the years of transforming the TV. Big changes since then. Only took oh around 50 years, and to take it a step further look at automobiles over 100 years and stll working on it. The point is these smart phones etc are so much like autos and color TV’s.
    When will we get to the point they are man made and man is far from perfect.

  9. I installed this app that I can’t find listed in my Manage Apps. It’s a wheel that comes up on any screen listing Common Apps, Recent Apps and Shortcut Settings just by swiping the bottom corners of the screen. It gets in my way and I don’t know how to get rid of it. Please help. Thank you

  10. I have recently had to replace my Samsung S6 Edge and after setting up with contact, apps, etc the Recent Apps lighted button no longer works leaving all the apps (which have been opened) are no longer available to close. My my monthly quota for data is almost depleated in the first 10 days of the month, HELP. I have no way to shut down any apps (except web by closing tabs). Please let me k now if there is anything I can do. I have search the web and see there is a problem that people have been reporting.

  11. I have a oppo a37 phone. I have a problem with recent applications to close. All most all recent applications are should be ending except whatsapp, music applications. How do clear my recent applications permanent.

  12. I went to clear my apps and one of them is locked. Ive tried uninstalling it and reinstalling it but that didn’t work. It has a small locket thing in the corner making it where I can’t clear it. I need help

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