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Question: How to prevent apps from persistently auto-relaunching from restart to restart?

I recently learned the trick of how to see what apps are running in the background on my iPhone (by quickly double-clicking the "Home" button), and to my shock saw that what seemed like every app I had ever used over the past several months was currently "on" or "launched" or "running" or whatever the terminology is -- even though I had turned off and restarted the phone countless times over those months.


I was then able to "force quit" all those apps by up-flicking each app's window, until I had quit them all and got down to just the iOS running and nothing else. After a restart, I checked again to see what apps were running, and happily discovered that now only the iOS was "on," and furthermore, the phone's battery seemed to be lasting longer and not draining as fast, because there were no longer dozens of apps constantly making demands on the hardware.


HOWEVER, since then I have discovered something alarming: That if I launch an app, and then turn off the iPhone — completely off, not just "asleep" — then restart the phone, if I then double-click the "home" button to check which apps are running, to my shock I see that the app I had launched earlier, prior to the restart, is still displayed as "running" or "being on", even though I hadn't launched it after the current restart! How is this possible?


On a Mac, the only way this would be possible is if the user specifies that certain apps auto-launch upon startup. But I have not specified any such thing on my iPhone -- it seems to do this of its own accord.


This applies to both native and non-native apps on the iPhone.


So if I, for example, click the icons for and launch "Uber," "Safari" and "Maps," use them for a while, then turn the phone completely off, put it aside overnight, then the next day restart the phone, then wait a minute after restart, without pressing any icons on the screen or launching any apps whatsoever after the restart -- if I then double-click the "Home" button, it will show that Uber, Safari and Maps are currently launched and running in the background!


How can I prevent this behavior from recurring? The end result is that I if don't constantly force-quit all the apps running in the background, they will use up both the iPhone's calculating power (i.e. its RAM) and also cause the battery to drain faster. And doesn't this same problem affect all iPhone users as well, even though they probably don't realize it?


Is there some parameter in "Settings" (or elsewhere) to prevent apps from persistently auto-relaunching from restart to restart?

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I've seen various online guides to iPhone "secret tips" which all said that double-clicking the Home button will not simply reveal a list of "recently used" apps, but will show which apps are actually currently running in the background.

Those tips are wrong. And there is nothing secret about the "Switch Apps" feature for iOS.

User uploaded file

Switch apps on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support


Is this incorrect? Are the apps displayed when I double-click the Home button not running?

Yes, and no they are not running. "If" you also have "background app refresh" or "notifications" enabled for the app, those functions are running, but not the app itself.


having that unwanted app running needlessly in the background for a solid week before I finally use it once,

It is not running, needlessly or otherwise.


It takes more battery power to start the app again when you need it, then to leave it in a suspended state as Apple has designed iOS to do.

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Apr 20, 2018 9:28 AM in response to Tuffy Nicolas In response to Tuffy Nicolas

For clarification, the Apps you are seeing in the recently used display are simply indicating they have been used. Force quitting the Apps is a useless endeavour as doing so will consume more battery power to restart them than hold them in their suspended state.

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Apr 20, 2018 9:59 AM in response to Tuffy Nicolas In response to Tuffy Nicolas

I thought the up-flick gesture's purpose was to force-quit the app. If up-flcking doesn't force-quit,

This does force quit the app. That does not mean it also saves battery power.



then what purpose is served by up-flicking?

Placebo? Appealing to those who despise clutter? Really weak video game?


If a single app is hung, use this to force quit and relaunch that single app.

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Apr 20, 2018 9:28 AM in response to Tuffy Nicolas In response to Tuffy Nicolas

For clarification, the Apps you are seeing in the recently used display are simply indicating they have been used. Force quitting the Apps is a useless endeavour as doing so will consume more battery power to restart them than hold them in their suspended state.

Apr 20, 2018 9:28 AM

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Apr 20, 2018 7:59 AM in response to stedman1 In response to stedman1

I've seen various online guides to iPhone "secret tips" which all said that double-clicking the Home button will not simply reveal a list of "recently used" apps, but will show which apps are actually currently running in the background. Is this incorrect? Are the apps displayed when I double-click the Home button not running?


Also: If I use an app infrequently, wouldn't I consume more battery power having that unwanted app running needlessly in the background for a solid week before I finally use it once, than it would to have it not running at all until I needed it and then burn up a whole bunch of power for the five seconds it takes for the app to launch?

Apr 20, 2018 7:59 AM

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Question marked as Solved

Apr 20, 2018 8:56 AM in response to Tuffy Nicolas In response to Tuffy Nicolas

I've seen various online guides to iPhone "secret tips" which all said that double-clicking the Home button will not simply reveal a list of "recently used" apps, but will show which apps are actually currently running in the background.

Those tips are wrong. And there is nothing secret about the "Switch Apps" feature for iOS.

User uploaded file

Switch apps on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support


Is this incorrect? Are the apps displayed when I double-click the Home button not running?

Yes, and no they are not running. "If" you also have "background app refresh" or "notifications" enabled for the app, those functions are running, but not the app itself.


having that unwanted app running needlessly in the background for a solid week before I finally use it once,

It is not running, needlessly or otherwise.


It takes more battery power to start the app again when you need it, then to leave it in a suspended state as Apple has designed iOS to do.

Apr 20, 2018 8:56 AM

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Apr 20, 2018 9:27 AM in response to LACAllen In response to LACAllen

OK, thanks for all the info. I marked your answer as "This solved my question." Thank you.


One final question (just out of curiosity, not really relevant to my original question):


If double-clicking the home button merely reveals recently used apps, what purpose is served by the function of being able to up-flick the app's window to make it disappear from the "recently used list"? I thought the up-flick gesture's purpose was to force-quit the app. If up-flcking doesn't force-quit, then what purpose is served by up-flicking?

Apr 20, 2018 9:27 AM

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Apr 20, 2018 9:59 AM in response to Tuffy Nicolas In response to Tuffy Nicolas

I thought the up-flick gesture's purpose was to force-quit the app. If up-flcking doesn't force-quit,

This does force quit the app. That does not mean it also saves battery power.



then what purpose is served by up-flicking?

Placebo? Appealing to those who despise clutter? Really weak video game?


If a single app is hung, use this to force quit and relaunch that single app.

Apr 20, 2018 9:59 AM

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Apr 20, 2018 10:17 AM in response to LACAllen In response to LACAllen

Now I'm confused. You said above, twice, that apps displayed the "Recently Used" screen are not running: "...they are not running. 'If' you also have 'background app refresh' or 'notifications' enabled for the app, those functions are running, but not the app itself." and "It is not running, needlessly or otherwise." But in your most recent reply, you say that up-flicking an app's window in the "Recently Used" screen will force-quit the app: "This does force quit the app."


But an app can only be force-quitted if it is currently running in the first place. One can't "quit" an app that has not been launched and is therefore already in a state of having been "quitted" -- just as one can't "turn off" an electronic device that is already off.


Your second reply implies that apps displayed in the "Recently Used" list are "running" in some fashion, to the extent that they can be "quit." Also, even your first answer implies that apps which have "notifications" enabled are capable of performing some behavior in the background, which presumably would cause system activity, and thus battery usage. (For example, if I never ever have used "Maps," then the "Maps" app will not perform any activity whatsoever and cause zero battery usage; but if I launch Maps once, and have "background app refresh" enabled for it, then restart the iPhone, would the Maps app continuously utilize GPS to update my position on the map, in the background, even though I had not used Maps during this session at all? And wouldn't this GPS usage drain the battery to some small degree?)


Clarification?

Apr 20, 2018 10:17 AM

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Apr 20, 2018 11:26 AM in response to LACAllen In response to LACAllen

Ah, very informative links. Thank you! Now we're getting somewhere, and I can refine my question to be more precise.


According to the links you posted, an app can be in one of five states, which I've re-orderd according to power-usage:


Non-running

Suspended

Inactive

Background

Active


Apps that are "Non-running" cause ZERO power-usage.

Apps that are "Active" cause MAXIMAL power-usage.


The question then becomes, what is the level of power-usage for apps that are in the other three states? Are apps that are "Suspended" also using ZERO power, or are they causing some minimal/trivial amount of power-usage?


In this chart, what would be the missing answers for the middle-three states?:


Power-usage for the five possible app states:


Non-running -- None

Suspended -- ___?

Inactive -- ___?

Background -- ___?

Active -- Maximum


(Expressed either as percentages or using natural language (e.g. "not much," "a lot," etc.)

Apr 20, 2018 11:26 AM

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Apr 20, 2018 11:37 AM in response to Tuffy Nicolas In response to Tuffy Nicolas

If you want to stop the apps from using power in the background, go to Settings>General>Background App reset and disable it for apps you don't want to use it.


If you want to temporarily cut back on battery use, go to Settings>Battery>Low Power Mode and enable it.


iOS is not really designed to be micromananged.

Apr 20, 2018 11:37 AM

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Apr 21, 2018 1:54 PM in response to Tuffy Nicolas In response to Tuffy Nicolas


Power-usage for the five possible app states:


Non-running -- None

Suspended -- None

Inactive -- None

Background -- Depends on the app, but always less than Active, because it is not using the screen, the largest consumer of power after the cellular radio

Active -- Maximum



To answer the question in the Subject, apps do not relaunch after a power off and restart. They are simply included in the list of apps that have run since the last time they were removed from the quick-launch screen. When you shut down the phone ALL apps are terminated. They will not relaunch until you use them.


The difference between a normal restart and a forced restart: In a Normal restart each app is warned of an imminent shutdown, so they can clean up any outstanding processing (in Unix terms this is a kill TERM). In a forced shutdown all apps are shut down immediately, whether they are in the middle of something or not ((Unix kill -9)

Apr 21, 2018 1:54 PM

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Question: How to prevent apps from persistently auto-relaunching from restart to restart?