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Galaxy S5: how to disable and force close apps

If you've got some apps on your Galaxy S5 that simply refuse to close or that freeze so you can't get out of them, here are a few ways to force close an app, but we'll also show you how to disable an app or generally force quit or force stop one. Besides getting you out of trouble in a jam, closing apps is also a neat way to free up more RAM for faster multitasking.

Samsung Galaxy S5 simple
If you've got an app giving you grief on the Galaxy S5 - just kill it! © ANDROIDPIT

Swipe away to clear cache

If you've just been using an app that you're not going to use again in the near future, you can simply swipe the app away in the Recent Apps list to clear it from memory. This deletes the app from the cache, meaning you now have a little more RAM to spare.

It also means that the next time you launch the app it will have to start from scratch, so it's not always faster. But it is an effective way to close an app completely.

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AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S5 Recent Apps swipe
Swiping an app away in the multitasking menu shut it down and clears the cache. © ANDROIDPIT

Force close an app in Settings

If an app is being non-responsive or you notice that it sticks around long after it should have gone to bed you can force close it through your Settings.

I get this with music players like Poweramp and other apps that keep data syncing in the background even when you don't want them to. YouTube also does this. The easiest thing to do is force close the app by going to Settings > Application Manager and swipe to the Running tab.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S5 Application Manager 1
Settings > Application Manager > Running shows you all currently running apps. © ANDROIDPIT

Here you will easily be able to detect any apps that shouldn't be running (like a game you stopped playing yesterday (and hit the Stop button). Just make sure you don't shut down system apps you need running in the background, like Bluetooth, or any third party apps like SwiftKey or Facebook Messenger that need to be running all the time.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S5 Application Manager stop app
You can force close any app by pressing Stop - just make sure there are no side effects. © ANDROIDPIT

Disable an app entirely

If you have an app that is constantly running that you don't even use (but can't simply uninstall because it was pre-loaded), then you can just disable it. Head to Settings > Application Manager and under the All tab find the app in question.

I'm going to disable ChatOn as I don't really use it. Tap ChatOn in the list and you'll see some options for force closing, uninstalling updates or disabling. That last one is what we want.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S5 Application Manager ChatOn disable app
You can also permanently disable system apps, but you'll lose your data too.  © ANDROIDPIT

When you tell your Galaxy S5 to disable a system app it will warn you of the risks, which include the loss of your data. While you can re-enable the app at a later date, disabling it will delete your current data.

If you're OK with this, tap Disable, agree that you want to proceed and, if necessary, agree to uninstall any updates the app may have received since you first got your phone.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S5 Application Manager ChatOn disable app uninstall updates
Disabling apps will also uninstall any updates. They can be re-enabled in the Disabled tab. © ANDROIDPIT

Now, when you go to Application Manager you'll see an additional tab on the far right: Disabled. Here you can see the apps you've disabled as well as enable them again if you need to.

How often do you have to force close apps? What do you normally do?


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  • I do everything suggested in this article, but I also use a third party app that automatically turn offs apps in the background I don't want running when my screen times out.

  • Lee Jan 28, 2015 Link to comment

    This is just common sense but I've had people complaining there device is running slow only to find they've never cleared the multitasking window since they got the phone 😄

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