What is A Proper Way To Close Android Apps?

Mr. Curious wrote,

Dear RTT, I am using Android from a long time now, and I always wonder which is the correct way to close an app on Android? I know one can use the Home button or Back button to closes the app, I have also seen few people using the task killer to close apps. But if all three methods do the same thing, then what is the difference.

Once I closed my app, I don’t want it to run in the background and use my phone resources, So I was just wondering out of these 3, which one is the proper method to close an app on Android?

android back button vs home button

Well, Mr. Curious, thanks for bringing this up, closing apps on Android is something each of us does many time a day without giving it much thought. So which is an ideal approach to close an app? Should press the back button, the home button or use task killer apps? If all of them are doing the something then what makes them different from each other?

Here is a detailed guide to answer all these questions.

TL;DR  You can use either of two, i.e.,. home button or back button to close an app, both do the same thing.

Detail Explanation of Android back button vs. home button

Back button: Theoretically when back button is press, it will call onDestroy(), which tell Android that user wants to quit this application and system will destroy any present information on the application. But some apps like Spotify and Google apps don’t follow this, and most of the apps remain available in recent apps. Therefore next time the user open the app, he or she will see the default welcome screen of the app.

Home Button calls the onPause() method, that tells the system to hold the information on the screen as the user will come back and use it again. And if the user doesn’t come back after a set amount of time this application will be reset and lost from recent apps.

Android are smarter OS. They know it well on when and how many resources should be allocated. You may have seen closed apps appearing under recent apps even if you have press the back button instead of the home button. Why? This is because retrieving apps from a cache is faster than opening a new one.

And as far as allocation of resources goes, Activities don’t run in the background on Android, therefore consuming very less (almost nothing) amount of memory or battery. They are just there, because the next time you open this app, they will launch quickly.

On the contrary, it is not recommended to use task killer apps to close Apps. But sometimes, if you need to force close an app, then use the inbuilt force close option, available under device setting > Apps > Tap on the app you want to close > Force closed.


It doesn’t matter if you press the home button or back button to close an app, it only changes what you are going to see next time you open the app while your device battery or memory remain unaffected by which method did you used for closing the app.

Via StackExchange- Android


About Mrinal Saha

Mrinal is a tech geek who spends half of his day reading and writing about tech. While the nights are spent on shooting or editing YouTube videos. Feel free to geek out with him on-