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Do I really need to install a task manager?

I am using ASUS Transformer. I think it uses Ice Cream sandwich, from the UI. I tried many task killers but wonder if they actually work. When I kill tasks, I still see them when I click the "Window selector" 3rd button of the bottom left screen (the 2 boxes). They do appear to take a while to load, so I suppose the tasks were killed but the thumbnails are still there?

  • 3
    Dont use Taskkillers! The android Framework is designed to manage app lifecycle on its own.
    – Leandros
    Jan 26, 2012 at 7:12
  • 5
    I don't think the button is a "window selector" (like alt+tab in Windows), but rather a "recent apps" list. Jan 26, 2012 at 7:24
  • 1
    The Android Framework works well for well behaved apps. And for badly behaving apps, the uninstall button works best.
    – BMitch
    Jan 26, 2012 at 13:46
  • 2
  • For a note, even using third party launcher causes poor memory management on my galaxy nexus.
    – thavan
    Dec 6, 2012 at 13:46

4 Answers 4


Task Killers do generally "work" in that they kill tasks.

They don't "work" in that most apps that you'd want to kill due to running constantly will simply be restarted by the OS, and Android already has appropriate task management built in. A task manager will mostly just drain your battery and waste your time.

See also: How can I stop applications and services from running? and the question eldarerathis links in the comments.


Please read this informative article written in September 2010 for LifeHacker entitled "Android Task Killers Explained: What They Do and Why You Shouldn’t Use Them". In the article it will outline:

-How Task Killers work

-When you should/shouldn't use them

-What you can do as an alternative



Considering the date of your question you it can't be Ice Cream Sandwitch (released on 24th Feburary 2012) but it is instead Honeycomb 3.2

As already suggested in comments by @onik the button you call "Window Selector" display the list of recent opened apps, it does not have any link with apps actually executing on your tablet.


task killer will save battery life on some androids, and makes battery like worse on others. if i were you i would do a test, one day without using task killer and another day using task killer and see if you can find a difference

  • 3
    Proof? Every trustworthy source I've read on the subject says task killers are mostly a waste of time.
    – ale
    Dec 6, 2012 at 13:38
  • I agree with @AlEverett. All the info out there that I have read says that they don't help.
    – znewman
    Dec 6, 2012 at 14:18
  • They definitely help on older Androids. I have a HTC Tattoo that sometimes becomes to sluggish to use, even in the home screen and simple menus. I find that killing tasks manually immediately restores responsiveness. I guess this is a combination of 1) the low memory of the device and 2) bad apps. On newer devices, I never needed a task killer.
    – jdm
    Dec 11, 2012 at 16:48
  • They really do help if you want your battery drained faster. At least with Android 2.3 and up, most of the tasks you killed are simply restarted -- which needs more battery than letting them run. Summary: Task killer != Battery saver. Use them to kill mis-behaving apps you cannot get rid of otherwise, that's what they are for.
    – Izzy
    Dec 22, 2012 at 15:32

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