I'm not sure whether this is a Galaxy Nexus question or an ICS question, but here goes:

Suppose I'm using some app and then I move to the home screen, rather than shutting down, the app is left to run in the background. Is there a way of exiting an app such that it gets closed upon leaving it rather than being left to run in the background?

  • Would someone also be able to clarify whether this is an ICS or galaxy nexus question? Jun 18, 2012 at 18:27

3 Answers 3


This is really a question about Android in general, and is based on a misconception of how Android handles background apps. Check out this XDA post for a nice explanation of why processes sitting in memory in the background really aren't a bad thing. You should only worry about exiting/force-quitting/killing an app if things start misbehaving.


Usually, holding/tapping on the BACK key should "exit" an app. Of course, the best way is to use the Exit button if an app provides it.

THat's how one would gracefully "exit" from an app. In order to force an exit or kill it, you'd best look at a Task Killer and forcibly kill the process.

  • On the galaxy nexus, "holding/tapping on the BACK key" does NOT kill the app. Jun 18, 2012 at 18:27
  • Correct - note that I said gracefully exit and NOT kill. In order to kill, you need a task killer.
    – Sparx
    Jun 19, 2012 at 5:40

In AOKP ICS ROMs, and a few other's I have used, there is an option that you can enable that will allow you to kill (close) an active app by holding down the Back button. I do not know if this was a feature of ICS or the CM9 ROM family, but I will let you know if I find that out.

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