As far as I know, some apps quit by pressing the Back button while on the main screen of that app; and some quit by pressing the Menu button and selecting Quit. Should I always first check the Menu button? How can I make sure that I have quit a specific application? I don't want my battery drained by unquit apps running in the background without my knowledge.

By the way, I'm on HTC HD2 with Android 2.2.

  • 1
    An application can only run in the background if they spawn a service, so rest assured that unquitted program is not actually "running", they're "sleeping". Sleeping program stays in the RAM, but they do not use any battery. Also, Android will automatically "kill" sleeping applications when the foreground application requires memory. This system means you do not have to worry about quitting applications; unless the app is very poorly written, and they deliberately spawn services for too long or register alarms too often; for dealing with poorly written app, simply uninstall them.
    – Lie Ryan
    Mar 11 '11 at 17:24
  • Any application which contains a “Quit” button does not understand the Android platform and UI principles — and might well be misdesigned such that it wastes power when not quit. (Lie Ryan's comment is not quite accurate; a program can (but should not) run in the background without starting a service, it just isn't guaranteed to keep running.) I would recommend choosing applications which do not have a Quit button, all else being equal, to promote good practices and possibly save your battery.
    – Kevin Reid
    Mar 12 '11 at 17:48

That's the thing about the Android OS. A "quit" or "exit" button is not really necessary. Why? Because the operating system automatically kills applications that are no longer used. For this same reason, there is no need to install a task killer or similar. When you're done with an application, the OS will clean things up for you so you don't have to worry about it.


Bryan's answer is correct. However, if you don't want to wait for the OS to kill something, you should use a task manager (different from an always-running task killer). One is built in to the 2.2 ROM on my Galaxy S, and you can get to it by long-pressing the Home button. I've used this for frozen apps and for when the OS hasn't quite realized it needs to kill something so the in-focus app doesn't lag.

Additionally, you can set how aggressive your OS is in killing idle apps. I do this on my phone using RyanZA's One Click Lag Fix (the lagfix is just for the Galaxy S, but I'm not sure if the app-killing settings can be used on other devices).


I'd recommend Advanced Task Killer, which does a great job of showing you which of your apps are currently running and giving you a one-button solution to stopping any that you want.

  • 2
    You shouldn't use a Task Killer.
    – ale
    Mar 11 '11 at 17:06

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