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By Ethan Wolff-Mann
March 17, 2016
iPhone 6s
iPhone 6s
Sefa Karacan—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

There’s been a pernicious myth for quite some time that closing the open apps on your phone will save your battery life.

But an iPhone app isn’t like an unused open tab in Google Chrome that’s hogging precious processing power and memory. Take it directly from an Apple executive: Having 20 apps open isn’t going to hurt your battery.

The battery life boost for closing apps is negligible or nonexistent, since the phone only devotes resources to them only if a background process is in use, as in the case of uploading a file, playing audio, or utilizing GPS.

You can control background GPS in the “Location Services” field of your iPhone settings, and the applications permitted to “Background App Refresh” in that field. If you can’t find these under the “General” settings somehow, swipe down while in the settings menu and you can search settings to find what you need.

As 9 to 5 Mac notes, the force quit gesture of swiping up after double-clicking the home button is not consistent with Apple’s user-friendly nature. If the company wanted users to frequently quit apps when not immediately in use, there would have been a better way.

Furthermore, Thrillist added that closing apps frequently can make battery life worse, since you’ll probably open them again–using more energy in the process than if you’d never closed them.

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Wired reported this week that the same rules apply for Android users: Closing apps is actually worse for battery life. If you’re trying to limit battery usage, turning down screen brightness, background refresh, GPS, and going into “Doze” (Android) or “Low Power Mode” (iOS) are your best bets.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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