Shutting down an app in android

Hi all, :wave:

I recently purchased a smartphone (Samsung Galaxy A04s) which has android 12 installed.
As this is my first smartphone ever I have practically no experience with android whatsoever but I´m gradually getting accustomed to using it. :blush:

The only thing I had known before is the fact that android is based on the linux kernel.

So my first (and perhaps somewhat stupid) question is:

  • How do I shut down a process or app :question:

Well, in order to end a telephone call I tap on the red telephone handset symbol and the call is finished.
So I guess the respective process is shut down… :thinking:

But what about e.g. using the browser or checking my e-mails. When using the respective programmes on my Lubuntu PC (firefox / thunderbird) I know how to exit the programmes. That´s easy. But what about android?

Does leaving the app automatically shut down the process or is it still running in the background :question:
If the latter applies: Is there any way of shutting down the process gracefully :question:

I was studying the manual for my phone but couldn´t find any answer to my questions. :slightly_frowning_face:

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Android is specifically designed & evolved for the average moron.

This means, the less you think, the more “proper” you use Android.

For example, there is no normal way of “shutting down” a process. It is possible to go into the Recent Apps view, where you see screenshots of the most recent apps you have used, which you can swipe away (direction varies) for it to “close”, however it does not always “shutdown” the apps. It just “closes” them.

The only way to “shutdown” an app without a rooted phone, is to go into each app’s settings and press “Force Stop”. This actually shuts down the app. However, usually you shouldn’t need to do it. It’s more of an emergency feature, in case an app stops behaving, as it was expected to.

Generally, I would recommend to not overthink what is done on Android. If you think, the average moron does not know how to do something, just forget about it. Android probably has some solution (whether it’s a good or bad one, is a different story) for that particular question.
Never forget, that Android is pretty dumbed down. Most of the thinking is done for the user. The user is not paid to think, but paid to watch ads & keep using Google Services!

Now the story becomes less damning, if you decide to root your phone & put a custom ROM on it. Then the phone gets slightly smarter.
I would highly recommend at least rooting it and a custom ROM would make this even better.

The reason for that is, that you can make your device more secure & last longer.

The best apps for rooted phones are for example AFWall+ & an app for extending battery life, like e.g. Battery Charge Limit or Advanced Charging Controller.

Needless to say, you shoud only use open source apps, except you are forced by a third party to use something from the Google Play store.

This Android app store has only at least mostly open source Android apps available. Everything you download, which is a 100% open source, is fully evaluated by the F-Droid team & therefore safe to use. You never have to worry about an app exploiting your device, when downloading from there.
On the other hand, whenever you download something from Google Play, you might as well download random malware from the internet, but with the false sense of security.

Since you reside in Germany, you are very well aware of planned obsolescence. The way any smartphone is produced, no matter how expensive it is, though the cheaper phones are usually even worse, is that the battery will start dying in two or three years. From that point on, it will just gradually getting worse & you will notice it every day.
Of course, for the first two years, it will become worse as well, but it won’t be as noticable, as they don’t want you to return the phone within the first two years of state imposed warranty.
This is why it is important to use battery limit apps, to make your phone’s battery never charge beyond 80%.
An ideal battery charging area would be between 50 & 60% of battery charge level.

The Firewall app is good for blocking apps from Google Play. If some smartphone zombie forces you to use some app from Google Play, then you can just block certain connections. For example, you can block mobile connections, so the app can only be used at home.
Obviously, this will help you save on your very limited bandwidth you have available, each month.

That is a brief but pretty complete introduction into the smartphone world, which is currently based on Android.

Never forget: Android is super dumb. Seriously dumb. Especially, if you are used to Linux.
If you think Windows is dumb – think again.
Android is a million times dumber than that. (Except you root that Android system & use Termux to manually issue root commands. Not recommended for average use.)


Just noticed, you have a Samsung phone. They hate customers, because they specifically designed the phone in a way, that your warranty is instantly & irreversibly void, once you root it.
Not only that, some features, especially security related ones, might just stop working forever. They just make your dumb phone even dumber by removing features, when you root it.
Luckily, Samsung is currently the only customer hater, as far as I know, that does this.
If you want to root it & make it better, as elaborated on above, you have to bid farewell to any warranty & security related features, like using a banking app.


has a privacy oriented de-googled phones for sale

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You are trying to turn a phone into a computer.
I leave Android alone and just use it. Its like a holiday… I dont have to think. Its not dumb, it is rigid.


There are 2 ways of exiting

  • with the go back button… that terminates the app, so if you start the app again you get a fresh start, or if it is a browser tab it goes back to the previous tab
  • with the home button … that preserves it, so if you start the app again you get to where you were before… eg editing an email

For example, I am editing a foss reply now. If I use home button I can go out of foss, look something up, then go back into the browser tab with foss.

Dont worry about whether the app is actually running as a process.
Android takes care of that. You can force a stop in settings. That is rareley needed.

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Samsung’s deliberate planned obsolescence (they’re worse than Apple - believe me!) means my 2019 Galaxy S9+ (3 year old flagship handset) is now End Of Life and won’t get Android 11, never mind 12…

I mostly don’t “overthink” it - but - I do like / take advantage of some features of Android, and more specifically, what Samsung do with Android.

  1. I run TermUX - it’s a Linux based (mostly busy box) that does NOT need to have Android “rooted” - I can install some packages in it - and run shell scripts - and - use CLI to ssh to remote hosts (and also run sshd - where I can SSH to TermUX in my phone from another computer). TermUX is partially broken thanks to Google’s practise of ripping API’s out from under customers source trees…
  2. I use DeX - i.e. Samsung’s Full Screen UX when wired up to a monitor (e.g. Thunderbolt / USB C to HDMI or Displayport monitor) - I even have a “dock” - i.e. looks like a laptop, but it’s just a clamshell with a 1080p touch screen, keyboard and trackpad - e.g. it’s very useful as I can run Citrix or Remote Desktop, or VPN to my work, or customer’s VPN - and it’s all there on my phone handset…

I don’t usually “kill” apps either, but sometimes I do kick off Android’s “Alt+Tab” equivalent, on my Galaxy S9+ that’s the three vertical bars (“|||”) to the left of the middle “Home/Box” button (“[]”) at the bottome middle, and it shows me running apps - the ones I want to close, I just have to swipe UP for them to “close” (they’re not necessarily killed / dead).


Hi @Rosika ,

On my Android phone at the bottom the screen is (from right to left) a square, a circle, and a triangle.
Touching the square brings up all the open apps. Swiping either up or side ways depending on the phone closes the app.

Closing out the apps feels good, but I have read that it is not required. Tho, I do it all the time.

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That does not terminate the app. It in almost all cases just puts it back into the background, like when going home. In very rare cases, the app developer overwrote the hook for the back button, which would cause a custom action. For example, some apps make you quit the app by going back twice in a row (similar to double left mouse clicks). However, this must be specifically, intentionally programmed by the developer. Otherwise, the app will just be put into the background.

No, it just puts it into background. The app will be terminated, if it stays too long in the background or resources for more recent apps become scarce, which would make that app terminate, as well, if it wasn’t used recently.

For example, if the app is really resource intensive & the phone is already weak, then the app will be instantly terminated, once you put it into the background, because the phone wasn’t able to handle the app properly, in the first place.

Additionally, it heavily depends on what Android flavour one uses, from which manufacturer.

As you can see, Samsung is the biggest wart possible. It can even kill important system apps for the sake of preserving a bit of battery time.

That said, there are no “back” and “home” buttons, anymore. Navigation is handled by gestures now.

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YOU CAN say that again! Here’s what I LOATHE (vehementnly with great passion) - BIXBY! And the Bixby button! WTF? Someone wrote an app that stops Bixby - but - it DOESN’T work unless you pay for it??? WTF? I’m not paying for that rubbish!

I may actually continue using this EOL S9+ and - I may open it up and stick some glue over the Bixby button!

As explained, even if you had the app, it does not solve the problem. It disables secure shit & further messes with the phone.

The only solution is to not use Samsung.

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OK it puts it to sleep. The key thing is you lose your session with the goback button.

Why all this worry about stopping the app process. Let Android do it. It is like garbage collection… some langiages clean up after you. Let it do the housekeeping.

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What is a gesture? i am addicted to my buttons, I dont want something else.

Hi all, :wave:

thank you so much for your many replies and for some really good advice. :heart:
It´s so much appreciated. :+1:


Thanks a lot for your very detailed account and some really good introduction to android.

I see. I tried it and cound verify the method. Great!

O.K., that´s good to know.
BTW: I don´t even know what “rooted” means in an android context. :blush:
Have to look it up first. But I think it´s not something I might want to do at present…

Right. I was just asking this question because I have to look at my data usage as the smartphone exclusively runs on the mobile net (I have no DSL router available).
So I don´t want to have any unnecessary data consumption…

The f-droid app-store is good advice. Thanks a lot for that. :heart:

So I Installed the f-droid app from and from there I got hold of " Fennec F-Droid", the firefox variant. Here I installed the “Dark Reader” add-on and “ublock”.
With “Dark Reader” the browser experience is much better for my eyes. :wink:

O.K., I´ll look for such a thing. I hope there´s one in the f-droid store as I really don´t want to create a google account for using its app-store.

BTW: The phone already has a setting which limits the max charge to 85%. I activated that for the time being.

Thanks for recommending that. I´ll look into it as well.

That´s some interesting additional info. I certainly didn´t know that.

O.K. Then I´d basically won´t have to do (and coudn´t do) anything particular to close it down.

Thanks a lot for the links, too.


Thanks for the link. Any info is certainly welcome.


Thanks a lot Neville, :heart:

That´s certainly a practical approach. :wink:

You´re right. I tend to worry too much; that´s for sure. Perhaps I´m even getting a bit paranoid… :wink:


Great. I tried that and it worked. :+1:

I might be interested in that. If I remember correctly you referred to termux in another thread already.
The f-droid page says:

Termux combines powerful terminal emulation with an extensive Linux package
At first start a small base system is downloaded - desired packages can then be
installed using the apt package manager known from the Debian and Ubuntu Linux

Hmm, that makes me wonder:
is that “small base system” detached from the main android OS or can android be accessed from the termux terminal :question:

E.g.: would the command top or htop show the running processes of the android OS?


thanks to you as well, Howard.
Works with me too.

That´s certainly good house-keeping. :blush:

Many thanks to all of you. I think I´m a lot wiser now.

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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Buttons don’t make a lot of sense on touchscreens. Gestures are the way to go, if one wants to have superior UX.

Buttons on touchscreens are there for the same reasons most Americans use the US QWERTY layout. “Because we’ve always done it like this”, although it doesn’t make sense at all, as keyboard keys cannot jam, the same way they could in typewriters.

The same way, buttons on touchscreens usually don’t make sense, because buttons naturally require feedback, which lead to all kinds of workarounds, like e.g. each letter you type popping up above your thumbs, so you get a fake feedback, as a replacement.
With gestures, the action the user does is clear enough & does not require further feedback.

In addition to that, buttons on Android phone’s touchscreens are indubitably & indisputably superior, as phone manufacturers fight over every single millimeter for making the usable screen area as large as possible & removing buttons from the screen makes the area so much bigger.
Therefore, gestures are indubitably & indisputably superior. There is no controversy regarding that.

There is even yet another factor, what makes gestures indubitably & indisputably superior. You can start the gesture from anywhere at the right or left screen edge. Whereas, buttons are exactly positioned in the same position and you always have to hit exactly those positions. So, using gestures, is way faster, even when the gesture itself takes a couple of milliseconds more time to accomplish.

Long story short, gestures are superior in every way and there is no going back, for good reasons.

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With Samsung it’s complicated, because they make it as tough on the consumer, as possible.

If you wouldn’t have a phone already & would ask for what manufacturer to choose, I would recommend Xiaomi. It has the best cost-performance ratio, with most its models. You get lots of power for comparatively little money.
Yet, they let you unlock the bootloader, etc., without voiding the warranty.

Additionally, you don’t break security features. You can continue to use them & even if they stop working you always have the choice to restore the original state of the phone, which restores all functionality.
All this is not possible with recent Samsung phones. They hate you.

It’s better than nothing, but 60% is the way to go. Or at least 70%, at maximum.
I know, 60% sounds like not enough, but it’s actually plenty of battery, except you cannot charge your phone for 12 to 24 hours straight, which nowadays is pretty much very rare, because you can charge your phone anywhere now. You can also use power banks, if there are no outlets available.

Then be careful. If you do not use a custom ROM, there are plenty of apps on stock ROMs, which consume infinite bandwidth & people complain about it all the time. You can look it up.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if this month’s bandwidth would suddenly be empty over night.

So, you should really start using a Firewall, like AfWall+.

On non-rooted devices - the answer is yes… it’s not “really” your Linux system… i.e. you can’t access the process tree of the Android Linux Kernel… It’s just a container that hosts busybox… But I can do stuff like rsync to a folder in TermUX and those files show up to other Android apps, e.g. like my main Android music player (Music Folder Plauyer Full [not a very imaginitive name - but - it does what it says]).

I believe with a rooted device - you can have FULL access…

But - you probably don’t need TermUX if you’ve rooted your Android - e.g. with things like Lineage - you get full access to use the GNU utils alongside the shonky Java VM thing that comprises Android…

I’ve never properly spent much time rooting Android before… I did once, but didn’t see the point afterwards (it was on a tablet)…

I did “jailbreak” an iPad (3rd gen) once and got INSTANT access to the BSD shell that all Apple O/S run atop of…

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I cant swipe mine, but there is a close all button.
Maybe I need to enable something

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Thanks a lot for some further advice. :heart:

Sounds reasonable. But e.g. when using a browser I think there´s no way of getting the right-click menu (contect-menu) back :thinking: .
Or is there something like that with gestures…? Perhaps I haven´f found it yet…

Thanks for the suggestion, Akito. Good to know for possible future purchases. :wink:

Thanks for the info. But the 60% or 70% you´re referring to is the upper limit. I get that.
But what about the bottom limit? How low can I get before having to charge again :question:
Surely I shouldn´t drain the battery down to 0%… :thinking:

I´d love to do that but on the f-droid page your link points to it says:

Requires root: Yes. iptables must run as root.

As I don´t want to root my new smartphone at present I think I cannot take advantage of this app. What a shame. :slightly_frowning_face:


Thanks for the explanation.

Still, I think I could benefit from termux. I was thinking of installing w3m (terminal browser) if that´s possible.
This would help me browsing with minimal data consumption… :thinking:

On Termux | F-Droid - Free and Open Source Android App Repository it says:

At first start a small base system is downloaded - desired packages can then be
installed using the apt package manager known from the Debian and Ubuntu Linux distributions.

I get that. I also understand more space is needed on the phone if I install more packages.
Yet, what I´d like to know (I couldn´t find a definite answer to that) is:
How much space does the base system need?

On my phone (which has 32 GB internal memory) it says: “17.5 GB still available”.
Of course I wouldn´t want to dedicate all of the remaining space to termux.
Therefore my question… :blush:

Thanks so much to all of you.

Many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


In the meantime I actually installed termux from the f-droid app.
It didn´t ask for a lot of space for the base system so I´m happy I did it. :smiling_face:

I followed some good instructions from .


was the first command I issued:

You need to provide storage permission to access Android files or save files from the Termux app. To do so, simply execute the below command [see above] to allow storage access to Termux when prompted.

After that I should have done:

mkdir /storage/emulated/0/shared

as this file hadn´t existed before.


Now all the files will be saved in the shared folder within your Android system.

Uh, ah… It´s here that I made a mistake: I created a file instead of a folder with the touch command. :frowning_face:
I didn´t notice it right away so I went on with the installation of fish and w3m

Yet everything still worked as planned.
When I finally noticed my mistake (later on) I removed the file with

rm /storage/emulated/0/shared

and created the respective folder:

mkdir /storage/emulated/0/shared

The tutorial also said:

  • Use pkg in instead of pkg install or apt install.
  • It will automatically run the apt update command before installing a package.

O.K. I followed that as well.

Then I installed my two favourite packages: the fish-shell and w3m.
The latter wouldn´t run immediately as it said “ not found”.

pkg in openssl

took care of installing that and now w3m works perfectly. :smiley:

Finally I ran

pkg upgrade

… shoud´ve done that earlier but only now found out about that command.
We´ll, I think it´s been quite a success so far and I like termux quite a lot.

Thanks all for your help. :+1: :heart:

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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Same here… couple weeks ago I wrote a quick and dirty shell script to show me what train I need to catch from the city (CBD) to get me a bus from my nearest trainstation to home…

#!/usr/bin/env bash
# show a time table for about "now"...
# this might be the period from now HH
# check if there's a $1 - this will be the 12 hour format $HOUR for time from Perth Station...
if [ $# -gt 0 ] ; then
	NOWH=$(date '+%I'|sed 's/^0*//')
head -1 $TABL|awk -v OFS='\t' -F\, '{print $4,$3,$2,$1}'
echo -e "DepartP\tArrBassd DepartB Stand"
grep $NOWH\: $TABL |awk -v OFS='\t' -F\, '{print $4,$3,$2,$1}'

Was at work’s Xmas party Friday before last - ran it - it told me I either had to get the 10:32 train and then bus at 10:53, or wait till midnight (ahh the Midnight Special!) and connect to the last bus service home at 12:23 - so I had a couple more drinks and opted for the latter and got home about 12:30 am :slight_smile:

After a few too many drinks, reading tiny little PDF timetables on phone screen for different services, then mentally matching them up probably a bit too taxing for a booze addled mind…

One thing that kinda / sorta annoys me about TermUX is that thanks to google, its package management system got partially screwed - thanks google! Their SHONKY API system has stuffed up quite a few Android apps I use e.g. it’s partially broken Resilio Sync so that ordinary users can only use the internal storage - NOT the SDCard - I think that’s deliberate - Google DO NOT want you to have any more storage than what the phone comes with - just like on the Pixel handsets - Samsung having that feature pisses Google off (although many Samsung devices now do not have SDCard slots)…

And - Google’s “API” bullshit forbids me running TermUX on the SD-Card, and forbids my TermUX having full (RW) access to my Resilio Sync shares, it’s RO…

What I hate about ALL the handset makers, the ones that DO NOT allow external (or internal) SD-Card storage - is the exhorbitant artificial price for doubling your storage - it’s extortion IMHO - and Apple are probably the worst… But now Samsung are following suit, i.e. no SD card slot in their flagship devices - you’d a thunk, being a leading storage vendor, Samsung would be all for this…

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If you have the choice to keep the phone on the charger all the time, the ideal would be to keep it constantly at 60%, essentially minimising the charging distance, as much as possible. The battery wears down, whenever it needs to charge through parts of the battery (figuratively). So, if you keep the charging distance as low as possible, the wear will be minimised, as well.
The absolute worst one can do is to keep charging at 100% & then constantly using it to 0% & then re-charging it to 100% & keep charging it. This is the quickest way for absolutely destroying a rechargable battery.

Well, what a funny story this turns out to be.

I had remembered, that there was a firewall app, which allows for Firewall functionality via VPN, which does not require a rooted device.
After searching & wondering, I found the reason for why I was unable to find it on F-Droid.

They apparently removed it due to maintenance controversies in regards to F-Droid. It seems like this app is complicated. :smile:

This is a firewall app for Android, which does not require a rooted device. Perhaps you should use this one. :slightly_smiling_face:

It depends on the phone & Android version. In your case, it seems like, it takes roughly 32GB minus 17.5GB.

I personally rarely ever use Termux on my rooted phone with a custom ROM. There is rarely a need for it. Most things are solved via apps, anyway. There are only a few security exceptions, one usually needs to accomplish through the terminal.