Oh, iOS 5 Doesn’t Clear Apps from Multitasking Bar When You Restart?

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Here’s a little something I’ve only just noticed in iOS 5 on my iPad Deux.

It no longer clears the ‘backgrounded’ apps from the Multitasking Bar when you restart the iPad. And yes, yes – I do realize that iOS does not yet have true multitasking and these apps are not really running in the background – just to get that out of the way.

My experience says that despite apps not truly ‘running’ in the background, they are still using up some system resources when left in whatever their less than fully active state is in the Multitasking Bar. They are using up some level of available program memory and draining the battery.

Up to now there have been two ways to manage the number of apps ‘resident’ in the MT bar – by manually quitting each or any desired after a tap and hold in the MT bar, or via a restart of the iPad (or iPhone). A restart could sometimes be the quickest method, if there were a very large number of apps in the MT bar.

And now that no longer seems to be a viable method in at least this (beta 7) version of iOS 5. I’ll keep looking at this, but I’ve tested several times now and found that the same set of apps that were resident in the bar before a restart are all still shown there once the iPad is back up.

‘Shown’ may be an important detail here – as apps do not appear to remember their state after a restart. Even so, if this stays this way on the final release of iOS 5 it will at the very least lead to some major confusion for users – as up to now a restart cleared out the apps shown in the MT bar.

Update: My mistake on this one. This is not new behavior in the iOS 5 betas. I had not noticed that this was already standard in iOS 4.x. Apologies for the oversight.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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14 thoughts on “Oh, iOS 5 Doesn’t Clear Apps from Multitasking Bar When You Restart?”

  1. iOS 4.3.3 already behaves this way on my iPhone 4. As far as I can remember everything was always left in the MT bar after a restart…

  2. iOS has never cleared apps from the multitasking bar upon a restart since the feature was introduced in iOS 4. Also technically it’s a “last run” bar not a multitasking bar since even apps that don’t support multitasking will show up in the bar. I’m confused as to why the blog poster thinks it used to work differently.

    A restart will clear apps from memory (unless they are background VOIP apps in which case they run again on startup), but the bar itself never clears.

  3. yep, shutting the IPad off and restarting doesn’t clear the bar. Same thing with my old IPhone. Both running the latest update.

  4. This is the behavior to usher in OS X Lion I presume.. Nothing to be alarmed off I guess. Just a bit annoying to manually stop the app

  5. This is the standard behavior, unchanged since multitasking was introduced on iOS. it’s also very handy. Since you are running beta, I presume that you are registered as a developer. If you are, then you have multitasking gesture support enabled. While running any app, slide 4 fingers to the left to slide directly into the last app you had opened. You can continue through all the apps shown in the multitasking bar in the same order they appear there. There’s also no reason to worry about these apps hogging all your memory as the system watch dog will not automatically quit the top offenders if you begin to run low on resources.

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