How to stop apps from the notification shade on Android 13

Android 13 makes it even easier to close apps -- without having to navigate through a maze of settings. Jack Wallen shows you how.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer on
Hand holding a Pixel 6 Pro showing many notifications
Image: Jack Wallen

Android 13 has a lot in store for users. Although it might not be the game-changing release that was Android 12, there's plenty to love in the latest release from Google.

Case in point: I happened upon a small addition to the platform that actually made me smile. Let me set the stage.

Although it's not a daily thing, I do run into situations where an app needs to be closed or force-closed. This could simply be because I'm not using the app, or maybe the app has gone rogue on me and is using more system resources than it should. When such a case arises, I need or at least want to be able to shut that app down quickly.

Android 13 makes that considerably easier than in previous iterations.

Also: How to adjust an Android phone's display size for easier reading

Here's how it's done. All you'll need is a Pixel device like the Pixel 6 Pro running Android 13 (Pixel devices are the only phones to have received the upgrade at this point). Hopefully, as soon as Android 13 is released to other devices, anyone with a supported phone will be able to use the feature.

Stopping apps from the Notification Shade

1. Unlock Android

The first thing you must do is unlock your Android device. 

2. Pull down the Notification Shade

Pull the notification shade down twice (it's important to pull down twice, as the feature isn't visible via a single pull). Once you've pulled the shade down properly, you should see a small pill at the bottom left of the shade indicating how many apps are active (Figure 1). This shows apps that are actively running, like a fitness tracker, rather than apps you opened but aren't currently using, such as Twitter.

The bottom of the Android 13 Notification Shade.

Figure 1: I have two active apps at the moment.

Image: Jack Wallen

3. Open the Active Apps pop-up

Tap Active Apps and a new pop-up will appear (Figure 2), listing the active and running apps.

The Android 13 Active Apps popup showing 2 active apps.

Figure 2: KDE Connect and Samsung Health are both running on my device.

Image: Jack Wallen

4. Stop a running app

Within the Active Apps popup, you should see Stop buttons for each active app. Tap Stop for any app you want to force-close and the app will then be listed as Stopped (Figure 3).

The Android 13 Active Apps popup showing one stopped and one active app.

Figure 3: KDE Connect has been stopped.

Image: Jack Wallen

The next time you open the Active Apps popup, that stopped app will no longer be listed.

And that's all there is to stopping active apps in Android 13. This is considerably easier than going to Settings > Apps > [name of app] > Force Stop. It may take slightly more effort than using the gesture navigation to swipe away an app, but that doesn't always work for every app. If you frequently have apps that go astray, this new feature will make your Android life a bit more efficient. 

With the upgrade to Android 13, you should experience far fewer instances where apps need to be force-closed, anyway. But even if you do, you now have a convenient way of stopping them.

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