How to use the Command+Q shortcut to quit apps on iPad [Pro tip]

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How to quit apps on iPad
Cmd+Q really does work on iPad.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Pro-tip-4 If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in macOS, you will have likely tried to use its familiar Command+Q keyboard shortcut to quit apps on iPad — only to find it does nothing. But you’re not using it properly.

There is a trick that allows you to use this shortcut to quickly close iPadOS apps, and in this pro tip, we’ll show you how.

Keyboard shortcuts were designed to make our lives a little easier. They can help you navigate your way around apps, trigger common functions, and lots more. But they can also be confusing.

If you frequently use multiple Apple devices, like a Mac and an iPad, you will have discovered that not every keyboard shortcut you’re used to using on your desktop works as intended inside iPadOS.

One of these is Command+Q, which, unlike in macOS, cannot be used to quit an app and return to the Home screen on iPad. There is another way to use it to close iPadOS apps, however.

How to use the Command+Q shortcut in iPadOS

First, you need to open the Command+Tab app switcher, then close your apps from there. Follow these steps:

  1. Hold down the Command (Cmd) key, then press the Tab key to open the app switcher.
  2. Keep holding down Command while tapping Tab until you highlight the app you wish to close.
    How to quit apps on iPad
  3. While still holding Command, press Q to close the app.

Closing apps in this way has the same affect as swiping up on an app in the iPadOS multitasking view. It means any data saved in memory is dumped, and the app will refresh when it is reopened.