How to See Recently Used Apps on the iPhone (3 Steps)

by Laurel Storm
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Your iPhone's multitasking capabilities make it possible for you to keep multiple applications open simultaneously, without having to wait for apps to launch again every time you switch to them. Going back to your Home screen every time, though, can be time-consuming and irritating, especially if you have a lot of apps installed. Instead, open the iPhone's multitasking bar to see a list of recently-used apps and quickly switch between them.

Step 1

Press the "Home" button twice in quick succession. This opens a separate bar along the bottom edge of your screen, showing the four apps you have used most recently. If you have an app open when you do this, that app will not be included in the list.

Step 2

Swipe to the right to see more apps. When you find the app you want, tap it to switch to it -- doing this automatically closes the bar. If you change your mind about switching to a different app or the app you want is not in the list, simply tap anywhere outside the bar to close it.

Touch and hold any of the apps in the bar until the icons start jiggling and then tap the minus sign that appears on the upper left corner of each icon to remove that app from the list. Once you're done, press the "Home" button to return the bar to normal or tap anywhere outside of it to close it.


  • Information in this article applies to iPhones running iOS 6.1. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions.


  • Swiping to the left when the bar is showing the four most recently used apps will display music controls.
  • The bar will always appear as if your screen were in portrait orientation, regardless of how you're actually holding your iPhone. While the bar is open, turning your iPhone will have no effect on its screen orientation.


Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.

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