I launched an app on my iPhone, and shortly after launch it stopped doing anything; but whatever it did has stopped the swipe-up gesture from working, so I can't get to the application switcher to kill it. I can use the side button to lock and unlock the phone, so I can get to the Lock Screen, and I can swipe down to get to the control centre, but no matter where or how much I swipe upwards the app just keeps running in the foreground. I don't think the app has hung, because I'd have thought the OS would have killed it by now; it just sits there intercepting the swipes.

I have other things running in the background which I want to keep running, so I don't want to turn my phone off. I've seen that there are accessibility settings which might help... but they're no good to me as I can't get to the settings app.

How do I kill the running app, without turning the phone off or changing any settings, when swiping up doesn't bring up the application switcher?

  • If you turn off the phone, the apps in the background will reload and continue normally. If whatever app you’re using exhibits this behavior, the app is the problem, not iOS.
    – Allan
    Dec 21, 2022 at 17:23
  • I'm assuming one of the Face ID phones rather than Touch ID? Do you have 'raise on wake' so you can see the lock screen? If so, from there you should be able to swipe up to launch something else - camera, shazam etc
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 21, 2022 at 17:24
  • @Allan I don't care whose fault it would be, I want to avoid it happening.
    – Simon
    Dec 21, 2022 at 17:30
  • @Tetsujin: It's a Face ID phone, yes. I can get to the lock screen. The problem is that from there, I can swipe up to get to the faulty app, but that doesn't get me to the application switcher. I can launch the camera or a few other things from the control centre, but I can't get to anything that's not already set up as a control centre button.
    – Simon
    Dec 21, 2022 at 17:33
  • Can't you get to the app switcher once you're in camera? I'm not used to the no button phones, I sent mine straight back & got an SE instead, so I'm not familiar with the different swipe actions on those [one of the reasons I went back to a button phone]
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 21, 2022 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


If you have Siri enabled, you should be able to tell it to “Turn on VoiceControl” and then once that’s enabled, use your voice to tell your phone to “Open App Switcher” (voice control will always be listening for your voice to give it commands, you don’t need to activate Siri again)

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