I have a Nokia Lumia 900 with Windows Phone 7.5. I know that keeping the back button pressed and holding it shows the multiple tasks open, and pressing the 'back' button repeatedly 'closes' these tasks.

I wanted to know if simply pressing the 'home' button is enough to close these multiple tasks. Or is it necessary to close them by repeatedly pressing the back button? Also does simply pressing 'home' and leaving say 5 tasks open consume the battery quicker?


The apps that are "open" are not actually running. They are still using memory, but they are not consuming CPU and battery. If your phone needs memory to do something else, it will save an old app's state (tombstoning) and close the app so it's not in memory anymore and will restore the app if and when you go back to it.

For a more technical overview of a Windows Phone app's lifecycle, you can check out the developer documentation.

  • That was the answer I was hoping for :). It's such a pain to have to keep closing windows all the time. Thanks!
    – prrao
    Apr 25 '12 at 0:04
  • Just to clarify: When the app goes to tombstone it need to save state. If the developer not save the information in that moment you can loose some data. It is not something that the OS does to you. OS does this management only in the first stage(deactivate). Apr 25 '12 at 3:01
  • Mind you, you can have up to 5 apps that's dormant at the same time (for fast app switching), in which case they could be running in the background and using battery life (Spotify comes to mind) Apr 25 '12 at 4:08
  • @ClausJørgensen So if I have say two or three 'People' windows open along with the home page and maybe a settings window too, do I need to worry about my battery being used too much? I'm not talking about apps like spotify or internet applications that actively consume battery by streaming/downloading
    – prrao
    Apr 25 '12 at 14:05
  • @ClausJørgensen No, that is not the case. Such dormant fast app switching apps are still tombstoned (in memory) and not consuming any CPU or battery until they are brought to the foreground.
    – peSHIr
    Aug 9 '12 at 8:06

On Windows Phone 7 only one app at a time is consuming CPU and explicit battery power: the one you are looking at. In Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) background tasks have appeared, but these are so limited (to save the UX and battery life for the user), that effectively the previous situation still holds: only one app is running, the rest that seem open - for instance when you hold the back button to switch between them - only consume memory but are not running until you switch to them full screen.

  • In Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 more background tasks have appeared, including ones that can be active in the background while watching current GPS data (e.g. for route guidance while another app is in foreground). Also, in 8.1 a "normal" background task can be active a maximum of approximately four times an hour instead of just two times an hour and geofencing background tasks have appeared.
    – peSHIr
    Apr 7 '14 at 13:55

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