Closing Apps on Windows 8.1 has changed

In the RTM release of Windows 8 there are a couple of methods to completely close a Metro/Modern App that you are using. For this post I just want to focus on the method which involves dragging the app from the top of your screen to the bottom.

This method can be accomplished with both touch and using your mouse.

In Windows 8 this closed the app completely and removed it from memory and obviously the rotation of open apps that you could swipe through from the left side of the screen.

In Windows 8.1 that closing behavior has changed.

If you simply swipe or drag the app to the bottom of the screen and release it will remain in memory just as if you had simply switched apps. It will also not be in the stack of apps you can cycle through with a left swipe.

The next time you open the app you will find it opens very quickly and of course this is because it was sitting in memory. It will also display its last state when you dragged it to the bottom of the screen and not open as a fresh instance of the app.

However, if you grab the top of the app and slide it towards the bottom of the screen and hold it there for a few additional seconds it will flip around to show the app icon. If you then continue to slide it off screen and release it the app will then close completely.

Remember one of the design aspects of Windows 8 was that apps could remain in the background and only use minimal memory and CPU resources.

Of course as Windows users we have a habit of wanting to always close a program that we were using to free up resources. In Windows 8 this is a habit we can move away from due to the manner in which apps are now stored and not tying up a lot of system resources.

I think this new closing behavior  in Window 8.1 is intended to help us take advantage of this feature and see quicker load times for the apps we use.

So what do you think about this new feature? Will you begin to change your app closing habits to take advantage of quicker app loading with this feature?

4 thoughts on “Closing Apps on Windows 8.1 has changed

  1. I feel I have a contract with p[providers of free software. When I’m using it they can present me with adverts and spy on me. When I’m not I expect to be able to turn that off. Most users are not aware of how to fully exit, quit and close apps. Microsoft statement that users will be confused by quit buttons is rubbish. It is a clear strategy to keep apps running while the machine is turned on and extract the maximum value from location and behavior tracking apps. The only difference between Microsoft and google is google spy for free and Microsoft charge for it.

  2. Pingback: My Windows 8.1 System Refresh Experience |

  3. Interesting, but I noticed something different on my PC. I installed the Windows 8.1 Preview x64, and when closing a metro app by dragging it down, it will stay on memory, but in less than 30 seconds the OS will terminate the the process.

    Also, in the same way as in Windows 8, the operating system will close apps automatically, when the end-user switches to a new app and the system needs more system resources.

    Here is Vine video that shows that dragging down will eventually close the app.

    Note: I do have to point out that I also experience something different with IE11 metro app. By dragging to close will actually keep the app on memory, but without using any CPU cycles and just a tiny bit of RAM. However dragging the app down and waiting for the flip animation will close the IE11 metro app.


    PS: Keep in mind that behaviours like these are expected, because 8.1 still in beta.