How to close all apps and games on Xbox One

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Multitasking is all well and good, but spread yourself too thinly and it can affect your overall productivity – and your focus on the particular job in hand.

As it is with humans, so it is with devices such as smartphones, computers and, yes, games consoles. Gone are the days where your console just ran whatever cartridge was shoved in it at the time; current-gen machines are home to a plethora of games and apps all vying for your attention.

Nowhere is this more true than the Xbox One, where demanding, 4K, triple-A games share an ecosystem with entertainment apps like Netflix and iPlayer and web-browsing programs like Microsoft Edge and YouTube. 

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But running too many programs at the same time can confuse your console's priorities. Even apps you think you’ve closed might be running along insidiously in the background, using up precious processing power. 

So, here’s how you can definitively shut down a game or app on the Xbox One.

How to close apps and games 

Follow these simple steps to properly close a game or app after you’ve finished using it. 

  • Press the Xbox button on your controller to pull up the home sidebar.
  • Scroll down to the list of games and app thumbnails.
  • When one is highlighted, press the menu button on your controller (the one with three horizontal lines).
  • If the game/app is open, there will be a ‘Quit’ option in the pop-up menu – select this to close.
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READ MORE: How to fix an Xbox One controller that won't sync

What this means for you 

As we’ve written about in our guide to downloading games faster on the Xbox One, having multiple games and apps running in the background might cause slower download times. It might also mean that you could experience lags or pauses when you’re playing games or streaming media.

It stands to reason that the more things that are hogging internet bandwidth or processing power, the more thinly spread your console will be. So if you’re not actively using them, it’s worth making sure that games and apps are closed down properly.

READ MORE: How to transfer games from an old Xbox One to a new one