The X-series iPhones - the X, XS, XS Max and XR - haven't got a Home button, which forces owners to reappraise what they thought they knew about operating an iPhone. The Home button was central to a huge range of functions, from triggering Siri and taking screenshots to, well, going back to the Home screen.

In this tutorial we explain how to close apps on an iPhone XS or other Home-button-less iPhone. For all the rest, take a look at our How to use the iPhone XS article.

Bring up the app switcher

On iPhones with Home buttons, you double-press that button to bring up the app switcher: a useful swipeable carousel showing cached screens of your currently open apps in order of recentness, allowing you to jump to or close down in-use apps with ease. On the iPhone X and XS you do this rather differently.

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen - from the small line that indicates where the XS's 'virtual Home button' can be accessed. Swiping up and letting go will take you to the Home screen, so instead swipe up and hold your finger on the screen for a moment. The app switcher screen will appear.

How to close apps on iPhone XS: App switcher

The app you're currently using - or used last - will be front and centre. Swipe right to look at progressively longer-ago apps, until you find the one you want to close.

Close the app(s)

All you need to do now - since the process was mercifully simplified in iOS 12 - is swipe up on the app you want to close so it disappears off the top of the screen. Hey presto, app closed.

To get out of the app switcher, you can select one of the apps by tapping on its thumbnail, or tap elsewhere on the screen to go back to the previous screen. That was easy, wasn't it?

iOS 11

However, if you've got an iPhone X that still runs iOS 11, you need to insert an extra step. Do a long-press anywhere on the app-switcher screen, and after a moment a little red circle with a minus sign will appear at the top-left corner of each app. You're now in app-closing mode.

How to close apps on iPhone XS

From here, you can either swipe up on an app to close it, or tap the red circle.

Of course, it might be easier to simply update to iOS 12, which has a bunch of new features you'll enjoy and very few downsides. The newer app-closing method also applies in iOS 13, which you'll be able to download from September 2019 (or earlier than that, if you're prepared to try the beta) - and that comes with even more new features, such as Dark Mode.