How to force kill Android application via shortcut key?

There are several ways to kill Android applications like via task manager, Android built-in tools or using shortcut key. Personally, I prefer using the shortcut. All you need to do is enable the function and long press the BACK button to kill the foreground Android application.

How to force kill Android application via shortcut key?

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Then Applications.
  3. Select Development.
  4. Tick Stop app via long-press ~ Long-pressing the BACK button will kill the foreground application.
  5. That’s all.


  1. hmmm, this seems like exactly what I’m looking for, but I don’t see the “Stop app via long-press” option inside the Development screen; I don’t see the “USB debugging notify” option either for that matter.

    May I ask what device and version of android you’re running?

  2. I believe this option is only available in CyanogenMod or ROMs based upon it. I am running leaked SGS2 2.3.4, for example, and it doesn’t provide any kill option. On my previous phone, the O2x (which my fiancé now carries around), the option is there under several custom ROMs, like Slick2x, WGSpoelstra’s ROM and CM7 stock.

    I’m looking to eerie that function as well, because it’s the single thing I miss under the current OS on this SII….

    • ah, that is interesting. I was running stock Froyo on my Desire at the time of my post when I couldn’t find the option.

      For a completely different reason I’ve recently installed LeeDrOiD V3.0.8.2 (Android 2.3.3) and I’ve got new options in the development screen, but still missing the elusive ‘hold back button to kill process’ feature.

      I don’t think I care enough about the feature to switch ROMs again, but ’tis good information to know for next time round.

  3. I’ve decided to settle on my current ROM as well (VillainROM 2.0) because I began feeling like a dog chasing its own tail with all the flashing going on. CyanogenMod is really actively developed, but that means you can take the term “nightly build” quite literally. I have been flashing almost every night, or at best every other night, for the last few months, hehehe. Time to step it down a bit and enjoy this beast for what it is.

    I did find an application that at least partly fills the gap. It’s called “Kill This”, free in the Market. Maintains a notification entry providing a kill option for the last full-screen application. It’s not as convenient as a long-press by far, but I guess it’ll have to do.


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