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How to close an app in Tablet Mode on Windows 10

It's a simple thing you want to do, but it's not necessarily immediately obvious. You just want to close that fullscreen app in Tablet Mode on your Windows 10 device. In this beginners guide we'll show you how to do it whether you're on a tablet or on a PC that you're using in tablet mode.

Here's what you need to know.

1. Dragging the app window down from the top of the screen

Windows 10 tablet mode

If you're on a tablet, be that a smaller one like the HP Stream 7 or a larger one like the Surface 3, the method is exactly the same. In tablet mode, apps run fullscreen so you don't get the "X" in the top right hand corner you might usually use to close it. To do it, simply drag your finger from the top of the screen down to the bottom. Half way the app window will shrink right down, just keep dragging until an animation pulls it off the bottom of the screen.

There you are, app closed!

2. In tablet mode on your Windows 10 PC

Windows 10 tablet mode

If you're using Tablet Mode on your desktop PC or laptop you can still use the mouse or trackpad to close an app just as you would with any, regular desktop app. Just move the cursor to the top right and corner and that familiar "X" will appear. Just click it and the app closes as normal.

Of course, if you have a touchscreen you can also still use option one.

3. Using the Task Switcher to close multiple apps

Windows 10 tablet mode

The other method is particularly good when you're wanting to close lots of apps quickly. It uses the task switcher, which you can access by swiping in from the left edge of the screen or by clicking or tapping on the icon on the taskbar (it's the rectangle with two 'ears'). All your open apps will be displayed with a "X" next to them to close one by one without having to open each app first.

There we have it. A few different ways to close your apps on Windows 10 in Tablet Mode!

For more Windows 10 tips be sure to drop by our dedicated page here

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

51 Comments
  • Except Skype desktop from tablet mode. You still need to drop out of tablet to desktop to quit.
  • What i did was make the desktop mode taskbar icons appear in the taskbar in tablet mode so that the skype app pin there could be turned off even in tablet mode. ​
  • Less said about Skype desktop app the better :P
  • Glad you aren't a desktop skype apologist Richard!
  • Is it possible that "Store" Skype would actually be inside the new messaging app on W10 too.. And the Store Skype app was just suspended until then..
  • wish they would release the new Skype and Messaging app for Windows 10 sooner
  • Try using Skype Translator app.
  • Tablet mode task switcher should have closing app by swiping/drawing the window down. Should be there like what we have in mobile.
  • +735
  • But drawing the windows is used to move apps from one desktop to another. So it would be little confusing
  • +1020. I was surprised to find that this didn't work the same in Windows 10.  The extra desktops should have been placed at the top of task view, or in a column along the right or left side, or in the bottom right corner of the screen in order to allow the closing swipe action to remain consistent across Windows devices.  Also, the MSFT development team needs to make the tap area around the closing "X" for each app larger.  It takes me multiple attempts to close an app from task view.  Many times, I just pull out my stylus to make it so just to spare the frustration. It's funny how much larger the X is on my 1020 than it is on my Surface³. If you agree, please use the Feedback App to locate my comments within the app and upvote.
  • Should be able to swipe down from task view... To be more consistent with Windows Mobile Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • THIS.
  • This 735x. Is it mentioned on UserVoice?
  • 1000x this! I've tried swiping down in the task view so many times.
  • Swipe down is to place the app in a desktop so that would make no sense?
  • Good point... I actually have never tried this before. It would still be nice to have though for consistency across different form factors. PErhaps they should add a trash can on the left hand side to indicate closing it?   UI consistency aside, my biggest beef with the "X" is that it can be very difficult to hit on smaller screens. More often than not, I end up just opening the app again.
  • I see what you want but swiping an app down and to the left or right snaps it to that side. So adding these gestures to include a trash can would be confusing, imo anyway.
  • That's the point, placing an app to another desktop shouldn't using swipe down gesture. It could be drag the app up just like OSX or any other direction or tap and hold then drag or whatever.
  • I miss swiping from the left to bring up my last app I was in. Now I always have to swipe left and then pick the app I want to open.
  • But, it saves having to scroll through apps if you have a few open. I prefer the current task view.
  • Or they could give us the option to choose.
  • It doesn't save me from anything. It's a bit quicker with one thumb on the side.
  • I did miss the swipe from the left for the last app at first, but with say 5 apps open it is a pain to keep swiping until the right one arrives.. With the task view it has become easier and quicker to get to the app I need. Also, as I'm using an SP3 with the keyboard more now (due to W10 additional options) the precision keypad uses a 3 finger swipe to get the task view. This is easier for keyboard operation too, again imo. All considered W10 options are far superior to W8.1 (though I thought I would never say that) because use for the mouse/keyboard, touch, precision keypad, Cortana/Hey Cortana with the addition of notifications make for a more efficient and easier to use OS.....imo anyway.
  • I only kept swiping if I was lazy. But the side effect is that it was lightning quick! Most other other times with lots of apps open, I'd just use the app preview and tap that with my thumb without having to swipe. So efficient that way. I never needed a full screen view of open tasks taking up my attention. Just a sidebar and tap, then done.
  • Lol. You swipe in-out and get a task list just right for your left thumb to select the app you want in Windows 8. In Windows 10 i would have to release my left or right hand from holding the tablet in order to reach somewhere middle of the screen...not only awful but horribly unergonomic on top.  
  • I see what you mean. I guess it comes down to the individual user. I use my SP3 with the stand and don't hold it by the sides, so my preference is suitable for me. I now mainly use the keyboard and sometimes the pen. Guess this is the choice Microsoft had to make, which is best for the majority of users. And whichever choice they go with there will be a % that dislike it.
  • Perhaps. You're describing the desktop experience. The problem lays with the tablet experience.
  • I do use it 99% of the time tablet mode. I mainly use it with the Surface keyboard but also with the Pen and less so these days as touch only as I get bored with cleaning finger marks off the screen lol.
  • You can also close the app with your mouse by dragging it down from the top.  This about the only think that made it from Windows 8 to Windows 10.  Microsoft stupidly ditched all the other really great mouse gestures that emulated touch.  I HATE WINDOWS 10!!!!!!!
  • Dragging down with a mouse does close the app. But, I love W10 on my SP3....
  • Is there a keyboard shortcut to close open apps at once?
  • You still have Alt+F4. It does what it has always done. But it is one app at a time.
  • Windows Key + Down Arrow also does it. Or at least it did on 8.1
  • Windows+Down Arrow is Minimize, not close.
  • great tip
  • This should be in desktop windows too. Drag to the bottoms should be universal even with mouse. I do it countless times on accident since it worked this way in windows 8. I wish it worked for x86 apps. Doubt it will ever happen due to multi monitor support.
  • Thanks for the tip. I've been using the task switcher to close apps but this seems a lot easier. Will Windows 10 for tablets allow split screen? The only way I know is if I tap a link in an app, Microsoft Edge will split the screen automatically. I've been wanting to to that manually though, as I seen from previous videos but only on PC versions.
  • I think that, instead to bring to the bottom to close, you need to bring to the left or right, like you do with mouse and win32 programs.
  • Swiping down and to the left or right has a different effect....try it.. .so losing that to closing an app would make no sense. Especially as swiping down closes it.
  • would be nice to be able to swipe down apps from task view :) and also to multitouch several aps at once and drag them down :)
  • Swipe in from top doesn't work well when your taskbar is placed on top as well. Sucks that this also prevents the app options/settings bar to show.
  • In tablet mode, you can also swipe from the top edge. Then the 'X' will also appear and you can tap it to close the app. Unfortunately, on my Stream 7, I found it buggy as most of the time you have to swipe and tap twice for the app to actually close.
  • Yes, twice all the time for me also :(
  • Yea, what they shoudl have done was kept Windows RT separate and had it only run Universal Apps with a Windows 8.1 Start Screen, and allowed people to just swipe the apps away from the App Bar. Windows 10 on a Tablet is like using Windows Desktop on a Tablet.  It was already horrible in Windows 8.1, but it's about 5x worse in Windows 10. The UI is completely KB/Mouse Oriented.  It does not operate the way you'd expect a modern mobile OS to operate (lack of swipe gestures which existed in 8.1).  The ergonomics are horrible (tiny text and user controls, having to have ridiculous precision to hit things, lack of a setting to load Mobile Pages in the browser for smaller tablets (7-8"), etc.). This may work for a 2-in-one or convertible like a Surface tablet, but for a pure Touch Device, it's a usability nightmare.  It's actually quite exhausting to use.  It's not comfortable at all. Plus the bug where when you close an app and you see a blank desktop and have to tap to go back to the start screen, or if you try to check your battery percentage and the pop-up in full screen with 3/4 of the % number off the top of the screen, etc.  It is extremely annoying. Feels like this OS was designed for stylus navigation.
  •  Both desktop/tablet and W10M should get a "close all" button.
  • yeah definitely
  • Agreed
  • Yeah I'd find it useful, I usually have to swipe down for few secs hehehe
  • In Tablet mode with no keyboard attached most apps can be closed by just a small swipe down and the "desktop bar" at the top appears with an X that can be tapped to close the app.
  • Any ideas why I might not be able to do edge swipe gestures on my stream 7 in tablet mode?