Disabling Multitasking and Wallpaper in iOS 4 on iPhone.. Not Possible Yet.. Unless…

If you have used Apple products for a while, you would by now have become very well acquainted with the fact that Apple does not provide options users want. However, it does provide options which they want and only they want.


With the introduction of the multitasking feature in , Apple made a lot of people happy, happier than they would have been when multitasking first came out. However, here is the catch, you cannot disable Multitasking or wallpaper support on an which supports them.. duh.

Of course, Apple also put in restrictions for some users to not run Multitasking and Background Wallpaper for users who had anything lower than a iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G. While I understand the fact that those devices did not get an option to enable those features, what beats me is the fact that Apple decided themselves that users will not be able to disable those features on supported devices unless they… jailbreak their devices.

Now this in itself sounds a bit crude, because users have no control over what they can do with their iPhone or iPod Touch, and unless Apple releases a new update with a breakthrough feature to disable multitasking and background wallpaper there is no way out unless you, well, jailbreak.

And yes, when Apple does release an update to disable multitasking and background wallpaper, a collective gasp will go around among Apple fanboys appreciating the fact that Apple was very generous in allowing them to disable features with on their devices which they should have been able to do in the first place itself.

Anyways enough of it, if you want to disable multitasking and background on your newly installed iOS 4 device, you can only do it with iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G which were not yet officially supported. Jailbreaks for iPhone 3GS, and iPod Touch 3G might take some more time to come out, so until then just keep praying that either a jailbreak comes out first, or Apple realizes that users have choices too and release an update to disable those features.

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Keith Dsouza

I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website.I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

  • Josh

    im annoyed at IOS4.. apple suck.. hardly any of the features work on my new ipod touch 3rd generation…

    I CANT AN IMAGE AS MY BACKGROUND AND cant multi-task.. and they need to invest in ipod touch apps there are no decent apps on the market at all….. forget ipad and focus on ipod touch.. and Appl release a new os that actuallly works.. get some thing roite for once..!!

    • up

      trust me, its not a ipod touch 3g

    • mac

      Your grammar is atrocious. Is josh your real name? If your are not from the USA and English is your second language then that might explain why your comments are technologically unreasonable.

      In your opinion, when is it ok for a tech company to not support older products as they improve on the technology? Do you bitch about Microsoft because you can’t play your Windows 3.1 games on Windows 7?

      • Ipod touch 3rd generation – release date – September 9, 2009
        ios4 – release date – June 21, 2010
        Less then a freaking year apart.

        Windows 3.1 – 1992
        Windows 7 – 2009
        17 years apart

        1.Dear macboy you could play windows 3.1 games on windows 7
        2.You say that ipod touch 3rd is generation is obsolete after only 1 year??
        3.I own an iphone 3g and bought a 3gs and 4g for my girlfriend but I will never EVER buy an Apple product again. why? because the only thing they are really good at is marketing
        4.F****** fanboy

      • joe

        “if your are not from the USA”

        Pot? Kettle?

  • john

    is your ipod a 8gb ?

    • Josh

      yesits an 8gb 3rd gen ipod touch.. i bought brand new this yr in february

      • DJLove246

        Well, iPod touch 8GB 3g's can't multitask unless it's jailbroken. It's internals are the same as the 2G's

        • Josh

          thxs for that..

          what about the issue with the setting an image as a background be hind my apps.. there's no option to do that.

          like when i set an image as back ground no option set it as desktop behind the aps

        • phil

          The GPU isn’t fast enough to draw the drop shadow that gets enabled when you put a background behind the home screen. You can enable this with a jailbreak though if you really want it. I did and now I want to disable it because the animations are a bit slow.

  • Jay Bovasso

    I've been a happy Apple user for a long time but they are starting to annoy me. Multitasking and Email on my Iphone 3GS stinks. When the mail program is in the background it doesnt send email or receive them. I have to stop all other apps and restart email by itself to work. I just want to turn multitasking off cause i dont want it or need it..but I cant. Way to go Apple..This sucks.

  • Medio

    How in the world is the multitask you get by jailbreaking still better than the official one you get in os4?

    I accidently enabled default os4 multitask when i upgraded, and it's mucu, much worse than "kirkae"

  • Alex

    Are you going to actually TELL us how to disable it?

    • @Alex – Like I told you in the article, it is only possible through a jailbreak.

      • Andy Lowe

        …wonders if you are being intentionally evasive but just to reiterate … are you going to tell us how to disable multi tasking on a jail-broken GS3 running iOS4 as you infer that it is possible?

        Like folders/loathe what is laughingly termed multi tasking and intend to go back to Backgrounder & Kirikae if possible.

        • @Andy – Well I am not trying to be evasive. When you jailbreak your device using redsn0w or Sn0wbreeze you get an option to turn off multitasking and background wallpaper support, however, jailbreaks are not yet available for iPod Touch 3G and iPhone 4, which is why I cannot point you towards it right now.

  • Jay

    I think that having a background picture on my home screen is freaking stupid. You can't even see it BECAUSE OF ALL THE ICONS that are in the way. ANyway, I just wanted to disable it, but as you said, that's not an option. But what i did do as a stop-gap was I put my finger over my camera lens, snapped a picture of the pure blackness, and then set that as my wallpaper for the home screen. Now, I still have a wallpaper on my lock screen, and the home screen is all black. Still think I should be given the option to not have it at all, but this works good enough for me.

    • ben

      just take a picture with your finger over the lens, ie. all black, and set that as you wall paper.

    • Jenny

      Thank you! I love this way to get a black background on the home screen. It works great.

  • Andreas

    I have a jailbroken iOS 4 with a home screen wallpaper. Now where is the option to disable it?

    • Ron

      what he meant to say is that when you initially jailbreak it is checked if you do not uncheck it you are screwed

  • compae

    Used redsn0w to jailbreak allowing os4 native "multitasking". Not only was not true multitasking as extensively commented by others but it really slowed down my 3G. So, using redsn0w again (it gives you the option at the beginning of the jailbreak process) unchecked multitasking (kept wall paper and battery %). Things are back to normal and I am using now the true multitasking cydia app backgrounder w/o issues.

  • Ron


    "1. SSH to SystemLibraryCoreServicesSpringBoard.app and edit the file N82AP.plist
    2. Alter the key "multitasking" to enable/disable multi-tasking alter this key

    to this:

    • Colin

      Or you could download features off cydia (only works for iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2g) and go to winterboard and turn on home screen wallpaper (and iPod if you want) but not multitasking and it should respring and voilà!

    • JB

      You can alter both the home-screen wallpaper and the multitasking by SSH'ing into the phone. Change to enable/disable, reboot, and voila. I just did it on my 3G.

    • Macmaker

      The multitasking value you are referring to is a Boolean value and not a string value.

      I’ve created an app to launch from springboard to enable and disable both these features with the click of a button.


      • killahtm

        can we rest get that app pls :)

    • Patrick

      Tanks a million for that one!

    • Patrick

      By any chance would you know how to reactivate IBlueNova
      on 3g ios 4.1 Jailbroken.

  • Javi

    just double tap the home to go on multi task, then hold down one of the icons for a second, you will see a minus next to the app, delete it to stop multitasking, it will not delete the app.

    • Machado

      TY sir very much, That is the only thing about this OS that I did not know yet. quick and dirty way to cut off a background GPS app so it doesn’t chomp on the battery.

      • Holcomb227

        Thank god. I was wondering if I had to turn it off every time i wanted to exit an app that was frozen.

  • Paul

    Here’s a simple way to disable multitasking in your iPhone with iOS4. You need to have it jailbreaked but don’t need to jailbreak it again, it’s just changing a file:
    It worked for me and other people also say it works. Wonder why Apple hasn’t still released the option to do that… Glad jailbreaking is legal in the US, hope they do so in the UK soon!!

  • Plokiju

    “or Apple realizes that users have choices too”

    You’re kidding, right?

    That goes against everything Apple stands for.

  • Joe

    How to clean out files, the Apple store suggested that I do that everyday. I lost the directions. Joe