How To Multitask in iOS4 on iPhone, iPod Touch

The free update for 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPod Touch is out, you can upgrade to the latest version by using the iTunes upgrade option. If you do not know how to upgrade to iOS4, read our earlier article on How To Upgrade to iOS4 on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPod Touch.


One of the new features in iOS4 includes multi-tasking, this feature is available only for iPhone 3GS and certain iPod Touch devices.

iOS4 Multitasking

To multitask with iOS4 on an iPhone or iPod Touch, just double-tap on the home button when an app is open, this will bring up new apps for you to choose from at the bottom of the screen.

You can scroll through all the open apps by shifting it to the right or left of the screen. Once you click on the app it will seamlessly switch between the current one and the one you chose to multitask with.

iOS4 Multitasking Close App

To close an open app, just press and hold the icon and click on the "-" symbol at the left corner, this will close the app altogether. Have fun multi-tasking on your new iOS4 on an iPhone or iPod Touch.

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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.

  • Maria silvia

    hi, im just trying the multitasking.. its cool.. but.. skype still goes offline when you stop using the app, and msn goes on iddle.. and doesnt notify anything on homescreen =( it sucks

    • @Maria – Skype has not been updated to take advantage of the new multitasking feature, hopefully you should see an update for it in the near future.

  • Kenzi

    when i double click on the home button on my iPod touch, it just takes me back to the homescreen. can anyone tell me how to get it to let me multitask?

    • oliver

      It Is the same it me help me please.

      • read what @Kurt said a few posts above : “I’m assuming you have the 8gb model Ipod Touch, there is no 3G model for the 8GB, only 2nd gen. I was having the same problem and found that only the 32 and 64GB are considered 3G Ipod touches. You can verify that on Apple’s website. I know it sucks…”

  • Edgar

    Why myipod touch does not do multitask?

  • teetertots

    my ipod touch 2g doesnt have the background changing ability where the apps are….and doesnt have multi task…and i have updated to the newset software…any body know why?

    • Katie

      It only works on 3G models not the 2g

      • reece

        well ive got the 3G and i cant do anything new exepted the icons r diffrent and i can make folders

        • Kurt

          I’m assuming you have the 8gb model Ipod Touch, there is no 3G model for the 8GB, only 2nd gen. I was having the same problem and found that only the 32 and 64GB are considered 3G Ipod touches. You can verify that on Apple’s website. I know it sucks…

          • Rafael Lopes

            shame apple

  • Katie

    Thank you so much! My only problem is that I can't figure put how to add more apps to your multitasking bar; it only shows some of them and you can only delete them but not add more!:( also apple says there is a new "folder" thing to help you organize apps, do you know how to use that too?

    • @Katie – You can add more apps to by opening them individually. Apple does not provide you with an option to add more apps through the bar. As far as folders go, you can read our earlier post on how to create folders in iOS 4 by visiting this link

  • kevin

    hey guys just wanna clear this up for people wanting multitasking, any 8gb model of ipod touch is NOT third generation hardware, they just shipped 2g with the iOS3, it has a slower cpu and half the RAM of a 3rd gen (32,64 latest models)

    • aLiYaH

      awwww :((( well thanks.. i have the 3g 8gb ipod touch and it wont set the wallpaper and i cant multitask… thanks for explaining :)

  • tie

    okay so i went to target and bought an iPod Touch 8GB 3G…I came home and have been using it a whole lot. I got it a while ago. But now the iOS4 came out and I installed it. I was EXTREMELY disappointed when Multitasking and Wallpaper were not working. I went into rsearch and discoverd that the iPod Target sold me was saaid to be an iPod Touch 8GB 3G but is infact an iPod Touch 8GB 2G!!! Isn't it illegal to sell something that you say is one thing and it is really another?!? I'm considring taking it back and trying to resolve this issue because I bought an Ipoc Touch 3G NOT an iPod Touch 2…if you have any information about why they gave my a 2G please email me: [email protected] thanks

    • hagamaster

      Look… if you want multitasking so bad… go to ON THE iDEVICE. it will install cydia… install winterboard and seacrh fro ipod touch 2g ios4 features.. install activate in winterboard respring and enjoy…
      at the cost of about 15-20% of your battery lif

  • Alicd

    doesn't work on my 2nd generation 16 gb itouch. when i double click home button, it goes to search…

  • Alice

    doesn't work on my 2G itouch. when i double click, it goes to search, or home. whatever u set it in the settings. no mutitasking.

    • @Alive iPod Touch 2G does not support multitasking unless you jailbreak it..

  • aLiYaH

    WHY WONT IT WORK ON MY IPOD TOUCH 3G!?!?!?!?!?11?!?!

  • matt

    ok so i double tap the home button and it takes me back to the main menu, tried it on loads of apps, nothing works, help please!

  • tom

    Thanks! i was at an apple store yesterday and the iphone specialists assured me that multitasking was not available on the 3GS.

    Good work! Thanks againv

    • And yet…

      …multitasking somehow manages to work perfectly on my 3GS…

  • archie

    For all iPod Touch users. here are your answers for multitasking related problems:

  • Danny

    ok people…APPLE CAN KISS MY ___!!!!!! i saw that my ipod touch 3rd gen. could be upgraded to the IOS 4.0 that apple had just relesed a few days age…so i started reading up on all the new fetchers the upgrade offerd and was really impreassed…so i had to stay up all night to download the upgrade(…its a long story because STUPID hughes net has a download liemet!!!!!! lol but eneyway…getting back to y apple is a freken jerk…wile i was downloading the IOS 4.0 update… sade that my 3rd gen. ipod touch was able to use ALLL the new fetchers such as…multitasking….and change wallpapper in the backround of your apps…well after everything was finished, i started trying to use the new fetchers that i thought i would get…well…i guess you could say most of it works ok…but the multitasking and the change of backround pic. behind your apps….yyyaaaaa NONE of that works…i doint know if apple dicided to be freken jerks and ongaly alow the larger "more pricey" 16g and 32g divices to work with multitasking…or for some stupid reasion…my ipod just dident upgrade the propper way….i really doint know….all i know is that MY IPOD WONT DO WHAT APPLE SAD THE UPGRADE WOULD ABLE ME TO DO!!!!! if someone could help me and all the other people that have the same problom as i have experniced…. that would be gerate…. thanks!!! and yes i do realize that i doint know much about apple and what not-so forth-and so on—so if some one could correct me of tell me what my problom is that would be gerate to….

  • Falana

    multitasking wont work. how do i make it work?

  • Jimmy

    I downloaded the 4.0 upgrade and i have a 2nd generation itouch can i multitask and if i can can u tell me 2 apps that u can multitask wth?

  • mark

    My ipod touch 8gig 3rd generation just was updated with ios4..and multitasking isnt included ..why not

    • @mark – iPod 8GB is not 3G and it does not support multitasking, see comments from other users on this thread

  • griffin

    umm. when i try this, it takes me to home instead of multitasking. please respond.


  • Davie

    Multitasking won't work on my itouch 3G 0S 4.0

  • Maverick1416

    I cant get the home button on my iPhone 3Gs, help?

  • josh

    on my ipod touch i have upgraded to ios4 but it wont multitask it did it once but i cant remember how to do it when i double tap the home button it takes me back to the home screen please help me as i want to multitask. i had 3.1.2 before i upgraded.

  • Hans

    Thanks! now i know how to multitask

  • Kendal

    Soooo irritating. I have a 3G 8Gig iPod Touch, and nothing works! and i backed up my ipod and STILL ll my apps are gone >:( apple is making me soo mad! its not fair that we cant do all of the cool things. bad enough i lost all of my apps/songs.

  • Thanks so much I searched forever to learn how to do this because it doesn't tell you. Now I can have some fun! Great post!

  • Christian

    I do the double click the home button when i have the pandora account open, yet it just closes the app and goes to the ipod app. I have a 8GB 2nd Gen ipod with the iOS4 upgrade and i thought it was supposed to work.

    • @Christian – iPod Touch 8GB 2nd Gen iPod does not support multitasking.