Return to suspended modern app


Senior Member
Actually, I only now realized, after some googling, that modern apps are suspended when you move away from them and do not run in the background. I use the modern apps so rarely that I haven't paid attention to their behavior.

Two questions, or maybe a comment and a question:

1. That suspension rather than background operations seems strange to be -- takes us back to the days of shutting down Visicalc to run dBase. Or am I missing something?

2. In Win 8, you could open a suspended app by mousing to the upper left corner and clicking on the pop-up icon. It appears you can't do that in 8.1 -- you have to find the icon and click on it or search with the keyboard. Again, am I missing something?

Thanks for any comments.


Excellent Member
You should be able to click on the pop-icon by mousing the upper left corner. I am running 8.1 and have no trouble with that.


Essential Member
Are you asking how the app actually closes? If you just close the app as suggested and it works for Sonny and my self by moving the mouse to upper left hand corner and click close. It does shut down the app. As you found out it's still running in the background. You have to grab and drag the app to the bottom and hold it there until it flips and then you can release it and now the app is completely closed and not running in the background.


Senior Member
My question was how to leave and get back to a running/suspended/whatever modern app. Mousing to the upper left corner does nothing at all for me. No popups, nada. I'll take a look at the properties sheet for the start screen (when I figure out where it is LOL!) Edit: Found it, but the second box in the navigation tab of the properties window, switch between running apps when I click the top left corner, is grayed out. Now what?

Maybe I misunderstood what I read about modern apps in a couple of other places. I was under the impression they were suspended -- i.e., not running but not closed -- when you moved away from them. Basically just like a smartphone. That link in the post above says, "When you stop using an app, Windows leaves it running in the background and then, after a while, closes it for you."

So, for example, when I run Windows Update from the desktop, updates will download in the background. What happens when I run the modern app version of Windows Update? I got started on this train of thought because a few days ago I started Update by searching for it on the start screen instead of going through the control panel. That started the modern app version. The 8.1 update hadn't been pushed to me yet but there was a bunch of other updates available. Started to download them and went back to business. An hour later, I went back to Update again, and the progress bar was still where it was when I left the app.

I can't believe that you can't have a modern app continue to work in the background while you're doing something else. So I must be doing something wrong.

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Senior Member
My question was how to leave and get back to a running/suspended/whatever modern app.
To leave an app, there is nothing really that needs to be done, press the home button and open the next program that you want to open. Don't swipe the app down. Swiping down closes the app. To get back to open app, for touchscreens just swipe from left to right. For laptops, do the same on touchpad. To check if you have open tasks in the background, open up the task manager (there may be other ways to check but this is one way).

Screenshot (28).png


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
Swiping down doesn't close the app, but leaves it running in the background. As bassfisher says, you have to hold it momentarily until it changes (flips). It is then correctly closed. In my case, I find it quicker to hit Alt F4.


Senior Member
Unfortunately, leaving the app isn't the problem. Getting back to it is. I don't have a touchscreen, so instructions to swipe aren't germane.

1. I do NOT see icons in the upper left corner (when my mouse is in that corner) for apps that I've opened and then left by using the back arrow or the Win key. The only thing that appears to pertain to this problem in the taskbar and navigation properties sheet is grayed out. That's the check box that says, "Switch between running apps." Otherwise, I don't know how to get the mouseover icons back on the upper left of the screen.

2. Do modern apps continue to run in the background, or are they suspended, or is that a behavior that can be changed? If I start the modern Windows Update and leave it to start downloading, should I be able to come back later and find the packages already downloaded and installed? Or do I have to stay in the modern app while Update does its thing?



Senior Member
Thanks davehc for elaborating.

To OP, I normally use swipe on my tablet to switch between open apps. I have a Win 8 desktop too but I haven't tried if this will work also for Win 8: Try "Alt+Tab" to see a list of open files and pressing the Tab key until it highlights the app that you want to go back to. Or "Win Logo + Tab" and keep clicking Tab key or scroll your mouse if your video card supports Flip 3D.

Apps are suspended if you put your computer to sleep or hybernate but I don't think downloads will continue to finish. You need to keep your computer "ON" to keep the update downloading but you can do other tasks by leaving the download in the background and simply open up a new app or program in the desktop.

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Senior Member
Thanks again. A touchscreen is far in the distant future for me.

I'm sure modern apps won't continue to run in sleep or hibernation, but will they run in the background while I'm pounding away on MS Word? I ask because of my experience with the modern app for Windows Update, which was 3% finished downloading when I left it to pound away in Word, and 3% finished when I returned to it an hour later. Seems to me that the app went to sleep even if the computer was running fine.

As an example of what I'm asking, will a news site app update itself with new stories if it's in the background?

I'll try the alternatives to "mousing to the upper left" to reopen modern apps. I wish I knew why everybody else can do it that way except for me.

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