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How to Programmatically Restart an iPhone App in iOS

As technology continues to evolve, mobile devices have become an essential part of our daily lives. From communication to entertainment, we ...

As technology continues to evolve, mobile devices have become an essential part of our daily lives. From communication to entertainment, we rely heavily on our smartphones to keep us connected and engaged. And with the increasing number of apps available in the App Store, our iPhones have become even more indispensable. But what happens when an app freezes or stops responding? In such situations, the only solution is to restart the app. In this article, we will discuss how to programmatically restart an iPhone app in iOS.

Before we dive into the technical details, let's understand the need for restarting an app. There could be various reasons why an app might stop responding. It could be due to a bug in the code, memory issues, or conflicts with other apps. Whatever the reason may be, restarting the app can often resolve the issue and get it back up and running smoothly.

Now, let's see how we can programmatically restart an iPhone app in iOS. The process involves killing the app and then relaunching it. To do this, we will be using a method called `exit(0)`. This method is used to forcefully terminate an app. When an app is terminated, the iOS automatically relaunches it, thus effectively restarting the app.

To use this method, we need to add the following code snippet in the `AppDelegate` class:


func restartApp() {

let currentBundle = Bundle.main

let mainStoryboard = UIStoryboard(name: "Main", bundle: currentBundle)

guard let initialViewController = mainStoryboard.instantiateInitialViewController() else {

fatalError("Unable to get initial view controller")


let sceneDelegate = UIApplication.shared.connectedScenes.first!.delegate as! SceneDelegate

sceneDelegate.window?.rootViewController = initialViewController




Let's break down the above code and understand what it does. First, we define a function named `restartApp()` which will handle the restarting process. Next, we get the current bundle and the main storyboard of our app. Then, we get the initial view controller of the main storyboard. This view controller will be the first screen that is shown when the app is launched. Finally, we get the scene delegate object and set the `rootViewController` property to our initial view controller. This ensures that the app will launch with the initial view controller when it is restarted. Lastly, we call the `exit(0)` method to terminate the app.

Now, to call the `restartApp()` function, we can use the `UIApplication.shared.delegate` method, which returns the app delegate object. We can then call the `restartApp()` function on this object as shown below:


(UIApplication.shared.delegate as! AppDelegate).restartApp()


This will restart the app and the user will be taken back to the initial view controller.

There are a few things to keep in mind while using this method. First, it is not recommended to use this method regularly as it goes against the iOS design principles. The iOS operating system is designed to manage app lifecycle automatically, and forcefully terminating an app is not a good practice. It should only be used as a last resort when the app is not responding and needs to be restarted.

Second, this method should not be used in apps that are in the App Store. The App Review team at Apple will reject an app that uses this method as it goes against their guidelines.

In conclusion, restarting an app programmatically in iOS is possible, but it should only be used as a temporary solution when the app is not responding. It is important to understand the cause of the issue and fix it in the code to ensure a better user experience. As developers, it is our responsibility to create stable and reliable apps that meet the user's expectations. With the knowledge of how to restart an app, we can quickly resolve any issues and provide a seamless experience to our users.

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