Stop Apps From Running In The Background On Android

Electronics & Computer

Feel like your smartphone or tablet just isn’t getting the same mileage that it used to? Is your battery conking out by 3pm when it once lasted all the way to bedtime? Is it sluggish and less responsive than in the past? You may have some rogue apps sucking your system’s resources in the background.

Brand new phones are a wondrous thing, but over time your shiny new phone slows down and becomes sluggish. Switching between apps becomes a frustrating experience and your battery won’t get you through a day. If this sounds familiar, there are a few things you can do to take back control of your device and improve the situation, and one of the easiest things to do is get control of your apps running in the background.

Never fear! In all but the most dire cases, shutting down Android apps running in the background is a fairly easy process. To long-time Android users, this walkthrough might be a bit remedial, but we’re going to move through this slowly to make sure to keep even the newbiest of newbies on the same page.

Control your background processes

The best way to gain control of your processes is to have a dig around under the hood using the monitoring tools built into Android. Exactly how this process screen looks, how you access it and what it’s called will vary depending on which company made the device and what version of Android you’re using.

Enable Developer Options
Enable Developer Options

Before you can start, you need to enable developer options in some cases.
In versions of Android before Marshmallow, this involves going to Settings > then you need to scroll down and click on About and then tapping Build number about seven or so times. You’ll get a notification telling you that Developer options have been unlocked once you’re done and you can stop tapping.

The next thing you need to look for is a setting called Process Stats or Processes. You need to go to Settings then Developer Options and finally you can find there Processes.

Stopping some apps might crash your phone. It’ll be tempting to stop the most RAM-hungry apps from running in the background, but you’ll want to pay some attention to what you’re stopping before you go ahead.

To find the list of apps using RAM you’ll want to head to Settings and then Developer options and then Running services if you’re using a recent Samsung phone, like the S7 Edge.

In the case of Meizu, you can enable your Developer options by entering ##6961## on the Dialer and then looking in Settings then Accessibility then Developer options then Process statistics. Because, Meizu M3 Max phones won’t allow you to access the developer options by tapping the build number and have their own specific method.

You can find the same options and some more detailed information at Settings then Memory then Memory used by apps, if you’re using a stock Android build of Marshmallow or newer.

If you are in confusion that which apps to stop then don’t worry about it. Here bellow we are giving the suggestion easily that you can understand.
If you don’t want your app/phone to crash, err on the side of caution and use some common sense. The app marked Google Services, or pretty much any app that starts with Google shouldn’t be manually stopped.

If you look through the list and see messengers and music players idly draining your battery in the background, then you can go ahead and stop them in relative safety. Truly crucial apps usually won’t allow you to force stop them anyway.

With apps that just won’t quit, like Kik for us (if you kill it via the processes tab, it simply restarts), you can navigate to Settings then Applications Application manager to perform a Force Stop, or you can just uninstall it directly.

Head to Settings then Developer Options then Processes and click the Stop button to stop an app manually via the processes list.

Force Stop
Force Stop

Head to Settings then Applications then Application manager to Force Stop or Uninstall an app manually via the Applications list and select the app you want to modify. Don’t delete any apps that appear when you select the Show System Apps option.

Head to Settings then Memory then Memory used by apps to Force Stop an app on stock Marshmallow handsets or newer.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s draining your battery

If you looked around while you were carrying out the steps above, you probably saw some detailed battery info listed for each app, and that’s great, but working out what’s draining your battery by assessing each app individually will take you all day.

If you want to stop apps individually you should navigate to Settings > Battery and see what options you have available on your phone. Again, the options might have slightly different names and features available, but at a minimum, you should be able to see a listed overview of the apps that have used the most battery since you last juiced-up.

The same rules apply to stopping or uninstalling apps that applied to stopping them via the processes tab – namely that you want to be careful about what you start pressing. Some phones split apps in the battery usage tab by system or non-system, and others like the Meizu split them into a list of hardware and software apps.

In Android Marshmallow, the most significant improvement was Doze, which essentially puts your phone into hibernation mode when it’s not moving. For Android Nougat and Doze 2.0, that feature now works when your phone is moving too, as long as it’s not in use.

Samsung and many others offer proprietary battery and RAM boosting options in many cases, so the features available to you will vary. Other people suggest that Doze mode actually harmed their battery life, but it’s definitely at least worth testing to see if it increases your mileage.

Some people will argue that the use of task killer apps is going to do more harm than good in terms of processing and battery life with Android (as an OS) and OEM hardware improving over time. As one of the problems you’re trying to fix is apps running in the background draining your resources, adding another one that has the purpose of doing explicitly that (it needs to monitor the services in use on your phone, therefore always needs to be running) seems a bit counter-intuitive.

You might be better off not installing task killer in the first place and just letting it run. A task killer that repeatedly force-closes an app in the background over and over is almost certainly going to drain your battery more as it continues the restart and kill process.

Many prosumer task killers require root access to work. Some people swear by them and you get even more granular control over your OS if you’re using a rooted device. If this is a path you want to take, then you should consider checking out Greenify as an automated hibernation app that works for rooted and non-rooted devices.

Non-rooted devices won’t get automated hibernation of apps and a few other features, but you can still add a widget to your homescreen to hibernate them in a single flick. It also has some neat options that extend Doze for Marshmallow devices that don’t require root access.

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