How to Stop Android Apps Running in the Background

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Does your Android phone’s battery drains faster than you expect? One of the reasons for this could be the apps that continue running in the background long after you moved on to a different task altogether.

When you have several apps open at the same time, your device may experience some lagging, as such apps not only drain the battery but also eat up your phone or tablet’s RAM. Similarly, some of them could be malware, have a bug, or were poorly written and lack proper optimization, hence they use up your device’s resources.

You can stop Android apps from running in the background and save your phone’s precious memory and battery life using a few methods we’re going to show you in this guide.

Note: for this guide, we used a Samsung Galaxy phone running Android Pie (9) version. The steps may vary depending on the make, model and Android version your device is running.

Check and note down the apps that are running in the background

This will help you know what apps are open and running, how long they’ve been running, and the amount of RAM they’re consuming.

To do this, go to Settings and tap “Developer options.”

Stop Background Apps Android Settings Developer Options

If you don’t see Developer Options in the Settings, go to “Settings -> About Phone.”

Stop Background Apps Android Settings About Phone

Tap Build Number seven times. You’ll get a notification that you’re now in Developer Mode. From here, you can go back to Settings and scroll down until you get to Developer Options.

Select “Running Services.”

Stop Background Apps Android Settings Developer Options Running Service

In the Running Services screen, you’ll see a list of the background apps that are running on your device.

Stop Background Apps Android Settings Developer Options Running Services List

To see the apps draining your battery, go to Settings again and to Device Care.

Stop Background Apps Android Settings Device Care

Scroll down and select Battery.

Stop Background Apps Android Settings Device Care Battery

In the new screen you can see the apps that are consuming your battery the most. Tap the three dots (vertical) at the upper-right side of the screen.

Stop Background Apps Android Settings Device Care Battery Menu

Tap Settings.

Stop Background Apps Android Settings Device Care Battery Menu Settings

Next, tap “Optimize settings.” This feature optimizes battery use by automatically adjusting your settings to save on battery.

Stop Background Apps Android Settings Device Care Battery Menu Settings Optimize Settings

You can toggle the switch to on/blue, and your phone’s settings will be optimized for brightness, media volume, and scree timeout.  Note all the apps that consume your RAM and battery power, as well as those that aren’t optimized.

Kill the Background Apps

Now that you know the apps that are draining your phone’s battery life and consuming too much RAM, it’s time to stop them from running in the background.

To do this, go to Settings and tap Apps. Scroll down through the list of apps and find the ones you want to stop. On each app that you want to stop, tap it and then select “Force Stop.” This will stop the app during the current session, though it’ll relaunch when you reboot your phone.

Stop Background Apps Android Settings App Force Stop

If you don’t need the app altogether, you can long-press on its icon and select Uninstall or on the same screen tap Uninstall and confirm your action.

Stop Background Apps Android Settings App Uninstall

Alternatively, you can stop the app in the list of apps from the Memory usage section under Optimization settings. To do this, go to “Settings -> Device Care” and tap Memory.

Stop Background Apps Android Settings Device Care Memory

You’ll see a blue Clean now button, and the apps eating up memory are selected with a checkmark. You can tap the blue button to free up memory by stopping the background apps on this list.

Stop Background Apps Android Settings Device Care Memory Clean Now

Update Your Android Device

Android updates come with several features that help you optimize your phone’s memory consumption and battery life among other performance issues.

Android Pie and higher versions come with great power management features that extend your phone or tablet’s battery life by placing limits on the apps running in the background.

Among these features is the Adaptive Battery, which figures out the apps you want to use and those you won’t use on that day using machine learning. It learns your usage patterns and drops the commonly used apps into one of five App Standby Buckets: Frequent, Active, Working Set, Rare and Never.

Use a Third-Party App to Control Background Apps

If your Android device doesn’t have a proprietary native or built-in option to optimize or check on running in the background, you can use a third-party app to control such apps.

Greenify is one such app that provides fine controls over apps and manages them by placing them in hibernation. For non-rooted phones, the controls are limited, but with rooted phones, you have more control over the apps running in the background.

However, task-killers tend to slow your phone down and sometimes may drain your battery more as they try to force-close an app in the background every time.

Wrapping Up

We hope you now know how to kill those pesky background apps that drain your device’s battery and hog its resources. Let us know in a comment below whether these steps worked for you or whether you experienced any challenges.

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