How to stop Android apps running in the background
Having your battery drain faster than you expect is one of the biggest headaches with any Android phone. Finding a charger and plugging it in shortly after fully charging overnight is always a sad feeling. If you’re ready to thwart your battery woes, a single culprit may be to blame. Here’s what you need to know to conquer background apps.
These apps can eat away at your battery and your precious resources, but there could be several different causes for your problems. Some apps may not be well optimized, some may be malware, or some may have a bug. All you need now is a little know-how, and we’ll have you living a busy life shortly.
Ready for some extra juice at no cost? Let’s get into the best battery upgrades.
Update your device! Go to Android 10 or higher if you can
Many phones are still working Android 10 although Android 11 has been away for some time. Fortunately, this is good news for users. Android 10 has some great power management features that put limits on background apps and thus extend your phone’s battery life. One of them is called Adaptive Battery, which uses machine learning to determine which apps you’ll use in the next few hours and which ones you won’t use until later, if at all today. Depending on your usage patterns, it places each app in one of five app sleep compartments: active, working set, frequent, rare, and never. Each of these compartments has its limits on the amount of resources that the applications it contains can use.
See also: When will your phone receive Android 11?
To put it simply, an application placed in the Never compartment is hardly ever used, which is why the system will limit its access to resources such as the processor. This means that it will use less battery. On the other hand, apps in compartments like Active are the ones you use the most and will have full access to system resources, so you can expect to receive all of your notifications on time.
The process is automatic and dynamic, which means the system learns your usage pattern over time and moves apps from one compartment to another accordingly.
Check what’s emptying your phone
Since the battery life is so important, it is well monitored by your Android operating system. To see the power hungry apps, go to Settings> Battery> Battery usage. You’ll get an accurate two-decimal point list of what’s draining your battery. Depending on your device and software, apps will be divided into system or non-system apps or by hardware and software to make things even easier.
The more you use certain apps, the more they will be placed at the top of the list. Look for apps you don’t recognize using more than a small percentage of your battery. Any app using more than a few percent is worth considering – saving five percent here or four percent there will add up. Anything that is a Google app or service is probably not of concern and is an integral part of Android and Google Mobile Services.
Using Developer options, you can also check which apps are dominating your phone’s limited memory, also known as RAM. An app might not use a lot of battery, but when you are only working with 2GB of RAM and an app you are not using takes a few hundredMB, which leaves you short. of available memory.
There are a few ways you can check this out, but here is the sure-fire winner that works in newer versions of Android:
- Go to Settings> System> About phone.
- Scroll down and find “Version number”, then press it seven times. This will activate the “Developer options” on your device and you will see a notification that this has happened.
Now come back to Settings> System, and you will be able to select “Developer options” from there.
Then go Settings> Developer options> Processes (or Settings> System> Developer options> Running services.)
Here you can see which processes are running, your RAM used and available, and which apps are using it. Again, some of these services are essential to keep your phone running. You should mainly be looking for demanding apps that you downloaded personally.
If this method doesn’t unlock Developer Options, a quick Google search for your phone model and “unlock Developer Options” should help.
Stop the app, delete it, or uninstall your background apps
Once you’ve found your culprit, you need to know what to do next. Fortunately, there are several options to choose from if you don’t want to completely remove the app.
Find the app in developer options and stop it
The first concerns the Developer options> Running services method that we described above.
Notice how Messenger uses RAM through three separate services. Tapping on any app and pressing Stop will stop it from working and free up your RAM. Be careful; If you stop an essential service right after a test or by mistake, you could crash your phone. It will just take a reboot, but it’s a bit of a pain.
Find the background app, force stop or uninstall
Once you’ve identified your background apps, it might be worthwhile to check all the apps you’ve installed and give them one more time.
Go to Settings> Apps & notifications> Apps.
You will see your apps load in alphabetical order, and from there you can click on any app and decide to force quit or uninstall it. As before, Force Stop can cause a crash, but you will be OK after a restart.
Limit problematic background apps
If you want to keep using an app that seems to have high demand, you might be able to limit what it can do.
Some Samsung and Huawei phones include operating system options to manage background applications. In the battery settings, Huawei offers an “App launch” option, which allows you to identify specific apps, restrict launches and target power saving measures. Samsung also offers a power saving option to help manage apps.
If you don’t have access to a proprietary built-in option, there are of course some good apps to help you out. The perennial favorite is Greenify, which offers fine controls over apps and hibernates them. If you have a rooted phone, you’ll have even more control, but it also works well with standard devices.
One problem with apps like this is the intentional introduction of another app to monitor your device. In our popular article titled 13 tips and hacks to speed up Android, our own Adam Sinicki noted that while background apps can kill battery, background app killers can slow you down as well:
Starting an app from scratch takes longer and consumes more battery than switching to a paused app. If you open an app that requires more memory, Android will automatically delete the less important ones to free up space. Task killers can actually slow down your device.
Android 11 is coming to most people, and we expect Google to keep upgrading Android’s ability to roll back all the apps that make life difficult for you. We’ll likely hear more of that as the update hits even more devices, and Android 12 should offer some improvements in the future as well.