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How to Stop/Close Background Apps in Android

Updated on May 28, 2018

Have you struggled with performance issues on your Android device? Have you wondered why your Android device battery is draining quite fast? You may want to track applications that continue running in the background and find a way to stop them.

Stop Background Apps in Android


Applications launched in Android will sometimes continue to run in the background even after to stop using it and moved to another app or task. After launching a number of applications, you may notice that you device may begin to slow down significantly due to the amount of RAM being utilized.

The problem of background apps slowing down your Android devices is more noticeable for older and less powerful devices when a number of applications are running. Whereas you may want to immediately rectify the performance issues, you are advised to think deep and carefully before seeking to stop background apps.

Some of the apps running in the background are meant to complete some tasks. The Android operating system is designed to switch on/off apps and to maintain a smooth performance. The decision to kill some background apps should be well thought out to prevent undue interference.

Track Down Apps Running in the Background

The guide will outline a few things that you can do to track down apps that are making your phone sluggish and draining your battery. Follow the steps to take back control of your device and improve the experience of using your device.

i. Check the battery usage on your phone

First, navigate to the battery usage breakdown which is a feature native to Android and check at the entries.

How to view battery usage:

  • Go to “Settings”
  • Then, “Battery”
  • And then, “Battery Usage”

Check Battery Usage to identify problem apps
Check Battery Usage to identify problem apps | Source

Scroll down to view all the entries and to see the percentage of battery use alongside each entry. The entry Screen will be at the very top of the list followed closely by other Google apps.

Your focus should be on the any app that seems to consume a large amount of battery resources. If you take note of an app or game that you have accessed recently or haven’t used at all and is consuming considerable battery resources, the identified app deserves your attention.

ii. Check the running services or process statistics

The development options on the Android device can help you look at what is running in the background at any given moment.

To see the Running Services or Process Statistics:

  • Go to “Settings”
  • Select “About Phone/Device”
  • Tap on “Build Number” seven times to enter developer options.

(A popup message will appear notifying you that you are a developer.)

  • Go back to “Settings”
  • Select “Developer Options”
  • Then select “Running Services or Process Statistics” (Option is dependent on Android version on your device)

Running Services on Android (newer versions)
Running Services on Android (newer versions) | Source

“Running Services” is to be found in Android 6.0 Marshmallow and later versions. You will see live RAM status at the top and below a list of apps and their associated processes and services that are currently running. You will immediately see the services in use by default, but you can show the cached processes as well.

Process Statistics on older Android versions
Process Statistics on older Android versions | Source

“Process Statistics” is found in the older Android versions. There will be a list of processes and a percentage next to each denoting how often the process is running. You can tap on an entry to see the RAM usage.

You attention should be on the apps that are suspiciously hogging system resources especially if you do not use them often. Caution is advised especially for system processes and Google services that should not be played around with. Where you may not understand what a process does, type its name and search Google to find out. It will help to avoid potential problems and unexpected crashing of your device.

You should look for third-party apps that have installed in your device or for bloatware that may be running in the background and utilizing too much of the device’s resources.

After identifying the apps that are slowing down your Android device, you have a few options in dealing with these problem apps.

Temporarily Stopping the Background Apps

There is an immediate fix to the problematic app that can be applied immediately to solve the current challenges with your Android device. However, the temporary fix means that the background processes will start all over once you open the app or another app accesses it.

I. Tap on the Recent Apps option on your Android phone. Tap on the ‘X’ sign next to the open apps and then swipe left or right to close the chosen app. This option will not necessarily stop the running background services and processes.

II. Go to Settings>Developer Options>Running Services and then tap on active apps to choose Stop for Android 6.0 and above devices. You will get the warning if the app cannot be stopped safely.

III. On older version of Android, go to Settings > Developer options > Process Statistics and tap on an active apps and choose Force Stop.

Stopping Background Apps Permanently

The other option ensures that running background apps are stopped and do not start up again.

I. Uninstalling an app is an easy way of permanently stopping the app running in the background. On stock android devices, go to Settings > Apps and tap on the problematic app from the list and tap Uninstall. For the apps that come pre-installed, you only have the Disable option. You will stop the pre-installed apps from running in the background by hitting disable.

II. The other option involves rooting the Android device. There are a number of apps that can used with a rooted device to automatically freeze the troublesome apps that you may not be using freeing up resources for better performance and to avoid drainage of the battery.


These are just but a few options on how to close background app in android. Do your research and proceed with caution when you decide to do it.


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