What Does it Mean When an App is Running in the Background?

While we have many apps on our phones, every so often, we switch between apps while using them. 

The apps, when active, consume data and memory, whereas in some cases, you may get a notification regarding background apps. Therefore, what does it mean when an app runs in the background?

An app running in the background can perform some activities while not actively in use. These activities include data, memory, and battery consumption. 

In some cases, it is disadvantageous because it reduces the battery’s lifespan and consumes memory space. This article will explain how to stop apps from running in the background.

Related: How do you close apps on iPhone that won’t close?

Is it good to have apps running in the background?

There are some advantages to apps running in the background. They allow you to get real-time notifications and always stay up-to-date.

But there are also many disadvantages. The apps consume your data and battery life without your notice or permission. They may also share your location or phone usage data with other apps.

You can stop apps running in the background if the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.

Should I turn off apps running in the background?

Phone experts advise that you regulate the apps that run in the background. This is because they drain your battery life and consume data through app activities running in the background. They also slow down your device and thus reduce its performance. 

How do I turn off an app running in the background?

If you wish to stop the apps currently running in the background, below is a step-by-step procedure for iOS and Android.

How to turn off background apps on iOS

  • Tap on the Settings app.

Settings app on iOS

  • Next, scroll down the menu and select General.

iOS settings General

  • Next, select Background App Refresh.
  • Finally, turn off the toggle to stop all the background apps completely. 

iOS background app refresh

  • Sometimes you may prioritize the notifications you want to receive and would like to customize them. If you want to stop a specific app, turn off the toggle next to it.

Related: Why is my iPhone not allowing me to open apps?

How to turn off background apps on Android

For an Android phone, here is how you can stop the background apps from running:

  • Tap on the Setting app and select the Apps option.
  • A list of apps that are currently running in the background will appear.
  • Select the app you want to stop from running and tap on the Force Stop button.

Below are steps on how to check the apps that are running in the background on an Android device:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Scroll down the menu and select the System option.
  • Next, tap on Developer Options or About Phone option and then build number. Tap on it seven times. 

Developer Options Android

  • Tap on Running Services to display the apps currently running in the background.
  • To check the apps consuming your battery, go to Battery and select Battery Usage.

What happens when you stop apps from running in the background?

Once you have turned off all the apps in the background, you will save your smartphone’s resources and data.

However, some apps will run in the background once you launch them. The permanent solution is to uninstall such an app.