Android Quick Tip: How to prevent apps from running in the background

Posted on Jan 20 2013 - 9:02pm by Harold Hisona

disable-force-stop-android-appThe Android operating system is designed for multi-tasking because in reality, apps are running in the background just waiting to be called for use. For Android devices with lower specs, especially those with lower RAM, lags are often noticeable especially if users will run apps that require more memory. The more applications you have installed in your device, the slower it will become because majority of them eat up memory even if you’re not using them.

One of the most effective ways to make your device faster is to prevent unused apps from running in the background. This can be done by either uninstalling or disabling the apps, although the latter is the most advisable way. Devices running on stock Android 2.3 Gingerbread don’t have “Disable” option in their Applications Manager as it only started showing up in version 4.0 ICS. Fortunately, there is another option called “Force Stop” that functions almost exactly the same.

Disabling and forcing an app to stop are different. Disabled apps will not run in the background and they, too, will disappear from the App Drawer unless the user will enable them back. Applications that were forced to stop, however, will not run in the background as well, however, when other apps call upon them, they will run in the background again until the user disables them back. Forced stop apps will also be started when the device is rebooted. But either of them can make any Android device faster.

So, here’s how you do it…

Step 1: Launch Settings app and navigate through options to find Applications Manager.

Step 2: Choose “All” applications tab to display names of apps currently installed in your device.

Step 3: One by one, choose apps that you want disabled. Tapping on each one of them will launch a window asking you to “Disable” or “Force Stop.”

Step 4: Choose “Disable” to stop apps permanently until you enable them back, or “Force Stop” if you want them to stop running for the time being.

Step 5: Your Android device will ask you to confirm your action so choose “OK.”

If you can find apps that you don’t need anymore but still installed in your device, it is recommended you uninstall them to free up some space in your device’s internal memory and decrease RAM usage.

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About the Author

Harold is a tech blogger and reviewer. He's been with The Droid Guy for more than 3 years writing news, updates, tutorials, how tos and troubleshooting articles. Feel free to email him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter or join the community he created to help smartphone owners.