How to Stop Android Apps Opening by Themselves

It’s nice to have control over your Android operating system and to know what apps are opening where and when. But it’s not always that simple, with many apps having a propensity to auto-start and open themselves without your express permission. However, you can stop this from happening immediately!

Here we’ll take you through the best methods of stopping your Android apps opening automatically.

Stop Apps from Running Themselves by Dozing

A “light” method of preventing an app opening by itself is with the excellent “Optimize” feature, which has been a mainstay of Android since version 6.0 Marshmallow.

Note that this switches various app functions like GPS, network connectivity and other battery-intensive processes to off when your phone screen has been off for a while. These processes come back to life when you switch your screen on again.

To control which apps are using the Doze function, go to “Settings -> Power -> Battery optimization,” then tap the app you want to Doze when the screen is off and select “Optimize.”


Use Third-Party App Blocker

If you want to be a bit more aggressive in blocking apps running by themselves, then you can try a third-party app to do the job. If you have a rooted device, you’re likely to get much better results, as it gives you more intricate control over app behaviour.


With that said, Greenify is a good option if you don’t have a rooted device. It enhances the functioning of Android’s integrated Doze feature with things like “Aggressive Doze,” which makes Doze kick in quicker. “Doze on the Go,” meanwhile, keeps apps in Doze mode even if you’re on the move. (By default, Android disables doze mode when its accelerometer detects significant movement).

If you do have a rooted device, then the best app (once you block its invasive notifications) is All-in-One Toolbox, which is what the old once-reliable app Startup Manager evolved into. Using this, you can go to “Boot Speedup” which will let you control which apps turn on at startup with your device.


Once you disable a given app here, it won’t start until you open it manually (though from our testing, System Apps seem to override this app even if you disable them).

You should also block notifications from this app (Settings -> Apps -> All-In-One Toolbox -> Notifications), as frankly, they can get annoying.

Stop Apps in Developer Options

You can stop any running services/apps on your Android phone by going to to developer options. To unlock developer options, you first need to go to “Settings -> About -> More,” then tap “Build number” seven times until you get the message that you’ve unlocked developer options.


Next, go to your phone’s main Settings menu, tap “Developer options -> Running services,” then find the app that you don’t want open, tap it, and tap “Stop.” You can do this to as many apps as you like, and they shouldn’t open again until you reboot your phone.


Be careful not to stop services like Settings, CIRModule, or anything with the Android logo next to it. These are system services and crucial to your phone running properly.


As you can see, it’s not that easy to just completely block an app from auto-starting itself, and to do it properly you really need a rooted device. However, if the main reason you don’t want an app to start by itself is to save battery, then the Doze features (and Aggressive Doze) in Greenify should go a long way toward helping you.

Robert Zak
Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox