Does your Android phone’s battery drain faster than expected? One of the reasons for this could be the apps that continue running in the background long after you have moved on to a different task altogether. These apps drain your battery and also eat up your device’s memory. You can stop Android apps from running in the background and save your phone’s precious memory and battery life by using a few methods shown you in this guide.
Note: for this guide, we used a Google Pixel 3a running Android 11. The steps may vary depending on the make, model and Android version your device is running.
Update Your Android Device
If there is an update available for your device, this is the first thing to attempt in order to help you with apps in the background draining your battery. Android updates come with several features that help you optimize your phone’s memory consumption and battery life among other performance issues.
Android 9.0 (Pie) and higher versions come with great power management features that extend your phone or tablet’s battery life by placing limits on the apps running in the background.
Find out which apps are running and consuming the most battery life
This will help you know which apps are open and running, how long they’ve been running, and the amount of RAM they’re consuming.
To do this, go to Settings and tap “Developer Options.” (If it is not available, follow this link to find out how to activate the Developer Options.) This should be under the System sub-menu.
Select “Running Services.”
In the Running Services screen, you’ll see a list of the background apps running on your device.
To see the apps draining your battery, go to the main Settings screen again. There you should see a Battery menu. From the drop-down menu in the top-right corner, choose “Battery usage.”
In the new screen, you can see the apps consuming the majority of your battery.
To stop Android apps from running in the background, you just have to force-stop them. You can do this directly from the “Running Services” menu under Developer Settings or directly from the “Battery usage” sub-menu.
Under “Running Services,” if you select an app that is using up a lot of RAM, you can select it and simply hit Stop to stop it from running.
Under Battery usage, you can select apps you want to stop as well and then hit “Force stop.”
Alternatively, a more general method of stopping apps is to go to Settings and tap “Apps and notifications.” Select the option that lets you see all of your installed apps.
Scroll down through the list of apps and find the ones you want to stop. To stop an app, tap it and select “Force stop.” This will stop the app during the current session, though it’ll relaunch when you reboot your phone.
If you don’t need the app altogether, you can long-press on its icon and select Uninstall, or on the same screen, tap Uninstall and confirm your action.
Optimizing Your Phone with Adaptive Battery
If you go to Settings and then Battery, turning on “Adaptive Battery” will extend your battery life based on your phone use. This setting essentially limits the amount of system resources that are made available to apps you hardly use.
It figures out the apps you want to use and those you won’t use on that day using machine learning. It learns your usage patterns and drops the commonly-used apps into one of five App Standby Buckets: Frequent, Active, Working Set, Rare and Never.
General Battery Optimization
You can also do some general battery usage optimization by going to “Settings -> Apps and notifications -> Special app access.” Select “Battery optimization.” Choose “All apps” from the drop-down menu to optimize the battery use of all apps. You can also choose to optimize the battery usage of individual apps if you don’t want to turn on battery optimization for every single app.
Use a Third-Party App to Control Background Apps
If your Android device doesn’t have a proprietary native or built-in option to be optimized or checked on running in the background, you can use a third-party app to control such apps.
Greenify is one such app that provides fine controls over apps and manages them by placing them in hibernation. For non-rooted phones, the controls are limited, but with rooted phones, you have more control over the apps running in the background.
However, task-killers tend to slow your phone down and sometimes may drain your battery more as they try to force-close an app in the background every time.
Android updates come with several features that help you optimize your phone’s memory consumption and battery life among other performance issues.
Among these features is the Adaptive Battery, which figures out the apps you want to use and those you won’t use on that day using machine learning. It learns your usage patterns and drops the commonly-used apps into one of five App Standby Buckets: Frequent, Active, Working Set, Rare and Never.