Tell me if this has ever happened to you: you’re starting up your phone, and you get bombarded with a set of apps that start up automatically. Apps that start up automatically aren’t only annoying, but can negatively impact the hardware of your Android device. So, how do I stop apps from automatically running on Android you ask? Well, we have you covered!
Read on to discover the best tips and tricks on how to stop Android apps from automatically starting when you begin your device, as well as why it’s important to stop certain apps from starting up automatically. Do we have your attention? Let’s not waste any time and dive into it!
Why you should stop Android App from starting automatically?
You might not even know that your device auto-start apps, and the effect that it can have on your mobile phone, Android tablets, and even 2-in-1 laptops. But there are consequences to keeping autostart apps, and here are the three most common reasons for stopping your apps from becoming active straight away when you start your device.
Bloatware apps are one of the most unwanted apps that plague your Android device on startup. If you just bought your device, it has likely come preinstalled with bloatware.
Bloatware are third-party apps that developers have paid Android’s parent company, Google, to place into their devices. These system apps are added to your device in the hopes that you’ll keep them and potentially pay for their services. Bloatware can lead to annoying pop-ups, persistent application start-ups, and many more issues like a slow tablet.
Battery Draining Quickly
It’s no secret that the more applications you have open at once, the more quickly your battery gets drained. If you have applications that start automatically they may go noticed by you in the background and drain your battery quickly, leaving you to charge your devices more often and lose productive time.
Battery usage is important for all devices, whether it is an Android device or a Macbook, so ensuring that your battery life is not being drained by apps you’re not using is essential.
More Storage Space & Ram Usage
Background apps not only drain power from your device but can impact the storage and RAM of your device too. Having background apps on Android means that the device has to allocate a certain amount of processing power to keep those applications open, which can slow down your device and heat it.
We recommend downloading performance testing tools and a temperature monitor to see if your device is performing at its optimal level and a regular temperature. If it isn’t, it may be to an abundance of background applications.
5 Ways to Stop Apps from Auto-Starting
Now that we’ve discussed why exactly you’d want to disable auto-start apps on your Android device, it may become evident that you’ve experienced similar problems to these with your Android devices.
Don’t worry, let’s cover the top 5 ways to do so:
Enable Adaptive Battery
If you have an Android phone with an Android system older than Android 9, you’ll be able to access the adaptive battery feature. Adaptive battery, as the name suggests, uses machine learning to prioritize your battery usage for modifying startup apps.
It does this by learning from your app usage, which it then places into five different categories – Active, Working Set, Frequent, Rare, and Never. Once your apps have been divided into these five separate categories, your Android system will stop your never used apps from starting up automatically and dedicate CPU and battery to your most used applications.
Want to enable adaptive battery? Head over to the Settings app of your phone, navigate to your Battery settings, and toggle your adaptive battery settings on.
Stop Apps from Running Services
Running services is the task manager of the mobile equivalent that you’d find on your touchscreen laptops. With this option, you’ll be able to see all the apps running in the background and also force them to stop if you aren’t using them.
We recommend you don’t stop any applications that you aren’t familiar with, as a lot of necessary apps from Google will show up as well. To unlock developer options, you’ll need to access developer mode on your phone. Here’s how you do it:
Open up your Settings menu, and then navigate to Advanced, and then to Developer Options. Within the developer settings, you can tap on running services and then disable apps to stop the processes of apps you don’t want to have running in the background.
Background Process Limit Apps
If you don’t want to stress about stopping and force closing apps, then you can always default to using a background process limit. While this won’t stop all the background apps on your phone from starting up, it will limit the number of background processes that are occurring at any moment. Here’s how to activate it:
Navigate back to the developer options menu on your phone, as we did before for the previous set of instructions. Within, you can tap on background processes and choose how many apps you want to be working in the background, if any.
Limiting your background applications is a great way to stop your screen or monitor resolution from lagging.
Enable Battery Optimization
An additional way to prevent apps from starting up automatically is to use battery optimization. Battery optimization, as you can tell from the name, optimizes the battery of your device and limits apps from using the battery in the background.
When you install new apps on your device, they will be added to battery optimization but for certain applications that your Android system starts with, like bloatware, it’s worth manually adding apps to your battery optimization. Otherwise, you’ll find your phone’s CPU & GPU may struggle with everyday activities.
Take advantage of your phone’s battery optimization by following these simple steps:
- Navigate to the trusted Settings app on your phone, and then tap on Apps & Notifications, Advanced, Special app access, and finally Battery Optimization.
- Find your unoptimized apps, and begin the process of selecting all the apps that you want to optimize. The selected app will then be monitored by your battery settings and will turn off if its activities are draining battery power.
OEM’s Auto Start Tool
Our final suggestion is specifically for readers who have a Huawei and Xiaomi Android phone, as they offer the use of an OEM autostart app manager. This startup manager allows you to configure your applications and start them automatically based on your preferences. We’ve separated our guide into two sections based on what type of Android phone you have
Here’s how to stop applications from automatically starting on your Xiaomi, Redmi, and Pocophone devices:
- Open Settings on your device, then head over to Manage Apps, then Permissions, and finally Autostart.
- You should be presented with several Autostart-Enabled apps, which are the apps that your device has defaulted to and allows you to auto-start when you begin. You can change the apps that your want to benefit from this setting easily, just toggle the switch for the desired app on or off.
If you have a Huawei or Honor phone instead, follow these steps to add or remove auto-start apps onto your device:
- Start by navigating to your Settings menu on your phone. From there, head over to the battery and then App Launch.
- You’ll be presented with a list of applications that benefit from this feature, with three checkboxes you can click for each application. They are Auto-Launch, Secondary Launch, and Run in the Background.
- Check the boxes for all the apps you want to stop opening on start-up and prioritize the ones that you do – it’s as simple as that!
If you want a bit more information on what each setting does, here’s a quick breakdown.
- Auto-Launch allows the application to start automatically when you start your phone. If you want to stop certain apps from doing so, then uncheck this.
- Secondary Launch allows adjacent apps to open when you decide to open a certain application. For example, a PDF reader when you open your email app or Messenger when you launch Facebook.
- Finally, Run in the Background means that your app will be limited to running in the background. Unchecking this means that when your device is off or asleep, it will not run – which is a good way of preserving your mobile or tablet’s screen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you have a firm grasp on how to stop apps from auto-starting on launch and remaining in the background, you should have all your issues resolved. We’ve also included some of the most frequently asked questions that we see pop up again and again and answered them for you.
If you’ve learned all you need to, feel free to check out our articles like an in-depth explanation of PC case sizes, finding the best visual class visual performance for your PC, and how to use a laptop as a monitor for a PS4.
Why do apps open automatically on Android?
Certain apps are built to begin automatically start when you boot up your Android devices, and not all of them are wanted. In particular, malware and bloatware are especially annoying to deal with and will try to start up and drain your device’s batteries and processing power.
Other apps start up because they have permission from your settings app, so it’s vitally important that you keep on top of these apps and don’t let them default to opening on startup.
What is an app to stop apps running in the background for Android?
There’s an entire genre of apps that stop other apps from running in the background. They are called app killers and you can easily find them on the Google Play Store, making it easy for Android users to install and rid themselves of any unwanted applications.
We recommend the following startup manager options, free to use and help relieve processing power for your casual or business tablet or mobile phone:
- Kaspersky Battery Life
- App Killer & Manager
What is auto-open/auto-launch mean for apps?
Auto start apps sometimes referred to as auto open or auto launch apps are applications that open as soon as you start your device. Most people set their frequently used apps to auto-launch, so if you want to quickly connect devices like your Nintendo Switch to your laptop it may be worth a shot.
Otherwise, you can disable auto-start apps from the application settings or the settings app, and manually start all the apps you plan to use.
There you go! With all this information, we hope that you rid yourself of all the apps you don’t want starting automatically on start-up and give you the freedom to set the apps you want instead.
If you want to read more from the Holy Tech, then we recommend checking our in-depth review of the Alienware Aurora 2019, our article about how to choose a laptop for photo editing, and how to remove stickers from your laptop!
Writer Graham Grieve brings two decades of technical communications experience to The Holy Tech coverage. Isaac contributes articles on laptops, tablets and PCs, alongside various software and hardware guides. Isaac is a former newspaper journalist who also worked in tech communications for some of the country’s biggest corporations. He also counsels and creates material for other technology publications and hosts a podcast.
Isaac’s in-depth reporting and knowledge of hardware and software issues helps The Holy Tech’s readers learn how to choose the right products, or solve tricky problems.