How To Stop Apps From Automatically Running on Android


Most cell phones have pre-installed apps that run in the background. Some of these apps are useful, while others are unwanted ones that negatively impact the phone’s performance.

Quick Answer

You can stop apps from automatically running on Android by enabling the Developer mode, stopping apps inside running services, enabling battery optimization, using the auto-start tool, and with the help of third-party apps. 

It is better to temporarily stop apps instead of completely uninstalling them and risk losing all data. However, this is a delicate task and, if done wrong, can cause the phone to malfunction.

We’ll now share why you would need to stop apps from automatically running on Android and guide you through doing it with our step-by-step instructions.  

Why Should I Stop Apps From Running Automatically?

A few reasons that may compel you to stop the automatically running apps could be:

  • Irrelevant and unnecessary pre-installed apps consume system resources.
  • Preventing apps from draining phone battery or slowing down the phone’s performance.
  • Preventing apps from taking too much storage space.
  • Improving the reboot/restart time of the phone.

Stopping Apps From Automatically Running on Android

Stopping apps from automatically running on Android is a bit complicated process. However, our step-by-step instructions will help you glide through the methods to improve your phone’s performance.

We will discuss using third-party apps to stop apps from automatically running on Android. But first, here are the three methods you can follow to block or disable unwanted apps.

Method #1: Using Developers Option

The Developer mode on Android devices allows you to configure system behaviors and debug your app performance. In the first method, you’ll use the Developer option to disable unwanted apps.

Step #1: Enabling Developers Mode

First, go to your Android device Settings > About Phone > Software Information. Next, tap on “Build Number” 7 to 8 times to activate the Developer Options. Now go back to Settings > Advanced to view the Developer Options menu. 

Step #2: Stopping the Apps in Running Services

In the second step, select Developer options > Running services to open all the applications running in the background. Now view how much RAM each application is consuming.

Next, choose an app draining the RAM that you don’t want running in the background. Tap on “Stop” to close the app to free up some RAM on your Android Device.

Method#2: Utilizing Battery Optimization

Enabling battery optimization can limit apps from draining resources in the background. To enable this feature, do the following:

  1. Open the home screen and go to “Settings.”
  2. Next, tap on Apps and notifications > Advanced > Special app access > Battery Optimization.
  3. Now you’ll see the “Not Optimized” menu.
  4. Select the app you wish to optimize for less battery consumption and tap “Done.”

You may see “Optimize Battery Usage” on a few Android devices instead of the “Not Optimized” menu.

Method #3: Using Built-in Autostart

Some Android brands offer their own custom tools that prevent apps from auto-starting in the background. If you have one of these phones, proceed with the following steps:

  1. Open the home screen and click on Settings > Battery > App Launch.
  2. Select the app that you want to prevent from autostarting.
  3. Three checkboxes will appear in front of each app, i.e., Auto-launch, Secondary launch, and Run in Background.
  4. Uncheck all the boxes and restart your Android device.

On some Android phones, you need to go to Settings > Manage Apps > Permissions > Autostart to open a list of installed apps. Here you will see the Autostart-enabled apps displayed in the first section. Simply toggle off the switch next to the app you want to prevent from auto-starting.

Using Third-Party Apps

You can download and install third-party apps like AutoStart app manager or Greenify to stop apps from automatically running on Android.

In Autostart App Manager, you need to tap on “View Autostart Apps” and turn off the toggle next to all the apps you wish to disable. If you choose to use the Greenify app, tap on the hibernation button to stop an app from running in the background.


In this guide about stopping apps from automatically running on Android, we’ve shared the reasons you would need to stop apps from running in the background and discussed multiple methods to achieve this task. We’ve also discussed installing third-party apps to prevent unwanted apps from running in the background.

Hopefully, one of the methods worked for you, and now the battery life and performance of your phone have improved.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I stop apps from using cellular data on Android?

You can stop apps from using mobile data on Android by going to phone Settings and navigating to Wireless and Networks > Data usage > Network access. Now a list of apps will appear. Next, clear the checkbox for any apps you do not want using your cellular data.

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