Tips for Mobiles

How to Enable or Disable Apps running in Background on Android Devices

With over 450,000 apps and counting on the Play Store, there are many applications which run in the background without the permisson of the user, making the phone much slower and also sometimes, by collecting some data in the background etc.

For this purpose, one could use Task Managers or Task Killer applications which are available aplenty in the Android Play Store or even some widgets which can kill all the running apps in the background in one click. However, sometimes it might be disadvantageous. Say Skype is running the background and you want to kill it, one could do so manually or use a third party task manager app. However, some of these apps from unknown developers do not kill just the app but also some processes that are used by the app which are also required for the phone’s normal functioning. By disabling the app, it totally disappears from the app drawer as well and no third party app can execute it.

Thus, it is recommended to use trusted Task manager applications or the default one in Android, which is the best alternative. To use this, follow these instructions :

  1. Open the App drawer from your homescreen and choose Settings. Alternatively, ICS devices also have a quick shortcut to settings from the notification bar when pulled down from the top.
  2. Once you’re into settings, choose ‘Apps’ from the list there.
  3. Here, you will see three tabs on the top namely ‘On SD Card’ , ‘Running’  and ‘All’ .
  4. Tap on All and you’ll be taken into the screen displaying all the installed apps on your phone along with default stock apps of Android.
  5. Choose the app that you want to stop and you’ll get two boxes named ‘Force Stop’ and ‘Disable’ .
  6. Tap on the ‘Disable’ button and a warning notification pop-up box might come up asking if you’re sure in executing this action. Tap ‘OK’ .
  7. Now the app is disabled and is pushed towards the end of the list. To enable, choose the app again and choose Enable.

Note that by disabling the app, the app will disappear from the App drawer until it is enabled once again in the settings page. To temporarily stop apps, you should choose the ‘Force Stop’ button while disabling it totally stops the app from being executed or functioning till it is enabled manually by the user.



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