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During the day I notice that many of my installed apps run themselves automatically. For example, FB all of a sudden asks my GPS data or reads my contact list, without me launching the FB app. FB does not have a persistent notification icon, so I do not expect it to be a background process. Yet using Intents, apps do what it wants when it wants.

I want to be able to know -- then stop or control -- what apps launch by themselves in my device. I hope that's a fair thing to ask.

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possible duplicate of apps automatically starting? – eldarerathis Mar 5 '12 at 14:46
@eldarerathis That question explains why apps launch by themselves. I want to know what these apps are, which intents they are hooked to and how to unregister them. The answers to that question also observe that apps are "pretty well-behaved". The FB app I used as an example is, in my opinion, not. – William C Mar 7 '12 at 1:33
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you are rooted, install Autorun Manager. Make sure you've Busybox installed and use Advanced Mode of Autorun Manager. It displays all receivers of an app as well as intents to which receivers are registered. From there, you can disable a receiver of an app, too. But, you'd need pro version if you want to disable more than two receivers.

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The only real way to control these apps is to remove them. Android doesn't provide any fine-grained settings to control the odd behaviors of individual apps.

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