There are two memory hungry apps, Facebook and Facebook Messenger, which I want to disable at times but not always. I used:

  • settings → apps → downloaded → Facebook → force stop
  • settings → apps → running → Facebook → <weird service name(s)> → stop
  • settings → apps → all → Facebook → force stop

But the app restarts after few minutes, often accompanied by lots of thrashing. Ideally I would like to disable the app and remove it from memory until I decide to use it. What is the best possible solution?

Android version is 4.4.4, almost stock, not rooted.

  • Is the device rooted? am force-stop PACKAGE would easily work here.Combine it with an automation app and you're good to go.
    – Firelord
    Nov 28, 2015 at 2:16
  • If you are rooted you can also just find the apk in /data/app and then change/remove the .apk extension from file. App will be disabled for good and wont ever execute till you change the extension back to original. (ofcourse you can create simple automation scripts). Nov 28, 2015 at 2:17
  • @JaskaranbirSingh that may result in app data loss should the device reboots when the APK is not found for the app.
    – Firelord
    Nov 28, 2015 at 3:33
  • While I have accepted an answer, the solution that actually worked for me was to uninstall facebook and messenger and use the browser. Task killers (including Greenify) actually make things worse. Facebook and messenger apps have some creepy "wake up" mechanism which consumes extra CPU and memory during the process. My last attempt was to use a "permission manager" app (which extracts, changes and re-packages the permissions file of a package) but disabling the run at startup permission did not work. Without facebook and messenger I always have 250+ MB RAM free and longer battery time.
    – Salman A
    Nov 14, 2016 at 14:24

2 Answers 2


Manual methods might be tricky here. I'd recommend taking a look at Greenify, which will take care for such apps automatically (after you've told it so – you're the boss after all ;)

Greenify Greenify settings
Greenify (source: Google Play; click images for larger variants)

As the screenshots show, Greenify can "hibernate" apps automatically when the screen is off (and it can do the same when configured apps are not in foreground) – which is basically like an "automated freezing/disabling" of the app. Big difference: you no longer have to care for that yourself. App icons and everything remain accessible. From the app's description:

Greenify help you identify and put the misbehaving apps into hibernation when you are not using them, to stop them from lagging your device and leeching the battery, in an unique way! They can do nothing without explicit launch by you or other apps, while still preserving full functionality when running in foreground, similar to iOS apps!

To point out some details which where misinterpreted1, please take a closer look at the first screenshot. You can see it shows 3 sections:

  • "Not hibernating automatically" (showing "Lux Lite"): This shows you've got the last word which apps Greenify shall deal with. In fact, without you doing so, Greenify won't deal with any app.
  • "Will hibernate in minutes after screen is off" (showing Evernote & Co): This is one of the ways Greenify can deal with apps: things which do not need to be active while you switched off your screen can be sent to sleep (though the selection in the screenshot seems weird to me: I'd never put my automation app – here IFTTT, in my case Tasker – into this section)
  • "Hibernated" (showing "Amazon Kindle"): So the apps there are put to sleep, though the screen is on (otherwise this section wouldn't make any sense as you'd never be able to see it). These are the apps "put to sleep" whenever they're not running in foreground: why should an eBook reader (here: Kindle) be active when you can't see it (unless it's using TTS to read a book aloud, of course)?

Greenify comes for free and doesn't require root to work (see top of second screenshot: "Working Mode: Non-Root") – though it unleashes its full powers with root, its Donation package, and the .

If you want to learn more on this app: there are currently over 70 answers mentioning it, feel free to browse :)

1: before I complemented my answer with this information; see e.g. comments on this other answer

  • Well, @Izzy, not that you needed it, but +1 anyway for helping a lot of battery-anxious people out. Not that I'm one of them ;) Nov 28, 2015 at 13:33
  • @TamoghnaChowdhury Thanks! Helping them out was indeed the purpose for my answer, as usual. And increased rep is always a nice and welcome side-effect :)
    – Izzy
    Nov 28, 2015 at 13:37
  • My device is not rooted so all Greenify does is stop the app using the "Force stop" button. And the app wakes up again after few minutes. It still does half the job.
    – Salman A
    Dec 1, 2015 at 8:07
  • I'd hoped for more (but couldn't tell for sure, as all my devices are rooted). But so at least it automatically does the very same tasks you'd otherwise had taken manually. If you one day consider rooting, Greenify should do the job better – but even without root, it still seems the best you can achieve.
    – Izzy
    Dec 1, 2015 at 8:12

This is an alternative solution. You could try 3C Toolbox. This is a veritable toolbox that can do a lot of things. For your need, you need to access

DISCLAIMER: The non-root validity of this method cannot be verified by me or @beeshyams. This was confirmed to be working without root in an earlier Android version. If someone can verify that this method works on the OP's Android version, please edit out this disclaimer.

App manager → select user apps from menu at bottom → choose manage (last option on right side) → from the drop down → choose crystallize and you get the options → choose option 1 (for both your apps)

Explanation of the options offered by the developer on his thread at XDA (option names are different as in earlier versions but functionality is same) is

1) Never Runs in Background : the app is not autorized to run while the UI is not visible, ever. Good for standard apps on which no other app relies. App is restarted each time you start its UI.

2) Never Runs in Background,keep UI Until Screen Off: Same as above, but keeps the app running until screen is turned-off.

3) May run in Background when Screen is on App may run when screen is turned on, but is stopped when it is turned off. Good for apps on which other apps relies. Good for Play Services and similar apps.

You can also create a widget shortcut for app manager module, to be placed on the home screen, for quick accessibility in case you need to change the behaviour. To enable your apps you can choose option 2

  • 1
    Will this work without root? 3C Toolbox does not request a device admin allowance before enabling this (In my experience). Also, these options refer to crystallizing/freezing an app, don't they? Nov 28, 2015 at 10:14
  • @TamoghnaChowdhury. They did work for me without root long back. Had bookmarked XDA explanation then. Now I have no way of rechecking as I am rooted. Yes these refer to crystallize options
    – beeshyams
    Nov 28, 2015 at 10:20
  • 1
    Yeah, I can't verify this either as I am rooted. You should edit in the last Android version it worked without root as a disclaimer, in case it doesn't work. Nov 28, 2015 at 10:21
  • 1
    You should keep it. It isn't exactly confusing, but then Greenify has its whole set of problems. Nov 28, 2015 at 10:29
  • 1
    "not activate the method only when screen is locked as Greenify solution posted": You might have missed "do the same when configured apps are not in foreground". Greenify doesn't only do it's job when the screen is locked, but whenever a specified app is not "actively used". So as soon you switch to another app, Greenify can hibernate the now unused app – see the first screenshot, bottom of screen: "Kindle" is shown "hibernated", but screen is (obviously) on or you wouldn't see that. // @TamoghnaChowdhury any details on the "whole set of problems"? I didn't experience any when I used it.
    – Izzy
    Nov 28, 2015 at 11:21

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