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How can I stop applications and services from running?

Is there a way to prevent the service apps (or any other apps) from automatically running in the background?


2 Answers 2


You'll need to decide on a case by case basis. Generally, apps which run in the background need to do so to function, so if you don't want that, then uninstall it. If it's optional, they'll usually include a preference to disable it within the app.

You can kill any background service from Settings -> Applications -> Services, but that only kills them once, it doesn't prevent them from starting the next time you boot up your phone. It is a useful way to see what's running in the background, though.

Finally, a lot of apps that seem to run in the background actually don't. I have an app that provides background notifications about certain events when they happen, but it does it by scheduling recurring system alarms, where the phone will start my app up to perform the task and then the app will close. So it's open for brief periods of time only, which is much less of a battery drain. Make sure you check the background service list I mentioned above to see whether something is really on in the background.

  • 1
    Agreed: uninstall undesired services
    – Bryan Denny
    Sep 22, 2010 at 13:45
  • I know about settings->application->services, and other options related to background app, but I don't want specific app to run in the background automatically, and I don't want to uninstall it because I need it, for example email client, twitter, rss, it always run in the background to check or sync something, but I want they doing so only if I told to do so. not automatically and some apps doesn't have an option to do that. so its good to have some application to block an application from running, until I told otherwise
    – uray
    Sep 22, 2010 at 14:53
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    Generally, apps which run in the background need to do so to function, You're putting too much faith in humanity. ;-) A lot of times 80% of the app's functionality doesn't depend on running in the background, but the app gives you no choice on the matter from simple poor programming (or poor design).
    – Malabarba
    Jan 25, 2012 at 15:05
  • I suppose you and I are both just speaking off the cuff? I don't have any real numbers to back this up, but I don't think it's anywhere near 80%. My instinct is that on this topic specifically, users are much more suspicious than developers are lazy. It's actually hard work to create background services on the developer's part, even lazy ones. Also, I should rephrase - my app (Congress) doesn't need background services to function, but it does require it for some functionality. Both the functionality and the service are disabled by default.
    – Eric Mill
    Feb 14, 2012 at 19:11

You could try out App Quarantine.

  • 1
    Please include some description of the app, and also how to use it if possible. Note: this app doesn't work on Lollipop 5.0
    – Andrew T.
    May 4, 2015 at 1:49
  • @AndrewT. Lollipop wasn't out when that answer was posted :) Still, good hint for those stumbing upon this answer now :)
    – Izzy
    May 5, 2015 at 10:47

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