I enabled developer options on my Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos and then changed "Limit background process" option from Standard limit to No background process.

After that my phone is working fine, with no hanging problems or no slowness as before.

But my doubt is, will this change affect any process, updates, applications or anything which might cause an error or failure?


Setting this option forces Android to stop each process as soon as it is empty (that is, when no services are started and no activities are on screen for that app).

To be clear: this option won't stop apps that would normally run in the background from doing so. Your mail client will still run periodically to check mail, if it's configured to do that. Apps that use Google Cloud Messaging to receive push messages from Internet servers (such as Gmail and Facebook) will still be able to do so. The option would be better named "Cached background process limit", since it limits apps that would otherwise show up with that label in the apps manager.

Next time each app needs to start, Android has to load the app from storage, from scratch. This uses more power and takes longer than running it again when the process was in memory. This doesn't just mean when you start an activity from that app deliberately; it also means the email client has to be loaded afresh each time it wants to check email. Over time this can build up to a huge battery drain.

Because this is a development option, it can also trigger rare bugs in certain apps, and those apps' developers may not be keen to fix them. One example is that, on Nexus devices running 4.2.2, when this option is on, the in-built Calendar app will keep restarting itself with this option set, because stopping the cached background process causes the calendar's content provider to be removed, which causes a loop of services restarting each other to check for calendar updates. If this happens, the loop will run down your battery very quickly.

  • The restart bug is still present on Android 6.0.... – Henry Hu Nov 30 '15 at 20:42
  • @HenryHu "It doesn't work if I change the behaviour of the OS in a way that's only for testing" isn't really much of a bug. – Dan Hulme Nov 30 '15 at 22:56
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    but the problem may surface in other situations. In a scenario when there is memory pressure, the Calendar app is also being killed and restarts itself. It should really be a service. – Henry Hu Dec 1 '15 at 18:42

I recently found that same setting (i.e., number of processes allowed to run in background), and I reduced that setting on my GT-S7562L from "Standard Limit" to only 1. I immediately saw a significant improvement in performance, and so far there have been no problems. I made the change out of desperation - my phone had nearly morphed into a brick. It was continually running slow, and would often just simply lock up. I have read that a shortfall of Android systems is that they allow applications to keep grabbing memory until it's gone. Maybe I have solved that problem for my phone. I guess I'll know in a few days, but so far I'm quite happy.

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    Same with my NOKIA 5! A SHAME!!! It's the only way i found over MONTHS of using a f*** BRICK to make the device usable again... :\ My 7 year old android was faster :\ – marcolopes Jan 4 '19 at 4:57

I got better performance by selecting 4 background processes. Standard limit is 20 background processes. From Alcatel A564C ONETOUCH POP ICON Straight Talk.

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    How do you know the standard limit? – polynomial_donut Sep 26 '18 at 12:44
  • 4 is what i use with NOKIA 5 – marcolopes Jan 4 '19 at 4:58

Setting limit to phone background process can really improve the performance of your phone. Only, if you open an application, the phone will take a few seconds to load since it will load first the necessary files to be used by a certain apps.

Another advantage, you can prolong the battery life since there is no background process running.

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    Is there any reference to backup this answer, or this is based on your experience? – Andrew T. Jun 11 '15 at 8:32
  • Maybe the lack of background process compensates the excessive app load? – marcolopes Jan 4 '19 at 4:59

If you will choose no background processes your phone will revert ro 1995 Nokia mobile. It will stop all types of notification update and prosser data transmission, your phone will only perform for taking a call or messages from your mobile number service provider.

Keep your phone in standard background process until it's not become 2 year old and performing very slow.

You should keep at least 1 or 2 background processes to be in touch with smart and latest information.

There is one other option available which is to just selectively stop all background activities, it's will save your battery life and also reduce (prevent ?) heating problems.

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    Please don't use SMS/Chat lingo on this website. We also lack a sense of humor, so avoid that too. Try to use English speech and grammar to the best of your ability. See our help page. – Tamoghna Chowdhury May 10 '16 at 17:44
  • My Nokia 5 is 1 year old and was a BRICK OUT of the box!!! This is the only way to use it... – marcolopes Jan 4 '19 at 4:57

I do like the earlier poster's comment about the Nokia from 1995. Although the moderators don't know how to laugh every once in a while. I found it absolutely hilarious.

I Keep my phone the 4 background proccesses max, and it has much higher performance than on standard. I receive all my notifications (which I have personally managed in the notifications setting) without any notable difference. I am very pleased that this setting exists in developer options. Also provides for enhanced security and lower battery consumption.


One of the problems you may face yourself with is that certain services that run in the background (Tasker, Google Location Services, etc) may quit unexpectedly. Other than that, I think that there are no other problem with limiting background apps.

Edit: what you selected makes it impossible for apps like I mentioned above to stop working. It won't be possible for gmail, for example, to update you on your received emails.

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    No such problems. – suresh_chandran Jan 30 '14 at 21:51
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    This is misinformation, this setting does NOT affect system services like gmail. Take a look at your recent applications feature, these are what the setting is referring to as a "background process". See the top answer by @dan-hulme for more information. – CauselessEffect Sep 14 '15 at 11:44

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