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Something on my phone is repeatedly cycling through all (or most) applications. Several times a day, it activates an app for a couple seconds, then moves on to the next app. It will continue doing this for many apps (maybe all of them) and it will repeat apps. Eventually it stops, but it will start again later in the day.

I notice the behavior because the rest of the phone, including the dialer, crawls to a halt. If I look at Apps -> Running I see the cycling app at the top. The screenshot shows that the cycle is currently on Facebook - an app that I have literally never used on my phone. It will cycle next to YouTube, Slacker, etc.

How can I figure out what's doing this, and how do I make it stop?

Screenshot of running apps screen, showing Facebook being activated.

I've tried the following with no effect:

  • Repeatedly killing all Google Play services or processes that might be checking for updates.
  • Ensure that some of the activated apps are fully updated. They still appear in the running apps cycling.
  • Disabling Google Settings -> Verify Apps
  • All antennas and GPS on/off.

HTC Thunderbolt with Verizon
Android Version 4.0.4
Not rooted

  • What do you mean by "activates"? Does an activity from the app appear on the screen? Or can you only tell by looking at the list of running apps? Some apps have to run in the background periodically e.g. to check the internet for new data. – Dan Hulme Jun 28 '14 at 8:39
  • I see it in the running apps screen, like Facebook in the screenshot and I notice the drain on my poor single-core CPU. Since I don't use Facebook and have never logged in from my phone, it shouldn't be doing anything in the background. The phone's performance and responsiveness crawls to a halt while this is happening, too, so the offending processes are doing something substantial. – reasgt Jun 29 '14 at 5:53

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