Does one really need to install a task manager? My phone does slowdown on rare occasions but it's not something that hampers regular usage.


7 Answers 7


See this


FAQ: Why You Shouldn’t Be Using a Task Killer with Android (geekfor.me) - xda-developers

tl;dr version:

  • Android is hard coded to automatically kill a task when more memory is needed.
  • Android is hard coded to automatically kill a task when it’s done doing what it needs to do.
  • Android is hard coded to automatically kill a task when you haven’t returned to it in a long time.
  • Most services (while possibly running in the background) use very little memory when not actively doing something.
  • A content provider is only doing something when there is a notification for it to give. Otherwise it uses very little memory.
  • Killing a process when it isn’t ready only causes it to have to reload itself and start from scratch when it’s needed again.
  • Because a task is likely running in the background for a reason, killing it will only cause it to re-spawn as soon as the activity that was using it looks for it again. And it will just have to start over again.
  • Killing certain processes can have undesirable side effects. Not receiving text messages, alarms not going off, and force closes just to name a few.
  • The only true way to prevent something from running at all on your phone would be to uninstall the .apk.
  • Most applications will exit themselves if you get out of it by hitting “back” until it closes rather than hitting the “home” button. But even with hitting home, Android will eventually kill it once it’s been in the background for a while.

As Android was designed you don't need to kill apps.

  • 1
    This does depends on the apps you're running. As soon as you launch an always on cpu or disk traffic heavy app you might notice some slowdowns wich do go away after using a task killer.
    – Barfieldmv
    Commented Sep 20, 2010 at 12:21
  • 2
    It's only natural that some people find it hard to accept that this is something the system can really take care of for you. That is because no known systems currently work like this, mostly because of a historical legacy. But it really works like that. No need for a task manager! Let go of your fears... In fact all task managers are, to some degree, hacks, that create other side-effects.
    – pjv
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 19:37

No, and even more so with the latest 2.2 versions of Android. I used to use them, but I've stopped and everything has been better since I stopped using a task manager/killer. There is an app called Watchdog if you'd like to be notified about a process using a ton of CPU for a long period of time, which then will give you the option to kill that run-away process.


Yes. You should have a task-killer app, but not for the reasons you think.

I've had runaway processes (maybe watchdog can help) like google maps which then ran twice, once to kill my cpu/ram and once to actually work. I had to use the task killer to kill both instances and then run the normal one.

RARELY will you actually need to manually kill anything. But like all programs, sometimes stuff happens. I've had apps crash the entire phone and they were not running in root or anything.


Sometimes when an app crashes or gets to a state that it's not response it's nice to be able to shut it down manually . . . but as for slowness issues a task manager isn't necessary as the OS itself handles multitasking better now.

  • 2
    I will add that, sometimes apps do need to be closed but you can typically do that within the OS. You do not need a Task Manager to close apps, you can go to Settings > Applications > Running Services (may be different depending on OS version). From the menu you can press Force Quit. Commented Sep 13, 2010 at 19:27
  • no need for a task killer to do that Sheldon, just go into the normal settings :D Commented Sep 13, 2010 at 19:29
  • I found Advanced Task Killer (even with Ads) to be a nicer UI. However you don't need it. Stock android has all the necessary tools. Kinda same reason I use Uninstaller vs from the application menu, just easier. Commented Sep 13, 2010 at 21:31
  • @schwiz Sure, you can go to "Applications" and do a force stop and in fact that's all latest version of "Advanced Task Manager" does but it's nice to see the list of apps currently running instead of all apps. But for the most part the answer is you don't need a task manager.
    – tooshel
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 23:12

This comprehensive, informative & easily readible article entitled "Android Task Killers Explained: What They Do and Why You Shouldn’t Use Them" will provide you with a quick overview of how Android handles process management on its own fairly well by default. (Essentially that a Task Manager/ Killer App is not required- it was more useful in early version of the Android OS)

The Article will explain:

  • How Android Manages Processes
  • Why Task Killers Are (Usually) Bad News
  • What You Should Do Instead, e.g.:

    • Watch for Runaway Processes
    • Uninstall Bad Apps
    • Possibly Root Your Phone (although not necessary)

When I was running Froyo, I installed task manager not to kill tasks, but to find an easy to review list of what is running and learn more about how apps work. This seemed the easiest way to learn what was running quickly.

Now that I have Gingerbread, I just use the "running" list under applications in the settings menu.

  • 1
    In Gingerbread, the Running Services part of the "Applications" list in Settings tells you which apps have background services running, no need for 3rd party tools.
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 12:56
  • @GAThrawn Good point. I answered before I had Gingerbread.
    – Alex B
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 17:51
  • I upvoted because I don't think it deserves a downvote. I don't think the answer is wrong, especially considering that some phones (i.e. Samsung Captivate) just got Gingerbread in the U.S. via official channels.
    – Chance
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 18:34

Ideally, you don't need a task manager for the reasons mentioned by Cristi.

Random slowdowns on Android are likely from one of two sources:

  • Badly programmed apps (mostly)
  • Android cleaning up the memory and unloading stuff to make room (this should be only temporary, but can be very annoying on older devices or with custom ROMs)

If you experience slowdowns, and can't or don't want to uninstall the apps that cause them (or you don't know which ones it is), then a task killer can really make a difference. The same applies for older devices that don't have enough RAM.

So: it shouldn't be neccessary, but you might try it as a workaround if you have misbehaved apps on your device.

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