Don’t Leave This Battery


To close your background apps or not to close your background apps? That’s a question many smartphone users have grappled with. Some people say yes, clearing the background apps is a must to boost your phone’s performance and save your data. Others, including executives with Apple and Google’s Android team, say no, background apps don’t take up enough of your phone’s resources to affect its performance. 

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You might be surprised to learn that both can be true. While background apps may not use your phone’s resources on their own, Android phones and iPhones will refresh background apps periodically by default. This uses your phone’s battery, and it can use your data. By stopping background apps from refreshing, you can conserve your battery and data, making closing background apps unnecessary.

Here’s how to stop your background apps from refreshing to keep your battery going longer and to save your data.

Stop background apps from refreshing on iPhone

If you have an iPhone, here’s how to stop background apps from refreshing.

1. Open Settings.

2. Tap General.

3. Tap Background App Refresh.

4. Tap Background App Refresh again.

Here you can choose to turn background refreshing Off, limit background apps to refresh when you’re connected to Wi-Fi, or allow background apps to refresh on Wi-Fi & cellular data.

You can also select which apps can refresh in the background. For that, follow the first three steps above. Then you should see a list of apps near the bottom of the page and select which can refresh in the background.

Stop background apps from refreshing on Android

If you have an Android device, here’s how to stop background apps from refreshing.

1. Open Settings.

2. Tap Network & internet.

3. Tap Data saver.

4. Toggle Use data saver on.

Data saver will stop background apps from using data unless your phone is connected to Wi-Fi. Some apps you’re actively using might not load things like images, unless you tap on the image, which can be annoying. You can tap Unrestricted data just below Use data saver, and this lets you choose three apps to have unrestricted data access even with Data saver on. 

You can also allow certain apps to use background data. Here’s how.

1. Open Settings.

2. Tap Network & internet.

3. Tap Mobile network.

4. Tap App data usage.

5. Tap the app you want.

6. Toggle Background data on. 

Now you can decide what apps refresh in the background, potentially saving your battery and data.

For more phone tips, check out how to clear your iPhone’s cache, how to clear your Android’s cache and how to clean your phone’s screen.

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