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How to disable auto-start apps in Android: 6 methods

Android users are all too familiar with the disappointing slowdown of their devices over time. While there are several reasons for this, the most common culprit are the auto start apps Android devices have running in the background. Luckily, there are several ways to handle this problem.

For latest tips, tricks and hacks check out our dedicated section for Android Tricks.

The best solution to getting your device back to optimal levels is to disable auto start apps Android. Bear in mind that everything that runs on your smartphone or tablet will have some impact on the resources allotted for battery power, CPU, and memory.

This is usually not a big deal as the Android system is designed to stock its RAM with apps to give users a fast experience. Once the device’s performance slows down, the OS will close down the apps that are not frequently used to get things back to normal.

However, there might be apps that start up even though you didn’t task them to and which then continues to run in the background. This situation can cause your device to slow down or it could drain battery life. When this happens, you have to take steps to manage auto start apps.

Must Read: How to Speed Up Your Slow Android Phone

How to Disable Auto Start Apps in Android: 6 Methods | Joy of Android
Check applications running in Android Marshmallow OS

Method 1: For Devices on Marshmallow

It’s a good idea to first check and see what applications are running in your device before you disable auto start apps Android. Devices running on Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) and higher will have to enable the developer mode first.

Go to Settings > Scroll down and look for About Phone or About this device. Tap on it.

Look for the Build Number option. If it’s not in this screen, look under More or Software Information options. Tap the Build Number about seven times until you see a prompt saying “You are now a Developer!” A new Developer options section will now appear in Settings.

Some smart phone modes do not allow users to access developer options via the build number. In this case, look up the phone’s model number and search for “unlock developer options.”

Choose Developer > Running services. This option allows you to view and control all currently running services. Tap on this option to see a list of all active apps and key information like how long they’ve been running, how much memory the system and the apps are using, and how much memory is free.

Choose one app and tap on it. You’ll see a Stop or Report option. Tap Stop to close the software. You might have to tap the Stop option several times.

It’s not 100% guaranteed that the apps won’t be enabled to auto start again, so make sure you check these settings regularly.

Must Read: 10 Android Marshmallow Problems and Troubleshooting

Method 2: For Devices Running on an Older System

Devices running on an older OS will have to stop auto start apps on Android a different way.

Go to Settings > Apps. Swipe list over to see the Running list. This shows all the apps currently running in the background.

Select an app. You’ll see two available options – Stop/ Force Stop and Report. Select an app and tap on the Stop button.

How to Disable Auto Start Apps in Android: 6 Methods | Joy of Android
Doze feature can minimize impact of background apps

Method 3: Turning Off the Doze Feature

The Android Marshallow system sometimes uses the Doze feature to minimize the effect of background apps. While this basically freezes apps from running when the device goes to sleep or the screen is off, some incompatible apps might be able to bypass this feature.

Go to Settings > Battery. This will allow you to check the apps that are not compatible with Doze. Tap the three dots found in the upper right hand corner.

Choose Battery Optimization. You will automatically be placed in the “Not optimized” category where a list of apps that will not permit you to change this setting will appear.

Tap “Not optimized” > Select “All apps”

Choose any app > select Optimize > tap Done.

These settings will not prevent auto starting apps on Android so check which apps are not Doze-compatible from time to time.

Must Read: 10 Best Battery Life Android Phones

Method 4: Kill Auto Start Apps via Developer Options

Every Android device offers developer options. You can also use this to stop auto start apps on Android.

Go to Settings > About Phone

Tap the Build Number several times until you see a prompt saying “You are now a Developer!” A new Developer options section will also appear in Settings.

Go to Develop Options > Tap on “Background process limit”

You will see an options window with at least six choices. The standard limit means the OS will close the necessary apps so that the device’s memory will not overload and there’s no lag in performance. Meanwhile, the “No background processes” option means the system will automatically “kill” or shut down an app so that there’s nothing running in the background.

The other options allow you to choose how many processes or applications can continue to run in the background. You can choose anywhere from one to four apps.

How to Disable Auto Start Apps in Android: 6 Methods | Joy of Android
A good startup manager app can help disable auto start applications

Method 5: Utilizing a Startup Manager on Rooted Devices

If you have the skill and the confidence, a startup manager can also be a good way to manage auto start apps in Android.

Go to the Play Store and search for “startup manager free” or use the download link below. This free app will let you customize the apps that will start up when you boot up your rooted Android device.

Download: Startup Manager (Free)

Tap Install once you have found the app. This will start the installation process in your smartphone or tablet.

Once installed, open the Startup Manager and tap Allow. This will provide the app with root access. You should also see a list of all the applicatons that are configured to launch automatically.

Select an app that you want to disable. Tap the blue button located next to it. The button should turn gray, an indication that the application will not automatically start anymore. You will also see a message stating that “The item is disabled and will not start with system boot.”

Must Read: How to Root Android Without Computer

How to Disable Auto Start Apps in Android: 6 Methods | Joy of Android
It’s best to disable auto startup apps and stop others from running in the background

Method 6: Use Startup Auditor to Disable Apps at Boot

Another way to disable apps upon booting your device is through a free startup auditor application.

Open the Google Play Store and look for “Startup Auditor Free.” Download and install.

Once the app has been installed, open and tap “All Apps.”

Once you have started Startup Auditor Free, you will be given the option to data like your device’s model and any installed packaged. This will help developers improve the app. Select Send if you want to send the information and “No Thanks” if you don’t want to share data.

Choose the name of the app you want to disable from the provided list. Tap the check box next to “Startup Disable.” This will prevent the app from auto starting until you uncheck the box.

Tap the “Keep Disabled” box if you want to stop the application from running even after startup. There might be apps that start up at a later duration even if they are disabled at startup. Ticking this box will prevent that.

Tap “Back” two times to leave the Startup Auditor app.

Must Read: 10 Best Phone Booster Apps for Android

Method 7: Going With a Third-Party Task Killer App

The Android system is basically a self-contained environment so using a task killer app should be your absolutely last resort in preventing auto start apps on Android. If you do decide to use one, the Doze, Greenify, Purify and All-In-One Toolbox apps are your best bet. These applications work similarly to the Doze feature on Marshmallow but have extras that require root access.

Download: All-In-One Toolbox

Must Read: Problems with Android Device Managers

Conclusion

The applications that start automatically when you boot your device or those that continue to run in the background can cause battery and performance problems with your Android. While there’s no one sure way to disable auto start apps Android, there are a good mix of methods that can surely bring your device back to its optimal levels.

Which of the methods mentioned above helped improved your Android device’s performance? Are there other issues you’ve encountered while trying to stop auto start apps Android? Feel free to post your questions or comments here. We would love to hear from you. You can also help your friends by sharing this article and teaching them how to disable auto start apps Android.

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2 Comments

  1. Hello, I recommend application Greenify.
    It is equivalent to Startup Auditor which does not exist anymore.

    Greenify can simply force stop background apps by one click or even automatically.
    Perfect way for old android too.

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