What is background app refresh?

Disable apps and prevent background app refresh


Automatic background app refresh is a preset feature of most apps. We tell you how you can prevent background app refresh, disable apps and why this might be interesting for you.

Most apps stay active even when you are not currently using them. These applications stay connected to the internet in the background, automatically refresh themselves or access your GPS data. There is only one advantage for you in it: When opening the app you get all the new information after a very short loading time. But there are also several disadvantages to automatic background app refresh that might make you want to disable this feature for many apps.

Background app refresh

There are two ways in which you will notice that apps are running in the background - and both of them are not to your advantage. First of all, this takes up a lot of data volume, which could pose a serious problem. If your phone contract offers only a limited amount of mobile data and you don’t spend much time with access to wifi, you could quickly exceed the limit of your data volume. Then you will have to endure the rest of the month surfing the web at a snail’s pace (read our article “Data volume count & control” on this topic). Furthermore, apps running in the background will also take a toll on your battery. Some apps use quite a lot of battery power and should therefore be prevented from running in the background if there are not permanently used (read our article “Prolong your mobile’s battery life” on this topic). By the way: Danger of confusion! There is a difference between background app refresh and push. With the first apps are almost permanently connected to the internet and load all available data. With the latter, push, only a small amount of data is loaded. That means for example that you only get the notification that you received a message, not the message itself. Therefore push only takes up a limited amount of data volume and battery life, while background app refresh uses a lot of your device’s ressources.

How to disable apps

In the following we tell you how to stop apps from running in the background. This does not mean that these application are deleted or that you cannot use them anymore. It only prevents background app refresh and saves you data volume and battery life.

Prevent iOS background app refresh

On your iPhone you can kill two birds with one stone. You can see which application uses a lot of battery before you disable the app. That makes your decision easier. First open “Settings” on your iPhone and then select “Battery”. You will now see all apps listed, starting with the application that uses the most energy. Furthermore, you can see how many minutes you were actually using the app. Now you should go to the iOS settings for background app refresh. Go back to your main menu of your iPhone’s settings and select “General” and then “Background App Refresh”. Move the slider from right to left if you want to disable apps or prevent them from running in the background.

Disable background app refresh under Android

No matter if you own a Samsung Galaxy, a HTC, LG or Sony mobile: You can disable automatic app updates on all Android devices in the same way. Open your settings and go to the “Accounts” area. You now see all installed apps and can easily disable background app refresh. Do you have any questions? Or do you need help with setting up your Android mobile, tablet or iPad? A TrustATec service partner near you will gladly help you.

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