How to Enable or Disable Autostart for Android Apps

As a general rule, we open the multitasking tray and close the open apps when our phone slows or seems sluggish. Do you realise that these apps can restart themselves automatically as well, though? In fact, this is true. Learn more about why Android apps autostart, how to prevent it, and why it’s important to do so in this article.

An app’s user interface and vibrant icons are what first catch the eye, but the backend components working in the background are what actually power these components. Applications occasionally feel the need to continue executing these background processes even after you have closed the app.

Enable or Disable Autostart for Android Apps


Apps that are set to automatically start after being closed do so in the background. Consider a step counter app as an illustration. Even while you aren’t actively using the app, it must continue to count your steps. It needs to be running in the background to accomplish this, and it must restart itself after you close the programme. Autostart follows.

Are you wondering if the iPhone has a feature similar to autostart? It is referred to as Background App Refresh.

Apps are shut down automatically if there is not enough RAM for other running foreground tasks, even if you don’t actively close them from the multitasking tray.

A different illustration is downloading a sizable file with Google Chrome. If you wait for the file to download while the programme is open, it will be like watching paint dry. As a result, when it is deliberately or automatically stopped, it must restart itself—though only sometimes. Time-sensitive programmes like messaging apps that need to send notifications frequently also require autostart.

Yet, some programmes automatically start up without necessity. Its background feature is essentially meaningless in these circumstances, so you might want to disable it. But, disabling autostart for apps will free up memory if you have an older device and value performance above all else. You might, however, miss out on some of the app’s features.

So let’s examine how Android app autostart can be turned on or off.

Note: We’ve used a OnePlus device to illustrate the procedure throughout the article. Other Android devices will largely follow a similar set of procedures.


The first time you use an app, it should prompt you to enable autostart if it needs to run in the background to complete a crucial task.

But, you can explicitly enable autostart for an app if it is not carrying out an expected background task when you are not using it. Here are two alternative methods of doing it.

1. Enable Autostart for an Individual app

Step 1: Long-tap on the app icon in the launcher and tap on the app info icon.

Step 2: Tap on Battery usage.

Step 3: Enable the toggle for ‘Allow auto-launch’.

Autostart is now enabled for the app, and when necessary, it can launch a few background activities on its own.

2. Enable Autostart in the Settings App

Opening the preferences page for each app and turning on autostart takes time if you want to enable autostart for many apps. Luckily goodness, the Settings app allows you to turn on autostart for numerous apps at once. How? Read on.

Step 1: Open the Settings app.

Step 2: Tap on Apps.

Step 3: Select Auto launch.

Step 4: You will now find a list of apps that do not have autostart enabled. Simply turn on the toggle for the apps you want.

These are the two methods for enabling autostart for Android apps. You can try disabling the battery saver for the same if the app still doesn’t run in the background.

Optional: Turn off Battery Optimization for Apps

Your device’s battery saving or battery optimisation capabilities limit a few of an app’s actions in order to prolong the battery life. But, there’s a fair likelihood that this battery saver is also preventing some background services from being automatically started by a few programmes. Let’s look at how to disable it.

Step 1: Open the Settings app.

Step 2: Tap on Battery.

Step 3: Tap on More Settings.

Step 4: Tap on ‘Optimize battery use’.

Step 4: Select the app that you want to turn off battery optimization for.

Step 5: Tap on ‘Don’t Optimize’.

The battery optimization will be turned off for the particular app. Next, let us take a look at how we can disable autostart for apps on your device.


Certain installed applications don’t necessarily need to run in the background, even if all system apps must. They don’t carry out any significant tasks that call for them to restart themselves in the background. Then you may recognise these programmes and disable autostart for them.

Disabling autostart also frees up memory on your phone, which can enhance performance and perhaps conserve some battery life. This is the procedure.

Note: A few programmes’ autostart settings may prevent you from receiving their notifications. We advise against shutting off an application if you believe it to be crucial enough that you shouldn’t miss any notifications.

1. Turn off Autostart in Settings

Step 1: Open the Settings app.

Step 2: Tap on Apps.

Step 3: Tap on Auto Launch.

Step 4: You will see a list of apps that have autostart turned on. You can turn off the toggle to disable autostart for the desired apps.

Let’s now look at how forcing an app to close can stop it from starting up automatically. These techniques are somewhat harsh, so proceed with caution as it could result in some instability and malfunctions when using your phone.

2. Force Stop Apps

A program that has been forced to close won’t start running in the background until you open it again. Doing this for an app can prevent it from automatically starting.

This is especially helpful if you don’t want to disable the autostart for it but just prevent it from autostarting for a specific period.

Step 1: Long-tap on the app icon.

Step 2: Tap on the app info button.

Step 3: Tap on Force Stop. This will now close the application, free up the occupied memory, and will not start itself in the background.

But what if you don’t want to let apps automatically start up in the background or allow any background services at all? Here is how to go about it.

3. Use Developer Options to Limit Background Processes

You can choose to have apps shut down automatically once you exit them. We must first activate developer settings before we can do that. This is the procedure.

Note: These are experimental features meant for development. Proceed with caution and at your own risk.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and tap on About device.

Step 2: Tap on Version.

Step 3: Tap several times on the Build number until you get a message that says ‘You are now in Developer mode’.

Step 4: We now need to open developer options. Open the ‘Additional Settings’ menu in the settings app.

Step 5: Tap on Developer options.

Step 6: Scroll down to find the ‘Background process limit’ option.

Step 7: Check the box for ‘No background processes.

This will ensure that no third-party apps run in the background.

Enable or Disable Autostart for Android Apps

As an alternative, you can disable the “Don’t keep activities” toggle, which deletes all background activities of the app as soon as you exit it.

You’re all set. You now have all the information you need to enable or disable app autostart on your Android smartphone. But, you can see the FAQ section below if you have any additional queries.


1. Does autostart drain the battery on your Android device?

Software and battery optimisations are built on the expectation that apps would launch immediately by default. Having said that, if you disable autostart on your device, you might anticipate a longer battery life.

2. Does WhatsApp need autostart?

Yes, WhatsApp ideally needs to autostart to provide timely notifications.

3. Does force stop save memory on my Android device?

Yes, force-stopping apps can help reduce the RAM usage on your Android device.


We hoped that this post will make it simple for you to turn on or off the autostart feature on your Android device. So, adjusting the autostart features will help the next time you miss any background activity from an app or wish to increase your smartphone’s power economy.