Stop Galaxy Note 9 Apps from Running in the Background

There are many applications that are coded poorly and will continue to run in the background. There are others which are supposed to but you simply don’t want them to. So let me show you a Galaxy Note 9 feature that lets you put apps and games to sleep so you can save battery life.


In comparison to other mobile application stores, Google’s Play Store can be referred to as the “Wild West.” This is mainly due to the fact that Android allows 3rd-party applications and games to do a lot once they are installed. From changing the entire Home Screen to automating tasks like controlling the brightness level at certain times. We can do a lot with applications on Android.

Then there are games which want you to spend every second of your day in them. Oddly enough, they like to limit your “free” usage with energy bars but they do this so you will spend your hard earned money to play more. To do this, there are times when games (and even apps) use certain tactics to stay running in the background. Doze has done a lot to prevent this but it can still happen.

Why are Background Apps Bad?

If an application is optimized properly, then it’s actually okay for it to run in the background. There are many common examples of this including Tasker, Join, Pushbullet, and more. Now, sometimes an app like Tasker can be used in a way that will chew through your battery but if done right then they will have a minimal impact on your battery life.

The bad part is when applications are poorly optimized and they prevent your Galaxy Note 9 from going into deep sleep mode. When you lock the smartphone, most of your applications should stop running entirely. There are APIs in Android that will still let you accept notifications, but they shouldn’t keep the phone awake just to continue running.

I remember downloading a game one time that was having a temporary sale was free in the Play Store. I don’t name the game but it was from a AAA developer studio and you would expect that they would code it properly. However, it was likely a quick port job and it ruined my battery life because it kept running in the background for hours after I had locked the phone.

So What Can We Do About This?

Google has done a lot of work when it comes to preserving battery life of all Android smartphones and tablets. Doze evolved to Doze on the Go. The Scheduler API can allow apps to go to sleep and collectively ask for requests (like notifications) altogether instead of letting apps wake up your device whenever they want to. Even Android Pie’s new Adaptive Battery feature is working to keep as juice in your battery for as long as possible.

Some OEMs can be quite aggressive when it comes to killing applications that are running in the background. There was an incident recently where Huawei was killing the VLC application while it was playing in the background. This ruins the user experience and resulted in a lot of negative reviews for VLC in the Play Store. VLC’s response was to prevent all Huawei devices from downloading it from the Play Store.

So as you can see, if a smartphone manufacturer becomes too aggressive then it can cause all sorts of issues. Not only did they receive backlash from the community for the issue in the first place, but they were then blacklisted by VLC developers entirely. Huawei’s intentions were good, but were poorly implemented and way too aggressive.

Samsung does this as well but in a much more lenient way. They also let you manually prevent applications or games from running in the background and that’s what I’ll be showing you today.

How to Stop Apps and Games from Running in the Background on the Galaxy Note 9

  1. Open up the Settings application

  2. Choose the Device Maintenance option

    Galaxy Note 9 Background Apps Maintenance

  3. Look at the bottom left and tap the Battery button

    Galaxy Note 9 Background Apps Battery

  4. Scroll all the way down and tap on the Always Sleeping Apps option

    Galaxy Note 9 Background Apps Always

  5. From here, tap the Add Apps option

    Galaxy Note 9 Background Apps Add

  6. Browse the list and tap the app(s) or game(s) you want to stop from running in the background

    Galaxy Note 9 Background Apps Choose

  7. Look at the top right and tap the Done button

    Galaxy Note 9 Background Apps Done

  8. And you will see the application or game has been added to the Always Sleeping Apps list

    Galaxy Note 9 Background Apps Added

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So, what we’re doing here is going through the applications we have available in this list and adding the ones that we do not want run in the background. You have to be careful when you pick and choose which apps (and games of course) you decide to put in this list because it can change the way your Galaxy Note 9 functions a lot.

Using the VLC example again. If you were to put a music streaming application on this list then it could cause issues. After you begin to play a son and press the Home button, the Galaxy Note 9 could end up killing the application in the background which would stop it from playing your music.

That is a very simple example that is easy to understand, but there could be applications or games that need to be running in the background. An example game could be Pokemon Go and an example application could be something like Join. If these can’t run in the background then you’ll never know you passed that Pokemon on the side of the road. And your Join notifications could be late (or never come at all).

This Feature Only Impacts Apps in the Background

I do want to make sure that you are aware this Always Sleeping Apps feature that I’m talking about today only affects apps and games that are in the background. An application goes into the background when you press the Home button. When an application is open then it is in the foreground.

So even if you put an application like Join or Pushbullet (or even Gmail) in this list, then you can still use it like normal. All you have to do is tap on the application or game icon to open it up. Once the application comes back to the foreground (being displayed on the screen), then it will work like normal.

So just be aware of what you are adding to this list on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Realize that an application or a game could have certain functions that make need to function in the background. If you followed along all the way to the end of the embedded video above then you’ll also learn how to remove apps and games from this list as well.

The Goal is to Save Battery Life on the Galaxy Note 9

I wouldn’t say the entire point of this feature is to save Galaxy Note 9 battery life, but it certainly is the main goal. Again, having apps and games running in the background (when they aren’t needed) can ruin your battery in just an hour or two. Android Pie does what it can but being able to manually add apps like can help a lot more.

Another benefit of this feature is so that you won’t be bothered by certain applications when you don’t want them. Some annoyances (including notifications) can be turned off at the application level but there are other reasons why you may want to stop an application or game from running in the background.

But again, this is really about preserving as much battery life of your Samsung Galaxy Note 9 as possible. Every little bit helps and this feature is nearly perfect for stopping those apps from using resources in the background. I say nearly, because not all applications are listed here but I’ll talk about how to deal with those in the near future.


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