How to turn off background app refresh

Background app refresh is a setting that’s available for iOS devices. It’s usually enabled by default, and can be managed in the settings. You may wish to disable background app refresh as it can shorten battery life, or worsen device performance. The good news is that you can easily disable it in the settings.

How to turn off background app refresh

There are various ways in which you can turn off background app refresh. However, before you do this, you may want to learn about what disabling background app refresh actually does.

What does turning off background app refresh do?

Enabling background app refresh allows apps to continue running in the background, even if they’ve been closed. Therefore, disabling background app refresh prevents this from happening. Apps will no longer be able to continue running after they’ve been closed, and their content will stay the same – this shouldn’t have an effect on your iPhone apps not updating, which is a separate issues altogether.

It’s usually worth doing this as it can improve battery life and device performance, as it means that less app activity will be occurring.

How to turn off all background app refresh

You may wish to disable all background app refresh. This can save battery life, as it prevents all apps from running in the background. There are three ways in which you can disable background app refresh for all apps.

Disabling the ‘background app refresh’ option

One way to disable all background app refresh, is to manually turn it off in the settings.

Go to Settings>General>Background App Refresh. This should take you to a list of apps, which have background activity that can be enabled or disabled.

background-app-refresh-setting

Press the ‘background app refresh’ option at the top. It should have either the word ‘on’ or ‘off’ next to it. If the word ‘on’ is next to it, it means background app refresh is currently enabled.

After pressing the ‘background app refresh’ option, press the ‘off’ option to disable background app refresh for all apps.

Background-app-refresh-off-option

Disabling background app refresh for each app

Another method for disabling all background app refresh, is to manually disable it for each app in the settings.

Go to Settings>General>Background App Refresh. This should take you to a list of apps, which have background activity that can be enabled or disabled.

background-app-refresh-setting

There should be a green switch next to the apps that have background app refresh enabled. Press every green switch to disable all background app refresh.

Background-app-refresh-switches-turned-off

This is a more tedious task, but only if you have many apps with background app refresh enabled. It also gives you more control over the task. But beware that if you were to download a new app afterwards, it will have background app refresh enabled if applicable. You can check if that’s the case in the background app refresh settings. If you wish to prevent this from happening, one of the other methods for disabling background app refresh would be more suitable.

Enabling low power mode

Another method for disabling all background app refresh, is to enable low power mode.

You can check if low power mode is enabled by looking at the small battery icon in the top right of your screen. If low power mode is enabled, the battery icon should be yellow. If it’s not yellow, then low power mode is off.

yellow-battery-icon

There are two ways in which you can turn on low power mode.

Using the settings

Go to Settings>Battery.

battery-settings

Press the switch next to the low power mode option. This will enable low power mode.

low-power-mode-switch-turned-on
Using the control centre

The option should be in your control centre if you’ve previously added it there. You can check whether this is the case by swiping up on your screen. Make sure to swipe up from the bottom of the screen. This will open your control centre.

control-centre

Check if there’s a battery icon in your control centre. This symbolises the low power mode. It there is a battery icon, press it to enable low power mode.

low-power-mode-icon-pressed

If there isn’t a battery icon, then you don’t have the low power mode option in your control centre. It isn’t placed there by default, so you must manually add it from the settings. This will give you quick access to low power mode so that you can enable and disable it with ease.

Go to Settings>Control Centre, and scroll down to find the low power mode option. Press the plus icon next to the low power mode option to add it to the control centre.

control-centre-settings

Now, you can open the control centre and press the low power mode icon.

control-centre-low-power-mode-pressed

How to turn off background app refresh for individual apps

Alternatively, you can simply choose to turn off some background app refresh for certain apps. You may wish to preserve battery life, or prevent specific background app activity.

Go to Settings>General>Background App Refresh. This should take you to a list of apps, which have background activity that can be enabled or disabled.

background-app-refresh-setting

Ensure that you do not have low power mode turned on, as this will automatically disable background app refresh. It prevents you from having access to the background app refresh settings.

Background-app-refresh-options-unavailable

Find the app you wish to disable the background activity of. If the app is not on the list, then it means they have no background activity to disable.

background-app-refresh-turned-off-1

Press the green switch next to the app. This will disable its background activity. For example, Instagram’s background activity has been disabled in the picture above.

Repeat these steps for other apps to disable their background activity.

Conclusion

To conclude, disabling background app refresh can be done in several ways. Overall, it is quite simple to accomplish. Disabling background app refresh can help reduce battery usage, and thus improve device performance and speed.

You can turn off background app refresh for all apps, or choose to disable it for individual apps. These apps may be taking up a lot of battery usage, or simply don’t require background activity in order to function well.

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