background apps Windows

How to Stop Background Apps from Running in Windows 10


There are various reasons why your computer is running on the slow slide. One of those reasons is all the background apps that are affecting your computer’s performance. You can improve things by disabling those background apps from running and finally get some speed back.

There are a few methods you can try that will keep those background apps under control. One requires that you make some adjustments in the Registry Editor, so you’ll need to be more careful than usual so that no accidental mistakes are made.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Disabling the Apps

Before you go on a spree disabling all the background apps, you should keep a few things in mind:

  • Disabling the background apps doesn’t stop the actual apps from working. You can still launch and use them. This will only prevent these apps from downloading data, using CPU/RAM and consuming battery while you are not using them.
  • Once an app is disabled, you will not receive any notifications from it or see up-to-date data it has to offer as notifications or tiles, such as news in the Start menu tiles.
  • Some of these apps depend on running in the background to offer their core services. For example, if you disable the Alarm app, the alarm will not go off when you set it. Of course, if you already have an awesome alarm clock with you, then you may disable the Alarm app as well. It still depends on your usage and preferences.

The Easiest Way: From the Control Panel

To access the background apps, go to “Settings” from the Start menu, and click on “Privacy.”

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Scroll down to the bottom of the left panel and click on “Background” apps. You should be able to see all of the Windows apps in the right panel with an On and Off switch next to them. Just click on the switch next to the app you don’t use, and it will be turned off. If need be, you can go through the same process at any time to enable the apps again.

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Tip: if you are interested in knowing exactly how much resources these apps are using, you can do so from the Task Manager. Just open the Task Manager (press Ctrl + Shift + Esc), and you will see all the data under the “App history” tab. The data shows usage over a specific time period.

Prevent Apps from Running in the Background Using the Registry

Note: Please backup your registry first before making changes to it.

To open the Registry, press Win + R. When the search box appears, type regedit and the Registry will appear. When it opens, go to the following location: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Policies -> Microsoft -> Windows -> AppPrivacy.”

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If you don’t see the AppPrivacy key, you’ll need to create it. Right-click on the right pane on a blank space. Place the cursor on the New option and then select DWORD (32-BIT) Value. When asked to name it, name it “LetAppsRunInBackground.”

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Once you’ve created it, double-click on it, and when the new window appears, change the Value data to “2.” Don’t forget to click OK. If you change your mind and want to allow the apps to run in the background again, erase the “LetAppsRunInBackground” key or change its value to “0.”

Stop Apps from Running in the Background Using the Local Group

If you are using Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education editions, then you can also use the Local Group Policy to disable apps from running in the background.

Press Win + R, but this time, type gpedit.msc and press Enter.

You’ll need to find the App Privacy app by clicking on “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> App Privacy.” When you click on this last option, on the right pane you’ll see various options. Double-click on the option that says “Let Windows apps run in the background.”

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A new window will appear with the name of the option you clicked on. Click on the Enabled option at the top-left of the window, though the “Not Configured” option is going to be selected by default. When you choose Enabled, a new set of options are going to appear. One of those options is the default for the drop-down menu for all apps.

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Click on the drop-down menu and select the “Force Deny” option, click Apply, and then OK. You’re going to need to reboot your computer, so this is an excellent time to save any critical work.

Stop Apps from Running in the Background with Battery Saver Mode

Whenever your laptop’s battery is at 20 percent, the battery saver mode will kick in automatically. There is a way to enable this feature despite the battery level. Go to “Settings -> System -> Battery,” and find the Battery saver section.

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You should see an option that says Battery saver status until next charge. As long as you have this feature on, your apps will not be allowed to run in the background. Keep in mind that this is only going to work for apps you got from the Microsoft Store.

Conclusion

Background apps can be a problem when you want to save as much battery as possible. With these tips you can finally have those background apps under control. Do you have a lot of apps running in the background on your computer? Tell us in the comments.

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