How do I turn off background restrictions on Android?

Background restrictions limit how apps can run in the background on Android devices. Starting in Android 8.0 Oreo, Google implemented stricter limits on background activity to improve battery life, device performance, and user experience ( Apps running in the background can drain battery and slow down the device, so Android now restricts background processes and location tracking unless the activity is essential.

While background restrictions benefit most users, there are times when you may want to disable the limits for certain apps. For example, you might want an app to continue running in the background or tracking your location even when not in active use. Fortunately, Android does provide some options to customize background restrictions on a per-app or system-wide basis.

View Current App Restrictions

To view the current app restrictions on your Android device:

  1. Open Settings and go to Battery > Battery Optimization
  2. Here you can see the different optimization levels like Intelligent Control, Optimize, and Don’t Optimize
  3. Apps that are set to Optimize have restrictions placed on their background activity in order to improve battery life
  4. Apps set to Don’t Optimize can run freely in the background

For example, the Gmail app may be set to Optimize to restrict background refreshing. The Spotify app could be set to Don’t Optimize so that you can listen to music uninterrupted. Check which of your most important apps have restrictions enabled.

Temporarily Disable Restrictions

There is a simple way to temporarily disable background restrictions for a specific app on Android. This involves going into the Battery settings and selecting “Don’t Optimize” for that app:

First, go to Settings > Battery. Here you will see a list of apps that have restrictions enabled.

Find the app you want to allow background activity for, and long press on it. In the menu that pops up, choose “Don’t Optimize”.

This will temporarily lift restrictions and allow background activity for that app. The setting will reset when you charge your phone next.

So if you need an app to work in the background just for a short while, this is the easiest way to disable restrictions until your next charge cycle. Just remember to go back and re-enable optimizations for the app afterwards if desired.


Permanently Disable Restrictions

To permanently disable background restrictions for a specific app on Android, you need to open the app info screen and turn off battery optimization for that app.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap on “Apps & notifications”.
  2. Select the app you want to disable restrictions for.
  3. Tap on “Battery”.
  4. Toggle off the switch next to “Background restriction”.

Turning off background restriction for an app in the battery settings will permanently disable battery optimization for that particular app (source: This means the app will be allowed to freely run in the background without any restrictions applied by the Android system.

Disabling background restrictions can improve performance and reduce latency issues for apps that need to sync data or run services in the background. However, it may negatively impact battery life since the app is no longer optimized.

Use Unrestricted Apps

Certain apps are designed to run in the background without restrictions. This includes apps like Clock, Music Players, and Navigation that require constant background access to function properly:

Clock apps need to run in the background to keep time and set alarms or timers.

Music and audio apps require background playback to keep playing audio even when the screen is off or the user navigates away.

Navigation and GPS apps need background location access and ability to run while in the background to provide turn-by-turn directions.

These types of apps are exempt from battery optimization restrictions and can run freely in the background. However, this means they may use more battery since they are not optimized for battery efficiency. Users will need to weigh the convenience of unrestricted background access against potential battery drain.

Disable Battery Optimization

One way to turn off background restrictions for specific apps is to disable battery optimization for that app. This prevents Android from restricting app activity to save battery life.[1] To disable battery optimization:

Go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > Advanced > Special App Access.

Toggle Battery optimization off for the desired app. Note this disables optimization system-wide.[2]

With battery optimization disabled, the selected app will be allowed to freely run in the background without Android restricting its activity. However, this may come at the cost of reduced battery life, as background activity will no longer be limited.

Disabling battery optimization is a simple way to lift restrictions on individual apps you want to exempt from Android’s default background limits. Just beware of the potential battery drain.




Use Developer Options

One way to fully disable background restrictions on Android is to enable Developer options in Settings and turn off the ‘Background process limit’ setting.

To enable Developer options:

  1. Go to Settings > System > Advanced
  2. Tap on Developer options
  3. Toggle on Developer options

Then, go into the Developer options and toggle off ‘Background process limit’. This will remove any restrictions on background processes for all apps system-wide.

As explained on Android Stack Exchange, removing the background process limit gives apps more freedom to run in the background which can impact battery life. However, it also prevents any app-specific issues caused by restricted background processing.


If background restrictions are still in place after disabling them through the steps outlined above, try restarting your phone. A simple reboot will clear any glitches and ensure the changes take effect properly across the OS.

You can also go to Settings > Apps and tap the menu button in the upper right corner and select “Reset app preferences.” This will reset all preferences for disabled apps, and may resolve any lingering background restrictions.

Finally, check that your version of Android and all apps are fully updated. Newer versions of Android have additional options for controlling background activity, so installing the latest OS updates can help. App updates may also include fixes for issues with background execution. Visit the Play Store to check for any available updates.

If you still can’t resolve the background restrictions after trying these troubleshooting steps, you may need to contact the device manufacturer or your mobile carrier for further support. Persistent issues could be caused by additional software installed by the manufacturer.

Improving Battery Life

There are several ways to improve battery life on your Android device.

First, enable Adaptive Battery and Optimized Charging in your Settings. Adaptive Battery limits battery usage for infrequently used apps. Optimized Charging learns your daily charging routine so it can avoid fully charging your battery overnight when you don’t need it. This helps extend your battery’s lifespan (source).

You can also close any unused apps and reduce your screen brightness to conserve battery. Apps running in the background can drain your battery faster. Lowering screen brightness means less power is needed to light up the display (source).

Turning on Airplane mode when you don’t need internet access can help too. Limit phone features like Bluetooth, NFC, and GPS when not in use. And disable unnecessary app notifications so your phone isn’t constantly lighting up and draining power.

With some simple adjustments like these, you can extend your battery life and get the most out of each charge.


There are a few different ways to disable background restrictions on Android devices. The easiest is to temporarily disable the restrictions in the Settings app under App Restrictions. You can also permanently remove restrictions by turning off battery optimization for specific apps in the Battery section of Settings.

Disabling background restrictions can allow apps to update more frequently and run smoothly. However, it may negatively impact your battery life since apps can now run in the background unchecked. Try to disable restrictions only for apps that truly need it to function properly.

If you still face issues with apps not working correctly in the background after adjusting restrictions, you may need to contact your device manufacturer for further troubleshooting. Manufacturers sometimes implement custom versions of Android that handle background processes differently.

Overall, Android provides users great control over background app activity. Just remember to balance performance needs with battery life impact when adjusting background restrictions.

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