Turn off background app refresh

By default, the apps on your phone are connecting to the internet even when your not using them. It's a feature called Background App Refresh and it is mostly not very useful.

Here are some activities background app refresh allows apps to do when you're not using the app…

For certain apps you may want to leave this feature on — for instance cloud storage might be a useful thing to sync in the background, or a podcast app that downloads new episode — but for the vast majority of apps there is no tangible benefit to having background app refresh on.

Save battery life, your data allowance, protect your privacy, and add friction to the use of life-wasting apps by switching background app refresh off.

How to turn off background app refresh on iOS

  1. Open Settings
  2. Navigate to General
  3. Navigate to Background App Refresh
  4. Switch off Background App Refresh on all the apps — except for maybe one or two.

How to turn off background app refresh on Android

For Android phones the settings differ by name and location in settings — but there should be a setting called Allow background data usage or Data Saver.

Turning on Data Saver isn't exactly the same as turning off Background App Refresh. It limits the data apps can use when you're not connected to WiFi.