In Windows, apps can continue to perform actions even when you are not actively in the app’s window. These are commonly called background apps. You can decide which apps will run in the background, and which won't.

Control whether an app can run in the background

  1. Select Start , then select Settings Apps > Apps & features.

  2. Scroll to the desired app, select More options on the right edge of the window, then select Advanced options.

  3. In the Background apps permissions section, under Let this app run in the background, select one of the following options:

    • Always—The app runs in the background, receiving info, sending notifications, and staying up-to-date even when you're not actively using it. This option may use more power.

    • Power optimized—Windows decides what will save the most power while still allowing the app to receive notifications and update periodically. This option may limit an app that uses a lot of power.

Note: You can also manage background activity for apps from the battery settings.

Stop an app from running in the background

If you don't want to get notifications or updates for an app when you're not using it, you can set it so it won't run in the background.

  1. Select Start , then select Settings  > Apps > Apps & features.

  2. Scroll to the desired app, select More options on the right edge of the window, then select Advanced options.

  3. In the Background apps permissions section, under Let this app run in the background, select Never.

Exceptions to the privacy settings

Desktop apps won’t appear in the App list. To allow or block desktop apps, use the settings in those applications.

Note: How can you tell if an app is a desktop app? Desktop apps are usually downloaded from the Internet or with some type of media (such as a CD, DVD, or USB storage device). They’re launched using an .EXE or .DLL file, and they typically run on your device unlike web-based apps (which run in the cloud). You can also find desktop applications in Microsoft Store.

Control which apps can run in the background

  1. Select Start , then select Settings  > Privacy > Background apps.

  2. Under Background Apps, make sure Let apps run in the background is turned On.

  3. Under Choose which apps can run in the background, turn individual apps and services settings On or Off.

Stop most apps from running in the background

  1. Select Start , then select Settings  > Privacy > Background apps.

  2. Under Background Apps, make sure Let apps run in the background is turned Off.

Exceptions to the privacy settings

Desktop apps won’t appear in your Choose which apps can run in the background list and are not affected by the Let apps run in the background setting. To allow or block desktop apps, use the settings in those applications.

Note: How can you tell if an app is a desktop app? Desktop apps are usually downloaded from the Internet or with some type of media (such as a CD, DVD, or USB storage device). They’re launched using an .EXE or .DLL file, and they typically run on your device unlike web-based apps (which run in the cloud). You can also find desktop applications in Microsoft Store.

Need more help?

Join the discussion
Ask the community
Get support
Contact Us

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!

×