On Windows 10, apps you install using the Store have been designed to run in the background to take advantage of the OS features, including the ability to download data, show toast notifications, and fetch information to display up-to-date updates in their Live tiles in the Start menu.

The issue is that these apps are always running in the background, even if you didn't open them, and that will drain battery, bandwidth, and system resources. However, Windows 10 includes a few options to take control of the apps that run in the background using the Settings app.

In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through the steps to stop apps you install from the Store from running in the background, wasting resources on your device.

How to stop Windows apps from running in the background using Settings

To prevent apps from running in the background use the following steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Privacy.
  3. Click on Background apps.
  4. On the "Background apps" page use one of the two options:

    • Turn off the Let apps run in the background toggle switch to disable all apps acquired from the Store.
    • Turn off the toggle switches for the specific apps you don't want to run in the background.

Once you complete these steps, the Windows 10 apps you configured will no longer run in the background, and it'll help to conserve power.

How to stop apps from running in the background using Battery Saver

Alternatively, if you're running Windows 10 on a laptop, you can also turn on Battery Saver mode, which also blocks apps from running in the background. This feature activates automatically when the battery charge drops below 20 percent, but it's also possible to enable the mode manually if the device isn't plugged into a power source.

To enable Windows 10 Battery Saver mode use the following steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Battery.
  4. Under "Battery saver," turn on the Battery saver status until next charge toggle switch.

Another way to activate battery mode includes clicking the battery icon in the notification area and clicking the Battery saver button.

It should be noted that these settings only apply to apps you installed using the Windows Store, and traditional (Win32) apps cannot be controlled with these settings.

In the case you're running traditional desktop apps, the only way to make sure they're not running in the background is by closing them manually and making sure they don't run at startup.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources: