Tech Tips

How to turn off Background App Refresh on iPhone & Android to save phone data and battery​

Looking for ways to extend your phone’s battery life? We’ve got you covered. Asurion helps more than 300 million customers get the most out of the technology they love and rely on. And we’re here to help walk you through turning off a feature on your phone that can be a big drag on your phone’s battery (and even your data usage): Background App Refresh.

What is Background App Refresh?

Background App Refresh allows the apps on your device to automatically search for new information even if they are not directly running on the screen. For example, your email app checking for new messages or your Facebook app updating your news feed, even if you aren’t actively using the app at the moment.

The good part? Background App Refresh keeps you from having to wait for new information to be fetched when you launch an app. The not so good? It can potentially keep your phone or tablet from performing at its best when it comes to battery life and data usage.

Let’s protect your phone.

For a limited time get hassle-free protection that won’t break the bank.

Enroll Now

Does Background App Refresh use data?

Between email updates, text messages, videos and photos, you’re probably well aware of the fact that your smartphone burns through quite a bit of data every day.

However, what you may not know is that your smartphone could be burning through data for stuff you don’t need, like those apps and services that are constantly running and updating in the background without you knowing it. While one little app probably won’t use very much data, those little apps can add up to a serious drain on your data plan.

​Does Background App Refresh drain your battery?​

In addition to being a drain on your data plan, Background App Refresh can also have a negative impact on your phone’s battery life. While the feature can be useful, it’s not likely that you need up-to-date information on each and every installed app on your phone. Limiting the number of apps that you allow to use Background App Refresh will be beneficial to your phone’s battery life. Try turning it off on one of the apps that updates frequently (we’re looking at you, Facebook) and see if you experience any improvements.

If your battery life or data limits are a concern, luckily there’s a quick way to stop background apps.

How to turn off Background App Refresh on your iPhone and iPad

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Background App Refresh.
  4. Turn off Background App Refresh completely by toggling it off – you also have the option to set it to refresh an app only while using Wi-Fi or while using Wi-Fi & Cellular Data.

How to turn off Background App Refresh on your Android

  1. From the start screen, pull down the notification bar for Settings.
  2. Tap the gear symbol in the top right-hand corner.
  3. In Settings, tap Connections, and then tap Data Usage.
  4. From the Mobile section, tap Mobile Data Usage.
  5. Select an app from below the usage graph.
  6. Tap Allow background data usage to turn off.
  7. Follow these steps for each app you would like to restrict from using Background App Refresh.

How to turn off Background App Refresh for a specific app on your iPhone and iPad

If having up-to-date emails is a priority to you but knowing what’s happening on Twitter every moment is not, you can also choose to customize which apps do and don’t have Background App Refresh turned on based on your usage habits. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Background App Refresh.
  4. From the list of apps shown, use the toggle to turn Background App Refresh on or off for each app.

Learn about uBreakiFix

If you’ve turned off Background App Refresh and your battery is still draining quickly, chances are you may need a new battery. Our technicians at uBreakiFix can help! Visit uBreakiFix, now part of the Asurion family, with locations nationwide for a free phone diagnostic.