How to turn off background apps on Windows 10?

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With Windows 10 some applications may work without you using them to receive information, send you notifications, or perform updates. However, it is possible to prevent these apps from working in the background by disabling them, without needing to uninstall them entirely.

What is a background app?

Apps using background functionality were introduced to our computers with the arrival of Windows 8 and the Windows Store. Still relevant with Windows 10, most of them are native apps that are installed along with the operating system.

We can find various applications such as: “News”, “Contacts”, “Skype”, “Twitter” or “Games”. Running in the background, even when you are not using them, they have the specificity of slowing down the performance of the computer considerably.

How to prevent apps from running in the background on Windows 10?

To prevent apps from running in the background, you need to go to Windows 10’s “Background app” settings:

  1. Click on the “Start” menu.
  2. Select “Settings”.
  3. Click on the “Confidentiality” tab.
  4. In the left column, choose “Background application”.

In this new menu, you will have the choice between deactivating all background applications or choosing to deactivate only certain applications. In this case, a “deactivate” button is located next to each of them. All you have to do is slide the button to deactivate it.

Is it still possible to use disabled apps in the background?

Obviously, disabling background applications does not prevent them from working properly on your computer. So you can always run and use them whenever you want.

Disabling background apps is useful so that you can increase Windows performance by preventing apps from downloading updates, using your CPU and RAM power, as well as draining the battery (in the laptop case) when not in use.

Note, however, that some specific apps cannot provide their basic services if you turn them off in the background. This is for example the case with the “Alarms and clock” application, which will not be able to use the alarm, if you decide to set it.

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