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How to Control Background App Refresh in iOS

Today's smartphones and tablets are a far cry from what we were using at the beginning of the century. Even if an app is not currently open, it is possible to receive updates from that app without having to keep it open.

The Background App Refresh feature on an iPhone or iPad is largely responsible for this blazing pace.

  • Controlling App Refresh in the BackgroundBackground app refresh allows for updates even while the app is closed, but it consumes battery power. Background app refresh.
  • To disable the "Background App Refresh" feature on your iPhone or iPad, go to the Settings app's "General" section.
  • If you don't want background refreshes for all of your apps, you can do it for only a few of them.

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Even if an app is closed, Background App Refresh keeps it alive and well.

The app isn't really closing down when you swipe it away from your iPhone or iPad. Apps that have Background App Refresh enabled use less power while still receiving notifications and taking up data from the internet.

When you reopen an app, it restarts almost instantly. This is also why apps continue to deliver notifications even after you've stopped them. With Background App Refresh, your app can stay up to date and connect with your device while you're doing something else.

Apps can also make use of Background App Refresh in the following ways:

  • How crowded was your metro ride on Google Maps?
  • If it's going to rain, the Weather app will tell you.
  • When you're driving through a town, Airbnb recommends nearby vacation locations.

In the background, the apps continue to track your whereabouts and send you notifications even when you are not actively using them.

Drawbacks of App Background refresh

Background App Refresh is a convenient way to transition between Apps, but it also has a drawback.

Refreshing an app in the background consumes data and battery life.

Everything you do on your iPhone or iPad drains your battery and consumes bandwidth on the internet. Even if they're running in the background, this is still true.

If you have a lot of apps running in the background, they can drain your battery even if they aren't using much power. An app's background power usage tends to increase in proportion to the number of alerts it sends.

Open Settings and tap Battery to see how much battery power each app consumes.

You have to accept this if you want fast multitasking and app upgrades. Disabling Background App Refresh can help you save money on your data plan and battery life if you don't need it.

How to enable and disable Background App Refresh

Background App Refresh can be disabled in one of two ways: either globally or per-app. Both options are available from the same drop-down menu.

  • Begin by opening the Settings app.
  • Select General, and then Background App Refresh.
  • Every app that has permission to run in the background will be listed for you to choose from.
  • A toggle at the top of the screen disables Background App Refresh for all running applications. You'll be presented with three options:
  • Allows Background App Refresh to occur whenever you have Wi-Fi or cellular data.
  • To avoid using mobile data, Wi-Fi updates apps only while you are connected to Wi-Fi.
  • Allowing apps to update in the background can be turned off.
  • Simply pick the app you'd like to disable and tap the toggle switch next to it in the list. The app can't be updated if it's on the left.
  • Turning on Low Power Mode is a third method for reducing Background App Refreshes.

Updates will still occur, but the frequency with which they do so will be reduced.