HolidayBuyer's Guide

Why you should stop closing apps to save battery life

Clearing out your recent apps list isn't going to save your battery life, whether you're using Android or an iPhone. But these tips might help.

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After you've used your phone or tablet for a while, you may notice the recent apps list grows quite long. It might seem like closing these apps running in the background will preserve your precious battery life, but it won't.

In both Google's Android and Apple's iOS software, these apps are in a paused state in the device's memory that lets them open quickly. If you close each one, you'd be removing it from memory, forcing the app to reload from scratch the next time you open it. Depending on the app, this process may actually consume more battery life.

Instead of closing the apps, here are two better ways to prolong your device's battery life:

Reduce notifications

Photo by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Open any app that often alerts you and disable some, or all, notifications. Some apps will also allow you to increase the time interval for syncing notifications. If you want to disable an app's notifications entirely, head to your device's Settings > Notifications. Then just find the app and turn them off.

Restrict data usage

Photo by Nicole Cozma/CNET

For most versions of Android, you can head to Settings > Data usage and see which app is the worst data sink. From there, you can remove the offending app's permission to use background data.

On iOS, head to Settings > General > Background app refresh, then turn this feature off for as many of your apps as you want.

Restricting notifications and data usage will help you recover a little more screen time so you can enjoy even more of your apps.