Understanding and knowing how to turn off apps running in the background is vital to optimize your computer’s performance and resource usage. 

These programs manage operations like updates and data synchronization while operating in the background. 

However, using too many background programs can slow down your computer. In this article, we’ll look at how to stop programs running in the background on Windows 10

Let’s begin. 

What Are Background Apps?

Background apps run continuously and carry out tasks even when you’re not actively using them. These can include receiving notifications, synchronizing data, or checking for updates.

Background apps maintain the functionality of certain programs. However, your computer’s performance can slow down when too many apps run in the background.

So, you may have to manage or disable specific background programs to enhance PC performance or save resources, such as battery life.

In the following sections, we’ll show you how to stop apps from running in the background.

How to Check Apps Running in the Background on Windows 10

If you want to know how to see what programs are running on PC, check the steps below:

1. Using Auslogics BoostSpeed

Auslogics BoostSpeed is software designed to optimize and boost your Windows system performance. It includes over 30 features, including system optimization, registry defrag, browser protection, etc.

Compared to Windows built-in methods like system settings, BoostSpeed gives detailed descriptions of what’s happening in the background. 

For example, it can check whether a background running app is a system, local service, network, etc. 

BoostSpeed also gives you insight into which apps are trustworthy or not. This helps you to know which apps to end and those you must not disable.

One of its essential features is the ability to search for apps running in the background and check information about each app’s CPU, RAM, and network usage. 

It helps you to see the most resource-intensive apps and end the process if necessary. Here’s how Auslogics BoostSpeed can help you to do that:

Auslogics BoostSpeed 13

  • Launch the program after installation. 
  • Navigate to “Task Manager” and click on “Processes.” 

How to Check Apps Running in the Background on Windows 10

  • You can find a list of background apps running on your PC. Right-click on it and select “End process” to terminate the process. 

Auslogics BoostSpeed 13 end process in Task Manager

Related: Get the Most out of Auslogics BoostSpeed Free Trial 

2. Using the Task Manager

The Task Manager is a built-in utility that allows you to check and manage background apps. Here’s how to do it:

  • Press “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” to open the Task Manager. 
  • Navigate to the “Processes” tab and check for the list of running processes. 

Task Manager Windows 10

  • You can right-click on a background app and select “End task” to end it. 

The Task Manager also provides information about each background app but not as detailed and complex as Auslogics BoostSpeed. 

Related: How to Set the Priority Using Windows Task Manager

3. System Settings

If you want to know how to check apps running in the background on Windows 10 using the system settings, check the steps below:

  • Type “Settings” in the search bar and click on it.
  • Click on “Privacy” in the Settings window.
  • Click on “Background apps” on the left-hand menu. 

You’ll see the list of programs with toggle switches. You can disable and enable the apps based on your preference. 

Also Read: How to Keep the Task Manager’s CPU Data in Windows 10 Tray? 

How to Know Which Background-Running Apps to Stop

Deciding which background-running apps to disable can be critical for maintaining your computer’s performance without interfering with essential processes.

So, you’ll need to know which apps to stop. Here’s how:

1. Check the Resource Usage

Examine how many resources background programs are using. You can view how much CPU, memory, and network resources each app uses in the Task Manager (click Ctrl + Shift + Esc).

Alternatively, click “Task Manager” on Auslogics BoostSpeed to check for this information.

If a program uses a lot of your resources and you don’t need it, you can uninstall it.

2. Consider the System Impact

Consider how the running apps will affect how well your system performs. Some applications, like antivirus software or system-related tasks, are essential for the safety and efficiency of your computer.

So don’t disable these apps. You can also ignore apps related to system updates or hardware drivers.

3. Consider Your Preference

Your choice needs to be in line with your app usage patterns and preferences. You can remove apps you rarely use.

However, you should permit apps you regularly use to run in the background for a smoother experience. It’s not advisable to enable and disable the app every time you use it.

4. Battery Life

This tip is specific to laptops. Stop apps that use lots of resources and are constantly running in the background, especially when your laptop isn’t plugged in. You can extend your battery life by closing these applications.

5. Check for Updates

Some apps, such as email clients, use background processes to check for new messages or updates. Before you stop using these apps, consider how they’ll affect your workflow. Instead of completely disabling them, you can lower their update frequency.

Related: How to Manually Check and Install Windows Updates 

How to Stop Apps from Running in the Background

We’ll show you how to stop programs running in the background on Windows 10. The steps outlined below can help you to end background tasks without any issues. 

Take Note: 

Keep in mind that disabling background apps might not result in a big, instant improvement in your battery life. Microsoft and Windows developers have efficiently optimized background operations. However, if you have an older PC, it can help to increase its battery life or fix performance issues. 

Method 1: Using Auslogics BoostSpeed

As we have mentioned above, Auslogics BoostSpeed can help you both to show all processes and to switch unnecessary ones off.

If you want to know how to turn off apps running in the background using Auslogics BoostSpeed, follow the steps below:

  • Launch the program and click on “Task Manager.”

How to Stop Apps from Running in the Background

  • Select the program you want to end and click on “End process.” 


If you use the “End process” function, you’ll lose any unsaved data within a program. It’s best to avoid terminating crucial system processes whenever possible because doing so could disable crucial system components. 

Don’t end Explorer.exe or any program with “SYSTEM,” “SYSTRAY,” or “SERVICE” in their usernames. Don’t terminate a process if you don’t know what it does. 

Method 2: Using System Settings

Here’s how to turn off background apps on Windows 10 using system settings:

  • Open “Settings.”
  • Click on “System.”
  • Click on “Battery.”

System Power and Battery

Deactivate the toggle switch labeled “Battery saver status until the next charge” under the “Battery saver” section. 

You can also turn on the battery saver by selecting the “Battery saver” option when you click the battery icon in the taskbar’s lower right corner. 

If you follow these instructions, all your apps won’t run in the background while this feature is turned on.

These instructions apply to apps downloaded via the Microsoft Store. To prevent traditional programs from using background resources, you must close them manually. 

Related: How to Restore Missing Power Plans Options on Windows 

Method 3: Group Policy Editor

If you want to know how to stop all unnecessary processes on Windows 10 using the Group Policy Editor, follow the steps below:


The Windows 10 Home Edition doesn’t have the Group Policy Editor. Check out the other methods discussed if you’re using Windows 10 Home. 

  • Press “Win + R” to open the “Run” dialog box.
  • Type “gpedit.msc” and press “Enter.”

  • Go to “Computer Configuration,” select “Administrative Templates,” and click on “System.” 

Computer Configuration Administrative Templates

  • Next, click on “Group Policy.”

System Group Policy

  • Search for “Don’t run specified Windows applications” and double-click on it to open the settings.
  • Click the “Enabled” option.
  • Click “Show…” and then click “Add…
  • Add the programs you want to block by entering the executable file names one at a time.
  • Click “OK” to save your changes.
  • Restart your PC to apply the changes. 

Check to see if the unwanted program running on the computer has been stopped. 

Method 4: Registry Editor

Take a Note:

Editing the Windows Registry can be risky. So, it’s usually best to choose simpler alternatives like Auslogics BoostSpeed. Your operating system’s registry is crucial, and making the wrong changes might cause instability or even crashes. 

Also, consider backing up the registry for additional security before making any changes. This guarantees you can quickly restore your system to a stable condition if something goes wrong. 

This strategy protects the integrity of your system and reduces any potential risks related to direct registry editing. Follow this guide for more: The Ultimate Guide to Windows 10 Backup and Restore

Here’s how to stop apps from running in the background using the Registry Editor: 

  • Press “Win + R” to open the “Run” dialog box.
  • Type “regedit” and press “Enter.”

Run regedit on Windows PC

  • Go to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE,” select “Software,” and click on “Policies.” 

Registry Editor HKEY

  • Select “Microsoft” and click “Windows.”

Registry Editor Policies

  • Right-click on the “Windows” folder, select “New,” and click on “Key.”

Registry Editor New

  • Label the key as “AppPrivacy.”
  • Right-click on the “AppPrivacy” key, select “New,” and click on “String Value.

Registry Editor String Value

  • Name the string value as “BlockUserInstalledApps.”
  • Double-click on “BlockUserInstalledApps.”
  • Enter the list of apps you want to block in the “Value data” field, separated by semicolons. For example: “app1.exe;app2.exe.”

 Registry Editor Edit String

  • Save the changes and restart the computer. 

That’s how to stop an unwanted program running on a computer using the Registry Editor. 

Pro Tip: How to Manage Startup Programs using Auslogics BoostSpeed

Auslogics BoostSpeed 13 Full System Scan

With Auslogics BoostSpeed, managing startup programs is a simple process that allows you to enhance your computer’s performance and safely disable startup programs

This software lets you choose which applications run at startup, resulting in a quicker and more efficient system startup. 

Auslogics BoostSpeed provides a thorough list of all the applications set to launch when your computer boots up. 

Besides managing startup programs, Auslogics BoostSpeed increases the entire system’s functionality by fixing corrupted files, clearing out junk files, boosting system stability, etc.

In the end, numerous useful tools, combined with knowing how to manage background processes and startup programs and performing regular hardware maintenance, make Auslogics BoostSpeed indispensable to prolong the lifespan of your PC.

Related: How to Speed Up Windows 10 – Step-by-step Guide 


There are several ways to know how to stop apps from running in the background. You can efficiently manage which apps run in the background using system settings, built-in Task Manager, or third-party tools like Auslogics BoostSpeed.

This can help you to speed up your computer and increase your battery life. Remember that stopping background programs may not always result in an instant performance improvement.

However, it can help older PCs or those with poor performance. You can use these methods to ensure your computer operates quickly and effectively.


Why do some apps run in the background by default?

Some apps run in the background automatically because they must perform tasks even when you are not actively using them. This helps to ensure they function smoothly when you open them again.

Is it safe to disable all background apps?

While generally safe, turning off all background programs can affect the computer’s performance and functionality. Some crucial operations require background programs. Use caution when dealing with crucial system applications. But you can disable less-used programs.

How many background processes is normal?

Depending on the system and the programs you use, a computer may have more or less background processes than usual. Several background activities are typical for crucial operations. However, running too many background programs can make your computer slow. So you can monitor them to ensure your PC continues to perform at its best.