How to Turn On/Off Background App Refresh?

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Dealing with applications on the smartphone has always been a common problem with all the cell phone users, may it be Android or Apple or any operating system – users find it very difficult to deal with them as the number of applications is exponentially increasing day by day.

The best part is that most of the applications in the market today are utility-based and help the user in some or the other way.

In the previous article, we have briefly discussed how to deal with a few applications when you do not want them on your iPhone when you want to permanently delete them or deactivate your account.

In this article, we will discuss how to turn on or how to turn off background app refresh and cover the technical aspects of what background app refresh on the iPhone is.

Before the iPhone 7 was released, almost all the iPhones functioned in a way where most of the commonly used applications like the locations, services, and music used to be open in the background.

So, what happens when these applications are open in the background? Do these really affect the phone in some ways? Here is what is most likely to happen.

  • The battery of the iPhone is likely to get drained faster when these applications are open in the background.
  • If your data connection is on, these apps start getting auto-updated.
  • The performance speed of the iPhone certainly reduces.
  • A lot of apps open in the background make it a little tough for the users to navigate between the other apps, which you really might want to use.
  • You may not want to update some apps, but since they are open in the background, they get updated based on the settings you have done for that particular application.

Well, if you really intend to save your battery, we will first go through some aspects of what multi-tasking is for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch before going through what is background app refresh, what does background app refresh do, and how to turn off background app refresh.

As the name multitasking indicates, it helps the iPhone users use multiple apps at one time on the device. Well, what are the features you can use with multitasking?

  • You can use Slide Over on iPhone
  • You can use Split View on iPad
  • You can use the picture on iPad and even iPad touch

These are a few things you can do using multitasking, but apart from just using multiple apps on your device, there is much more you can do using it. The next thing we will discuss is the switch. So, what is a switch and what does it do?

It enables you to move from one application to the other quickly. As the name says, the process of switching from one app to another is made simple using this feature. There are a few simple steps you may have to follow to use Switch. Let’s have a quick view of those:

  • You would first have to check the number of applications you are using at that point in time.
  • To check that, you will have to click on the home button two times.
  • Select the app that you would want to perform an action with.
  • If you want to close an app, first click twice on the home button; you will now have to decide which app you would want to close. Click on the app and swipe it in the upward direction and it will instantly get closed.
  • If you want to switch between two apps, click on the home button twice; you might have opened a lot of apps on your iPhone. Scroll left and right and check where the app you want to switch to is. Once you decide, click on the app and you are instantly switched.

How Do You Use Multitasking on Your iPad?

A little more you can do with this when you are using it on your iPad. Using two iPhone apps at the same time, you would be watching movies, and yes you can also reply to the emails you get at that time and a few other features like these.

A feature named slide over helps you do this. So, let’s quickly go through all that you can do with slide over.

  • You can go to a second app, which you want to use without closing the app that you are already using.
  • You can go to your message box and reply to your messages, check your mailbox and reply to emails and probably even pen down and make a note if something strikes in your mind.

So, how do you use this feature?

  • You will have to swipe in the downward direction from the top and that’s from the right of your screen.
  • The screen will display a list of apps on your device
  • You will have to select the app that you want to use.
  • Once you are done with using the app you just chose, you will have to do a swipe from the left side to the right on the opened app. This will take you to the app, which you were previously using.

The devices that you can use Slide over are iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 2 or later.

Use Background App Refresh

Once you are done with switching from one app to the other, the applications that have closed still remain in a semi-active state for a set time.

These apps are not really active or using anything from your phone to stay semi-active, but they are in a suspended state. These apps keep checking for new updates and content from the background.

What Does Background App Refresh Do?

Background app refresh helps you check the apps, which are still semi-active even after you have closed them. Now let me take you through the process of what you should do if the apps you have suspended have to still check for the new updates and content:

It’s always recommended to do a check before we go ahead to settings. Have you done it? Well now go to the settings option. Once you scroll a little, you will find the option Background app refresh. Tap on it!

How to Turn Off Background App Refresh?

In the same option, there is an option to toggle before every app. To switch on or off, you just have to toggle.

Stay tuned to our blogs and do leave your feedback in the comments section below!


A graduate of the IIMC, Diksha enjoys testing out new tech products and services. Her goal is to help others make more informed purchases of tech products and services. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, and listening to music. An ardent reader loves to be surrounded by technology.

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