Windows 10 comes with a feature that allows apps to run in the background even when they are not launched. This allows apps to receive information, send notifications, and stay up to date even when they’re not running.

While useful, these apps can sometimes consume a considerable amount of system resources including CPU, RAM, Internet bandwidth, and battery.

Fortunately, you can choose which apps and programs can run in the background. In this article, we discuss ways to selectively put programs to sleep so that they cannot wake up without actually being used, or to turn off background apps functionality altogether.


Put programs to sleep from Windows 10 Settings

Open them Windows 10 settings (Windows + I).

  • Click on the option Confidentiality.
  • In the left pane, scroll down until you find Background apps.

There you will find two options:

  • The option Enable / Disable Allow apps to run in the background. Choose this option if you want to completely disable the background apps feature. All apps will go into sleep mode once they are closed.
  • The option Choose which apps are running in the background. If you choose this option by selecting a specific application, only that application will be put to sleep. All other apps will continue to consume data and other background resources while keeping up to date.

Disable running programs from Task Manager / System Configuration Manager

Unfortunately, the aforementioned settings only apply to Windows Universal apps (also known as Metro apps). If you want to prevent traditional Windows programs and executables from running in the background, you will need to follow the steps below:

  • Open the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc).
  • Open the tab Start-up.
  • Select the programs that you don’t want to run in the background, and then click the button Deactivate at the bottom right of the window.

To disable all startup items at once, follow the steps below:

  • Open the System Configuration Manager going on Run -> msconfig (Windows + R).
  • On the tab General, select Selective start and uncheck Load startup items.

It will make your system faster. Applications and programs will not consume system resources until you start them. This may slightly increase the startup time of each application, but will also increase system performance.


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