Apps Enable or Disable Background Apps in Windows 11

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In Windows 11, you can use apps that can continue to perform actions even when you are not actively in the app’s window. These are commonly called background apps.

You can manage background apps permissions to Always, Power optimized (let Windows decide), or Never let an app run in the background.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable let apps run in the background for your account or all users in Windows 11.


This only applies to apps from the Microsoft Store.

To enable or disable background apps for desktop apps, you will need to use the settings in those applications.



Contents

  • Option One: Turn On or Off Background Apps for Current User using REG file
  • Option Two: Turn On or Off Individual Background Apps for Current User in Apps Settings
  • Option Three: Turn On or Off Individual Background Apps for Current User in Battery Settings
  • Option Four: Enable or Disable Background Apps for All Users in Local Group Policy Editor
  • Option Five: Enable or Disable Background Apps for All Users using REG file





OPTION ONE

Turn On or Off Background Apps for Current User using REG file


1 Do step 2 (on) or step 3 (off) below for what you would like to do.


 2. To Turn On Background Apps for Current User

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Turn_On_Background_Apps_for_current_user.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\BackgroundAccessApplications]
"GlobalUserDisabled"=-

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search]
"BackgroundAppGlobalToggle"=-


 3. To Turn Off Background Apps for Current User

This will disable and remove the Background apps permissions setting from Option Two and Option Three.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Turn_Off_Background_Apps_for_current_user.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\BackgroundAccessApplications]
"GlobalUserDisabled"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search]
"BackgroundAppGlobalToggle"=dword:00000000

4 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

5 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

6 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

7 You can now delete the downloaded REG file if you like.





OPTION TWO

Turn On or Off Individual Background Apps for Current User in Apps Settings


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Apps on the left side, and click/tap on Apps & features on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Background_Apps_Settings-1.png

3 Click/tap on the 3 dots button for the app you want, and click/tap on Advanced options. (see screenshot below)

If you do not have Advanced options available, then the app doesn't support managing its background apps permissions.


Background_Apps_Settings-2.png

4 Under Background apps permissions, select Always, Power optimized (default), or Never for what you want in the Let this app run in background drop menu. (see screenshot below)

Background_Apps_Settings-3.png

5 When finished managing background apps permissions, you can close Settings if you like.





OPTION THREE

Turn On or Off Individual Background Apps for Current User in Battery Settings


This option is only available if your PC has a battery.


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on System on the left side, and click/tap on Power & battery on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Background_Apps_Battery_Settings-1.png

3 Click/tap on Battery usage on the right side to expand it open. (see screenshot below)

Background_Apps_Battery_Settings-2.png

4 Under Background usage per app, click/tap on the 3 dots button for the app you want, and click/tap on Manage background activity. (see screenshot below)

If you do not have Manage background activity available, then the app doesn't support managing its background apps permissions.


Background_Apps_Battery_Settings-3.png

5 Under Background apps permissions, select Always, Power optimized (default), or Never for what you want in the Let this app run in background drop menu. (see screenshot below)

Background_Apps_Battery_Settings-4.png

6 When finished managing background apps permissions, you can close Settings if you like.





OPTION FOUR

Enable or Disable Background Apps for All Users in Local Group Policy Editor


You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.

The Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

All editions can use Option Five to configure this same policy using a REG file instead.


1 Open the Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc).

2 Navigate to the policy location below in the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor. (see screenshot below)

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\App Privacy

Background_Apps_gpedit-1.png

3 In the right pane of App Privacy in Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Let Windows apps run in the background policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)

4 Do step 5 (default), step 6 (always enable), or step 7 (always disable) below for what you want.


5 Default - Allow Users to Turn On or Off Background Apps for their Accounts

This is the default setting to allow users to manage Background apps permissions using Option One, Option Two, and Option Three.


A) Select (dot) Not Configured, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)​

Background_Apps_gpedit-2.png

6 Always Enable Background Apps for All Users

This will set the background apps permissions to Always for all apps, and disable and remove the Background apps permissions setting from Option One, Option Two, and Option Three.


A) Select (dot) Enabled, select Force Allow in the Default for all apps drop menu, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)​

Background_Apps_gpedit-3.png

7 Always Disable Background Apps for All Users

This will set the background apps permissions to Never for all apps, and disable and remove the Background apps permissions setting from Option One, Option Two, and Option Three.


A) Select (dot) Enabled, select Force Deny in the Default for all apps drop menu, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)​

Background_Apps_gpedit-4.png

8 When finished, you can close the Local Group Policy Editor if you like.





OPTION FIVE

Enable or Disable Background Apps for All Users using REG file


You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.


1 Do step 2 (default), step 3 (always enable), or step 4 (always disable) below for what you want.


2 Default - Allow Users to Turn On or Off Background Apps for their Accounts

This is the default setting to allow users to manage Background apps permissions using Option One, Option Two, and Option Three.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the REG file below, and go to step 5 below.​

Default_user_choice_for_Background_Apps.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\AppPrivacy]
"LetAppsRunInBackground"=-
"LetAppsRunInBackground_UserInControlOfTheseApps"=-
"LetAppsRunInBackground_ForceAllowTheseApps"=-
"LetAppsRunInBackground_ForceDenyTheseApps"=-

3 Always Enable Background Apps for All Users

This will set the background apps permissions to Always for all apps, and disable and remove the Background apps permissions setting from Option One, Option Two, and Option Three.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.​

Always_enable_Background_Apps_for_all_users.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\AppPrivacy]
"LetAppsRunInBackground"=dword:00000001
"LetAppsRunInBackground_UserInControlOfTheseApps"=-
"LetAppsRunInBackground_ForceAllowTheseApps"=-
"LetAppsRunInBackground_ForceDenyTheseApps"=-

4 Always Disable Background Apps for All Users

This will set the background apps permissions to Never for all apps, and disable and remove the Background apps permissions setting from Option One, Option Two, and Option Three.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.​

Always_disable_Background_Apps_for_all_users.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\AppPrivacy]
"LetAppsRunInBackground"=dword:00000002
"LetAppsRunInBackground_UserInControlOfTheseApps"=-
"LetAppsRunInBackground_ForceAllowTheseApps"=-
"LetAppsRunInBackground_ForceDenyTheseApps"=-

5 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

6 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

7 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

8 You can now delete the downloaded REG file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink
 

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Last edited:

abactuon

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"LetAppsRunInBackground"=dword:00000002 "LetAppsRunInBackground_UserInControlOfTheseApps"=- "LetAppsRunInBackground_ForceAllowTheseApps"=- "LetAppsRunInBackground_ForceDenyTheseApps"=-
If "LetAppsRunInBackground"=dword:00000002 other keys are simply ignored.
You will not be able to launch individual applications in the background. For example Microsoft Edge.

No, found

Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Edge" -Name "StartupBoostEnabled" -Type DWORD -Value 1
 
Last edited:

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If "LetAppsRunInBackground"=dword:00000002 other keys are simply ignored.
You will not be able to launch individual applications in the background. For example Microsoft Edge.

Correct, that would disable letting apps run in the background.
 

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My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
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