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.

Some apps let you manage background activity, which determines what they can do when they’re in the background and not actively in use. Apps that can run in the background can send and receive notifications, sync information, and stay up to date. If you find that an app is using a lot of battery when running in the background, you can change the setting for apps that allow it.

You can manage background apps permissions to Always, Power optimized, or Never let an app run in the background.
  • Always. The app is always allowed to run in the background—receive info, send notifications, and stay up to date—even when you’re not actively using it. However, it might use more power as a result.
  • Power optimized (recommended). Windows will decide what’s best to help save the most power while still allowing the app to receive notifications and update periodically. This option might limit an app that uses more power.
  • Never. When you’re not actively using the app, it won’t run in the background. You won’t receive any notifications or updates for the app, but this will help save the most power.
Reference:

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 or Installed apps 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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Brink

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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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atinfo

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Hello @Brink :)

Why "Option 4" does not work for some apps? "Windows Terminal" and "NanaZip" still active in the background (I have set GP to "Force Deny", and I have checked the "AppPrivacy" key in "Registry" which is set to "2").NanaZip does not have background activity control in its "Advanced Option".

Why MS removed "Background Apps" page from "Settings"?!
 

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Brink

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Hello @Brink :)

Why "Option 4" does not work for some apps? "Windows Terminal" and "NanaZip" still active in the background (I have set GP to "Force Deny", and I have checked the "AppPrivacy" key in "Registry" which is set to "2").NanaZip does not have background activity control in its "Advanced Option".

Why MS removed "Background Apps" page from "Settings"?!

Hello, :-)

Usually if the app doesn't have a setting for it in option 2 or 3, it's not going to work in the other options.
 

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    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
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    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
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    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
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    HP Spectre x360 2in1
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    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
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Gmy77

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In ALL SINCERITY... in Windows 10 the option to select directly the background apps to disable... WORK 100% much more for my personal view... i hate this method to select in the list... the 3 dots etc... the previous method was fast and effective.
 

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Goldengirl52

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I just got my Win 11 laptop, and that's the first thing I noticed :( I don't understand what they are thinking. It's kind of like technicians are not user friendly, LOL!!
 

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