Some eager beavers are already up and running on Android O. Of course, you have to be running a Pixel or Nexus device to be able to experience Google’s latest operating system right now. There are a ton of great new features built into Android O and one of them is the ability to know when apps are running in the background and potentially eating up your battery life. This is a pretty handy little feature and should hopefully force app developers to adjust their app to allow it to stop running in the background when it’s not needed. However, not all developers have made the change yet. The result is a notification in your top notification bar that is creatively referred to as the “is running in the background” notification. Basically it will tell you which app is running in the background and you can then take steps to remedy the situation if you need to.

Is Running In The Background
Image Credit: Android.com (screenshot)

It should be pointed out that it’s not necessarily bad to have apps running in the background. Some apps may need to run in the background to do their job like a VPN, for example. A VPN that isn’t able to run in the background is a pretty useless VPN. So, while this “is running in the background” notification is supposed to be helpful, it can also be kind of annoying. If you want an app running in the background (like a VPN) then you may not want to see the notification all the time reminding you that the app is running in the background. I’m a minimalist kind of person so I like a clean notification bar at the top of my device. When I see people’s devices with a bunch of notifications I die a little inside. Yes I am weird but I am not the only person like this.

Luckily, for people like me, it’s easy to turn off the “is running in the background” notification. Here’s how:

  1. You will want to install an app called “Hide ‘running in the background’ notification.” Very unique name, I know.
  2. You can find the app on the Google Play Store. Here’s a direct link.
  3. After installing, open the app.
  4. It will ask for access to notifications which you need to grant in order for the app to work.
  5. Follow the prompts until you get to the “Notification Access” menu.
  6. Give the app permission.
  7. Accept the warning.
  8. You’re done!

That’s all it takes to hide the “is running in the background” notification. It should be noted that this process does not actually stop any apps from running in the background. You could still have apps running in the background eating up your battery, you just won’t see the notification anymore. My recommendation would be to disable this workaround every now and then to see if anything unexpected is running in the background. You can then edit the offending app’s permissions (if possible) or delete it completely.

This feature of Android O is very helpful but also very annoying if you want a clean notification bar. It would be nice if Android introduced a whitelist function which allowed you to block certain apps from triggering the notification. Perhaps, after getting some feedback, Google will patch that into an update. Until then, this is best workaround we have.

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