Apple How to

Enable or Disable Background App Refresh on iPhone

Apple has not had the best track record when it comes to battery life in their products. Notoriously, Apple has slowed down the processors in their iPhones in an attempt to both drive consumers to buy newer devices and to maintain a “reasonable” battery life as the battery’s capacities decayed. One of the things you can do as a user to increase your iPhone’s battery life is to stop apps from being able to update content in the background. This guide will cover how to stop apps from being able to refresh content in the background. In this article, we are going to talk about Enable or Disable Background App Refresh on iPhone. Let’s begin!

Disabling background app refresh stops apps from being able to update their content when not in use. For example, a news app would be stopped from being able to update new headlines. By reducing the activity of apps in the background, the drain on the battery should be reduced.

We can find the background refresh settings in the Settings app. The settings are located in the General > Background App Refresh. The top setting that we can use the “Background App Refresh” to select. When apps are allowed to update their content in the background. There are three possible values: Off, Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi and mobile data.

Below the general setting is a list of all the apps installed on your phone, ordered alphabetically. Here you can block or allow apps to refresh their content in the background on an app-by-app basis.

Disable Background App Refresh on iPhone

If you wish to turn off Background App Refresh on iOS, here is the setting to disable:

  • Open the “Settings” app in iOS
  • Go to “General”
  • Tap on “Background App Refresh”
  • Set “Background App Refresh” to be OFF to disable the feature completely
  • Exit Settings

On the plus side, you may notice that your device battery lasts longer. However, which is why it is a frequent battery life tip for iOS 12 and many prior iOS versions too. Since the Background App Refresh feature debuted some time ago in iOS.

If you are doing this out of privacy concerns to prevent background activity that is sharing data about you or your device. Like what is discussed in the aforementioned Washington Post article. Then you might want to go a step further and audit your Privacy settings in iOS too, particularly the Location Services section.

Enable Background App Refresh on iPhone

If you turned the feature off and decide you want background activity to be on-again. Here is how to toggle it back on easily:

  • Open the “Settings” app
  • Go to “General”
  • Choose “Background App Refresh”
  • Set “Background App Refresh” to be ON
  • Optionally, manually adjust apps you want to disable Background App Refresh for specifically
  • Exit Settings when finished

However, you use or don’t use Background App Refresh is entirely up to you. If you’re concerned about battery life reductions, or some theoretical background data transfer going on when apps aren’t in use, turn it off. If you want your iOS apps to be up to date when they are not in use, leave it on. You can adjust this feature at any time on an iPhone or iPad.


Alright, That was all Folks! I hope you like this article and find it helpful to you. Give us your feedback on it. Also if you guys have further queries related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a Great Day!

Also See: How To Troubleshoot Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus For LTE Calling

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Windy Moore

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