[Howto] (Almost-) definitely prevent android apps from auto starting

asked 2019-06-06 20:12:46 +0300

DrYak gravatar image

updated 2019-07-18 13:14:37 +0300

I've seen quite a lot of people complaining about android app auto starting.

Here's my note about the steps I took to shut some apps from starting when I don't need them.

Checking what is started

Use any top-like) software (my favourite graphical one is Crest but there is plenty of other choice on openrepos ; Lighthouse got mentioned as other people's favourite.)

Android app will show as their java-like classname (e.g.: com.whatsapp)

Stopping them

Due to how Android is isolating applications (each one has it's own separate UID and GID) you can't directly kill them (they don't belong to user nemo). Instead:

click Settings app -> scroll down to Apps -> select the app -> use the Force stop button

Places to look for auto starting

1. App Settings

click Settings app -> scroll down to Apps -> select the app -> use the "Allow application background service to start on bootup" checkbox

(But note there's currently a bug the check box doesn't get updated on the screen, you need to jump to the app selection and back into the settings to see the new state of the check box)

This will prevent the app from autostarting whenever Alien-Dalvik is started.

2. Android Notification

Using something like Coderus' Alien Dalvik control, you can open the android Settings -> select App & notifications -> select Notification -> select App notifications -> switch the notifications Off

This will prevent the app from autostarting whever it needs to display an alert on (top box on the screen + left plane)

Turn it off for anything you don't mind missing alerts (basically anything which is not a chat application or critical application (the 2FA from your Bank that is supposed to automatically pop-up and ask you to confirm credit card transactions). e.g.: it gets rid of all the stupid useless traffic announcement from Google Maps - who the hell needs these pop-ups ? RDS FM, DAB TA, etc. are a thing)

3. Google Cloud Messaging

If you installed microG, go to microG settings -> select Google Cloud Messaging -> select the app.

Start app on push message You can then select if the app is allowed to autostart to process alerts from the internet when they arrive, or if the alerts will wait until you manually start the app.

Allow registration If the app is even allowed to receive alerts from the internet.

I usually enable both for chat and critical applicaitons (Bank 2FA), enable only the second one for the few apps where I might want to get update as long as the app is open, and disable both for everything else.

Somebody should chime in and tell how to handle this same step for people who installed the proprietary Google Play Service

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you can also use Lighthouse from Jolla Store to see if and which apps or services including android ones are running

donni106 ( 2019-06-06 22:34:48 +0300 )edit

does this apply to XA2/baseport 8 only?

rozgwi ( 2019-07-18 18:35:38 +0300 )edit


  1. is the same, no matter which version of AlienDalvik you have. (it Sailfish OS dependent)

  2. good question. can you get Android Settings on your phone?

  3. it's service-dependent. this is how you do it on microG, somebody with more experience with Google's Play Service should help.

DrYak ( 2019-07-18 19:03:18 +0300 )edit

That's a no for 2. Can't get any settings, only buttons for Android Downloads, navigation bar, options for muting tap sounds a.s.o

rozgwi ( 2019-07-19 00:20:17 +0300 )edit

Hi @DrYak I can't see any apps under "Google Cloud Messaging" Which is turned ON, and also Google device registration is Enabled. Any ideas why? Xperia XA2 Plus, 3.1. I tried a few that uses google push notifications including my banking app n26 but I can't see any apps.

EDIT: Also under "Google Cloud Messaging" section in microG settings I see "Current State: Disconnected". If this helps anything to debug my issue?

EDIT2: During the night I was having turned on LED light and my phone died. I Charged it and turned it on and I finally got message conncted since... So now I can use my mobile banking app yayyy :) Thanx.

greatneon ( 2019-10-14 14:26:48 +0300 )edit