Look to the Background

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated May 13, 2019)

1

On any computer you use, the operating system has many programs that run in the background. Many of these background apps are intended to improve functionality and performance. However, some background apps, depending on how you use your machine, can steal valuable CPU time and memory that you could use elsewhere.

From time to time it is a good idea to go into your system settings and determine which apps can be turned off. Taking a look at your background apps and determine which ones you want running, is a quick and easy process.

Press the Windows key and type (without quotes) "Background Apps" and then press Enter. Windows displays the Background Apps Settings dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Background Apps Settings dialog box.

In the Background Apps Setting dialog box, Windows 10 lists all of the apps that are currently allowed to run in the background on your machine. On my machine for example I have 42 apps that, by default, are set to run in the background. Navigate the list and determine which apps you want running and which apps you want turned off.

For my machine I have determined that I can turn four apps off—Microsoft Solitaire Collection, 3D Builder, 3D Viewer, and Print 3D. To turn them off I simply click on the On/Off toggle to the right of each app. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Click on the On/Off toggle to turn background apps on or off.

Once you have completed your choices you can close the dialog box and your choices will take effect. You will want to keep in mind that some apps such as Edge, One Note, Calculator, and Skype are helpful to have running in the background, again depending on how you use your machine. You'll want to go back in from time to time to go through your list to see if anything has changed. When you update your operating system, or install new apps, the list can change.

With you in control of the background apps you should feel confident that your CPU, memory, and other valuable system resources are being used for the items you want.

 This tip (13629) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...

MORE FROM ERIC

Swipe Your Text

Whether you're using a tablet PC or a desktop, there is a new way to enter text. Using the swipe keyboard found in ...

Discover More

Command Prompt's New Tricks

Command Prompt has been around for a while in various versions of Windows. With Windows 10 the Command Prompt window has ...

Discover More

Getting the Steps Down

Often when we are using our computers, we need to remember certain steps that we take, either for ourselves or to show ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Improving Text Sharpness with ClearType

Ever notice that even with a fancy new monitor, text can still look a bit muddy on the screen. You can use ClearType ...

Discover More

Using Desktop Themes

Desktop themes allow you to quickly and easily personalize your system so that what you see and hear while working can be ...

Discover More

Improve Performance by Turning Off 3D Effects

Windows does a lot of nuancing to provide the user with a pleasing visual experience. All this attention to detail, ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 5?

2019-05-14 22:08:46

MW

Good Tip, but on my system (1809) it doesn't work. "Background Apps" took me somewhere else unrelated.

I had to type only "background" and then scrolled down and selected "choose which apps run in the background."

Although I recognize they are free and I love your tips; I suggest you verify each on the current systems before you publish them. In spite of their overall helpful nature, each misguided tip could diminish all of them.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.