Do previously opened apps use RAM in Android?

DrSunil Vaswani October 20, 2012

If you switch from on task to another does the preceding task or app stay open in the background and consume RAM, or does it not?

  1. Austen Gause
    November 21, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    android will usually kill the apps but some of them stay on and run in the background if you really want to check go to manage apps on android and click running apps

  2. Boni Oloff
    November 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

    They still consume the RAM since it still running in the background. You need to close them to free up the RAM again.

  3. Raghav Gupta
    November 3, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Obviously Yes if it runs in background like facebook etc

  4. Shonit Singhal
    October 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    yes it consumes some of the ram and if you want to se its ram consumption turn on task manager on your homescreen .
    and if you want that if you walk out off an app after that it should stop running then go
    1 ] into settings
    2] developer options
    3] look into section of apps
    4] and select strict action mode

  5. Siddhant Chaurasia
    October 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

    of course they do. To solve this go to task manager on your android and clear ram

  6. Chris Hoffman
    October 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Yes, but this isn't a bad thing. If the app is stored in RAM, it will be faster to switch back to it.

    Bear in mind that there's no point in having empty RAM. Empty RAM is completely wasted. When Android needs RAM, it will remove apps from memory to get RAM back.

    This is why task killers are a bad idea, except when apps are poorly coded and misbehaving by using CPU and other resources in the background. I mentioned this in the bottom of this post: //

    • Kannon Y
      October 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      Great answer Chris!

      This is from personal experience, there also seems to be a direct correlation between apps that constantly run in the background and the overall sluggishness of your handset. I'd bet that 90% of the apps that cause such slow down are merely poorly coded, but there are so many poorly created apps in Android that the problem is a common one.

      Also, if you use a battery usage analysis tool, like BetterBatteryStats, you'll notice a significant increase in battery drain the more apps you have running in the background. BBS is a great way to determine which apps are causing wakelocks. Or in other words, which apps are forcing the phone to wake up from deep sleep.

      Aside from deep sleep issues, I believe the primary cause of handset slowness is largely related to the resources that paged out apps draw upon - primarily GPS, WiFi and 3G/data. These oftentimes have a tremendously negative impact on battery life.

      So while the official line from Google is that running apps in the background isn't harmful to system performance, in reality, given the sheer volume of poorly designed apps out there, it's not very good. :-(

  7. VS Vishnu
    October 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm


  8. Anish T A
    October 21, 2012 at 8:38 am

    yes the preceding app stays open and consumes RAM until you close the app.
    You can check which apps are open on the task manager and even close it.

  9. Declan Lopez
    October 20, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    yes, but you can shut down the apps if you are running you of memory

  10. Anonymous
    October 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    It takes your memory but as soon as you use more apps and don't use earlier opened app, the older one will be removed from memory.

  11. Alan Wade
    October 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Yes is the right answer. Download and run an app called Advanced Task Killer and you will see which apps remain open and consume RAM.

  12. Alex Perkins
    October 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Yes until it is shutdown by either the android system or by a 3rd party task manager.

  13. salim benhouhou
    October 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    of course they do close them to gain RAM

  14. Hind Ks
    October 20, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Try to close an apps that you won't think you will be using again to decrease RAM consumption to the minimum. If you do this you will keep your phone running smoother. Also, a reboot at the end of each day will also help your phone run smoother.

  15. ha14
    October 20, 2012 at 8:38 am

    if you have task manager and look into the ram you can see some applications running in the backcround after closing them. so you have to kill them and to gain ram.
    Note that minimum services are required to be running in the background for the android os to work properly.

  16. Drew Butler
    October 20, 2012 at 8:17 am

    They do for sure.. Some even use memory if you haven't opened them even. The facebook app is one of the worst offenders. It ran an avg. of 56 megs in the background constantly. Try out Zdbox and use the task killer :).

  17. Dimal Chandrasiri
    October 20, 2012 at 7:30 am

    yes. it can consume memory for a little time and if the android os realize that the program in the background is not any more needed, it will cache the process. unless it has services that run along. Then the application will run in the background and consume memory. I recommend you to close any unwanted background application unless they a absolutely needed.

    don't use the home button long press to switch application. if say, you are browsing FB with chrome, and you want to switch to PowerAMP to select a track, do it. but don't use that every time. u'll pretty soon realize that the responsiveness is crap when you do it!

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