Everyone wants to squeeze more battery life out of their phones. And while you can manually optimize battery usage to a point, nobody wants to worry about that all the time.
That’s why Google includes its own battery optimizer for Android, called Doze, as part of the operating system. While this feature is beneficial a lot of the time, it can also interfere with functionality in some apps.
Here’s what you need to know about battery optimization on Android and how to turn it off for certain apps.
What Is Battery Optimization?
In case you’re not familiar, battery optimization is a function (known as Doze) built into Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above. It preserves battery life by limiting what apps can do in the background.
Apps use what’s called a wakelock to keep your device alive even while you’re not actively using it. By default, Android wants to go into a “deep sleep” when your screen is off, but this can pose a problem for some apps. For instance, you don’t want Spotify music to stop playing just because your phone’s screen is off. Thus, app developers use wakelocks to keep their services alive when needed.
While wakelocks are important, developers can abuse them. This is why Facebook and many other apps kill your Android battery in the background. Doze helps fix this issue by providing limited “maintenance windows” that allow apps to check in every once in a while, instead of constantly. The longer your phone is dormant, the more time passes between these windows.
In many cases, this is a great feature. But for apps that rely on steady connections, it can pose an issue. Thankfully, you’re able to turn it off.
How to Turn Off Android Battery Optimization
To disable battery optimization for any Android app, perform the following steps:
First, visit Settings > Apps & notifications. Tap See all X apps at the bottom of the Recently opened apps list to see everything on your phone. Choose the app you want to make the adjustment for.
Next, expand the Advanced section on the App info page. Select Battery and you’ll open another menu with several battery settings.
Continuing on, tap the Battery optimization entry and you’ll see a list of apps again. On the bar at the top of the screen, tap Not optimized and change it to All apps so you can see everything. Once again, select the app that you want to change.
You’ll see a new window; select Don’t optimize here to turn off battery optimization for that app.
This will prevent Doze from restricting the app’s background usage. If the app still behaves strangely after you do this, you may also consider turning off Adaptive Battery under Settings > Battery. This is a separate but similar feature Android uses to optimize battery usage.
Over time, it learns what apps you don’t use often, and limits battery usage for those apps. However, you shouldn’t need to disable this in most cases.
What Apps Should You Disable Optimization For?
What types of apps run into problems with Doze? The following are some you might consider tweaking:
- Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and your SMS app. Battery optimization can cause message notifications to arrive late.
- VPN apps. Battery optimization can cause VPNs to drop the connection when your phone screen is off.
- Photo backup apps. You may want to consider disabling battery optimization for apps like Google Photos that automatically back up your photos to the cloud. Often, you’ll open it and see that the app hasn’t backed up pictures in days. This could lead to you losing photos if something happened to your device in the meantime.
- Any apps that are otherwise time-sensitive. Apps such as SMS schedulers may fail to send your scheduled messages on time when they’re optimized for battery usage.
Remember that you should disable battery optimization sparingly. Doing so for too many apps will have a negative effect on battery life.
What About Other Battery Optimization Apps?
We’ve seen how to disable Android’s native battery optimization to take control over your apps. Give this a try next time you see an app misbehaving.
What if you want to go further with battery life? As it turns out, we don’t recommend battery optimization apps, as they do more harm than good. See our proven tips for better Android battery life for methods that actually work.