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Believe it or not, your Nokia Lumia phone does a lot of things on its own when you’re not looking.

Nothing nefarious, of course, but it will run various apps in the background – sometimes with good reason and almost always without you even realizing it is taking place.

On the one hand, this can make your device more efficient, as it keeps tabs on assorted apps and tasks that you use on a regular basis while you go about your day. At the same time, however, running loads of tasks at once does begin to eat away at your battery, and can result in the need for more frequent charges.

You can quickly see what is running in the background on your Lumia with a simple long press of the back key (arrow) on the lower-left of your phone. This will reduce the size of whatever screen you are currently viewing, and show you all of the other items that are still operational in some way. The nice part here is that if you want to quickly switch to one of these other apps or operations, you simply pan over to that page, give it a press, and presto you are right where you left off.

Even handier is the ability to manage the stuff that is able to run in the background on your device. Preventing certain apps (such as the ones that you don’t use on a regular basis) from running in the background in the first place can save you some extra power which may be useful later.

To begin, head over to “Settings” on your phone, and then select the heading for “Applications” (to the right of “System”). The first thing you will see (we love a good alphabetical list) is the option for “background tasks”. Click it.


As you will see, apps in this list “can continue to do things in the background, even when they’re not open.” Ah ha! Some of this may be quite useful – and some of it seriously extraneous, but the choice is yours. Any item you want to be able to run in the background should be set to “allowed”. If you want to change it, tap on the item, and click on the “block” button, at which point the app or task will no longer be able to run in the background. You can always change the setting later.

Then, at the bottom of this list, you will see a separate button for “advanced” – this is worth a look, too. Here you will see assorted apps that can run in the background, and technically you may not be able to block them. You need to go to the individual app to adjust the settings for each one.

For instance, if you use Foursquare, you need to go in to the Settings within the app to manage things like location-based services, units of measurement for distances, and whether or not you want to enable notifications and comments. Each of these items has a check box next to it that you can click on or off.


There you have it: A quick look behind the scenes of your Lumia to see where the background tasks lurk and even hide out. Don’t be afraid to manage these apps and tasks – your phone will be more efficient, and your battery will thank you later.


Featured image of bees hard at work by Max xx