I began to notice a slowdown in response time on my Amazon Fire devices (Fire TV, Firestick and Amazon tablet). My first remedy was to check the Internet connection. Sometimes that solves the problem, but not always. What I later found was there were a bunch of unused apps running in the background. All of these running apps slowed my device response time.
My search for a way to close those background apps led me to a neat little tool called Background Apps and Process List. Aside from the fact that it works, it’s also free and downloadable from Amazon.
Being a Windows user, I’ve grown accustomed to clicking the little “x” in the upper right-hand corner of a window to close it. That’s not the case with mobile apps. On smaller devices, such as phones or tablets, one must swipe up, down or sideways to close out apps. Fire TVs or Fire Sticks don’t have such options. As a result, applications keep running unless they’re manually closed. Even clicking the app’s “Exit” button doesn’t mean it will stop running in the background.
To manually close apps on the TV, I’d have to go to Settings – Applications, Manage Installed Applications select the application then click Force Stop. The process took just as many steps on the tablet.
With the Background Apps & Process List utility, I don’t have to constantly tiptoe along a winding path to reach the engine room of the device to close running apps. All I have to do is open the Background app to see which apps are currently running and it will transport me directly to the engine room (can you tell I binge-watched Star Trek the Next Generation?).
In other words, the app doesn’t actually close the apps. It just speeds up the process by taking you to the Force Stop setting for the desired apps.
Closing Multiple Apps
If you have more than one app to shut down, after closing the first app, hitting the back button on the remote or tablet will bring you to the next app’s management page. There you will click Force Stop again. Wash, rinse and repeat until all unwanted apps are closed.
After you close the unwanted apps, hit the back button to return to the Background & Process List app. Refresh the page to ensure the apps are closed.
The app is a little clumsy, but it’s free and does what it advertises to do. (FYI, on my Fire tablet, I left all of the Google and Amazon Fire apps running.)
BTW, I clicked the System/User button and it showed all of the system apps running in the background. I got out of there as quickly as possible. No sense in messing around with things that I’m clueless about.
The bottom line is, the app helped me to quickly close out apps that didn’t need to be running in the background.
- I thought the background applications would close if I restarted my TV (Settings – Device & Software – Restart), but I was wrong. When I restarted the TV the apps were still running. Ditto for the Amazon tablet.
- After the initial use, get into the habit of hitting the refresh button before deleting apps. Sometimes upon opening the Background utility, it shows the apps from your previous session. Hit refresh to show the currently running background apps.