Android Essentials: 10 settings to turn off immediately on your Phone

Android Essentials: 10 settings to turn off immediately on your Phone

Be sure to enable Developer options before diving into this list as you’ll otherwise be left scratching your head trying to find out each of the settings and features. Just head to Settings > About phone > Build number. Tap it seven times and enter your PIN or pattern, and you’ll have access to a wonderful world of extra phone functionality. If you have an older phone or a modest phone with a low amount of RAM, you can limit or disable the standard background process limit. This might not make an immediate difference to your day-to-day experience on day one, but further down the line, limiting just how many concurrent background apps are held in stasis at any point in time could prove useful.

Your smartphone knows a lot about you, perhaps too much in some circumstances. Certain functions and settings are enabled by default on Android, and we believe you should disable them right now. A word of caution: merely removing a few settings on your Android smartphone will not immediately restore it to its original state. However, it has the potential to improve your daily life and give you a little more power in areas where you didn’t realise you had any. [Video] Android Basics: 10 Settings to Enable Right Away on Your Phone


  • Your Android phone and Google Maps are capable of tracking your movement history, and while some people simply do not care, you might not want to let that happen automatically. This is tied to your account and is used to give better-personalized results in Maps, plus better recommendations based upon the places you go. It’s a trade-off that you need to decide that you’re happy to make.

  • Head to Settings > Developer options > Background process limit. From here, you can set the process limit between 0 and 4. This means you can play around to find the right setting for you and your device. Another way to potentially reduce battery usage is to disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning on your Android phone. In simple terms, these features mean that your phone is able to scan for Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices even when both settings are disabled for better location accuracy or GPS pinpointing. Both settings are found in the same place in Android on Pixel, so it’s not hard to disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi scanning at the same time. To do so, head to Settings > Location > Wi-Fi scanning and Settings > Location > Bluetooth scanning, and toggle these options to “off”.

Sometimes apps on your Android device will access mobile data or your Wi-Fi connection to do things like update your feeds in the background and save time on loading until you re-open. However, with potentially hundreds of apps on your phone able to do this, you can rack up a ton of data usage if you’re on a limited plan. This can pause or limit notifications on your phone, but you have the ability to adjust this on an app-by-app basis so that means only apps you select will be affected. There are a few ways to enable or disable background data usage for apps installed on your phone. The easiest and most obvious is to head to the app in question by opening Settings > Apps > Select an app you want to adjust data, and then settings > Mobile data and wi-Fi > Background data.

There are a couple of options here that can be useful. You can disable the feature entirely, or set your Location history to auto-delete after a preset period — anywhere from three to 36 months to be precise. To adjust or disable the Google Location history default settings on your Android device, open Settings > Location > Location Services > Google Location History > Sign-in to your Google Account. This should open the “Activity controls” page, and you can toggle Location History off completely or scroll down and select “Choose an auto-delete option”, then select the “Auto-delete activity older than” dropdown menu from three, 18 or 36 months.

Another way to reach this menu and see up-to-date information on just how much data an is using on Pixel phones – head to Settings > Network and Internet > Internet > Non-operator data usage > Select an app > Background data. Being able to quickly disable (or enable) many of the hardware sensors on your Android phone with a single tap is not only useful, it’s also great for the ultra privacy-conscious. This toggle is not available right out of the gate and instantly blocks hardware sensors such as the camera, microphone, GPS, accelerometer, compass, and much more.

You’ll need to first ensure that Developer options are enabled then head to Settings > System > Developer options > Quick settings developer tiles > Sensors Off. You might need to add the toggle to your notification shade, which you can do by finding the “Edit” button and dragging it into view. Enabling this toggled blocks access to those aforementioned sensors. This means that when you open the camera app, it may crash or close automatically, indicating that this hardware sensor is actively being blocked.

In a bid to help improve the Android OS, you might not realize that certain diagnostic and usage information is shared with Google when you encounter issues, app crashes, or slowdowns. It’s worth noting that this information is completely anonymous and normally only relates to things such as Battery level, extensive app usage, and the quality of your network and Bluetooth connections. Because of that, it’s fair for you to want to disable these added settings on your Android, as there are plenty of other people to provide that information. To disable usage and diagnostic information open Settings > Google > tap the upper-right three-dot menu > Usage & diagnostics > “Off”. From the news