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Android 8.1 lets you disable those pesky "App is running in the background" notifications

Did Android Oreo's nagging battery notifications annoy you? Google is now giving you more control in Android 8.1 about what apps they show up for.

Published onOctober 26, 2017

For the past several years, Google has been trying to improve battery life on Android devices. It instituted new features like Doze and new restrictions on what can run in the background. But, beyond what it could do to the system and the apps running on it, Google made an effort to keep users more informed, too. Starting in Android Oreo, a notification would pop up letting you know an app was running in the background. This happened with popular apps like LastPass and Facebook Messenger, and no matter how many times you swiped, it wasn’t going away.

How to flash Android Oreo on your Pixel or Nexus
Google’s strategy was pretty simple with this notification. If it couldn’t do anything to make the apps use less power, it was going to annoy you into making sure you knew what was going on with your system. While some users complained about the notification and workarounds were developed, Google accomplished its mission. If apps weren’t going to update Oreo’s new power-saving APIs, Google was going to name and shame battery hoggers.

Google has recently shown a willingness to compromise with its users. First, we saw it update the Google app beta and give users more control over the look and feel of the search bar widget. Now, we’re getting a compromise over the annoying persistent notifications about apps sucking your battery dry. The notification will still pop up in Android 8.1 and it now says “Apps using battery”. You still can’t swipe it away, but you can long press and switch the toggle to hide the notification for that particular app.

Google is actually allowing you to turn off these notifications altogether, too. Here are the steps you need to take to completely kill the notification:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Press”Apps and notifications”
  • Press”All apps”
  • Press the three-dot menu in the top right
  • Press “Show system”
  • Scroll down and press “Android System”
  • Press “App notifications”
  • Switch the toggle next to “Apps using battery”

Something to keep in mind is that we’re talking about beta software. Android 8.1 is a called a developer preview because its intended for developers to get a head start on updating their apps before the new version of Android is released to the public. We’ve seen several instances of Google including popular features only to have them pulled before a public release happens. Enjoy these options now, but don’t count on them being around forever.