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Save battery by killing background services

Sweep your device for battery-hogging apps that are running in the background

We all want to make the battery on our Android devices last a little longer, but this isn’t always easy when apps and services run in the background without your knowledge. Maybe this is because an app is misbehaving, or perhaps you’re in the bad habit of never closing your apps properly.

[root] Servicely is an app that periodically checks what’s running in the background and if it fi nds a service that appears on your [root] Servicely ‘hit-list,’ it kills that service. Since [root] Servicely scans the background only, you shouldn’t encounter any problems with the apps you’re interacting with in the foreground.

For example, if you add Facebook to [root] Servicely’s hit-list, it won’t kill this app when it’s visible onscreen. However, once you send Facebook to the background, the next time [root] Servicely performs its sweep, it’ll kill the Facebook app. Please note that [root] Servicely does require root.

This tutorial originally ran in Android magazine issue 54. To find out how to subscribe to Android magazine, click here.


1. Create your hit-list

Download [root] Servicely from Google Play, then launch it and grant super user permissions. To tell [root] Servicely which apps to kill if it catches them running in the background, tap ‘Add a new app to the hit-list’ and then tap all the apps you want to add.


2. Identify problem apps

Pay particular attention to the Running Services area as this is helpful for targeting apps that are running in the background without your knowledge. Also be on the lookout for apps marked ‘Can wake-up the device’ as these are the ones that can really eat into your battery.


3. Enable [root] Servicely

After selecting some apps, create your hit-list by tapping the checkmark. To doublecheck the contents of your hit-list, go to the main screen and swipe to Hit-List. Tap the slider in the upper right and [root] Servicely will now monitor the services running on your device.


4. Change interval period

By default, your running services are checked every 60 seconds. To change this, tap Interval Period… and enter a new value. If you find [root] Servicely is killing apps you’re still using, try turning the Aggressive Process Termination slider off.


5. Pro features

You can unlock additional features by purchasing the Pro version. To upgrade, tap Upgrade to Pro and follow the instructions. Once you’ve upgraded to Pro, you can set up the app so it automatically starts whenever you turn your device on (Start on Boot).


6. Advanced mode

The pro version also lets you Disable Individual Services, which is useful if there are features of apps you never user. However, disabling services randomly can cause problems with your device so make sure you know exactly what a service does, before you disable it.