What is Background App Refresh and How Does It Affect Your Smartphone?


In today’s fast-paced digital world, we rely heavily on our smartphones to stay connected, productive, and informed. Mobile apps have become an integral part of our daily lives, but they come with a hidden feature known as “Background App Refresh” that can impact our device’s performance and battery life. In this blog, we will explore what Background App Refresh is, why it exists, and how it affects your smartphone.

What Is Background App Refresh?

Background App Refresh is a feature found on iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads. It is designed to keep apps up to date with fresh content and data even when you’re not actively using them. This allows your apps to provide you with the latest information, notifications, and updates without requiring you to manually open each app every time you want to check for new content.

How Does Background App Refresh Work?

When enabled, Background App Refresh works by periodically allowing apps to connect to the internet and update their data in the background. This can include fetching new emails, social media updates, news articles, weather information, and more. It ensures that when you open an app, it already has the most recent data available, providing a seamless and efficient user experience.

Why Does Background App Refresh Exist?

Background App Refresh serves several important purposes:

  1. Timely Information: It ensures that apps can deliver real-time information and notifications, such as breaking news, instant messages, and email updates, without requiring manual intervention.
  2. Improved User Experience: By keeping apps up to date, users experience a smoother and more responsive interaction with their devices.
  3. Multitasking: It enables apps to perform tasks in the background while you use other apps, enhancing multitasking capabilities.

How Does Background App Refresh Affect Your Smartphone?

While Background App Refresh provides numerous benefits, it can have some downsides, primarily concerning device performance and battery life:

  1. Battery Drain: Allowing apps to refresh in the background consumes battery power. Some apps can be more demanding than others, and if many apps are refreshing simultaneously, it can significantly impact your device’s battery life.
  2. Data Usage: Background App Refresh requires an internet connection, which can lead to increased data usage, especially when multiple apps are refreshing constantly.
  3. Device Performance: The constant background activity of apps can lead to a decrease in device performance, especially on older or less powerful devices.

Managing Background App Refresh

To strike a balance between keeping your apps up to date and preserving your device’s performance and battery life, you can manage Background App Refresh settings:

  1. Enable or Disable: Go to your device’s settings, find the “Background App Refresh” section, and toggle it on or off for specific apps or all apps.
  2. Use Wi-Fi Only: Limit background app refresh to Wi-Fi only to reduce data usage.
  3. Regularly Review Settings: Periodically review and adjust your app refresh settings to strike the right balance for your needs.


Background App Refresh is a useful feature that keeps your apps up to date, providing you with timely information and a smooth user experience. However, it’s essential to be mindful of its impact on your device’s battery life, data usage, and performance. By understanding how Background App Refresh works and managing it effectively, you can strike the right balance between staying updated and optimizing your device’s performance.

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