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How to Keep Alexa App Running in Background (Android)
Alexa natively works as an independent smart home assistant. That means you do not need to keep pushing buttons or tapping on screens (Echo show) to wake her up. All you have to do is say the wake word, “hey, Alexa”.
This native behavior is a bit different when it comes to the Alexa app. Whenever you want to get something done, you have to open the app each time. Also, if your android device is configured to prevent apps from using the battery consistently, the system itself will shut down the Alexa app from running in the background. So if you want to keep Alexa running, you have to do some tweaks to make it work.
However, this same behavior can also be a bit of trouble for another user. Some users have complained that Alexa keeps running in the background and eating up the device’s battery. They have tried a couple of settings, but it wasn’t working.
In this guide, we will answer these two issues. So if you want to;
- Keep the Alexa app running in the background, or
- Stop the Alexa app from running in background, this guide is for you!
Table of Contents
- How to keep the Alexa app running in background on your Android device
- Make Alexa the default assistant of your Android device
- Remove Alexa from battery optimizations, power-saving mode, and data-saving mode
- How to stop the Alexa app from keeping running in the background
- What to do if Alexa’s hands-free feature is not working
- Wrapping Up
How to keep the Alexa app running in background on your Android device
It was almost impossible to make the Alexa app work in the background and responds to your voice in its previous versions. But after the introduction of hands-free mode, you can make the Alexa app control by giving voice commands, just like with your Echo device.
Here is how to enable the Alexa hands-free mode on your Android smartphone/tablet;
- Open the Alexa app
- Tap on the three lines at the top left corner and select Settings
- Tap on Alexa on this phone
- Then, tap on the toggle next to Enable Alexa hands-free to enable the feature
If you read the description of this feature, and it clearly states the feature works if the app is open and in use. Therefore, turning this feature on alone is not enough to keep Alexa run in background. You have to do some tweaks as well. Let’s see what to configure your device to keep Alexa running in background.
Make Alexa the default assistant of your Android device
As the first step, you should enable Alexa as the digital assistant on your Android device. By default, Google voice assistant is the default voice assistant of your Android device. To change it to the Alexa app, you can follow the steps below;
- Open Settings
- Tap on Apps
- Tap on Default apps (You can access these settings on some devices by tapping three dots at the top right corner)
- Tap on Digital assistant/Assist & voice input
- The Alexa should be listed there, tap on it to switch from your current digital assistant to Alexa
- Restart your device
Remove Alexa from battery optimizations, power-saving mode, and data-saving mode
As the last step to keep Alexa running in the background, you have to allow the app to use the battery unconditionally. Also, in case you turn on the power/data saver, it is better to allowlist the Alexa app to avoid sudden app closings. Let’s start with battery optimization.
- Head over to Settings
- On the search bar, type “battery optimization”
- Tap on the Battery optimization feature
- It will load a list of apps available on your device. From that list, tap on the Alexa app
- Tap on don’t allow or whitelist the app from the battery optimization
Now, let’s move to the power-saving settings
- On Settings, tap on the search bar, and type “battery”, and you should see the power saver mode. Tap on it (Not on the toggle button)
- Tap on allowlist/apps to bypass battery saver
- Toggle on the Alexa app to run even if your device is on battery saver
Lastly, you need to allow the Alexa app from data saver
- Go to Settings and tap on the search bar. Search for “data”
- From the results, tap on Smart data saver/Data saver
- The option will also load the app list of your Android device and toggle on Alexa to use data even if your toggle on Alexa to use data.
Once you have done the above steps successfully, restart your device.
How to stop the Alexa app from keeping running in the background
Now let’s talk about how to stop Alexa from running in the background on your Android device.
The process to stop Alexa app from continuously running in the background is relatively the same as making it keep running on an Android device. The only difference here is we disable the stuff that we enable in the previous step.
Here is what you need to do;
- Follow the previous method and locate all the settings mentioned there
- Instead of turning them on, you have to turn them off (If enabled)
- After you have completed the steps, restart your device
Besides that, you can take an extra step and that is updating the Android system and the Alexa app.
- Go to Google Play Store and search for Alexa app
- Tap on the Alexa app from the results, and tap on the update button if it is available
- Once you have updated the app, go to Settings
- Tap on Apps
- Tap on the Alexa app
- Go to Storage or Manage storage
- Tap on the Clear cache button
To update the android system;
- Go to Settings
- Tap on Software update
- Tap on search for updates (This option can be accessible by tapping the three dots at the top right corner)
What to do if Alexa’s hands-free feature is not working
If the hands-free feature is not working, you have to clear the data of the Alexa app. To do that, follow these steps;
Note: Keep in mind that once you clear the app data, you have to log into the Amazon account again.
- Head over to Settings > Apps
- Tap on the Alexa app
- Tap on Storage or Manage storage
- Tap on Clear data
By following this guide correctly, we hope you have successfully enabled Alexa app from running in the background or stopped it from running in the background and know the fix you need to do if the hands-free feature doesn’t work on your Android device.
If you have any questions or need help regarding this guide, leave a comment below. We are happy to help you.
Have a nice day!