How To: Disable Google Chrome running in the background on Windows

Apps usually run in the background for a purpose, such as checking for new messages (in the case of email clients), delivering notifications and so on. Chrome is no exception since some extensions require it to run in the background offering desktop notifications and other similar features.

While this certainly may come in handy at some times, Chrome won’t ask for your permission to run in the background.

Truth be told, if you don’t need the desktop features offered by some of your installed add-ons, you can easily turn it off and I’ll show you how to do it.

Stop Google Chrome from running in the background

Chrome icon in the taskbar

With Google Chrome open, look for a small Chrome icon in the taskbar and click on it.

Chrome taskbar icon menu

In the small menu that will appear, click on the ‘Let Google Chrome run in the background‘ option to uncheck it.

From then on, Google Chrome won’t run in the background anymore. If you’re using a laptop on battery, this can be one small step to prolonging its life since the background service does use some resources to run all the time.

Enable Google Chrome to run in the background

If you change your mind at some point and decide you want Chrome to run in the background again you can turn on this option from Google Chrome’s Settings.

Chrome menu

Open Google Chrome and click on the menu icon (three horizontal bars) in the upper right corner of the interface and select Settings.

Google Chrome - Show advanced settings

Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and select ‘Show advanced settings…‘.

On this screen, locate the System section and check the box next to the ‘Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed‘ option.

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