Android 12L will let you turn off Android’s new background app limitations


It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Android 12. I love the new privacy dashboard, the Material You design, and the smoothness of the new operating system. However, there are some features that annoy me in the long run, like the new internet panel. Another new feature that seems to irritate people has to do with Android 12’s new background app limitations. But it turns out Google already has a fix for this.


  • The new, more drastic battery saving option breaks apps and Android 12 and can’t be turned off now.
  • The feature is called Phantom Process and restricts background applications when certain conditions are met.
  • Google has already fixed the issue, and a toggle should be available under Android 12L Developer Options.

According to tech reporter Mishaal Rahman, Google introduced “a change that kills background application processes” under certain conditions with the latest operating system update. It’s called Phantom Processes and works as a more drastic battery saving option that consumes too much power (PhantomProcessKiller).

As mentioned by Rahman on his Twitter account, the PhantomProcessKiller takes action when applications start child processes that use extensive resources while the main process is also active in the background. On Android 12, apps can start a maximum of 32 child processes, and if they are using too much CPU resources, the app may be forced to quit.

This means that if an advanced user application such as Termux, a Linux terminal emulator, consumes too many CPU resources when it is active in the background, he will be killed, and you have no control over it.

A patch is on the way …

Fortunately, a patch has been submitted to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code that shows the changes to the PhantomProcessKiller. Apparently, it will be possible to completely disable the battery optimization feature in the developer’s options if it interferes with the applications being used. You can see the description of the fix below:

Add settings to toggle shadow process monitoring in developer options

For advanced users, monitoring of ghost processes can be turned off from Settings> Developer options> Feature flags.

the XDA Developer Team recently reported a commit where the Googler Jing ji stated that a toggle in developer options to disable ghosting had been merged, and “it should be able to transform into Android 12L. “

In conclusion, the PhantomProcessKiller feature is full of good intentions and most of us probably won’t even notice it in our daily use of the smartphone. On the other hand, power users should have the option to turn off this feature if needed, and the Android developer team didn’t take this into consideration with the Android 12 update. Now they are running to fix it. And this is a good thing.


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