How to quickly pause an Android app

If you’re looking for an easier way to control when you can and can’t use Android apps, look no further than the new on-demand pause feature.

With the advent of Google’s Digital Wellbeing, it became possible to better manage your time spent on your device. This is especially true if you happen to have a codependent relationship with that phone. 

One way to break that chain of dependency is with the app pausing feature. Originally, this feature allowed you to set timers for apps such that, once you used the app for the allotted time, the app launcher would become unusable.

With Android 9, the pause feature added an on-demand functionality. This new means of pausing apps put the user in control of when an app is paused. Once an app is paused, it’ll then be unavailable for the rest of the day (sort of). But how do you use this on-demand pause feature? It’s actually incredibly simple. 

SEE: Top Android security tips (TechRepublic download)

I’m going to demonstrate with Android 10 on a Google Pixel 4. So long as you have Android 9 or newer, this should work in the same way. 

To pause an app, long press the app launcher in question and then tap Pause App. The app is now paused and will be grayed out until the end of the day. 

Of course, there is a way around the pausing. If you tap the launcher you will see a notification pop up that the app is paused. 

In that notification you’ll see Unpause App. Tap that entry and the app is no longer paused. Although I do find it odd that the Android developers made it so easy to unpause an app, it’s good the feature is there–in case something unexpected comes along and you really need to use the app you paused. 

Either way, if you’re the type of user that needs to be able to pause apps to keep you from spending too much time on your mobile device, you now have the means to control exactly when that happens.

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