How to Turn Background App Refresh on WhatsApp On or Off on iPhone

Introduction

Have you ever wondered how your iPhone apps, like WhatsApp, stay up-to-date even when you’re not using them? It’s all thanks to a feature called Background App Refresh. But what if you want to manage this to save on battery life or data? In this article I’ll show you how to turn the Background App Refresh feature for WhatsApp on or off on your iPhone, giving you more control over your device’s performance and data usage.

Some of the images associated with the steps are included inline below. All images associated with these steps can be seen in the embedded YouTube video. Also, please note that you’re not able to leave a comment directly on this article. If you have a question or feedback, please leave it on the YouTube video.

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Steps to Turn Background App Refresh on WhatsApp On on iPhone

First, before you can even enable background app refresh for WhatsApp on your iPhone, you have to have the feature enabled on your iPhone. You can turn on background app refresh on your iPhone by doing the following steps.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone, and then tap “General” in this menu.
Launch the Settings app on your iPhone, and then tap General in this menu.

  1. Tap “Background App Refresh” in the next menu.
Tap Background App Refresh.

  1. Tap “Background App Refresh” again at the top of the screen.
Tap Background App Refresh again.

  1. Tap to place a check mark next to “Wifi” if you only want to use background app refresh for your iPhone apps when you’re connected to Wifi. Or, tap to place a check mark next to “Wifi and Cellular Data” if you want to refresh your iPhone apps in the background when you’re connected to either Wifi or cellular data.
Tap to place a check mark next to Wifi if you only want to use background app refresh for your iPhone apps when you're connected to Wifi. Or, tap to place a check mark next to Wifi and Cellular Data if you want to refresh your iPhone apps in the background when you're connected to either Wifi or cellular data.

Now, when you return back to the Background App Refresh screen, you can choose to toggle the background app refresh feature on or off for specific apps, like WhatsApp.

Steps to Turn Background App Refresh on WhatsApp Off on iPhone

Now let’s walk through the steps to enable or disable background app refresh for WhatsApp.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down this menu until you find WhatsApp, and then tap “WhatsApp.” The WhatsApp settings screen is displayed.
Scroll down this menu until you find WhatsApp, and then tap WhatsApp.

  1. Tap to toggle “Background App Refresh” for WhatsApp on if you want the content in the app to update while it’s running in the background on your iPhone.
Tap to toggle Background App Refresh for WhatsApp on if you want the content in the app to update while it's running in the background on your iPhone.

Alternatively, if you don’t feel like having WhatsApp update content in the background is critical and you’d rather save your iPhone’s battery power and restrict data usage, this is where you can make sure “Background App Refresh” is toggled off for WhatsApp.

Alternatively, if you don't feel like having WhatsApp update content in the background is critical and you'd rather save your iPhone's battery power and restrict data usage, this is where you can make sure Background App Refresh is toggled off for WhatsApp.

Reasons to Turn Background App Refresh on WhatsApp On on iPhone

1. Timely Notifications

Enabling Background App Refresh for WhatsApp ensures you receive messages and notifications instantly. This is crucial for staying connected with friends, family, or colleagues. Without it, there could be delays in getting these notifications. This feature is particularly important for urgent or time-sensitive communications. It enhances the app’s usability, keeping you updated in real-time.

2. Message Synchronization

WhatsApp’s Background App Refresh synchronizes messages across multiple devices. It’s beneficial for those using WhatsApp Web or multiple phones. It maintains consistency in conversations, making switching devices seamless. This synchronization is crucial for users who rely on multiple platforms for communication. It ensures that the conversation history is up-to-date, regardless of the device used.

3. Content Updates

With Background App Refresh, WhatsApp automatically downloads new media in conversations. This is essential for media-rich chats, where images and videos are shared frequently. It saves time, as media is ready to view when opening a chat. It’s particularly useful in group settings where media sharing is common. This feature enhances the overall user experience by reducing waiting times for media downloads.

4. Improved Functionality for Business Users

Business users benefit significantly from WhatsApp’s Background App Refresh. It enables real-time communication, essential for business operations. Prompt updates and notifications are crucial for customer service and team coordination. This feature supports efficient business communication. It ensures that messages, orders, or queries are attended to promptly.

5. Status Updates

Background App Refresh allows WhatsApp to download new status updates from contacts automatically. This feature keeps you updated with what’s happening in your social circle. It’s particularly useful for those who frequently check statuses. This automatic update provides a smoother, more engaging experience. It ensures that you always see the latest updates without manual intervention.

6. Battery and Data Considerations

For users not concerned about battery or data usage, Background App Refresh offers an uninterrupted WhatsApp experience. It keeps the app constantly updated. This is suitable for those who prioritize real-time updates over battery or data conservation. It’s ideal for users with unlimited data plans or frequent access to charging.

7. Avoid Missing Important Messages

This feature is vital for those who don’t check the app often. It ensures all messages, including important ones, are received promptly. It’s beneficial for users who receive critical communications through WhatsApp. This feature reduces the risk of missing important messages.

Reasons to Turn Background App Refresh on WhatsApp Off on iPhone

1. Battery Life Preservation

Disabling Background App Refresh on WhatsApp helps extend your iPhone’s battery life. This feature, when enabled, allows apps to update content in the background, using additional battery power. By turning it off, you reduce the energy consumption of your phone. This is especially beneficial for those who are frequently on the move and have limited access to charging. Prolonging battery life becomes a priority in such scenarios, making this feature’s deactivation advantageous.

2. Reduced Data Usage

Turning off Background App Refresh for WhatsApp conserves mobile data. WhatsApp updates, particularly with media files, consume significant data. Disabling this feature ensures updates occur only when on Wi-Fi or when manually accessed. This is crucial for users with limited data plans. It helps avoid exceeding data limits and incurring additional charges.

3. Control Over App Updates

Some users prefer managing when their apps update. Turning off Background App Refresh grants this control. WhatsApp will update only when opened. This approach conserves resources and lets users decide when to download new content. It’s beneficial for those who prioritize manual oversight over automatic updates. This method ensures data is used according to personal preferences and needs.

4. Privacy Considerations

Disabling Background App Refresh can enhance privacy. It minimizes background data transmission, a concern for privacy-focused individuals. Users gain peace of mind, knowing their app isn’t constantly sending or receiving data. This setting is a step towards greater control over personal digital footprint. It’s a choice aligning with a cautious approach to data privacy.

5. Limited Distractions

Not allowing WhatsApp to refresh in the background reduces distractions. It’s useful for maintaining focus during work or study. Notifications and updates are limited to manual app access. This setting supports a balanced digital lifestyle. It promotes concentration by minimizing interruptions from constant message alerts.

6. Avoidance of Unnecessary Updates

For infrequent WhatsApp users, turning off Background App Refresh avoids unnecessary updates. It prevents the app from consuming resources for those who use it sparingly. This setting is practical for those who prefer checking messages at their convenience. It aligns the app’s functionality with user habits, optimizing resource use.

7. Managing Storage Space

Disabling Background App Refresh on WhatsApp can help control your iPhone’s storage usage. Without automatic media downloads, storage space is preserved. This is vital for devices with limited space. It prevents the accumulation of unneeded media files. Users maintain more control over their device’s storage, keeping it clutter-free.

8. Network Performance

In areas with limited network connectivity, turning off Background App Refresh can improve overall network performance. It ensures available bandwidth is not consumed by background activities. This setting is essential for maintaining a stable internet connection for other online activities. It supports a smoother digital experience in areas with poor connectivity.

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About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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