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How to Access Android’s List of Running Apps in 6.0 Marshmallow and Above


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In Android 5.x and below, accessing your list of running apps was simple—you’d jump into Settings > Apps > Running. Easy! In Android 6.0, however, Google moved this setting. It’s still not super difficult to find, but it’s a little trickier. But as always, we’ve got your back. Here’s how to find it once your device is on Marshmallow (or later).

Why Would You Need to Access Running Services?

Well, there’s a short answer: you normally wouldn’t—that’s probably why Google “hid” this setting starting in Marshmallow. But there are, however, a few situations when you might need to jump into the Running Services menu and start looking around.

Above all others, the main reason you may need to see what’s going on behind the scenes is if an app is misbehaving. That means numerous things: maybe it’s constantly force closing and you want to kill the process, maybe there’s something just chewing through battery. Either way, knowing where to look is always the start of a good investigation.

Where to Find Running Services in Android 6.0

Like I noted earlier, on Android 5.x and below, you could see what was going on by jumping in Settings > Apps > Running. This shows both running processes and services, along with how much memory (RAM) is being used by System and Apps, as well as how much is still available.

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To find the same menu in Marshmallow, you’ll first need to enable Developer Options. Do this by heading into Settings, then About Phone.

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Once there, find the Software info section—that will be a separate entry on some phones (Samsung, LG), but not on others, like Nexus devices. You’re looking for the Build Number, so you may have to poke around a bit before you find it. The first two images below were taken from the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and the last one from the Nexus 6P. As you can see, the build is in two different places.

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When you’ve found it, tap it seven times. You’ll see a toast notification letting you know how many are left until “you become a developer.” Once it’s been tapped seven times, a new menu will be unlocked just above About Phone in the main Settings menu.

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Back in Settings, head into Developer Options. You should see “Running services” a little way down this menu—that’s what you’re looking for. Once you tap “Running services,” you should be presented with a familiar screen—it’s exactly the same one from Lollipop. Just in a different spot.

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This isn’t something you should need to get into often, if ever at all. Still, it’s good to know where to find this just in case you ever need to—but like the menu where it’s now found suggests, this is really for developers.

Cameron Summerson is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, metalhead, and cyclist. When he’s not pounding keys on the ‘net, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, chugging away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.


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