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  1. cristianocr7's Avatar
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       #1  
    What exactly do background tasks do and should I just shut them all off?
    I've had some on, some off and seen no difference except my battery drains when off?

    Thanks
  2. crash1989's Avatar
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    #2  
    Background tasks in windows phone perform tasks like updating live tiles, updating lockscreen, managing notifications. So if you turn them off you will basically disable all the live updates to your phone. Windows Phone manages background tasks very well i.e. every app's background task runs once in every 30 mins or so (I won't get into detail about the types of background stuff). In addition I think 15 background tasks is the limit AFAIK, I might be wrong. It won't hurt your battery too much IMO.

    My suggestion do not turn them off.
  3. #3  
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  4. #4  
    Crash, the limit of background tasks depends. On what, I don't know. But I've had limit of 15 on my 928, but also it's been limited to 12 at some point. Not sure why the difference. I don't recall what it was when I had 822, but I've seen someone post somewhere that they were limited to 9. So apparently it has at least something to do with phone capabilities, but what, I don't know for sure.

    As for how often they run, the documentation I've seen says something like, "Every 30 minutes, but can be adjusted 10 minutes either direction."

    Christian, background tasks are allowed to run for up to 25 seconds (most are very short, probably less than a second in most cases). Since they can run up to every 20 minutes, depending on when the phone runs them (I'm using worst-case here), a single background agent can use up to 30 minutes of processing time per 24 hour day. Given that you can have up to 15 agents (depending on the limit, discussed above), you could be talking about up to 8 1/2 hours of processing time on background agents per day.

    Now I've used worst-case numbers here to demonstrate the worst that can be. The fact is that most background agents don't take near that long, and like I said, probably most use less than a second of time, so you shouldn't be anywhere near this grotesquely extreme example. But it is something to keep in mind. If you install a new app and all of a sudden you're draining faster than you're used to, try disabling that new app's agent.
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  5. crash1989's Avatar
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by hopmedic View Post
    Crash, the limit of background tasks depends. On what, I don't know. But I've had limit of 15 on my 928, but also it's been limited to 12 at some point. Not sure why the difference. I don't recall what it was when I had 822, but I've seen someone post somewhere that they were limited to 9. So apparently it has at least something to do with phone capabilities, but what, I don't know for sure.

    As for how often they run, the documentation I've seen says something like, "Every 30 minutes, but can be adjusted 10 minutes either direction."

    Christian, background tasks are allowed to run for up to 25 seconds (most are very short, probably less than a second in most cases). Since they can run up to every 20 minutes, depending on when the phone runs them (I'm using worst-case here), a single background agent can use up to 30 minutes of processing time per 24 hour day. Given that you can have up to 15 agents (depending on the limit, discussed above), you could be talking about up to 8 1/2 hours of processing time on background agents per day.

    Now I've used worst-case numbers here to demonstrate the worst that can be. The fact is that most background agents don't take near that long, and like I said, probably most use less than a second of time, so you shouldn't be anywhere near this grotesquely extreme example. But it is something to keep in mind. If you install a new app and all of a sudden you're draining faster than you're used to, try disabling that new app's agent.
    Thanks for the post, I will be referencing that in the future.

    As for the tasks maybe it is to do with the types of bgnd agents periodic and resource intensive tasks in addition to the device's capabilities and limitations like RAM

    yep, pretty sure 30 mins is the time suggested in the developer documentation. The thing that bugs me is that it is quite random, sometimes the background tasks don't run (maybe due to battery saver or crashes).

    But turning all of them off isn't useful in anyway
  6. #6  
    I don't remember which podcast it was, but a while back I was listening to one that had a member of the phone team on, and he explained the background agent timing. He stressed that it takes a lot of power/resources to power-up/turn on the radios, so they set it up so agents can't do that, and the phone does it, and schedules the agents to run, at times when the phone would be starting up the radios for other purposes anyway. That's why the 30 +/- 10 minutes. As for not running at all, that one I have no suggestions, other than the obvious battery saver mode, but know that's not always the case.
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  7. crash1989's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by hopmedic View Post
    I don't remember which podcast it was, but a while back I was listening to one that had a member of the phone team on, and he explained the background agent timing. He stressed that it takes a lot of power/resources to power-up/turn on the radios, so they set it up so agents can't do that, and the phone does it, and schedules the agents to run, at times when the phone would be starting up the radios for other purposes anyway. That's why the 30 +/- 10 minutes. As for not running at all, that one I have no suggestions, other than the obvious battery saver mode, but know that's not always the case.
    Channel9 (Channel 9: Videos about the people building Microsoft Products & Services) has specific background agents videos for developers, it is discussed in detail there.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephie Daniel View Post
    I feel background tasks are basically the downloading part in a device. That should be kept on only in AC more otherwise there will be a huge battery drain.
    Empirical evidence? The words "I feel" tell us that you are basing your statement on emotion instead of evidence.
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