Guidance on Stopping an Android Application via ADB on Non-Rooted Devices

Guidance on Stopping an Android Application via ADB on Non-Rooted Devices

22 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

Developers often need to stop applications on Android devices to test various states or troubleshoot issues. While the “force-stop” command is widely used, it may not be available on older Android versions or non-rooted devices. This article provides alternative methods to close applications on non-rooted devices.

Method 1: Using Eclipse’s DDMS Perspective

For developers using Eclipse, the DDMS perspective can be a straightforward way to stop applications:

  1. Open the DDMS perspective within Eclipse.
  2. In the Devices view, locate the running process for your application.
  3. Select the process and click on the “Stop” button to terminate the application.

Method 2: Killing the Background Process via ADB

If you’re looking to stop only the background processes of an app without impacting the user experience, you can use the following ADB command:

adb shell am kill [options] <PACKAGE>

Replace <PACKAGE> with the app’s package name. The [options] can include:

  • --user <USER_ID> | all | current: Specify the user whose processes to kill. If not specified, it will default to all users.

Method 3: Disabling the Application Package

For rooted devices or if you have the appropriate permissions, you can disable the application package using:

adb shell pm disable <PACKAGE>

To enable the package again, use:

adb shell pm enable <PACKAGE>

Keep in mind that this method requires root access or elevated privileges.

Using “Repeato” for Automated Testing

While manually stopping applications is sometimes necessary, automated testing can greatly enhance efficiency. Our product, Repeato, is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that streamlines the creation, execution, and maintenance of automated tests for your apps.

With its ability to edit and run tests quickly, work with all app frameworks, and execute ADB commands via script steps, Repeato can help you automate tasks like stopping applications. This ensures a fresh testing environment for each test run, which is crucial for consistent and reliable test results.


Stopping an Android application on a non-rooted device can be accomplished through various methods, each suited to different scenarios and device configurations. When automation is key, tools like Repeato offer a robust solution to streamline your testing process.

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