You can have control over permissions, but you'll need to root to get it. You can also firewall apps if you are concerned about privacy, but again you'll need root to get an effective firewall. There are also apps which can be used to control automatic start behaviour. Guess whether those also need root? You got it! And of course there can be good reasons for apps to restart, so stopping this can have unexpected effects. I do the first two, not the third. As Crashdamage says, many of those apps are not actually running, just cached. The priorities for caching are influenced by your app usage. Others will be running services, e.g. to ensure you know when mail arrives or app updates are released. If you have an app that is doing nothing useful but keeps actually waking and running, disable or uninstall it and find a different app. My top tip though is that if I'm not happy with the permissions an app has, particularly if they seem excessive for what it does, I don't install it in the first place. And if it's a system app, I disable or uninstall it (and of course I can uninstall it because my phone is rooted, and I have a good enough idea what I'm doing that I know what I can uninstall without breaking other stuff and how to fix it if I make a mistake - if you want to do these things, do your research before charging in ).