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Stuck Partial Wake Locks

Partial wake locks are a mechanism in the PowerManager API that lets developers keep the CPU running after a device's display turns off (whether due to system timeout or the user pressing the power button). Your app acquires a partial wake lock by calling acquire() with the PARTIAL_WAKE_LOCK flag. A partial wake lock becomes stuck if it is held for a long time while your app is running in the background (no part of your app is visible to the user). This condition drains the device's battery because it prevents the device from entering lower power states. Partial wake locks should be used only when necessary and released as soon as no longer needed.

If your app has a stuck partial wake lock, you can use the guidance in this page to diagnose and fix the problem.

Detect the problem

You may not always know that your app's partial wake locks are stuck. If you have already published your app, Android vitals can help make you aware of the problem.

Android vitals

Android vitals can help improve your app's performance by alerting you, via the Play Console, when your app is exhibiting stuck partial wake locks. Android vitals reports partial wake locks as stuck when at least one, hour-long, partial wake lock occurs in either:

A battery session refers to the interval between two full battery charges. The number of battery sessions displayed is an aggregate for all measured users of the app. For information on how Google Play collects Android vitals data, see the Play Console documentation.

Once you're aware that your app has excessive stuck partial wake locks, your next step is to address the issue.

Fix the problem

Wake locks were introduced in early versions of the Android platform, but over time, many use cases that previously required wake locks are now better served by newer features like JobScheduler and Firebase JobDispatcher. This section contains tips for fixing your wake locks, but in the long term, consider migrating your app to follow the recommendations in the best practices section.

Identify and fix places in your code that acquire a wake lock, such as newWakeLock(int, String) or WakefulBroadcastReceiver. Here are some tips:

After fixing the problem in code, verify that your app correctly releases wake locks by using the following Android tools:

Best Practices

In general, your app should avoid partial wake locks because it is too easy to drain the user's battery. Android provides alternative APIs for almost every use-case that previously required a partial wake lock. One remaining use-case for partial wake locks is to ensure that a music app continues to play when the screen is off. If you are using wake locks to run tasks, consider the following alternatives:

The benefit to using those APIs is that the system intelligently batches and/or defers those tasks based on the power-state of the device.

If you must use partial wake locks, follow these recommendations:

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