[Updated] Samsung Android System WebView disabled but apps still crashing? Try this official workaround
Here’s the crux of the article in video form:
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Original story (published on March 23, 2021) follows:
Many Android smartphone users have taken to Reddit, Twitter, OEM community forums, and other social platforms to seek help with the app crashing issue that started popping up on devices a day ago.
The issue is apparently being caused by a bug in the Android System WebView component that is available on all Android devices.
Google has indeed acknowledged the issue and some Android vendors, including Samsung and Xiaomi have shared official workarounds which require users to disable the Android System WebView on their devices.
Uninstalling the latest updates from the Android System WebView seems to fix the issue for most folks irrespective of the device they use.
However, many Samsung device owners have been unable to get the official workaround to work for them.
As you can see from the screenshot above, some users don’t have the option to disable or uninstall updates from the Android System WebView app.
Well, as it turns out, this component to display web content in apps has been replaced by Google Chrome on some devices.
Hence, you’ll have to disable or uninstall updates from Google Chrome on your Samsung phone to fix the apps crashing issue instead, as suggested by the company’s support team on Twitter.
Uninstalling the latest updates from Google Chrome should stop apps from crashing on your device. Do note that if your data on Chrome isn’t synced with an account, you will lose all of it.
That being said, until Google seeds an update for the issue, this is the only way to deal with the problem. It shouldn’t be long before a fix goes live for everyone.
Update 1 (March 23)
Google has fixed the bug which was causing certain apps to crash on Android phones. Users are requested to update the Android System WebView app to version 89.0.4389.105 and Google Chrome as well.
Update 2 (March 24)
10:33 am (IST): Even though Google has rolled out updates for the Android System WebView and Chrome to fix the problem, some users are still unable to resolve the problem as they aren’t able to figure out how to update the two apps manually.
When connected to Wi-Fi, apps usually get updated automatically, however, if you’re still seeing apps crashing, chances are that the two aforementioned apps haven’t been updated.
Thus, Samsung has shared a guide for those who want to update applications from the Google Play Store or Galaxy Store manually that you can check out here.
02:20 pm (IST): In case you aren’t able to update the Android System WebView or Google Chrome apps via the Google Play Store, head here to check out a couple of solutions for the problem.
Update 3 (March 25)
11:58 am (IST): Google has sent out an official statement on its support site regarding the app crashes and System WebView. Here are a few snippets from the official message:
We halted the update and have posted a new version of WebView (89.0.4389.105).
Google Play will soon download the update to these apps on affected devices, or you can update manually to resolve the issue immediately. Some devices do not have WebView pre-installed and only need to update Chrome.
Note: We do not recommend manually uninstalling updates to WebView. It may result in loss of data from some apps.
In some rare cases in Android 10 or 11, a manual update of WebView or Chrome may fail to complete.
Update 4 (March 26)
12:42 pm (IST): Some users are still troubled with app crashes even after updating the WebView and Chrome apps. In response to a user’s complaint, the Gmail team on Twitter suggested restarting the phone once the apps have been updated to the latest versions.
Update 5 (March 30)
11:42 am (IST): It has been learnt that the app crashing issue wasn’t just restricted to devices on Android 10 and Android 11.
Even the ones on Android 12 Developer Preview have encountered this but Google has finally released Android 12 Developer Preview 2.1 that has fixed this issue.
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