Why your Android apps keep crashing – and how to fix it

23 Mar 2021

Image: © charnsitr/Stock.adobe.com

A recent update to Android System WebView has caused key apps such as Gmail and Google Chrome to crash for some users.

Do your Android apps keep crashing? Users across the globe have been reporting similar issues over the past couple of days.

Those with Samsung phones seem to have been particularly affected, especially those with recent devices such as the Galaxy S20 and S21 and A50 and A70 series, according to Android Police. But there have also been reports from Pixel, Motorola and OnePlus users.

Users said that certain apps, including Gmail and Amazon, were refusing to open or were “instantly crashing” and there have been hundreds of Gmail outages reported on DownDetector.

Google has said that the latest update to Android System WebView was at fault for these crashes. This is a system component pre-installed on devices and powered by Chrome that allows Android apps to display web content.

The company said the issue has now been resolved and users have been advised to update their Android System WebView and Google Chrome apps to fix the issue.

To do so, users need to open the Google Play app, search for Android System WebView and select ‘update’. This process can then be repeated for Google Chrome. Users can also download the update directly from APK Mirror.

Prior to Google’s fix, both users and Samsung Support were circulating a temporary solution: uninstalling updates for Android System WebView.

The method involves going to the main Android settings, opening ‘Apps & Notifications’ and looking for Android System WebView. If Android System WebView isn’t visible, tap the three-dot menu and click ‘show system apps’. Users shouldn’t disable the app, but instead select ‘uninstall updates’.

Lisa Ardill was careers editor at Silicon Republic until June 2021