Gmail and other Android apps crashing on phones: Here’s Google’s simple fix

Gmail and other Android apps crashing on phones: Here’s Google’s simple fix

by Lily White
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Many people reported trouble with the Gmail app on Android. 

James Martin/CNET

Google says it’s resolved an issue that was causing Gmail and other Android apps to crash for some people on Monday. The problem apparently stemmed from a bug in a previous version of Android System WebView, a system component that lets Android apps display web content.

To fix the issue, the tech giant said people should head to Google Play to update Android System WebView and Google Chrome. 

Here are the steps Google laid out:

1. Navigate to the Play Store app
2. Search for Android System WebView
3. Select the “Update” option
4. Repeat these steps for Google Chrome

Problems with Gmail and other Android apps began to pop up on Monday afternoon and lasted roughly seven hours, according to Google’s status dashboard for Gmail. Many people turned to Twitter and Reddit to report trouble with Android apps crashing, including Samsung and Pixel phone owners. 

See also: 7 hidden Gmail features that might even help get you to inbox zero

“We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support,” Google said in the final update on its Gmail status dashboard. “Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”

While Google was fixing the problem, some people found that uninstalling the buggy version of WebView provided a temporary solution. Samsung’s support account on Twitter even suggested people take that step. 

Hi! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Please remove the Webview Update and then restart the phone. Here are the steps: Go settings> apps> tap the three dots in the top right corner> show system apps> search for Android System WebView> select Uninstall updates. ^Nina

— Samsung Support US (@SamsungSupport) March 22, 2021

If you used this workaround while waiting for Google to fix the problem, you should reinstall WebView to restore full functionality to your phone, as well as updating Chrome. Keeping apps updated is important in order to get the latest security fixes

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