Android WebView disabled: why this happens and how to fix apps that close themselves in this case

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Yesterday the Android phones of many people hid a nasty surprise: infinite applications showed constant errors and closures until making it almost impossible to use the mobile. Luckily i had a simple solution: uninstall updates from Android System WebView. There is a problem: in some cases, it is disabled.

When Android System WebView is disabled, Android does not let you uninstall the updates or update to a more modern version from Google Play, in addition to not allowing you to enable WebView. If this is your case and you continue to suffer application closures, we give you the keys to regain control of your Android mobile.


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Why is WebView disabled

Android System WebView is a name that Android users should not need to know, as it is a resource for programmers of applications can integrate web content into your apps. That is, they can display a web page within the application, without having to resort to the full browser.

Like many other Android resources, it is modular and can be modified by the mobile manufacturer to include its own version. Android comes with one, although there are also other WebViews built into browsers. When there is another browser that fulfills the functions of WebView, the WebView that comes with Android is disabled, possibly to avoid incompatibilities.

This is why it is relatively common for WebView to be disabled on mobile. In fact, in developer options In Android there is a section in which you can choose which WebView implementation to use. The usual thing is that if you have Google Chrome, use Chrome and not the Android System WebView, which may then be disabled.

Implementation In the developer options you can see which WebView is being used (and the cause of the problems)

That is to say, that Android System WebView is disabled is normal and this is how it appears in many current mobiles. You shouldn’t need to enable WebView manually, although if you’re having trouble troubleshooting app crashes, it never hurts to try to enable it and change your WebView implementation.

What to do if WebView is disabled

First of all, if your mobile has no problem, you don’t need to do anything. Android System WebView It is not a malicious application, but rather a series of incompatibilities with a specific version caused specific errors. If they do not affect your mobile, it is best to leave everything as is.

If you have app closing problems and you Android System WebView is disabled, then the solutions we talked about yesterday will not work, since you cannot uninstall the updates. Also, being disabled, the application does not have updates and does not start either, so in this case the fault is not technically yours.

When WebView is disabled, Android is using Google Chrome’s “WebView”. The solution to the problem is the same, but applied to Google Chrome

In these cases, the fault of the closures is not the Android System WebViewbut rather the WebView implementation of Google Chrome. The solution is in this case the same, but applied to Google Chrome instead of to Android System WebView. You basically have two options, of which we recommend the first:

  • Update Google Chrome to the latest version: Google has already fixed the bug in the latest version of Google Chrome, so you can download the update from Google Play. This will update both the browser and the WebView implementation within it.

  • If this doesn’t work, uninstall the Google Chrome updates. The process is exactly the same as for any other application. Go into Settings> Applications> Google Chrome and press menu ⋮ to choose Uninstall updates.

Desisntalarchrome If nothing works, you can always try to uninstall updates from Google Chrome

Personally, I would leave this option as a last resort, since will return Google Chrome to the version that came pre-installed in the firmware of the mobile and that may be months old. Older versions are prone to security problems that have already been fixed in newer versions.

How to enable WebView

We insist that technically you shouldn’t need to manually enable Android System WebView, but if you are still curious about the matter or need it to debug a problem with your mobile, there is an easy way to enable WebView: disable Google Chrome.

Like in the Western movies, on Android there is only room for one, so when you disable Google Chrome, the WebView that comes with the system comes to life to take its place. To do this, you must go to the information of the Google Chrome application and press Disable. Doing so also uninstalls all updates and reverts to the factory version.

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After doing so, if you enter the developer options again, in the section WebView Implementation, you will see that the one that is disabled is Google Chrome and instead Android System WebView is enabled. You can also see the application information from the applications section of the settings.

Now, it will follow you without leaving the menu Uninstall updates for a simple reason: it is as it comes with the mobile, without any update. Now that it’s enabled, you can update Android System WebView to the latest version directly from Google Play.

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With this you will be able to enable Android System WebView, although you will have stayed on the road without Google Chrome. The truth is that to solve the sudden closure of apps caused by the WebView error, with update to the latest version Google Chrome -or, if you don’t use it, Android System WebView- should be more than enough.


The news

Android WebView disabled: why this happens and how to fix apps that close themselves in this case

was originally published in

Engadget Android

for
Ivan Ramirez

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