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What is Android System WebView? How to disable the software or troubleshoot it

Hollis Johnson/

  • Android System WebView is an essential part of the Android OS that lets apps display web content.
  • The WebView app is essential to most modern Android device’s operation and can’t be disabled or uninstalled without consequence. 
  • It’s possible to disable Android System WebView on older devices running Android 7.0, 8.0, or 9.0.

In addition to the apps you install on your Android device, you’ll find a number of system apps installed whose purpose is not immediately apparent. You will probably find that your phone includes something called Android System WebView, for example. 

This app essentially enables other apps to display web content without starting a web browser. It’s an essential app (with rare exceptions) you can’t disable or uninstall without potentially causing issues for your phone. But if you’re experiencing problems with your phone, there are steps you can take if Android System WebView is crashing. 

What is Android System WebView?

Android System WebView enables Android apps to display web content without opening a dedicated web browser. In other words, it enables apps to interact with online data.

The software has been a part of the Android OS since Android 7.0, so virtually every Android smartphone in use today relies on it.

The details page for Android System WebView.You can inspect the Android System WebView app on your phone, but you can’t disable or uninstall it.

Dave Johnson

While you might expect that software like this should be integrated into the Android OS, by separating it into a separate app, Google can update it via app updates in the Google Play Store rather than waiting for less frequent system updates. 

Can you disable Android System WebView?

In general, you shouldn’t. Even though it’s a separate app that you can find in the App listing in Settings, it’s essential to the proper operation of your Android phone. If you were to disable or uninstall it, it would cause serious problems for your phone. 

There is an exception. If you have an older version Android phone running Android 7.0 Nougat, Android 8.0 Oreo, or Android 9.0 Pie, you can disable the app. Here is how to do that:

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Choose Apps and then tap More

3. Tap Show system.

4. Tap Android System WebView and then tap Disable

What to do if Android System WebView is crashing

If your Android phone is misbehaving and you believe that Android System WebView is responsible — especially if you see error messages suggesting that Android System WebView is crashing — then there are a number of steps you can take to repair the problem and get back up and running. There are eight ways to troubleshoot and fix an app like Android System WebView on your phone. 

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