Have your Android apps been crashing when trying to load a web page? You’re not alone; many users have been reporting these issues for weeks, and it appears Android’s WebView feature is to blame.
Viewing pages in WebView differs from using the main Chrome app or other mobile web browsers, as it lets you navigate websites without having to load an external app. The benefits of this feature are self-evident, but there has been a rising number of freezes and crashes reported by users who are trying to open web pages with WebView.
The bug reports showing up on Twitter, official message boards, and support forums aren’t limited to specific devices or Android versions—and even include the recently launched Android 10 on Pixel phones. The good news is that, for most users on Android 7.0 or higher, there is a way to temporarily disable WebView until an official fix rolls out:
- Open the Google Play Store app.
- Tap the three stacked lines “hamburger” icon.
- Tap “My apps & games.”
- Scroll down and tap “Android System WebView” from the apps list.
- In the app’s settings page, tap “Uninstall” to disable it.
With WebView disabled, you’ll need to set your main mobile browser as the new default app the next time you load an in-app website. This means that pages will load externally, but doing so seems to be more stable.
That said, some users have reported that even the main Chrome app is experiencing crashes as well. In that case, it may be wise to change your default browser to something else for the time being.
Where your default apps menu is located can differ between devices and Android versions, but Pixel phones Running Android 10 will find the page in their settings app. Go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > default apps >Default browser, and then tap the browser you wish to use. (The list only includes apps installed on your device, so check out our recent write-ups for Vivaldi’s new Android app, the rebuilt Firefox mobile app, and our recommendations for other non-Chrome browsers if you need some suggestions for other browsers to try.)