Android apps like Gmail are crashing and ‘WebView’ is to blame

Bill Mount

This afternoon, a number of Android users (self included) suddenly saw notifications pop up on their devices saying that apps had stopped running. Many of the apps throwing errors suddenly can’t be opened, and they include important ones like Gmail, a number of banking apps, Google Pay and others. There […]

This afternoon, a number of Android users (self included) suddenly saw notifications pop up on their devices saying that apps had stopped running. Many of the apps throwing errors suddenly can’t be opened, and they include important ones like Gmail, a number of banking apps, Google Pay and others.

There are reports of the problem on DownDetector, Reddit and Twitter, and Google’s Workspace Cloud Status Dashboard confirms they’re aware of problems with the Gmail app on Android. According to the status message, there will be an update on the issue by 8:05 PM ET (check below for more information).

If you’re having this problem, something that’s worked for many people is to go into the Google Play Store on your device and uninstall the latest update to a system app called “Android System WebView.” It’s the app that provides Chrome-like browser rendering within apps, and according to developers and end users, many of the errors people are seeing indicate the problem resides there.

Uninstalling the updates got my phone to calm down and go back to normal, and it may work for your device. As noted below, Google has confirmed an issue with WebView and is working on a fix now.

Update (8:26 PM ET): Google has confirmed the issue and its link to the WebView app. According to a spokesperson, “We are aware of an issue with WebView causing some apps on Android to crash. We are currently working to fully validate the scope and a fix is in progress.”

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