What Is Android System WebView and What Does It Do?

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What Is Android System WebView and What Does It Do?

When many Android applications collapse for no apparent reason, one of the primary offenders is often Android System WebView. This is because many Android applications make use of this component. But what exactly is Google’s Android System WebView, what it does, and why is it so crucial?

We’ll break it all down for you in this post. So let’s get started.

What Is Android System WebView?

Android System WebView is a system component that allows Android applications to view online information without launching a separate browser. In other words, Android System WebView is a web browser engine or embedded web browser that is completely devoted to displaying online content in applications.

Android System WebView is powered by Chrome, Google’s omnipresent browser.

Most Android devices come with the Android System WebView software pre-installed. As a result, any developer who uses it to display online content inside their app may do so without fear of compatibility difficulties.

What Does Android System WebView Do?

Many Android applications, such as Gmail, Twitter, and Reddit, show material from the internet. Through the Android System WebView, Google has made it simple for developers to display online information in their applications.

This saves Android developers a significant amount of time that they may otherwise spend developing hundreds, if not thousands, of lines of code from scratch. Instead, all they have to do to display online content inside their applications is put in a few lines of WebView library code, and they’re ready to go. How awesome is that?

Is It Safe to Disable Android System WebView?

No. And, if you’re wondering if you require Android System WebView, the quick answer is yes. Although WebView is no longer as integral to Android as it once was, it doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. Beginning with Android 10, Google split WebView from the main OS. While being a separate app may give the impression that it isn’t necessary, it is.

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There is one exception. On Android 7.0, 8.0, and 9.0, you may deactivate Android System WebView without repercussions. Chrome was the primary driver behind WebView tasks on these versions of Android. However, it is acceptable to keep WebView enabled on later and prior versions of Android.

You can deactivate WebView if you like, but you can’t eliminate it. Remember that deactivating WebView may have an impact on the performance of certain Android applications.

Similarly, if there is a defect in WebView, all Android applications that utilize the component would malfunction.

Android System WebView is also neither spyware or bloatware, so there’s no need to be concerned—unless your applications are crashing, of course.

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How to Fix Android System WebView Crashes

Multiple Android applications crashing at the same time is unusual. If you encounter this, the issue is most likely with WebView. If your Android applications are crashing, here’s what you can do to resolve the issue.

1. Update the Android System WebView App and Chrome

The first step is to upgrade both Android System WebView and Chrome. Google released an upgrade to the System WebView app in March 2021, which caused all Android applications that used the component to fail suddenly. Fortunately, the problem was fixed with a subsequent update.

Here’s how to update Android System WebView:

  1. Navigate to the Play Store and install the Android System WebView app.
  2. If you see Uninstall, that implies you already have the most recent version of WebView installed. If Update appears, tap to update your app.
  3. Restart your device.
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If the manual upgrade fails to finish (which is possible in Android 10 and 11), emptying Google Play storage will assist.

Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Google Play Store > Storage & cache > Clear storage. These instructions may differ somewhat depending on the device. After that, repeat the steps above to manually update Android System WebView.

Also, make sure you’re using the most recent version of Google Chrome.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, read on.

2. Uninstall WebView and/or Chrome Updates

Uninstalling WebView updates may potentially resolve the issue. If you recently upgraded System WebView and/or Chrome and notice that multiple programs are crashing as a result, uninstalling may help.

  1. Navigate to the Play Store and install the Android System WebView app.
  2. To delete WebView updates, choose Uninstall.
  3. Restart your device.

You should also do the same for Google Chrome.

Note: Google advises removing WebView upgrades since it may result in data loss from certain applications. However, in dire times, this may be your only way out of app problems.

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Fix Crashing Apps on Android

Every piece of software has flaws. Apps on Android may collapse immediately after you start them. First, make sure Android System WebView and Google Chrome are up to date. If the problem continues, remove the Android System WebView and/or Chrome upgrades.

Crashing applications are only one of many issues with Android that are extremely simple to resolve.

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