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Gmail and other Android apps crashing on phones: Here’s Google’s simple solution


Many reported issues with the Gmail app on Android.

James Martin / CNET

Google says it has fixed an issue that caused Gmail and other Android apps to crash for some people on Monday. The problem apparently stemmed from a bug in an earlier version of Android System WebView, a system component that allows Android apps to display web content.

To solve the problem, the technology giant said that people should go to Google Play to update Android System WebView and Google Chrome.

Here are the steps Google has posted:

1. Navigate to the Play Store app
2. Search for Android System WebView
3. Select the “Update” option
4. Repeat these steps for Google Chrome

Problems with Gmail and other Android apps started appearing on Monday afternoon and lasted for about seven hours, according to Google’s Gmail status panel. Many turned to Twitter and Reddit to report problems with crashing Android apps, including owners of Samsung and Pixel.

See also: 7 hidden Gmail features that can even help you get into your inbox zero

“We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support,” Google said in the final update of the Gmail status panel. “Be assured that system reliability is a top priority for Google, and we are constantly making improvements to improve our systems.”

While Google solved the problem, some found that uninstalling the buggy version of WebView provided a workaround. Samsung’s support account on Twitter even suggested that people take that step.

If you used this solution while waiting for Google to resolve the issue, you should install WebView to restore the full functionality of your phone and update Chrome. It is important to keep apps up to date get the latest security fixes.

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