What is Android System WebView? Is it Safe to Disable it?

What is Android System WebView?

Android System WebView is a pre-installed app that is responsible for displaying web content without opening the respective web browser.

Android System Webview
Android System WebView

Android System WebView and Google Chrome are based on the same open-source project called Chromium. Therefore, webView is also known as a mini-chrome because it adds browser functionality to apps.

A brief history of Android System WebView

Before Android 5.0, the Android System WebView was hardcoded into Android OS. However, In Android 5 and 6, the System WebView Google App was introduced, allowing System WebView to operate independently of the operating system.

Thereby, users could download or uninstall updates for System WebView from Google Play Store rather than waiting for an Android OS update.

Later, the responsibility to show web pages within the app was assigned to Google Chrome. Therefore, System WebView was not a necessary component for versions 7, 8, and 9.

The latest versions of Android returned the webView duties to the System WebView App. Again, you can get recent updates from the Google Play Store for Android version 10 and later.

Is it safe to disable Android System WebView?

Yes, it is safe to disable Android System WebView only for Android 7.0, 8.0, and 9.0 as they use Google Chrome to handle WebView-related tasks. However, it’s not recommended to disable it on any other Android version.

Other versions need System WebView to function properly and add browser functionality to your apps. Disabling System WebView also disables the security configuration to display the web pages directly inside apps. Consequently, your apps are at great risk. Moreover, Google suggests keeping it activated as it does not harm your device.

How can I disable Android System WebView?

Disabling Android System WebView is only recommended for Android versions 7,8, and 9. For other versions, disabling the System WebView can cause trouble while showing web content on apps.

  1. Go to Android Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Apps.
    Android Settings
    Go to Settings to open Apps
  3. Select Android System WebView.
    Android System Webview settings
    Open Android System Webview
  4. Tap Disable at the bottom of the screen.
    Disable Android System Webview
    Tap on the Disable option

Note: Android system updates can enable System WebView. In that case, you can disable it again from your Android Settings.

How To Enable Android System WebView?

If you’ve already disabled the Android System WebView and want to enable it for app functionality, you can do it by following the steps below.

  1. Go to Android Settings and select Apps.
  2. Once here, tap Android System WebView.
  3. Now tap Enable at the bottom of your screen.

Why should I disable the Android System WebView?

Although this app is not a spyware or bloatware, and it doesn’t cause any harm to your device, still, you can have a few advantages by disabling it for android versions 7, 8, and 9.

  1. Reduces battery consumption.
  2. Lower the risk of the app crashing.
  3. Free up storage and RAM.
  4. Speeds up app performance.

Furthermore, Android System WebView comes already disabled for versions for which Chrome handles the webView tasks.

Can Android System WebView Crash Apps?

In the past, we’ve seen System WebView crashing apps on rare occasions. If several apps are crashing simultaneously, there are probabilities of an error in System WebView. However, if only one app is causing problems, there might be an issue with that particular app.

In case many apps are showing abrupt performance, disable the Android System WebView and see if the apps start working properly. Another way is to update the System WebView to eliminate bugs and errors. 

How to update Android System WebView?

  1. Go to Google Play Store.
  2. Type Android System WebView in the search bar.
  3. Hit the Update button on the right side.
    Android System Webview update
    Tap on the Update option

If updating the System WebView did not work, try uninstalling the update. A recent WebView App update might contain a bug that’s crashing other apps.

How to uninstall the Android System WebView update?

  1. Launch Google Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Type Android System WebView and tap the app icon.
  3. Now tap the Uninstall button below Android System WebView.
    Uninstall the updates
    Uninstall the recent System WebView updates
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Muhammad Zubyan


Zubyan is a certified Google IT Support Professional with extensive experience spanning over 7 long years. Having worked on 1500+ computers, he gained many valuable insights and is currently able to detect and troubleshoot any Windows related issue/error no matter how complicated its root cause is. When he is not managing Appuals as a Senior Editor, he is working on his own Game Optimization program to facilitate both gamers and casual users alike.
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