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Gmail, Chrome and other Android apps are crashing — how to fix it now

Gmail, Chrome and other Android apps are crashing — how to fix it now
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google has fixed a Gmail and Chrome issue that affected Android phone apps crashing for many users. The problems, reported as early as Monday, affected a range of apps, also including Facebook and even Amazon.

It now appears that an Android System WebView update caused the widespread outage, which enables Android apps to show web content. Social media saw a rise in complaints around the crashing apps from March 22 through to March 23, with DownDetector noting a surge in users logging complaints around problems with Gmail and Amazon.

Google has now rolled out a permanent fix to the crashing issue, which handles the previous complaints by updating Chrome and Android System WebView to version 89.0.4389.105.

How to fix and update:

  1. Open Android System WebView on your device
  2. Select Update.
  3. If it doesn't say "Update", then you can move on and skip this step
  4. Repeat steps 1-4 with Google Chrome.

 In a statement to the BBC, Google clarified the issue affecting its users, saying:

"We have resolved the issue with WebView that caused some apps on Android to crash for some users. Updating Android System WebView and Google Chrome via Google Play should now resolve the issue."

Despite these steps, the issue has still persisted for some people. In response, Google has provided a separate fix for these more stubborn issues, which can be completed using the steps below.

More persistent issues:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click Apps & notifications.
  3. Select Google Play Store.
  4. Select Storage & Cache.
  5. Select Clear Data.

Google has announced that this should solve the majority of issues and requires you to follow the update steps, which clears Play Store settings, including auto-update preferences and parental control settings. 

Hopefully, Google's fix goes some way to clearing up any issues you may be encountering on these services, plus getting your apps back up and functioning to full capacity on the best Android phones.

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