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"Unfortunately, Settings has stopped" Android... the infamous error nobody knows how to fix

Lark 3,368 618 February 10, 2017 at 08:11 PM
Recently, I got this dreaded infamous error on my Android phone... I have no idea how it happened. I'm on Samsung Note 3 Android Lollipop

I can't access my SETTINGS. It crashes immediately every single time.

I searched around the internet and NOBODY has a real solution... in fact, most of the "solutions" out there are the most ridiculous dumbest advice like "Go to Settings and then clear Cache, etc..." when the whole freaking problem is not being able to access Settings.

I cleared cache, cleared RAM, rebooted/cleared partition, entered SAFE MODE and even in Safe Mode, it crashes when I go to Settings.

Is this some kind of recent Malware or bug???

I can't believe nobody has a solution for this other than "Factory Reset" which is never a real solution.

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#2
how much storage space is left on the phone? Try deleting some apps android gets angry when you have less than 500-600MB of free space.
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#3
Quote from jkee View Post :
how much storage space is left on the phone? Try deleting some apps android gets angry when you have less than 500-600MB of free space.
I have 3 GB left. I don't think it's a storage issue.
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Quote from Lark View Post :
I have 3 GB left. I don't think it's a storage issue.
It's the internal space that matters the SD card doesn't count. I had this happen once years ago on an earlier android.

If I remember correctly I fixed it by clearing the cache and all the settings / data for some of google's app's. But I'm not sure you can get to a screen where you can do that and using developer mode / usb debugging is probably out of the question unless it's already enabled.

You could also try a task killer type app to kill as many things as you can and then try to access settings.
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Quote from jkee View Post :
It's the internal space that matters the SD card doesn't count. I had this happen once years ago on an earlier android.

If I remember correctly I fixed it by clearing the cache and all the settings / data for some of google's app's. But I'm not sure you can get to a screen where you can do that and using developer mode / usb debugging is probably out of the question unless it's already enabled.

You could also try a task killer type app to kill as many things as you can and then try to access settings.
Yeah, it's the internal space where I have 3 GB free.

Was it exactly the same problem where the Settings would crash immediately? I also read people having similar issues where it only crashes when they try to access Google settings... but for me, it just crashes immediately when going into Settings.

I can actually go to "Manage Apps" via my physical options menu on my phone. From there, I looked for "Settings" app/info and cleared the cache, but that didn't do any good.

And I did always have developer mode enabled.
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Quote from Lark View Post :
Yeah, it's the internal space where I have 3 GB free.

Was it exactly the same problem where the Settings would crash immediately? I also read people having similar issues where it only crashes when they try to access Google settings... but for me, it just crashes immediately when going into Settings.

I can actually go to "Manage Apps" via my physical options menu on my phone. From there, I looked for "Settings" app/info and cleared the cache, but that didn't do any good.

And I did always have developer mode enabled.
Clear the app data for the folowing and reboot:
Google Play Store
Google Play Services
Google

On stock android, the apps screen has multiple views you switch between by swiping left and right (downloaded, all, running, disabled). There are a lot of hidden processes that only show in these other screens including the settings app itself. IDK how you access this exactly with samsung's mods, but if the above doesn't work you could try clearing data for settings or settings storage.

Beyond that you're looking at using adb or a factory reset. If you head down this path search / ask for help at forum.xda-developers.com
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#7
Quote from jkee View Post :
Clear the app data for the folowing and reboot:
Google Play Store
Google Play Services
Google

On stock android, the apps screen has multiple views you switch between by swiping left and right (downloaded, all, running, disabled). There are a lot of hidden processes that only show in these other screens including the settings app itself. IDK how you access this exactly with samsung's mods, but if the above doesn't work you could try clearing data for settings or settings storage.

Beyond that you're looking at using adb or a factory reset. If you head down this path search / ask for help at forum.xda-developers.com
I tried clearing for Google Play Store (actually uninstalled updates too). That didn't help.
I did do the clear cache for the Settings app too. When I click on clear data, it closes the whole window because I believe that is part of the Settings... which is odd because that means parts of the Settings is still functioning or else I wouldn't be able to see the app info/etc.

Yeah, that's the screen it takes me to when I go to "Manage Apps"... the whole swiping downloaded, all, running, hidden proccess...
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#8
Probably the OS messed up or the phone internal memory is dying.
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#9
I concur. Either the OS is jacked up or it's hardware (memory, internal hdd, cpu [which I doubt the most]).

If this is the case, a factory restore may be the only thing you can do. If it's the memory, then it'll persist even after a factory restore. If it's the OS, then restore will fix that.
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#10
Quote from Lark View Post :
I tried clearing for Google Play Store (actually uninstalled updates too). That didn't help.
I did do the clear cache for the Settings app too. When I click on clear data, it closes the whole window because I believe that is part of the Settings... which is odd because that means parts of the Settings is still functioning or else I wouldn't be able to see the app info/etc.

Yeah, that's the screen it takes me to when I go to "Manage Apps"... the whole swiping downloaded, all, running, hidden proccess...
The different things I mentioned are distinct different apps. Uninstalling updates is probably counter productive.

Google Play Services is something of a compatibility library that lots of things depend on. Not the same thing as the store app. There could easily be some other apps that deserve similar treatment.
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Quote from jkee View Post :
The different things I mentioned are distinct different apps. Uninstalling updates is probably counter productive.

Google Play Services is something of a compatibility library that lots of things depend on. Not the same thing as the store app. There could easily be some other apps that deserve similar treatment.
So what do you think I should do? Nobody on the web has a solution for this problem. I am pretty sure everyone gave up and got a new phone or factory reset.

Do you think the com.android.setting app is corrupted and somehow replacing that would solve it?

Since I'm still on Lollipop android 5, I'm thinking about flashing to Marshmallow 6... Or should I go with a custom rom/removes bloatware/root access?

I don't believe I currently have root access. I'd like to easily backup and restore. I have Wondershare Mobilego.

I hear Titanium Backup a lot, but it sounds like that app requires root access...

I didn't know Android 5 lollipop had their own backup/restore feature... I wish I could have used that, but of course I can't access Settings unless there's another way around it.

I think this Settings crashing seems like malware or something.

I never backed up my phone/settings, so I guess this is a good opportunity to backup and start over. I just need to know an easy and best way to backup and restore... I'm also using Nova Launcher.

I'm just wondering if I want to restore my entire apps/data setting for each one, if there would be compatibility issues if going from Android 5 to 6.
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Quote from Lark View Post :
I'm just wondering if I want to restore my entire apps/data setting for each one, if there would be compatibility issues if going from Android 5 to 6.
If you were using the default backup/restore in android 5 it wouldn't try to restore an app that was incompatible in 6. When you sign in after the upgrade it asks if you want to restore all your old (compatible) apps or start fresh.
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#13
Samsung never released marshmallow for the note 3, so you'd be looking at a third party rom. unlocking the bootloader wipes the phone.
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#14
You could try looking in the logs. Android has something called "logcat" that is the general info area. I'll bet a more detailed error would come out there. No idea if it'd be actionable though.

You'd need to connect the phone to a PC, and have some Android tools installed to get "adb". I saw something about "developer mode was on" so you sound like this might be an option.

I did the custom ROM thing on my Galaxy S2 and S4 in the past. It can be confusing and scary, but my phones never worked better and for longer once I found "the one". Had to kiss some frogs though, and there is always the worry of "bricking" your device.

And yes, I'd suggest not trying to restore across app/OS versions manually. I've read about that messing up devices often. But the only way I'd try to back anything up is with Titanium Backup. Or at least that was the king back then. My Galaxy S7 isn't rooted, so haven't played there lately.

xdadevelopers is a great place to learn and try stuff out like custom ROMs.
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