What Is Android System WebView and Should You Uninstall It?

Android System Webview Featured

You’ve undoubtedly seen the “Android System WebView” app in the update list for your apps, but you’re probably not too sure what it is or whether you should uninstall it. It may not seem like a big deal, but the Android System WebView is something you want to keep on your device. Some versions of Android, specifically certain versions after Nougat, don’t list the app separately. However, it’s still built in, even on these versions.

What Is Android System WebView?

Android System WebView is a smaller version of Chrome that allows you to open links within the app you’re using so that you won’t have to leave the app.

Android System Webview Uninstall Or Keep
Image source: Google Play Store

When you click on a link in an app, it will open WebView as if it is the browser built in to the app.

One thing to keep in mind is that every app may not support it, so links from some apps open in Chrome (or another browser) and not from within the app.

Can I Uninstall Android System WebView?

You can’t get rid of Android System WebView totally. You can only uninstall the updates and not the app itself. This is a system app, so it can’t be removed. It’s not bloatware, either, which you can often remove without rooting your device. All you’ll be able to do is disable it.

If you still have it and want to uninstall the updates, follow the steps below.

  1. On your Android device, go to “Settings -> Apps & notifications.” On some Android devices, you may need to look for “Apps” instead.
Android System Webview Settings
  1. Tap on “See all X apps” underneath your list of “Recently Opened Apps.”
Android System Webview See All Apps
  1. This will open a list of all your apps. Android System WebView should be near the top.
Android System Webview Select List
  1. Tap on it and select the “Uninstall” button. If you don’t see it listed, your phone is using a version of Android with WebView built into Chrome. You can proceed only to “Disable” it.
Android System Webview Disable Option

Is It Safe to Disable Android System WebView?

On devices running Android Nougat (7), Oreo (8), or Pie (9), it’s safe to disable it, but if you are using older versions, it’s best to leave it as is, since it may cause apps depending on it to not function correctly.

On later versions of Android (10 and above), you should leave it enabled, as more and more apps rely on it to open links, let you log in, and more. In fact, on Android 10 and later, you may not even see an option to disable it.

If you have Chrome disabled and are using another browser, it’s beneficial to keep the Android System WebView app since you won’t have Chrome’s WebView functionality.

Android System Webview Chrome App
Image source: Unsplash

Still, if you’re really against Android System WebView being active on your device, disable it. There’s a chance you may not notice any issues with the apps you use. Keep in mind that occasionally, Android system updates may reenable and update system apps like WebView. You can easily disable it again if this happens.

As a general rule, it’s not hurting anything to leave it enabled. While there was a glitch affecting Android 12 users back in 2021, Google has since resolved it. The issue caused apps relying on Android System WebView to crash randomly. While Google worked on an update, users were advised to pause or uninstall updates for WebView until an official patch was released.

Can I Uninstall Android System WebView From Chrome?

The WebView app Ii newer versions of Android may not even be listed in your app list anymore, as Google made it a part of Chrome to save space and battery. After all, Android System WebView is essentially a mini Chrome browser. This also made it easier to just develop updates for Chrome versus having to create updates for both WebView and Chrome and helped prevent users from disabling the app.

Image source: Freepik

If WebView is built into Chrome, you can’t uninstall just the WebView component. Your only option is to disable Chrome. Of course, you can’t uninstall Chrome either and can only disable the app by rooting your device. However, if you go ahead and disable Chrome, you’ll likely find many of your apps no longer work correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know if Android System WebView is working if it's not in my app list?

Try using an app that has in-app links, such as Kindle, Facebook, Gmail or Merriam-Webster Dictionary. If you can open links without a problem, then WebView is working through Chrome. A simple way to test this further is to disable the Chrome browser app in your phone’s Settings (just like you would any other app). If apps no longer let you open links, then Chrome is serving as Android System WebView and browser all in one.

Can I download Android System WebView if I disable Chrome?

Yes. If it doesn’t download automatically and show up in your app list, you can download it directly from the Play Store. This is a good option if you’ve rooted your phone and removed this app but discover you need it for other apps to work correctly.

Could WebView be causing other apps to crash?

It’s happened multiple times in the past, so it’s a possibility. If you’re having multiple apps crash that may rely on WebView, check whether you have the latest version of Chrome installed on your device. For Android 9 and earlier, check that you have the latest version of Android System WebView installed. Visit the Play Store to check for updates.

If you’re only having an issue with a single app, it’s more likely that it’s that app and not WebView. If your apps are experiencing problems due to your mobile data cutting off randomly, even when you have a strong signal, learn how to get your mobile data working again.

Image credit: bigtunaonline via 123rf. All screenshots by Crystal Crowder.

Crystal Crowder
Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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