What Is Android System Webview? Can You Disable It?

Android has many system-level apps and components. Some of them are buried deep inside, while others are often visible on the surface, but users have no idea about them. One such component is Android System Webview, which may look like a suspicious app to new users, but plays a crucial role. In this article, let’s take a look at what Android System Webview is, how it affects the user experience, and whether you should disable it.

What is Android System Webview?

Android system web view

Android System Webview is a component built into Android devices that allows apps to open web pages. An example of this is when you’re scrolling through Instagram and see an ad that intrigues you. When you click the link, the web page opens in a pop-up window, in what looks like a half-baked Chrome browser. The behavior is enabled by the Android System Webview app.

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Android System Webview thus eliminates the need to launch a new copy of Chrome on your phone to view the contents of a web page if you try to open a web page from an app.

In Android versions 7, 8 and 9, the Android System Webview was bundled with the Google Chrome browser. In previous versions, the component existed as part of the core operating system. Starting with Android 10, Google is re-offering Android System Webview as a standalone component that can be updated via the Google Play Store.

Do I need Android system webview?

Android system webview in action

Yes, Android System Webview is an important part of the Android experience. You cannot uninstall it from modern Android smartphones or phones running Android 9 or later. We don’t recommend disabling this as it can lead to app and system crashes. However, if you’re using Android Nougat, Oreo, or Pie, you can disable it as it was part of the Google Chrome package at the time; Chrome used to handle Webwiews.

How to disable Android system webview?

There is no way to disable or uninstall Android System Webview on modern smartphones unless you forcefully uninstall it using ADB (Android debugging bridge). The only thing you can do is uninstall the updates from the app, which will reset it to factory settings but not disable it.

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If you are using Android version Pie or lower, you can disable this as follows:

1. Go to Settings > Apps > Search for Android system webview

2. Tap the app list to go to app details.

3. Tap Disable.

Doing this will disable the app completely. Your default browser will then handle the web views.

The bottom line is that Android System Webview is an important app and will not harm your device in any way. So there is no need to disable or uninstall it unless you are using Android 10 or older and want to free up space for other applications.

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