How to Enable or Disable Android Webview?

Android Webview is one of the core components found in the Android Operating System. It allows the users and app developers to implement and use a web interface directly from any non-browser app. This makes the process of building web apps and other implementations of browsing directly from an app much easier.

In case you need to either enable or disable Android Webview on your device, you’ll first need to know about why it’s important for the functionality of the device and how you can actually enable or disable it in the most simple manner.

The Function of Android Webview

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If you’ve ever opened an app and got redirected to a webpage, you must have already used the Android Webview at least once. Typically, without Android Webview, the app would need to manually open the default browser on your device, and then load the required web content there. With Android WebView this can be done without detaching from the App’s User Interface completely.

WebView is based on the Chromium open-source browser and works on the WebKit browser engine. Before Android Lollipop, WebView was integrated into the Android OS and was only updated when core new updates were available. With newer versions, WebView became a standalone app that could get updated directly on the Play Store.

How to Enable or Disable WebView on Android Devices?

Note that the methods of disabling or enabling WebView on older and newer versions of Android are a bit different. We have listed how you can enable WebView in Android versions older than 4.4, and also how to do the same on the newer ones.

How to Disable WebView on Android 4.4 and Older Versions?

 

Android Marshmallow (6.0) and older have WebView integrated into the operating system. You can easily disable it by following the steps listed below:

  • Open the Settings App on your phone.
  • Navigate to “Apps” under the “Device” category.
  • Inside “Apps”, scroll down to locate “Android System WebView”
  • Once you tap on the app, you should find the options “Force Stop”, “Uninstall Updates”, and “Disable”.
  • Tap on “Disable” to stop using the app in case you’re facing errors with it.

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  • You can also select “Uninstall Updates” in case you want to revert to the oldest version of WebView. This can be used to fix buggy updates.

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How to Enable WebView in Android 4.4 or Older?

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You may need to enable the WebView service in order to access any kind of online content in some apps. You can do this easily by installing or updating the Android WebView from the Google Play Store. Let’s take a look at how you can do this:

  • Look for the Play Store in your App drawer and open it.
  • Search for “Android System Webview” on Play Store.
  • You should find an app with the exact same name as listed above. Install it.
  • Now you can easily access the apps which require WebView to function correctly.

This concludes the methods to enable or disable WebView in older versions of Android. Now, let’s move forward to the newer versions that have support for both the Android System WebView and Chrome Stable WebView.

Enabling or Disabling WebView on Android Nougat and Later

You can choose between various versions of WebView and enable or disable it in a variety of ways. The best way to choose between the different WebView implementations is to do so from the Developer options found on most Android smartphones. Let’s take a look at how you can access it.

How to Access Developer Mode in Android to Access WebView Options?

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  • Open the “Settings” app on your phone.
  • Locate “About Phone” or “About Device” from the list. The exact name depends on the device manufacturer.
  • Once you have entered the phone info section, Locate “Build Number” and tap on it seven times to enable the developer mode in most Android Devices. For MIUI, tap on the MIUI version five times for the same effect.
  • You may be asked to enter your phone PIN or password in case you’ve set one up. Do so to continue.
  • Now you can access the developer options from the settings menu under the “System” category for most versions of Android. For MIUI, you can find it inside “Additional Settings”

How to Change or Enable WebView from Developer Options in Android?

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Now that you have access to the developer toggles, you can easily switch between the different WebView toggles inside it. The steps to do so are listed below.

  • Once inside Developer Options, look for “WebView Implementation” among the first few toggles.
  • Tap on it to bring up a pop-up with the various WebView toggles that you have available on your device.
  • Choose the one you want to use, and close the developer options for it to immediately take effect. The Chrome WebView is the recommended option as it is more frequently updated and offers a little better functionality.

This should allow you to enable or change the WebView implementation in Android Nougat or later. In case this doesn’t work out for you, then you can also try to install WebView from Google Play Store as listed in the previous steps.

How to Disable WebView in Newer Android Versions?

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The method of disabling Android System WebView in newer versions of Android is quite similar to the steps previously listed for Android 4.4 or older. Let’s take a look at how you can access the same options on Android Nougat and later.

  • Navigate to the settings app on your phone.
  • Look for “Apps” and then tap on it.
  • Go to “Manage Apps” to bring up a list of all installed apps.
  • Once you find “Android System WebView”, tap on it and then use the “Disable” button to stop any problems you may have had with it.

This concludes all the methods you can try out and use to either enable or disable Android System WebView on both older and the latest versions of Android. Note that some of the Settings options can vary according to the ROM bundled by the Device manufacturer.

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