What is Android System Webview and Can You Disable it?

Android houses numerous system-level apps and components, some concealed deep within the system while others appear prominently but remain unfamiliar to most users. Android System WebView falls into this category, a crucial component that might seem suspicious to new users but holds significant importance. This article aims to demystify Android System WebView, shedding light on its role in user experience and addressing whether disabling it is advisable.

Understanding Android System Webview

Android System WebView is an integral component pre-installed on Android devices, facilitating the display of web pages within apps. For instance, while browsing through Instagram, if an ad catches your attention and you click on the link, the webpage opens within a popup window, resembling a simplified Chrome browser. This functionality is made possible by the Android System WebView app.

By utilizing Android System WebView, there’s no requirement to launch a separate Chrome instance on your phone to view web content when accessing webpages from within an app.

In Android versions 7, 8, and 9, Android System WebView was integrated with the Google Chrome browser. In earlier iterations, this component was an inherent part of the core operating system. However, starting from Android 10 onward, Google reverted to providing Android System WebView as a distinct and standalone component, allowing for updates through the Google Play Store.

Is Android System WebView Necessary?

Indeed, Android System WebView stands as a crucial component within the Android ecosystem. On modern Android smartphones, or devices running Android 9 or higher, uninstalling this component isn’t possible. Disabling it isn’t recommended either, as such an action might lead to app malfunctions and system instability. However, for users on Android Nougat, Oreo, or Pie, disabling Android System WebView was feasible in the past, as it was integrated within the Google Chrome package. During that time, Chrome handled WebView functionalities.

Disabling Android System Webview

On modern smartphones, there’s no direct method to disable or remove Android System WebView, except through forceful removal using ADB (Android Debug Bridge). Users can only uninstall updates to the app, which resets it to its factory settings but doesn’t disable or remove it entirely from the system.

To disable Android System WebView on Android Pie or earlier versions, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Settings.
  • Access the Apps section.
  • Look for “Android System WebView” in the list of app.
  • Tap on the app to view its details.
  • Select “Disable” to deactivate the app.

Disabling Android System WebView completely transfers the handling of Web views to your default browser.

Overall, Android System WebView is a vital app that poses no threat to your device. Therefore, there’s generally no necessity to disable or uninstall it unless you’re using Android 10 or an earlier version and require additional space for other applications.

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