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Samsung Galaxy S7 keeps showing “Settings has stopped” error after Android 7.1 Nougat update [Troubleshooting Guide]

The error message “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” seems to be bugging some #Samsung Galaxy S7 (#GalaxyS7) owners shortly after the roll out of the Android 7.1 #Nougat update. It appears like it’s a firmware issue considering it started after the update but we really can’t be sure of that until we tried troubleshooting the device.

In this post, I will tackle this error message and I will walk you through in troubleshooting your phone so we can determine what the problem is, what caused it and what needs to be done to fix it. If you own a phone like this, recently downloaded the Nougat update and currently experiencing an error message like this, then read on as this post may be able to help you fix the problem.

However, before we jump right into our troubleshooting, if you happen to have found this page while looking for a solution to a different issue, then visit our troubleshooting page for we have already answered hundreds of problems reported by our readers. Find problems that are similar with yours and use the solutions and troubleshooting procedures we suggested. If they don’t work for you and if you need more help, fill up our questionnaire here and hit submit to contact us.

Troubleshooting Galaxy S7 that shows “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” error

The Settings app is actually overseeing every setting in your phone to give you your preferences. It includes your settings in every app, feature and service in your device. That’s how important the Settings app is and when it crashes, if often means that it’s a firmware problem you’re facing. In which case, this is what you have to do…

Step 1: Delete the system cache since it’s firmware related

It is obvious the problem is caused by the new firmware installed on your phone and for firmware-related issues, it is wise to go after the system cache first before trying to get rid of other possibilities. If you’d ask why, here’s a few things you may need to know about the cache…

  • System caches get easily corrupted during firmware updates
  • They automatically become obsolete every after firmware update
  • They can be deleted without adverse effects on your phone’s performance
  • Clearing them from time to time will actually boost your phone’s performance
  • You don’t have access to individual cache nor know which one’s for the specific service

Now, here’s what you need to do to wipe off the directory where caches are saved:

  1. Turn off the phone.
  2. Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  4. When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, navigate through the options and highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. Once highlighted, you may press the Power key to select it.
  7. Now highlight the option ‘Yes’ using the Volume Down key and press the Power button to select it.
  8. Wait until your phone is finished wiping the cache partition. Once completed, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and press the Power key.
  9. The phone will now reboot longer than usual.

Once the phone has successfully rebooted, try to trigger the error again just to know if it still pops up. Open the Settings app and change a setting or two. If the error won’t show up, then that did it, otherwise, move on to the next step as it may be a different case.

Step 2: Isolate the problem to know if it’s caused by third-party apps

It is important at this point that you know if the problem is caused by one of your apps and while it’s not easy to determine which app is causing it, at least, try to isolate it so that you have an idea if it’s third-party or pre-installed. To do so, all you need to do is reboot your device in safe mode and try to trigger the error. Now, this is how you boot your phone in safe mode:

  1. Press and hold the Power key.
  2. When Samsung Galaxy S7 logo appears, release the Power key and immediately hold the volume down key.
  3. Continue holding the Volume Down key until it finishes its rebooting.
  4. When “Safe mode” appears on the screen immediately release the Volume Down key.

While in this mode, try to open the Settings app again and change a setting or two just to try to trigger it. If the error does not show up, then it’s confirmed that one or some of your third-party apps is causing the problem. Find that app and try clearing its cache and data first. It will reset the app to its default settings and may possibly fix the issue, if not, then uninstall it to know if that makes a difference.

This is how you clear the cache and data of your apps, follow these steps to uninstall apps but hit Uninstall:

  1. From Home screen, tap App icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Applications and Application manager.
  4. Swipe to ALL tab.
  5. Find and tap app in question.
  6. Touch the Force Close button first.
  7. Tap storage.
  8. Tap Clear cache and Clear data, Delete.

Depending on the number of apps you installed on your device, it may take a few hours to actually pinpoint which one is the culprit, so, it’s better that if this is really the case, you just backup your data and files and then do the factory reset. It will delete everything in your device but will surely fix the problem and you just have to restore your files later. This is how you reset your phone:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Find and tap Settings and then touch Backup and reset.
  3. Tap Factory data reset and touch Reset device.
  4. If you have screen lock feature turned on, enter your password or PIN.
  5. Touch Continue.
  6. Tap Delete all to confirm your action.

Step 3: Rule out the possibility of a firmware issue by doing the Master Reset

It is actually just the same as the Factory Reset only that this method reformats both the cache and data partitions. In other words, it’s much more thorough than the reset through the Settings menu and considering we are dealing with an issue involving the Settings app that crashes, this one’s more reliable. Just make sure to backup your important files and data before doing the actual reset:

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy S7.
  2. Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key. NOTE: It doesn’t matter how long you press and hold the Home and Volume Up keys, it won’t affect the phone but by the time you press and hold the Power key, that’s when the phone starts to respond.
  3. When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  4. When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds. NOTE: The “Installing system update” message may show on the screen for several seconds before displaying the Android system recovery menu. This is just the first phase of the entire process.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, navigate through the options and highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  6. Once highlighted, you may press the Power key to select it.
  7. Now highlight the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ using the Volume Down key and press the Power button to select it.
  8. Wait until your phone is finished doing the Master Reset. Once completed, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and press the Power key.
  9. The phone will now reboot longer than usual.

After doing the master reset procedure, don’t install anything yet instead try to trigger the error by changing some settings on your device. If the error still pops up, then the firmware has to be reinstalled but you cannot do that yourself; you need a technician for it.

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