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Samsung Galaxy J5 showing “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” error [Troubleshooting Guide]

The error message “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” on your Samsung Galaxy J5 basically speaks of the Settings app that crashes. It is very difficult to determine the cause why the app that covers all other apps force closes. That’s the reason why we need to troubleshoot so that we can try to get rid of it and bring your phone back to its normal state and operation.

In this post, I will walk you through in troubleshooting your J5 because this problem needs your attention. It doesn’t just stop to showing the error, the phone may also experience freezes, lags or even random reboots and shutdowns. Such is the effect of the Settings app crashing. I want you to note that this app holds all your preferences on how you want your phone to work.

But before we jump right into our troubleshooting, if you have other issues with your phone, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed a lot of issues with this device. Try to find problems that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you and if you need further assistance, contact us by filling up our Android issues questionnaire.

Troubleshooting Galaxy J5 with “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” error

First off, we would like to know why the Settings app is crashing and that’s the purpose of our troubleshooting. Secondly, we want to be able to formulate a solution that might fix the issue for good and prevent the same problem from happening in the future. That said, here’s what I suggest you do:

Step 1: Perform the forced reboot / soft reset procedure

Aside from its specs and buttery smooth performance, another really good thing about the J5 is that it has a removable battery. So, doing forced reboots or soft resets is very easy to do. It is important that you do this procedure first since there’s a possibility the problem is caused by a glitch in the system or hardware. While a normal reboot can also fix glitches, there are cases wherein you really have to refresh the phone’s memory and you need to ‘power shock’ it to do so.

  1. Remove the back cover of your phone.
  2. Pull the battery out while the phone is still powered on.
  3. Press and hold the Power key for a minute while the battery is out.
  4. Replace the battery and secure with the back cover.
  5. Turn the phone back on and observe if Settings app still crashes.

If the problem remains after doing this, then the problem is more than just a glitch. Move on to the next step.

Step 2: Reboot in Safe mode and observe

Now let’s try to isolate the problem to know if it’s caused by one or some of third-party apps installed on your phone or the built-in apps and firmware. When you boot your phone in safe mode, you’re actually temporarily disabling all third-party apps. So, if the problem is caused by one of them, the error shouldn’t occur in this mode. Here’s how you boot your J5 in safe mode:

  1. Turn your Galaxy J5 off.
  2. Press and hold both the Volume Down button and the Power key.
  3. When the Samsung logo displays, release the Power key but continue holding down the Volume Down button.
  4. Allow the phone to start up while holding down the Volume Down button; it may take a few seconds to complete.
  5. When the phone reaches the home screen and you can see “Safe mode” in the lower left corner of the screen, then it’s successful. Otherwise, repeat the steps from the top.

Alternatively, you can just do these steps if you don’t want to turn the phone off just to start in up again:

  1. Press the Power key to display power options on the screen.
  2. Touch and hold “Power off” option until “Restart to safe mode” prompt appears, then release.
  3. Tap Restart.
  4. The restart process may take up to 45 seconds to complete.
  5. Upon restart, Safe mode appears in the lower-left of the unlock/home screen.

If the error still occurs, then it might be a firmware issue. However, if the error doesn’t show up, then you have to find the app or apps that triggers it and uninstall it:

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Applications.
  4. Tap Application manager.
  5. Tap the application in question.
  6. Tap Uninstall.
  7. Tap Uninstall again to confirm.

Step 3: Delete the system caches as they may be corrupt / obsolete

There are times when system caches get corrupted and when the system continues to use them, performance issues may occur including the crashing of some apps. We need to rule out this possibility before moving on to the next step. Don’t worry though, none of your files or data will be lost when you do this, so it’s safe and effective:

  1. Turn off your Galaxy J5.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the device logo screen displays, release only the Power key
  4. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. Press the Power key to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key to highlight ‘yes’ and press the Power key to select.
  8. When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.
  10. It will take a little longer for the phone to reboot after this procedure but wait until it reaches the home screen before using it.

Should the problem remain after doing this, then you need to reset your device.

Step 4: Backup files and data and reset the phone

At this point, it is necessary to just reset your phone to rule out the possibility that the problem is due to a firmware issue which may include corrupt files and data. However, your personal files and data will be deleted when you do this so make sure you create a backup. After backing up your files, disable anti-theft.

How to disable Galaxy J5 Anti-theft feature

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Accounts.
  4. Tap Google.
  5. Tap your Google ID email address. If you have multiple accounts setup, you will need to repeat these steps for each account.
  6. Tap More.
  7. Tap Remove account.
  8. Tap REMOVE ACCOUNT.

How to Master Reset your Galaxy J5

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the device logo screen displays, release only the Power key
  4. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Or, you can just reset your phone through the settings menu:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Backup and reset.
  4. If desired, tap Back up my data to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  5. If desired, tap Restore to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  6. Tap Factory data reset.
  7. Tap Reset device.
  8. If you have screen lock turned on, enter your PIN or password.
  9. Tap Continue.
  10. Tap Delete all.

I hope this helps.

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