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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 popping up “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” error [Troubleshooting Guide]

  • Read and understand why a high-end smartphone like the #Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (#Note5) may suffer from app crashes and shows up errors like “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped.” Also learn how to troubleshoot your phone when this error occurs.

The error message “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” is the result when the app that holds your contacts list or one of its processes crashes. Basically, it’s notifying you that an app called Contacts crashed or stopped working for some reason. As a result, you may not be able to answer incoming calls or make an outgoing call. There are also times that the error shows up only when you’re dialing a phone number that’s already in your contacts list.

We’ve already seen this error message before as it’s not exclusive to the Note 5. In fact, S3, S4 and S5 owners were among the ones that encountered this issue before. Needless to say, we already have articles or troubleshooting guides that were crafted specifically for this error. However, we still feel the need to address this problem once again for the benefit of our readers who recently contacted us and were seeking assistance. So, if you are one of the owners of the Note 5 and are currently bugged by this error message, then read on to know more about it.

Before we jump right into our troubleshooting, however, if you have other issues with your device, make sure you visit our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed hundreds of problems with this phone. Odds are that there are already existing solutions to your problem and all you gotta do is find them. So, try to look for issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you need further assistance, then feel free to contact us anytime. Just fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit.

Galaxy Note 5 “Contacts has stopped” error shows up when dialing a contact

Problem: Hello guys. I’ve been following your blog since 2015 and it seems that after two years of reading your posts, I may need your help in fixing the problem with my Galaxy Note 5. Recently, I’m greeted by an error message “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” whenever I dial a number from my contacts list. It seems like calling someone that’s already in my phone would trigger this problem, however, when I dial a number that’s not in my contacts list, the phone call will go through. I’m not sure if you guys have already addressed this problem but if so, please point me to that post or please tell me what to do. Thanks a lot!

Troubleshooting: As I said, this problem is one of the most commonly reported issues by our readers wherein the error shows up when a number the user is calling is on the list but when you dial a number that’s not on your contacts list, the call goes through without a problem. I think our reader described the problem well so let’s just proceed to the troubleshooting.

Step 1: Isolate the problem immediately by booting the phone in safe mode

Let’s assume first that this problem is caused by one or some of your downloaded apps and we have to confirm such assumption by disabling all third-party apps. Once disabled and the problem is still appearing, then we might be facing a problem caused by a pre-installed app or a firmware issue. Now, to isolate the problem, boot your phone up in safe mode by following these steps:

  1. Turn off the phone completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power key.
  3. Once ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button.
  4. The phone will restart but keep the Vol Down button pressed.
  5. Once the phone has finished restarting, ‘Safe mode’ will be display in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  6. You may now release the Volume Down button.

Assuming the problem gets fixed in this mode, look for apps that may have something to do with this error and once found, try clearing their caches and data and then boot your phone up normally and if the problem still shows up, then uninstall them one-by-one until the problem is fixed. Here’s how you clear the cache and data, to uninstall, just follow the same procedure but hit Uninstall..

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Find and tap Settings.
  3. Under the ‘APPLICATIONS’ section, find and touch Application manager.
  4. Swipe to the left or to the right to display the appropriate screen but to display all apps, choose the ‘ALL’ screen.
  5. Find and tap suspected app.
  6. Touch Clear cache to delete its cached files.
  7. Touch Clear data and then OK to delete downloaded messages, login information, settings, etc.

I know for a fact that finding the culprit isn’t as easy as it seems, sometimes you have to spend several hours clearing caches and data and uninstalling suspected apps, it’s a hassle. So, if you think backing up your data is quicker than uninstalling a lot of apps, then do so and just reset your phone.

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Find and tap the Settings icon.
  3. Under the ‘Personal’ section, find and tap Backup and reset.
  4. Tap Factory data reset.
  5. Touch Reset device to proceed with the reset.
  6. Depending on the security lock you used, enter the PIN or password.
  7. Tap Continue.
  8. Touch Delete all to confirm your action.

Step 2: Reset the Contacts app by clearing its cache and data

If the problem still occurs even if the phone is in safe mode, then it’s time to go after the Contacts app itself. I understand that the problem occurs only when you dial a number that’s on the list so you can still backup your contacts. Sync your contacts with your Google account or export then to the SD card and once you’re done with that, follow these steps to reset the app:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Find and tap Settings.
  3. Under the ‘APPLICATIONS’ section, find and touch Application manager.
  4. Swipe to the left or to the right to display the appropriate screen but to display all apps, choose the ‘ALL’ screen.
  5. Find and tap Contacts.
  6. Touch Clear cache to delete its cached files.
  7. Touch Clear data and then OK to delete downloaded messages, login information, settings, etc.

After this procedure, try to create a new contact and then dial the number to trigger the error. If it still shows, then go after the firmware this time.

Step 3: Delete the system cache so the phone will create new ones

We are now in the process of ruling out the possibility that the problem is caused by some of the caches that got corrupted for some reason. System caches may only cause issues like this when they’re corrupt and the system still continues to use them. In which case, you need to delete them so that they would be replaced with new ones and here’s how you do it…

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home buttons first, and then press and hold the Power key.
  3. Keep the three buttons pressed and when ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key but continue holding the other two.
  4. Once the Android logo shows, release both the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  5. The notice ‘Installing system update’ will show on the screen for 30 to 60 seconds before the Android system recovery screen is shown with its options.
  6. Use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power key to select it.
  7. When the process is complete, use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.
  8. The reboot may take a little longer to complete but don’t worry and wait for the device to become active.

After this, try to dial a contact that’s already on your list to know if the error still shows up and if so, then the next step will take care of the problem.

Step 4: Perform the Master Reset on your Note 5

This procedure will fix this problem but it always comes last due to the hassle the user may undergo in backing up files and data. After the reset, the user will also have to restore them and it may take several minutes to a few hours doing so. But as far as this problem is concerned, a reset is a very effective method to fix it, so it’s up to you if you go through with it or just continue using your phone with the error popping up every now and then. If you decide to go with it, here’s how you do it…

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home buttons first, and then press and hold the Power key.
  3. Keep the three buttons pressed and when ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key but continue holding the other two.
  4. Once the Android logo shows, release both the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  5. The notice ‘Installing system update’ will show on the screen for 30 to 60 seconds before the Android system recovery screen is shown with its options.
  6. Use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ and press the Power key to select it.
  7. When the process is complete, use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.
  8. The reboot may take a little longer to complete but don’t worry and wait for the device to become active.

I hope we were able to help you get rid of the “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” error with your Galaxy Note 5.

Note 5 shows up “Contacts has stopped” error when phone calls come in

Problem: I have a very frustrating problem and I’m hoping you guys can help me with it. First off, my phone is a Galaxy Note 5, I got it brand new last year and since then I never encountered any issues with it until recently and I don’t understand why an error like “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” would start showing up out of the blue. It pops up when I receive a phone call no matter who’s calling or where it’s coming from. However, the problem won’t occur if I’m the one calling. This is how it happens, when someone calls, the phone would ring and when I answer it, that’s the time that the error would show up. So, I end up calling the person who called me. Can you guys look into this problem since it started just recently and I don’t know what caused it. Thanks.

Troubleshooting: While the error is basically the same as the error we tackled above, the problem occurs different because this time it shows up when phone calls come in. There are pre-installed apps on your phone that work hand-in-hand with other apps. For instance, the Camera works together with the Gallery and the Contacts app works with the Dialer (phone) app. Why is this significant? This problem, while the error specifically mentions the Contacts app, might be due to the phone app itself. Here’s what I suggest you do…

  1. Boot in safe mode to immediately know if your third-party apps have something to do with the problem and if so, then find the culprit and uninstall it. However, if the error still occurs in safe mode, then it might be an issue with the pre-installed apps.
  2. Backup your contacts and clear the cache and data of both the Dialer and Contacts apps to rule out the possibility that one of them is causing the problem. You need to backup your contacts as they may be deleted during the process of clearing the caches and data. You can do this while the phone is in safe mode or even in normal mode.
  3. Wipe the cache partition so that corrupt and obsolete system caches will be deleted. There is no guarantee this procedure can fix the problem but it’s imperative you do this before moving on to the next step.
  4. Master Reset your Note 5 to bring it back to its factory default settings, which is necessary so that you would know if the problem is really due to an app or the firmware itself. This error message is a minor app problem and reset can fix it.

Please find the steps of respective procedures above.

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One Comment

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  1. I was actually at CES this year in Vegas and had the chance to check out a ton of awesome producs, I’m super excited about Samsung new 2017 tablets I’m always up on all the newest hottest tech stuff that is coming out! Thanks for the read and the comment! I look forward to your next article.

    {Samsung

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