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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 showing “Unfortunately, System UI has stopped” after Marshmallow update

Samsung has recently started rolling out the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (#AndroidMarshmallow) update for the Galaxy Note 5 (#Note5) but owners started complaining about it shortly after that due to some problems users encountered including the error message “Unfortunately, System UI has stopped.”

System UI is actually a native service and if it crashes, it’s most likely a firmware issue but it doesn’t mean third parties have nothing to do with it. In fact, there were a lot of reports regarding this issue that occurred after a launcher is installed.

The thing is, we don’t know for sure what the cause is that’s it’s necessary to troubleshoot this kind of problem thoroughly. I understand that you may have a lot of data saved in your phone and I know the hassle of backing them up, so factory reset is the last resort.

Now, to give you a guideline or a hint where to start, here’s the list of the possible causes of this error message:

  • Installed third-party launcher keeps crashing affecting the native service handling the user interface
  • Some caches and data may have been corrupted due to the recent firmware update
  • Phone is suffering from a serious performance issue affecting some services including Touchwiz, which is the native UI for the Note 5

Before we go any further, I just want to share with you one of the problems sent by our reader that describes this issue clearly:

“Two days ago I updated my Note 5 to Android 6.0.1. Yesterday when I was restarting it, it show up with a pop-up saying “Unfortunately, System UI has stopped.” I can do anything on it except bring it to the screen that gives me the options of “Power off”, “Restart”, and “Emergency Mode”. I have tried a normal reboot, safe mode, wiping the system cache, and some other ways to try to bring my phone back to life without having to do a factory reset. I really would like to keep all of the files that are on my phone because I haven’t done a backup in a while. Also, I cant access the files through a computer for some reason. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.”

As you see, the error didn’t pop up immediately after the update. The owner may still have used it after it has successfully updated the Note 5 to Marshmallow. Therefore, there’s a chance a third-party has caused it.

Now that I’ve listed down the possibilities and shown you the actual problem, it’s time we did some troubleshooting and I want you to start from the very beginning.

Step 1: If you’ve installed an app or a launcher and then the error popped up, then it’s more likely that it’s the one causing the issue. The best course of action is to uninstall it and see what happens.

Step 2: Should the problem remain after uninstalling the suspected app or if you haven’t installed any launcher prior to the problem, you still need to isolate the issue by booting your phone in safe mode. This way you would know if third-party apps and services have something to do with it or not:

  1. Turn off your Galaxy S6.
  2. Press and hold the Power key.
  3. When ‘Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge’ appears, immediately release the Power key and then press and hold the Volume Down button.
  4. Continue holding the Volume Down button until the phone finishes the restart.
  5. When you see Safe Mode on the lower left corner of the screen, release the button.

Step 3: Should the error message pop up in safe mode, it’s clear at this point that your download apps have nothing to do with it. So, it’s either a firmware issue or the recent update has caused it. Now, to isolate the issue once again, you need to delete the system cache. These files can easily be corrupted or become obsolete due to firmware updates. Once corrupted and the new system uses them, this thing could happen. So, follow these steps to wipe the cache partition:

  1. Turn off your Galaxy Note 5.
  2. Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, and Power key.
  3. When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  4. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  5. Press the Volume Down key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. Press the Power key to select.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

You don’t have to worry about your data as they won’t be deleted, also, the caches will be replaced after the phone reboots for the first time after the procedure and the new caches will be compatible with the new system. Wiping the cache partition is very effective for issues that may occur after a minor firmware update.

Step 4: After you’ve uninstalled the suspected apps, booted in safe mode, wiped out the system cache and the problem remained, it’s clear at this point that the problem is with the firmware and there may be some corrupt data. It’s time you backed up all your data and follow these steps:

  1. Remove your Google account and disengage the screen locks to make sure you won’t trip the Factory Reset Protection (FRP).
  2. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note 5.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power keys together.
  4. When the device powers on and displays ‘Power on logo’, release all keys and the Android icon will appear on the screen.
  5. Wait until the Android Recovery Screen appears after about 30 seconds.
  6. Using the Volume Down key, highlight the option, ‘wipe data/factory reset’ and press the Power key to select it.
  7. Press the Vol Down button again until the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted and then press the Power key to select it.
  8. After the reset is complete, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.

It’s more effective than the normal factory reset through settings menu as it reformats the data and cache partitions.

Step 5: After all these procedures and the problem remained, it’s time you brought the phone to the shop. The technician will reinstall the firmware manually or if you want, you can do it yourself. All you need is Odin, the actual firmware for your phone and use a computer to push it to the device. If you’re savvy enough, you know what I mean but if you’re an average user, I suggest you just bring the phone to the shop.

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12 Comments

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  1. Not sure what my problem is with me S4 Active (I537) phone. My phone keeps rebooting randomly and says the System UI has Stopped. I have tried the above steps which didn’t help. I then had to do a factory reset of my phone. That didn’t work either. I did other searches and found the Google App might be responsible. I then uninstalled the updates and disabled the app. That didn’t work either. I am at my wits end and cant figure out this issue. Could it be a corruption issue that goes into the Lollipop OS copy that is stored on my phone where the factory reset gets its copy from? I hate to do it but I think I’m going to have to get a new phone. 🙁

  2. my Samsung Galaxy A5 keeps saying unfortunately system ui has stopped and it needs to be fixed please can you help

  3. I have a Galaxy S5 and I got the message unfortunately system ui has stopped. When I turn it on, I don’t get a chance to get to my settings. How can I get this fixed?

  4. Mike B. you are right mate. Thank you veryvery much for your input. I have a Samsung S5 and experienced the issue after downloading the new Shazam app from google store. The Shazam app changed permissions to access files, contacts, pics etc from other apps and made a nightmare using them. I deleted the app but the problem persisted. I then deleted all those apps that I had downloaded and updates from inbuilt apps and the issue ceased, the phone stopped asking me to go to settings and change permission to access other media, however when I tried to take a screenshot, I started experiencing the System UI stopped working message. Your solution has worked now and I am able to take screenshots as normal and no other app is asking me to allow access to files.
    Regards

  5. I have found the cause and solution to this issue.

    The cause is that SystemUI has lost its permission to draw on top of other apps, either due to a manual application permission reset (in my case) or because of an update or rogue app which reset permissions. Here’s how to fix it:

    Open Settings
    Open Application Manager
    Tap the three white dots in the top right
    Select “Apps that can appear on top”
    Tap the three white dots in the top right again
    Select “Show system apps”
    Scroll down to SystemUI and change it from “Off” to “On”

    In my particular case, I also had an issue where if I pressed the home button during a phone call (in order to retrieve a phone number from my contacts to give to my caller, for example), I would get the message that “Phone has stopped.” The same solution worked to fix that, as well.

    Please let me know if this fixes the issue.

  6. Bought my Galaxy Luna thru TracFone 2 months ago, now have this UI failure message. Can only turn off by battery removal. After trying these 3-button/wipe cache partition solutions, a reboot only gets me to the TracFone screen, with no chance to change settings. HELP!

  7. Samsung Galaxy S5 this is happening. I have tried everything except factory reset because I don’t wanna lose my data.

  8. a very simple trick for solving this issue ..all you need is to follow two simple steps :

    * go to application manager via settings
    * search for ” Google App” and reverse it to its factory settings by uninstalling its updates

    you are done

  9. friends the problems occurs , UNFORTUNATELY SYSTEM UI HAS STOPPED is that when you installed an error application , launcher, themes etc, which is not supported by your system. so the solution is that , You should wipe your system cache, and dalvik cache in RECOVERY MODE.
    please go through youtube videos to enter Recovery mode.
    thanking you,
    Yours Joel Manohar.
    cell. 9154222179 from India

  10. had the same problem and nothing could help me. Fortunately, I found the solution:

    1)Navigate your device “Settings”;
    2) Select “Applications”, tap on “Menu”;
    3) Select “Show system application” in pull-down menu;
    4) Then find “System Interface” among all applications. In “Memory” section perform clearing all data and cache.

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