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Fix Samsung Galaxy J5 that freezes before the error “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” shows up [Troubleshooting Guide]

The error message “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” in your Samsung Galaxy J5 can be a sign of a serious firmware issue despite the fact that Settings is actually just an app. This app, however, covers almost all of the features, services and applications (regardless whether they’re built-in or third-party), so when it crashes, many might be affected by it and we need to know the gravity of the problem so that we’ll have a shot at fixing it.

In this post, I will walk you through in troubleshooting your Samsung Galaxy J5 that’s plagued with this error. We will take into consideration every possibility and rule them out one by one until we can easily determine what the real cause or trigger is and why it even occurs. It’s not the first time that we’ve encountered this issue so we know a thing or two about it and that’s what we’re going to share with you here. Therefore, if you own a phone like this and are currently bugged by a similar concern, continue reading below as this post maybe able to help you.

Before anything else though, if you have other issues with your device, then visit our Galaxy J5 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed several common problems with this phone. Odds are that there are already existing solutions to your problems so just take time finding issues that are similar with yours. If you can’t find one or if you need further assistance, feel free to contact us by completing our Android issues questionnaire. Please provide us with as much information as possible so that it would also be easier for us to troubleshoot the problem. Don’t worry as we offer this service for free, so all you have to do is give us sufficient information about the problem.

How to troubleshoot your Galaxy J5 with “Settings has stopped” error

Problem: Hello guys. I am hoping you can shed some light to the problem I have with my phone right now. I have the new Galaxy J5 that I bought last couple of months ago and while I am positive it hasn’t been dropped nor submerged in water (not even a splash), it’s still having a problem. There’s an error that keeps showing every now and then and it greatly affects the phone’s performance because before and after the error shows up, my phone slows down to the point wherein it’s impossible to use. The error says “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” and I can only choose between OK and REPORT but neither actually fixes the problem. Can you help? Thanks.

Troubleshooting: According to our reader here, the phone freezes for a few seconds before the “Settings has stopped” error shows up. Well, it’s normal for this kind of problem since Settings is one of the core apps that are loaded when the phone boots up. It must run together with the firmware so that it can implement user’s preferences. When it crashes, you can always expect your phone to slow down a bit or even freeze. Rest assured though that this problem can be fixed without any help from a tech depending on how serious it is. Now, here’s what you need to do about it:

Step 1: Find out if it’s caused by third-party apps

Third-party apps may cause built-in apps to crash especially if they have compatibility issues. Core apps like Settings are often greatly affected and because of this the phone may also suffer from performance-related problems like freezing, lagging and sometimes random reboots and shutdowns. It is therefore, necessary that you know whether this problem is caused by a third-party app or not because if it is, then it can easily be fixed. To know it, reboot your phone in safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the screen with the device name.
  3. When ‘SAMSUNG’ appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  6. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see ‘Safe Mode’.

While your phone is in this mode, observe it closely to know if it still freezes and shows the error. If the problem seems fixed in this mode, it’s clear that one or some of the third-party apps is causing the problem. Try to update the apps that need to be updated first and if the problem persists after that, then try resetting those you suspect or even uninstall them.

How to update apps in your Galaxy J5

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Play Store.
  3. Tap the Menu key and then tap My Apps. To keep your apps automatically updated, tap the Menu key, tap Settings, and then tap Auto-update apps to select the check box.
  4. Choose one of the following options:
    • Tap Update [xx] to update all applications with updates available.
    • Tap an individual application and then tap Update to update a single application.

How to clear apps cache and data on your Galaxy J5

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Applications.
  4. Tap Application manager.
  5. Tap the desired application in the default list or tap MORE > Show system apps to display pre-installed apps.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear data and then tap OK.
  8. Tap Clear cache.

How to uninstall applications from your Galaxy J5

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

Step 2: Clear the data of the Settings app

The error message obviously notifies you about the Settings app that crashes for some reason. If it still shows up in safe mode, then the problem might be with the app or the firmware itself. In this step though, you have to make sure the problem is limited to the app only so you have to reset the Settings app. What you need to do is clear its data, which of course, resets it back to its default settings and some of your preferences may also be reset. It’s an effective procedure for this kind of problem…

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Applications.
  4. Tap Application manager.
  5. Tap Settings.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear data and then tap OK.

You can also reset your phone’s settings through this…

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Backup and reset.
  4. Tap Reset Settings.
  5. Tap Reset settings button.
  6. Confirm your action.

You have to reboot your phone after doing this procedure to refresh its memory. If the error still shows up after the reboot, then try doing the next ste.

Step 3: Reboot your phone in Recovery mode and wipe cache partition

It’s time to go after the firmware and the first thing you have to do about it is to wipe the cache partition so that all caches will be deleted and replaced. It’s a general troubleshooting procedure but very effective in fixing firmware-related issues that have something to do with corrupt caches. Your job is to delete them so that the system can replace them with new ones and here’s how you do it:

  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 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.

It will take a little longer for the phone to boot up after this as it rebuilds the caches but once it becomes active, observe it closely to know if it still freezes and shows the error and if so, then you have no choice but to do the next step.

Step 4: Make a backup of your files and reset your phone

Error messages are often a sign of a minor issue and this is no exception even though it’s the Settings app that keep crashing. A reset can be very effective in dealing with this kind of problem but it’s also a hassle backing up your data and files especially if you’ve already saved a ton of them in your phone. At this point though, you have no other choice so take time making a backup of your personal files and data. After which, disable the anti-theft feature of your phone or the so-called Factory Reset Protection so that you won’t be locked out of your device after the reset.

How to disable the Factory Reset Protection on your Galaxy J5

  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 do the Master Reset on 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.

Alternatively, you can also reset your phone from the Settings menu if you’re not greeted by the error when you browse through it…

  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 troubleshooting guide can help you fix the problem.

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