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How to fix if Galaxy S8 Google Launcher stops working or won’t load [troubleshooting guide]

For those of you who don’t know what a launcher is, it’s an app that allows you to personalize how your home screen looks and feels. Some people call it home screen replacement because the most obvious change it brings when you use it is a new appearance of your home screen. Launchers are specialized Android apps that change software design and some features without actually tampering with the core operating system. All changes brought about by launchers are temporary and if you decide to replace one, you can do so without having to reinstall the OS.
Lately, some #GalaxyS8 users have reported trouble with Google Launcher causing issues or failing to work properly. While we don’t know the exact circumstances for each one, we know that there’s a growing number of people experiencing it. This post is a response to that and hopefully, you’ll find our solutions helpful.

Before we proceed, we want to remind you that if you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page. When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Restart your Galaxy S8

Many minor annoyances and bugs are fixed by simply rebooting the system. That’s because some errors can only last as long as the current operating system session is active. The moment the device is restarted, these types of bugs usually go away too. Rebooting your S8 is as simple as pressing the Power button and tapping on the Restart option from the menu. If you’ve already tried that, consider doing a simulated battery pull instead to optimize the effect of a system restart. Here’s how:

  1. Press and hold the volume down button and don’t release it.
  2. Then, press and hold the power key while holding down the volume button.
  3. Keep both keys held down for 10 seconds or more.
  4. Let the phone restart.
  5. Check for the problem.

Should this type of restart won’t fix the issue at all, do the rest of the troubleshooting steps below.

Fix #1: Refresh the system cache

One of the common reasons for general performance issues and, sometimes, app crashes is a corrupted system cache. In order to work efficiently, Android uses a set of caches. One of them is the cache partition where the system cache is located. Sometimes, the system cache may get corrupted after an update or after installing apps. To check if there’s a system cache issue that causes your problem, make sure that you clear the cache partition. To do that, follow these steps below:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key until ‘yes’ is highlighted and press the Power button.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Fix #2: Reset all settings

In many cases, Google Launcher issues are caused by incorrect Android settings. To ensure that all necessary default settings are used, you can reset all settings back to their defaults.

To reset the settings on your S8 Plus:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General management.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset settings.
  5. Tap RESET SETTINGS button.
  6. Restart your S8 and check for the problem.

Fix #3: Uninstall Secure Folder

Some users were able to fix Google Launcher issue by removing Secure Folder entirely from the system. Secure Folder, as the name implies, lets you keep personal data in an encrypted folder within your phone’s storage. It’s supposed to work seamlessly with other Google services and apps but apparently, some devices including a number of Galaxy S8s find it buggy, especially when it comes to using Google Launcher. To see if your S8 has the same issue, try to uninstall Secure Folder (if you’re using it).

If you hide it before, here are the steps to unhide it so you can move your files or apps from it, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Choose Lock screen and security.
  3. Choose Secure Folder
  4. Tap the Secure Folder icon at the bottom of the screen, then enter your unlock pattern, pin, or password.

If you want to simply uninstall it directly, here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Choose Lock screen and security.
  3. Choose Secure Folder.
  4. Enter your lock details to access your Secure Folder.
  5. Choose Uninstall.
  6. If you wish to back up anything in your Secure Folder, choose Back up and uninstall. Otherwise if you are happy for the content of your Secure Folder to be erased, choose Uninstall.

Fix #4: Boot to safe mode

Rogue or poorly-coded third party apps can cause all sorts of issues so we can’t fully eliminate the possibility that you may have installed one bad app. To check if that’s the case, you want to restart your device to safe mode. Safe mode only allows pre-installed apps so if your device works normally and won’t restart on its own, that’s a clear yes to our suspicion.

To restart your S8 to safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
  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.
  8. Check for the problem.

If the problem seems fixed while in this mode, the next thing you should do is find the app that’s causing the problem and uninstall it. However, if the problem still manifests while in this mode, then try doing the next step.

Fix #5: Install system updates

Some bugs are only fixable by implementing coding changes to the operating system. Since only Google or your carrier can do that, the only thing that you can do is to hope that the next system updates will bring solutions to your current trouble. By default, your S8 should download and install system updates automatically but if you changed this setting before, make sure to go under Settings > Software update to manually check.

Fix #6: Factory reset

Many Android users, including some S8 users, reported that Google Launcher issue on their device was fixed by wiping their phone via factory reset. If the issue remains at this point, be sure to try resetting your device back to its factory state. Factory reset will delete all apps, customizations, and personal data so be sure to back them up ahead of time. Once you’re ready to wipe the phone, follow these steps:

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

Use third party launchers

Ideally, Google Launcher should start working again a factory reset but if it returns, there’s a chance that your S8 may have some unique configuration that prevents this launcher from working properly. Frankly, we find this absurd but it’s still a possibility. We know this can happen for devices that run custom ROM. if your S8 runs your carrier-branded firmware, you should consider suspending Google Launcher for now. There are many other good alternatives that you can try from the Play Store like Nova Launcher so try that one first.

 


Engage with us

If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply fill in the short questionnaire in this link and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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