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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 lags, freezes and shows “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” error [Troubleshooting Guide]

Lags, freezes and other performance-related issues seem to be bugging some owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note8. In fact, we have received several complaints from our readers who said that their units lag and freeze before popping up the error “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped.”

Settings is an app but it’s not just like any other apps, it’s the one handling all your preferences and personal settings. It covers every feature and app in your phone that’s the reason that the phone lags and freezes when it crashes. We’ve seen similar cases in the past wherein the problem is with the app only, however, there were also cases that resulted in the same error but they were triggered by a firmware issue.

We need to troubleshoot your phone to know why this is happening and with that, we have to consider every possibility and rule them out one-by-one until we can determine the best way to fix it. So, if you’re one of the owners of this great phone and are currently bugged by a similar problem, continue reading this article as you may find it helpful in fixing this problem.

Before we move on, if you have other issues with your device, visit our Note8 troubleshooting page and look for problems that are similar with yours. Feel free to use our solutions and workarounds. If you still need our help, then fill up our questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

Troubleshooting Note 8 with “Settings has stopped” error

More often than not, the error message “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” is a sign of a firmware problem but let’s first try to see if your apps have something to do with it; that’s where we begin our troubleshooting.

Reboot your Note 8 in Safe mode

This will tell us immediately if third-party apps have something to do with the error. Third-party apps are ones you downloaded and installed on your phone. They are more likely to cause problems than pre-installed apps. Usually, a problem like this might be due to compatibility issues between some apps and the firmware.

By running your Note 8 in safe mode, you’re actually disabling all third-party apps so if one or some of them is causing the problem, then the error message won’t show up while the phone is running in that mode. This is how you reboot your phone in 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.

Assuming the error doesn’t show up in this mode, the next thing you should do is find the app that’s causing the problem and uninstall it. I know it’s easier said than done but start from apps you recently installed. Every time you uninstall an app, reboot your phone in normal mode to try if the error still shows up. This is how you uninstall an application from your Note 8…

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Apps.
  3. Find and tap apps that you suspect are causing the problem.
  4. Tap the desired application.
  5. Tap Uninstall.
  6. Tap Uninstall again to confirm.
  7. Reboot phone to try it out.

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Wipe cache partition

If the error message is showing in safe mode or if it continues to show after uninstalling some apps, then we can say that the problem is with the firmware. But before we jump into some complicated procedures, let’s try to discard the system caches that are currently in your phone as there’s a possibility that some of them are already corrupt. When these caches are used by the system, performance issues may occur which include app crashes.

While you don’t have access to individual apps, you can actually delete all of them at once. When the phone reboots after that, those caches will be replaced with new ones and if the problem is with them, this time the error won’t show up anymore. Here’s how you wipe the cache partition:

  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.

Continue observing your phone after this and if the problem continues to bug you, move on to the next method.

Reset all settings (if possible)

I understand we’re dealing with the error “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” and the app may be crashing every time you open it. But if you still can access some of the features or options, try to reset all settings. This is basically just like a factory reset only that your apps, files and data won’t be deleted.

  1. From a Home screen, swipe up or down from the center of the display to access the apps screen.
  2. Navigate: Settings Settings icon > Backup and reset.
  3. From the Reset section, tap Reset settings.
  4. Review the info then tap RESET SETTINGS.
  5. If presented, enter the current PIN, password, or pattern.
  6. To confirm, review the info then tap RESET SETTINGS.

However, if it’s not possible to do this, then you have no other choice but to do the Master reset.

Master Reset your Note 8

This will delete all your files and data so make sure you can make a backup and remove your Google ID from your phone so that you won’t be locked out after the reset. As long as the firmware hasn’t been modified in some way, the reset will be able to fix this problem.

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Google account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Google credentials to finish the Master reset.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. 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).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times 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.

I hope that this troubleshooting guide can help you fix the problem with your phone. If you still need our help, feel free to contact us.

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