How to fix Samsung Galaxy Note8 that keeps showing “Unfortunately, Messages has stopped” error [Troubleshooting Guide]

The error message “Unfortunately, Messages has stopped” with your Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is actually notifying you that the default text messaging app has crashed or stopped working for some reason. More often, this error is a sign of an app issue but since Messages is a pre-installed app, this problem might be a sign of a more serious firmware problem.

In this post, we will tackle this error message so that we can determine if it’s a problem with the app or the firmware itself. We will look into every possibility and rule them out one by one until we can pinpoint what the culprit is. If we can do that, then we’d be able to formulate a solution that will get rid of this error message for good. So, if you’re one of the owners of this great phone and are currently bugged by a similar problem, continue reading as this post may be able to help you.

Now, before we move one, if you are looking for a solution to a different problem, visit our Note 8 troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help, contact us by filling up our Android issues questionnaire.

Troubleshooting Galaxy Note 8 with “Messages has stopped” error


This troubleshooting guide will start from the most basic troubleshooting and will progress into procedures that may have great impact on the firmware depending on how the phone responds to every method used. At the end of the day, if the problem cannot be fixed by some basic troubleshooting, you have the option to bring it back to the store so that the technician will take care of it.

Run your Note 8 in Safe mode

We have seen cases wherein pre-installed apps crashed due to some third-party apps. We have to determine if it’s the case with your phone because if so, then you can rest assured that this problem can be fixed without much of a trouble on your side and it’s a minor one. So, we’ll isolate the problem immediately by running your phone in Safe mode.

In this environment, your Note 8 will be running in its bare bones and all third-party elements will be temporarily disabled. If one of those apps is causing the problem, then the error shouldn’t show up while the device is in this mode. Follow these steps to run it 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.

Try to trigger the problem by opening the Messages app and if the error doesn’t show up, it means there’s an app or two that caused the messaging app to crash. Find that app and uninstall it so that the problem will be fixed.

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Apps.
  3. Tap the desired application in the default list or tap 3 dots icon > Show system apps to display pre-installed apps.
  4. Tap the desired application.
  5. Tap Uninstall.
  6. Tap Uninstall again to confirm.

However, if the error still shows up even in safe mode, then continue your troubleshooting.

Clear cache and data of Messages

By doing this procedure, you’re actually resetting Messages back to its default settings. Your text messages may be deleted when you do this so it’s better you take time backing them up as much as possible.

If this is just a problem with the app, then clearing its cache and data will surely fix the issue. Here’s how you reset Messages:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Apps.
  3. Find and tap Messages.
  4. Tap Storage.
  5. Tap Clear cache.
  6. Tap Clear data and then tap OK.

At this point, if the error still shows up even after you’ve reset the app and you badly need to send a text message, then download a third-party messaging app from Google Play Store. This would also tell us if the problem affects other messaging apps as well as there should be a common service that’s shared between them.

Wipe cache partition

App crashes can also be due to some corrupt system caches. The firmware creates caches for every app so that they will run smoothly the next time you use them. However, when those caches get corrupted, the result may be like this or even worse. Since we don’t have access to individual cache, the best thing we can do is to delete all contents of the cache partition. The system will then create a new set of cache the next time it boots up. Here’s how you delete all those caches:

  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.

After this, try to trigger the error to see if it still shows up and if it does, try the next method.

Reset All Settings

The usual thing we do if the previous method fails is to reset the phone but considering the fact that you may have a lot of files and data saved in your phone, let’s steer away from the reset just for now. Instead, try resetting all settings in your phone so that everything will be brought back to the way they were out of the box without deleting your personal files, data and apps. It’s a very effective method when it comes to firmware-related issues so it’s worth a try, after all, you won’t lose your important files from it:

  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.

After this and the problem continues, then you have no other option but to really reset your phone.

Backup files and data then reset your phone

The error message “Unfortunately, Messages has stopped” is a minor problem and a reset can fix it. However, you will have to undergo the hassle of backing up your files and data as they will be deleted. After the backup, take note of your google ID and password as you will be using them to setup your phone again after the reset. It’s also recommended that before the reset you disable the Factory Reset Protection by removing your google account from your phone. This is to prevent you from getting locked out of your device. If every is set, then follow these steps to reset your phone:

  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.

I hope that this troubleshooting guide can help you fix the problem with your Note 8. If you still have other concerns, feel free to contact us anytime.

Posts you may also be interested in reading: