How to fix Galaxy S9 “Samsung Connect has stopped” error, Settings app not working in the notification bar

This troubleshooting post addresses two issues involving core Samsung apps in the #GalaxyS9 — Samsung Connect or SmartThings and Settings. Both of these apps are part of the standard Samsung firmware package so if you’ve also encountered error with any of them in your own S9 or S9 Plus, this guide should help.

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Problem #1: How to fix Galaxy S9 “Samsung Connect has stopped” error

I was just sent a refurbished phone and after sending all of my old phone items to the new phone a popup appeared that said that Samsung Connect has stopped. The screen will not go away or allow me to do anything. Even after trying to press the up button Bixby button and on button several times for 60 and 60 + seconds it still there and will not close, allow me to send feedback or anything. What do I do? If it is defective and I have to send it back all of my info is on it . — Ange32004

Solution: Hi Ange32004. Samsung Connect is the old name of SmartThings app so if you’re getting a persistent “Samsung Connect has stopped” error, there must be an issue with SmartThings, or with the operating system. To fix it, these are the things that you must do:

Solution #1: Force restart your S9

It’s possible that the reason why your S9 keeps showing “Samsung Connect has stopped” error is a bug in the software. That bug may be temporary and may be fixed without doing anything drastic. So, the first thing that you want to do is to try to reboot the system. Here’s how:

  1. Press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons for approximately 10 seconds or until the device power cycles. Note: Allow several seconds for the Maintenance Boot Mode screen to appear.
  2. From the Maintenance Boot Mode screen, select Normal Boot. You can use the volume buttons to cycle through the available options and the lower left button (below the volume buttons) to select. Also, allow up to 90 seconds for the reset to complete.

Solution #2: Clear the cache partition

If your S9 continues to get the persistent error and you still are unable to do anything, the next good thing to do is to try to wipe the cache partition. The problematic app may have an issue with the system cache so this solution has a good chance of resolving it.

To wipe the cache partition:

  1. Turn off the device by pressing the Power button for a few seconds. Once the Power menu shows up, pick the option to completely shut it down, not restart.
  2. Go to Recovery Mode by pressing and holding the Volume Up key and the Bixby key.
  3. 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 cache partition’.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘yes’ is highlighted and press the Power button.
  8. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.
  10. Check for the problem.

Solution #3: Factory reset

If the problem continues after refreshing the system cache, the next thing that you have to do is to factory reset your phone. You have to do since there’s nothing that you can do to prevent the popup message when you’re in normal boot mode. We assume you have no important files to lose at this point so just go ahead and do the 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 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.

Now that you have wiped the phone, don’t be in a hurry to re-install all apps back. Try to see first if your device will work when you don’t add anything to it. If the “Samsung Connect has stopped” error won’t pop up at all, then that old data for that app must be corrupted or outdated.

Solution #4: Restore old data without Samsung Connect or SmartThings

At this point, you must have confirmed already that you have an issue with SmartThings or Samsung Connect so you want to ensure that you don’t add the same problematic app back. Samsung Connect app is usually not part of default Samsung firmware so be sure install its latest version from the Play Store instead of reinstalling it from your old data. This is the current SmartThings link in Google Play Store.

Solution #5: Set the phone up as new device (without Samsung Connect)

If you can’t add your old data back without adding SmartConnect app data as well, we suggest that you try to install SmartThings app first before re-adding the rest of your data. Hopefully, that will prevent the corrupted Samsung Connect app data from being added to the system.

Solution #6: Ensure that all apps, including Smart Things are updated

To minimize the chance of apps causing incompatibility problems, be sure to keep them up-to-date all the time. You can do so by allowing Google Play Store app to download and install updates as they become available. Here’s how:

  1. Open Play Store app.
  2. Tap More at the upper right (three-horizontal line icon).
  3. Scroll down and select Settings.
  4. Tap Auto-update apps.
  5. Pick auto-update option you want.

Solution #7: Uninstall Samsung Connect

If the problem continues at this point as all our suggestions above won’t work, consider uninstalling Samsung Connect. If it’s not part of the pre-installed apps that came with the operating system, you can do so by booting your S9 to safe mode first. Then, once you’re in safe mode, delete it like any normal app.

If Samsung Connect app happens to be part of your operating system’s apps, you won’t be able to delete it from the device. Instead, you can only disable it. To do that:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Find Samsung Connect (may now be renamed SmartThings) and tap it.
  6. Check if DISABLE button is active. If it is, tap it.
  7. If DISABLE button is not active (greyed out), go to Storage and tap CLEAR DATA instead.

Keep in mind that Samsung Connect app or SmartThings has features that may not be available to other countries. If the refurbished phone you received came from a different region, that can be the reason why SmartThings or Samsung Connect is problematic. To fix it, you can either disable or delete it from the system.

Problem #2: Galaxy S9 Plus Settings app not working in the notification bar

I have a Samsung Galaxy S9+ with android version 8.0.0. My settings icon (gear wheel) on the top pull down Menu stopped functioning. No response to touch. The three stacked dots to the right of the settings icon are also not functioning. Everything is updated on the phone and everything else works as expected. I can get to settings via the app icon but these 2 mentioned areas don’t work. I get no error messages. I have rebooted my phone and cleared caches with no good result. Thanks for helping. — Ron

Solution: Hi Ron. Is it possible that the touchscreen part where Settings icon is located damaged? If your phone’s screen is not damaged at all and the portion where the icon lies should be working normally, then these are the things that you should be doing:

 

Force Stop Settings app

Settings app works just like any other app and sometimes, it may suffer the same issues like a regular app. To fix the issue, try to see what happens if you force quit it. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Tap Settings.
  6. Tap FORCE STOP button.
  7. Restart the phone and check for the problem.

NOTE: There may be two Settings apps in the list so make sure to force stop each of them.

 

Delete Settings app data

Another good way to solve any app-specific error is by clearing its data. Because Settings app is a core Android app, you need to delete its data if you want to restore it to its default state, which, we believe should be the fix. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Tap Settings.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap CLEAR DATA button.
  8. Restart the phone and check for the problem.

Again, make sure to clear data of the two Settings apps.

 


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