How to fix your Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) that shows “Settings has stopped” error [Troubleshooting Guide]

Applications crash from time to time and this happens regardless of the model of your phone. Devices with higher specifications, however, may not encounter it as often as those in the lower end for some obvious reason. Recently though, we have been receiving messages from our readers who own the Samsung Galaxy J3 complaining about an app that keeps crashing. At first we thought it was just a minor app problem but when we found out it was the Settings app that kept crashing, we find it necessary to address the problem immediately.

The Settings app is the most important built-in application in your phone as it embraces almost everything your device. Well, it handles all your settings and preferences for your apps and the phone’s features. If it crashes, there’s a big possibility that other apps will also be affected. In fact, you will notice that your phone starts to run very slow prior to the popping up of the error. It’s a sign that Settings has a great impact on the overall performance of your phone. If you’re one of the owners that’s bugged by this error, continue reading this post as it may help you.

Before we jump right into our troubleshooting, if you have other issues, drop by our Galaxy J3 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed many issues with this phone since we started supporting it. Try to find problems that are similar with yours and use the troubleshooting procedures or solutions we suggested. Should you need further assistance from us, fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit. Don’t worry, it’s free.

How to troubleshoot Galaxy J3 with “Settings has stopped” error

When it comes to app-related concerns, it’s easy to fix them considering the fact that majority of those problems are limited to the apps that are crashing. This might be the case here so the course of our troubleshooting will be to rule out the possibility that it’s just a minor glitch in the app then we’ll progress and troubleshoot the firmware until we can rule out every possibility. With all that being said, here’s what I suggest you do about this problem…

Step 1: Clear the cache and data of the Settings app

We’ll have to go after the app that’s crashing and in this case, it’s the Settings. Clearing its cache and data basically means you’re resetting it or bringing it back to its original configuration while deleting all possible corrupt cache and data files. Follow these steps to reset Settings…

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

After this, try to reboot your phone to refresh its memory and if the error still shows up after that, move on to the next step.

Step 2: Start your phone up in Safe mode to see if the error still pops up

Let’s now try to rule out the possibility that this error is triggered by one or some of the apps you’ve installed on your phone. Apps that frequently crash may also cause other apps to crash or stop working. By booting up in safe mode, you’re temporarily disabling all third-party elements which immediately isolates the problem. This is how you start your phone up 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 in this mode, closely observe your phone to know if the error still shows up and assuming it doesn’t, then it’s clear enough that one or some of the apps you installed is causing the problem. If you don’t have a clue which of the apps is the culprit, then try to update the apps that need to be updated as it might just a compatibility issue and this is how you do that…

  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.

However, if you already are suspecting some apps, then try to clear their caches and data. You need to do that to every app you suspect until the error doesn’t show up anymore. If clearing their caches and data doesn’t help, then you should uninstall them one by one.

How to clear apps cache and data on Galaxy J3

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

How to uninstall applications from your Galaxy J3

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Applications.
  4. Tap the desired application in the default list or tap Menu icon > Show system apps to display preinstalled apps.
  5. Tap Uninstall.
  6. Tap Uninstall again to confirm.

However, if the error still shows up even in safe mode, then it might be a firmware problem.

Step 3: Delete the system caches so they’ll be replaced

We’ve encountered cases wherein an error like this was caused by some corrupt system caches especially if the phone’s firmware got updated. Caches are always subject to corruption and some may become obsolete the moment a new firmware is installed. In this case, the best solution to the problem is to delete all the caches so that the system will create new ones and here’s how you do that…

  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’ an 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.

This could be the procedure that will fix the problem but if the error continues to show up even after doing this, then you have no other option but to reset your phone.

Step 4: Perform the Master Reset on your Galaxy J3

You may not be able to backup your files and data as the error will prevent you from using your phone normally but if there’s a slim chance of doing so, take time backing up your important files and data. After which, if you can still get into Settings, disable the Factory Reset Protection so that you won’t be locked out after the reset but if not, then take note of the Google ID and password that you used to setup your phone.

How to disable Factory Reset Protection on Galaxy J3

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Cloud and accounts.
  4. Tap Accounts.
  5. Tap Google.
  6. Tap your Google ID email address. If you have multiple accounts setup, you will need to repeat these steps for each account.
  7. Tap Menu.
  8. Tap Remove account.
  9. Tap REMOVE ACCOUNT.

How to Master Reset your Galaxy J3

  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.

I hope that this troubleshooting guide can help you.

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