How to fix Samsung Galaxy J3 with “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” error [Troubleshooting Guide]

The error message “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” that keeps showing on your Samsung Galaxy J3 is basically notifying you that the built in contacts manager has crashed for some reason. There are several factors we may have to consider to know what the cause.

In this post, I will walk you through in troubleshooting your device to try and fix this problem. The error is actually just a result of the problem so there should be something that’s triggering it. If you own this phone and are currently bugged by the same error, I suggest you continue reading below for our troubleshooting guide.

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.

Troubleshooting Galaxy J3 showing “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” error

The purpose of this troubleshooting guide is for us to know why the Contacts app keeps crashing and what triggers the error. That way, we can have an idea how to fix it or get rid of it for good. But before anything else, here’s one of the messages from our reader that best describes this problem…

Hi guys. I have the relatively cheap Galaxy J3 phone I purchased 4 months ago. I believe there was an update a couple of weeks ago and since then the error message ‘Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped’ keeps showing up from time to time which leads me to think the update caused it. But I’m not really sure why this is happening so can you help me please? Thanks.

This error may occur differently with other users. For instance, some may encounter this error while trying to dial a number while others may experience it while answering a call from someone. It’s important we know what triggers it to know the cause. That said, here’s what you should do…

Step 1: Make sure it’s not just a minor glitch, soft reset your phone

One good thing about the phone with a removable battery is that you can do the soft reset procedure without much of a hassle. All you need to do is remove the back panel and pull the battery out while the phone is still powered on. In so doing, you’re refreshing your phone’s memory, which may be able to fix this problem if this error is caused by a glitch in the system or app.

While the battery is out of your phone, press and hold the Power key for a minute. Then place it back in and secure it with the back cover. Turn the phone back on and observe closely to know if the error still occurs and if so, then move on to the next step.

Step 2: Delete the system caches so they’ll be replaced

If there was indeed an update, it’s possible some of the system caches got corrupted and affected some of the processes in your phone and app crash is just one of the effects. It is, therefore, recommended you delete the caches by booting your phone in recovery mode and wiping the cache partition:

  1. Power off your Galaxy J3. Press and hold the Power key, tap Power off and then touch POWER OFF to confirm.
  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’ and 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.

After this procedure, observe your phone to know if the error still shows up and if so, move on to the next step.

Step 3: Find out if third-party apps have something to do with it

It’s imperative to know if your third-party apps have something to do with this problem. You should reboot your phone in safe mode to temporarily disable all third-party apps in your phone. If the error doesn’t show up while in this mode, then it’s clear enough one or some of the apps you downloaded is causing the problem. You need to find the culprit and uninstall it. Here’s how you boot your J3 in safe mode:

  1. Power off your Galaxy J3. Press and hold the Power key, tap Power off and then touch POWER OFF to confirm.
  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’.

If the error, however, still shows up even in safe mode, then it’s most likely a firmware issue.

Step 4: Master reset your Galaxy J3 to bring it back to factory default settings

It’s time to reset your phone considering the fact that the first three procedures failed. Make sure you backup your files and data as they will be deleted and can no longer be recovered. Also, disable the anti-theft feature so you won’t be locked out of your phone after the reset. Here’s how you do it:

  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.

And this is how you reset your J3…

  1. Power off your Galaxy J3. Press and hold the Power key, tap Power off and then touch POWER OFF to confirm.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up button and then press and hold the Home key. While holding both, press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Android logo appears on the screen, release all three keys. It may take a minute before the Android recovery screen appears.
  4. While on Android recovery screen, use the Volume Down key to highlight options, in this case, highlight the option ‘wipe data/factory reset.’
  5. Press the Power key to choose the highlighted option.
  6. Press  the Volume Down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ option is highlighted.
  7. Press the Power key to confirm the reset.
  8. Once the reset is complete, press the Power key to choose ‘Reboot system now.’
  9. The phone will restart a little longer than usual and the reset is finished.

I hope this helps.


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Harold has been in the tech industry since 2008 when he started out as a tech support for companies like Time Warner, Comcast and Tracfone. He’s been troubleshooting phones when the smartphone industry started booming. During his tenure as a tech support, he’s already been writing for various tech blogs and doing some freelance SEO. In 2012, he joined a small team of bloggers to write for The Droid Guy, and he has been with the company ever since. Today, he doesn’t only write tutorials and troubleshooting pieces but also shoots and edits videos for The Droid Guy channel while trading stocks on the side.

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