How to fix Samsung Galaxy J7 that keeps popping “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” error message [Troubleshooting Guide]

  • Read and understand why a powerful smartphone like the #Samsung Galaxy J7 (#GalaxyJ7) suddenly started to show up the error “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” without apparent reason and learn how to troubleshoot your device in case this problem happens to you.

Galaxy J7 contacts stopped

The error message “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” is one of the most common app-related problems even with the previous Galaxy models. In fact, we’ve received quite a lot of complaints about the same issue from Galaxy S3 and S5 owners before.

In this post, I will tackle the same problem but this time it’s with the Samsung Galaxy J7, which has been released in 2016. It’s a mid-range phone and it actually got really positive reviews from users performance- and specs-wise. However, problems still occur even with high-end devices and that’s the reason why we published posts like this.

So, if you got yourself a Galaxy J7 and are currently experiencing a similar problem, continue reading below as this troubleshooting guide may be able to help you fix the issue with your phone. However, if you found this post while trying to find a solution to a totally different problem, then I suggest you visit our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues reported by our readers. Find ones that are similar with yours and use the solutions or troubleshooting guides we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you need further assistance, then contact us by completing our Android issues questionnaire. Just provide us with the information we need and we’ll help you find a solution.

Troubleshooting Galaxy J7 that shows “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” error

The error message actually talks about the Contacts app that crashed or stopped working. We have to try troubleshooting your phone to know why it shows up and learn the ways to fix the problem. But take note that this error message can be triggered by different factors. There are times when it shows while you’re on a call or when you’re viewing a contact on your list. The thing is we really can’t say when it will pop up so it’s better that you know how to deal with it just in case. Below are the steps you can use to try troubleshooting this problem but before anything else, here’s one of the messages we received from our readers that best describes this issue…

Problem: Hi guys! I got myself a new Galaxy J7 for Christmas and I’m quite satisfied with it except for one thing–every time I try to view or dial a contact on my contacts list, an error message would pop up saying “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” and I can only hit OK or REPORT but either way, the app closes and won’t allow me to dial a number. It’s been working great last week without any problem but the problem started out of the blue. I am sure it’s not due to liquid or physical damage ‘coz I’ve always taken care of it that’s I’m quite perplexed when it started to act this way. Can you guys help me out how to figure this one out? Thanks.

Step 1: Make sure it’s not just a temporary glitch in the system

Glitches in both the firmware and the hardware happen all the time and they often occur without apparent warning or cause but as long as they’re simply glitches, they can easily be fixed. A reboot is necessary to determine if the error message is triggered by a glitch. Therefore, try to reboot your phone and one reboot doesn’t return a favorable result, try to reboot one more time.

This problem has been happening with other owners of the Galaxy devices way before the Galaxy J7 was released and many of our readers reported back saying a simple reboot fixed their problems. So, don’t go to other troubleshooting procedures without doing this first. However, if the issue persists after a couple of reboots, then it’s time to move on to other effective troubleshooting steps.

Step 2: Try to isolate the problem to know if third-party apps have something to do with it

There’s always a possibility that a pre-installed app crashes due to the interference of third-party apps. In the case of Contacts, there are other apps that may be using its services or processes and maybe one of them keeps crashing and affected the normal operation of the app. Or, it could be one of the pre-installed app that’s causing the problem as well especially ones that are directly linked to it like the Dialer and Messages. So, try to reboot your phone in safe mode and observe closely…

  1. Power off your Galaxy J7. 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’.

While in this mode, try to trigger the error to know if it still pop up and there are only two possibilities here–either the error shows up again or not and here’s what you need to do whatever the case maybe…

  • Error still occurs in safe mode – in this case, the problem might be rooted in the firmware or some pre-installed apps. Should you decide to troubleshoot the apps first, you need to find those that are directly linked with the app in question. For instance, if the error occurs when you try to dial a phone number, you may have to reset the Contacts app first and then the Dialer.  By reset I mean clearing their caches and data. If the problem remains, then proceed to the next troubleshooting steps below.
  • Error doesn’t show up in safe mode – this confirms our suspicion that one or some of your third-party apps is causing the problem. You need to find the culprits and you can try clearing their cache and data to reset them, however, if the problem still persists after that, uninstalling those apps might make a difference, although there’s no guarantee so you still need to observe your phone a little longer.

How to clear app cache and data on Galaxy J7

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

Step 3: Delete the system caches via Recovery Mode

There’s a chance that the problem is due to a firmware update that corrupted some of the system caches in your device. The thing about caches is that, they’re temporary files created by the system so that features, apps and other functions will work smoothly than when you used them for the first time. Deleting them won’t have any adverse effects on your device’s performance as deleted files will surely be replaced. In fact, it’s even recommended that you delete the system cache from time to time for optimum performance that being said, here’s how you do it:

  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’ 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.

The phone will reboot longer than usual and once it has successfully rebooted, try opening the Phone or Contacts app again to see if the problem still occurs. If so, then it’s time to go into a more serious, system-oriented troubleshooting method.

Step 4: Perform Master Reset on your Galaxy J7

Firmware related issues can often be fixed by doing the reset as it brings the phone back to the configuration that works. The catch is that all your data, apps and files saved in your phone’s internal storage will be deleted so you need to back them up before following these steps:

  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 your Galaxy J7.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up button and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the device logo screen displays, release only the Power key
  5. 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).
  6. Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  7. Press Power button to select.
  8. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  9. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  10. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  11. Press the Power key to restart the device.

For the error “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” a mere factory reset will fix the problem for you but then again there’s no guarantee. So after this and the problem remained, it’s time to have the phone checked by a technician.


We are always open to your problems, questions and suggestions, so feel free to contact us by filling up this form. This is a free service we offer and we won’t charge you a penny for it. But please note that we receive hundreds of emails every day and it’s impossible for us to respond to every single one of them. But rest assured we read every message we receive. For those whom we’ve helped, please spread the word by sharing our posts to your friends or by simply liking our Facebook and Google+ page or follow us on Twitter.


  1. Keep in mind, even when you get a message contacts have stopped, you can still call from contacts, go to contacts instead of attempting to dial the number. Put all your numbers you may want to call in contacts just in case. When you get a software update it may knock out your visual voicemail, like when the half geeks do an update for a new phone.

  2. Hi I tried the first one – The option before the master reset and it didn’t work. Im going to try the master reset and see if that works. To be continued…. Sincerely, ReallyNeedMyPhone. Thanks

  3. Travis: you are brilliant. This fixed my “contacts stopped” message and it transferred over all of my contacts which were missing. I don’t understand why the t-mobile voice mail app was not pre-installed on my phone??

  4. Your missing your visual voice mail app. Go to play store and get it, will fix it. Next time clear the visual voicemail cache, or delete and reinstall it. T-Mobile employees don’t know aquat.

  5. Your missing your visual voice mail app, go to play store and reinstall it. Don’t let an actual tmobile store employee touch it. After that it will be fixed and next time clear the visual voice mail app or delete it and reinstall it.

  6. I’ve had my Galaxy J7 since August 2016 and has pretty much worked quite satisfactorily until March 2017. I’ve learn how to clear the storage cache, but it’s beginning to be a hassle because I have to do it frequently.

    Why is the data cache filling up so rapidly? Does it have to do with video calling? Everytime I clear the storage data/cache, I get a message about T-Mobile’s video calling.

    I turned off video calling to determine if I don’t anymore get the infamous “Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped” error message.

  7. I have done everything you have stated that may get rid of the thing that
    keep appearing on my J7. (UNFORTUNATELY CONTACTS HAS STOPPED
    I have gotten it about 5 or six times in two months and can only get rid of it when I take it to TMOBILE and they do a factory reset.After the first
    time I bought a memory chip just in case and I am glad I did.I have only
    Pandora-Fairy Tale Live Wallpaper-Country Music Ringtones-The Weather Channel-Talking Translator-Bowling.
    I got my phone free and have had no problems until this thing started
    showing up.
    My questions are
    Does it only show up only on galaxy (which ones) and why does it not show up on any of the other galaxies
    Is It a glitch or virus.
    Please let me know there is hope. I am now waiting on Tmobile to send me another J7 (I have insurance) Is it possible the same thing
    will start happening again and if so and I buy a top line galaxy will I
    get the same thing on it.Most of the people working at Tmobile that
    I go to have galaxy and have never seen the Contacts Has Stopped

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