How to fix Galaxy S9 Bixby not working (and crashing) issue [troubleshooting guide]

Some #GalaxyS9 users have reported that the Bixby assistant has become problematic so this post is a response to that. Although this issue is not shared by the majority of S9 users around the world, we know that some users have contacted us to ask for assistance after Bixby started crashing for no apparent reason and has become unresponsive. If you happen to experience any Bixby-related issue at this time, make sure to finish reading this post.

Perform a soft reset

A lot of minor bugs are fixed by simply restarting a device so you want to make sure that this is the first thing that you do in this case. Bixby, just like any other app or service can suffer from slowdowns or intermittent problems. In other cases, it can stop working at all. The good thing is, the problem can sometimes be fixed easily and one of the ways to do that is to simply restart the device. In your case, you don’t merely want to do a simple restart but a soft reset, which is the virtual equivalent of physically removing the battery.

To force restart your S9:

  1. Press and hold the volume down button and don’t release it.
  2. Then, press and hold the power key while holding down the volume button.
  3. Keep both keys held down for 10 seconds or more.

Doing the steps above is also known as soft reset. It has a similar effects to when you physically remove the battery so it should clear up the memory and the operating system.

If your S9 still won’t auto-rotate afterwards, go ahead and do our suggestions below.

Check for rogue apps

In Android, almost all apps can’t work on their own and most depends on other apps and services to perform tasks. While this is a proven setup for years now, it can also be problematic if another app suddenly becomes incompatible after a system update, or if a  poorly coded is added to the system. In any of these cases, all sorts of problems can occur without an apparent cause. If you happen to install an app before noticing the Bixby problem, then that one is most probably the reason for it. Other apps may become problematic after an update for them is installed. In any of these cases, it’s good if you can check by restarting your device to safe mode.

Safe mode is a different software environment that blocks downloaded apps from running. While this mode is active, only apps that came with the original software package will load. So, if one of the apps is the reason why Bixby is not working  or crashing, such problem will not occur whn safe mode is enabled.

To restart your S9 to 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.
  8. Check for the problem.

If our hunch is right that a third party app is behind this trouble, the next step for you is to identify what that app is. This is easier said than done though since this can mean spending a long time and effort, especially if you have plenty of apps to work on. Sadly, there’s no easy way out of this step so you have not much option at all. Basically, what you need to do is to:

  1. uninstall,
  2. restart the phone back to normal mode,
  3. check for the problem
  4. repeat steps 1-3 if the problem persists.

Refresh the cache partition

Android uses several partitions in order to work efficiently. One of these partitions is the cache partition, which holds the system cache. This cache is used by Android in order to load apps quickly but sometimes it can get corrupted after an update, app installation, or by other unknown variables. To check if you have a cache problem, you want to clear the cache partition by doing these steps:

  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 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 to highlight “wipe cache partition.”
  5. Press the Power key to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key to highlight “yes” and press the Power key to select.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Install Android updates

Some bugs can only be fixed after installing an update. That’s because some may be associated with a poor code, or buried deep inside the operating system. Needless to say, it’s really important to install updates that may come your way. Many users tend to stay away from new system updates like it is a plague (and that’s probably because of some healthy reasons) but that’s really not helpful. As a general rule, you want to accept any Android update that becomes available.

Install app updates

In order to prevent apps from causing bugs from time to time, you also want to keep all of them up-to-date. By default, Play Store app is set to automatically download and install app updates but if you changed this before, be sure to manually check for app updates.

Use Samsung Keyboard

Some users discover that the Bixby problem we’re trying to fix here can sometimes be fixed by changing the default keyboard back to Samsung Keyboard. While we don’t have a logical explanation for this one yet, it’s probably because Bixby is also set to work with Samsung Keyboard originally. By shifting back to Samsung Keyboard as the default keyboard app, Bixby is also set as the default voice assistant. This is not supposed to the case but since a number of users were able to fix the Bixby problem this way, might as well try it.

To change the default keyboard on your device:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General management.
  3. Tap Language and Input.
  4. Tap the Default keyboard tab and make sure to select Samsung Keyboard.
  5. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

If you don’t want to use Samsung keyboard but the issue returns when using another keyboard app, we suggest that you stick with Samsung keyboard for now. Hopefully, Samsung will release a patch for this bug soon.

Reset settings

Operating system issues like this one are sometimes fixed by simulating a factory reset without actually deleting personal data. To do that, simply reset your device’s settings. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General management.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset all settings.
  5. Tap RESET SETTINGS button.

Wipe the phone thru Factory reset

The final troubleshooting step that you can do in this case is to factory reset your S9. Unlike the previous solution option, this one will restore the device and return all software settings back to their defaults so make sure to back your data up first.

To factory reset your S9:

  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. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  3. Tap Settings > Cloud and accounts.
  4. Tap Backup and restore.
  5. If desired, tap Back up my data to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  6. If desired, tap Restore to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  7. Tap the back button to the Settings menu and tap General Management > Reset > Factory data reset.
  8. Tap Reset device.
  9. If you have screen lock turned on, enter your credentials.
  10. Tap Continue.
  11. Tap Delete all.

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