Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Error: Unfortunately, Settings has stopped

More often, the error message “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” is accompanied by freezes and lags and sometimes even random reboots. It’s because the problem is in the firmware and this could happen even to the most powerful smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. We have encountered similar issues in the past and among the most common victims of this problem are owners of the Galaxy S9 and Note 8.

In this post, I will walk you through in troubleshooting your new Galaxy Note 9 to fix this problem. We already know a thing or two about this issue so we’ll also share with you the solutions we’ve been using to address it. If you’re an owners of this new device, continue reading as this article may be able to help you one way or another.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you are looking for a solution to a different issue, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by filling up our Android issues questionnaire.

How to fix “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped” on Galaxy Note 9?

For a brand new phone, all you gotta do is perform the basic troubleshooting procedures to know if the problem can still be fixed on your end and if not, then you always have the option to bring the device back to the store and have it replaced. With all that being said, here’s what you should do on your end…

Run Note 9 in Safe Mode

The first thing we need to address is the possibility that this problem could be due to a third-party app or service. Hence the need to run the phone in safe mode to temporarily disable all third parties. Once your phone is in this mode, you have to access Settings to know if it still crashes or not and that should give you a clearer idea what the problem with your Note 9 really is. Here’s how to run your phone in safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen appearing on the 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. When Safe mode appears in the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume down key.

Assuming Settings doesn’t crash while the phone is in safe mode, it means there’s an app or two that causes it to close. You have to know which of your app is the culprit but for now, reboot your phone in normal mode because the problem may only occur if the culprit is opened or used. Run every app you installed and access Settings every time you do. This is the best way to determine which app causes the problem. If you already knew the culprit, you may try resetting the app or uninstalling it to get rid of the problem.

On the other hand, if Settings still crashes while your Galaxy Note 9 is in Safe Mode, it could mean that the problem is with the firmware. Move on to the next solution to try and fix it.

Delete Note 9’s System Cache

There were cases I personally encountered wherein wiping the cache partition has been very effective is fixing “Settings has stopped” error on the Galaxy Note 8. It’s impossible for us users to know if the cause of the problem is a corrupt system cache. We would only know it that’s the case when the problem is fixed after deleting all system caches. So, in this step, I want you to run your phone in Recovery Mode and wipe the cache partition to delete and replace old cache. Don’t worry, none of your personal files and data will be deleted by doing this…

  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 three keys.
  4. An ‘Installing system update’ message will show for 30 – 60 seconds before the Android system recovery menu options appear.
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight wipe cache partition.
  6. Press Power key to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key to highlight yes, them 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.

Access Settings after wiping the cache partition and change some settings if possible just to test if the problem is fixed. If the service still crashes, then it’s time to reset your phone.

Backup important files and do the Master Reset

A reset can actually fix this problem as it’s an issue with the firmware. But since you can’t access Settings, you need to do the Master Reset to do so. Before that, make sure to create a backup of your important files and data as they will be deleted and you may not be able to retrieve them after the reset. It would be a challenge to do so as Settings keeps on crashing but you can still access some of your files using the default file explorer. You may connect your device to a computer to access your pictures and videos as well.

Here’s how to perform a Master Reset on a Note 9:

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Samsung account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Samsung credentials to finish the master reset.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, 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 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 one way or another. If you have other concerns you want to share with us, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.


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