What is Android System Webview?
If you are facing storage problems on your phone, you’re probably trying all other methods to release storage space on your Android. But when you open the Settings app to see the list of installed applications, you will find many applications that you have no idea about. One of them is Android System WebView.
Won’t you agree that it’s annoying when your phone automatically skips from an application every time you open a link? This occurs normally on Facebook and Twitter every time you try to open a web page or a YouTube link. This black beast among Android users has finally been parted, thanks to a mobile system component, the Android WebView system.
However, regardless of how this component is useful, many have little idea of the application and fall into a trap of leaving or uninstalling it. In this article, we will clarify and give details.
If you have been an Android phone or a tablet user from the beginning, chances are that you are already stuck with the Android System WebView system application somewhere in your application management settings. And chances are, you do not know it does to occupy a quantity without disk size on your device.
If you want to find this application on your Android smartphone or tablet, you can check it by browsing via settings> Application Manager> System Applications.
One thing to keep in mind is that all Android System WebView applications. These are always developers if they want an internal interaction between their application and web pages. As a result of this limitation, some links can always open on Chrome, or other browsers and effectively leave the application you are using.
Uninstalling some applications will release some storage space and will certainly give some relief, but there are some applications that you do not know what is and what is the usage of the app. In such cases, it is not recommended to go further. So, if you are also confused about the Android System Webview and want to know if you need to keep it, read the article until the end.
Do You Need Android System WebView
The short answer to this question is yes, you need Android System WebView.
There is an exception to that, however. If you are running Android 7.0 Nougat, Android 8.0 Oreo, or Android 9.0 PIE, you can disable the Android System Webview application on your phone without having any harmful consequences. Indeed, Chrome has managed the WebView tasks of these three Operating System versions, making the vision of the Android WebView system largely redundant.
Assuming you still have these Android versions running on your phone, here’s what you can do to disable the Android System WebView. First, go to Settings> Applications / Application> More> Show system. Next, scroll down and press the Android System WebView, and then tap Disable.
It should be noted that you can not uninstall the Android System WebView anyway, since it is a system application. However, you can uninstall updates. This could be something you would like to do if you need extra storage space, although you get the trouble to remember that updates generally contain important bug fixes, it’s probably not a good idea from the point of view of security.
Assuming security is not a concern for you, in this case, you can uninstall Android System WebView updates by opening Google Play Store on your phone, searching Android System WebView, then tap the uninstall button. Again, this is only suitable if you run the above android versions, from Chrome – rather than Android System WebView – manages the webView tasks of these systems.
Finally, Google returned the webview tasks to Android System WebView for Android 10 (and now Android 11). So, if you run one of these systems (or Android 6.0 Marshmallow or earlier), we strongly recommend that you do not disable the application or delete its updates.
What is Android System WebView?
To provide a little more detail on the exact working of this application Android System WebView. The Android System WebView is a system component for Android that allows your phone to view the content of the web directly in an application that is not a browser. Developers can use Android System WebView to add browser features to applications that they develop, including the WebView code library in their software. Including this, they can effectively insert a browser into their applications, so you can use these applications to interact with web pages and web applications.
WebView used to be a central part of the Android operating system, able to be updated only by updating a new Android version. However, Google separated the WebView Core OS with Lollipop Android 5.0, webview updates had to be downloaded via Google Play App Store. They then moved the WebView Chrome System component with the advent of Android 7.0 Nougat, so you can update the application only by updating Chrome. They then moved it to the Android System WebView application with Android 10, where it still remains.
What does Android System Webview do?
If you ever see the Android System WebView application, do not confuse it with a virus or malware that has come in a discreet way to your device. This application gives Android users an optimized and accessible experience. The application also feeds web applications to help users find an item and then purchase it effectively online. Android System WebView is responsible for you to display links on your device without getting out of the application you purchased. It acts similar to an integrated web browser, which is why it has been nicknamed a smaller version of Chrome.
Let’s take WhatsApp for example. If a person has sent you a message with a YouTube link, you can watch the content of the link in the same WhatsApp chat, without necessarily opening the YouTube application or the YouTube website.
What Google wants is to integrate a web browser into the heart of the platform, which all targets to give users the best experience of the platform they use. Indeed, users can instantly have access to a plethora of content, and that this application allows them to maximize research and navigation on a platform.
WebView comes as a pre-installed application on devices using lower versions of the Android OS. WebView is delivered as a separate application that can be downloaded from Google Play Store as a result of the version of Android 5.0.
How to Check which Android System WebView version is installed
Each version of Android System WebView brings new modifications, but you should be able to see which version you have installed from your Android device settings.
To do this, you will need to access the Settings menu of your Android device. This will vary, depending on your version of Android, as well as the device you own. These steps have been written using a Samsung Galaxy device, but the steps must be similar for other Android devices.
Application launcher on your device, open the Settings application. From there, tap the Apps option.
You should see a list of installed applications, as well as pre-installed system applications. Use the search bar to find Android System WebView, then press the entry once you have found it.
Scroll the screen of the application information screen. At the bottom, the WebView android System system version number will be listed. For example, version 83.0.4103.106. These version identifiers correspond to those of Google Chrome on Android, reflecting their shared codebase.
You will need to search for your Android System WebView version number to determine if it is the latest available version. If this is not the case, you will need to update it.
What is the Secure Vulnerability of Android System Web-View?
Here’s how you can protect yourself if you are currently using a device with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or older Android Operating System:
- Uses a modern browser that provides its secure engine to display web content, such as Firefox, Opera, or Chrome.
- For example, Firefox does not use WebView, but the rendering engine is called Gecko.
- No application displays the web content of the application, that is to say, to have an integrated browser – they are very likely to use the Incomplete Android System WebView engine of the Android operating system.
How to Install Android System Web-View?
If you have an old Android device that works at marshmallow 6.0 or less, it can be a good idea to have this application. Older executed 6.0 or lower devices do not automatically have Android System Web-View, but it’s easy to install.
Why did Google Chrome make a separate application? Google has noticed vulnerabilities in this application for Android 4.3 and lower. They, therefore, decided to separate this application so that they can correct vulnerabilities without waiting for an update of the operating system.
However, if you have a new phone, you do not need to install this separate application. The Android System Web-View application is executed via Chrome, so if you have Chrome, this application already works for you on your device.
Step 1 – Open the Google Play store
First, tap your Google Play Store icon. On the main page, type “Android System WebView” in your search bar.
Step 2 – Install the application
Then press the Web-View Android System System option from your search results. Tap Install to download it on your phone.
Remember that you need at least Android OS 5.0 to download this application.
Step 3 – Update and Enable
Finally, make sure the WebView application is enabled on your phone. To check, go to the Application Manager in your Settings menu. Tap all applications for a list of all applications installed on your phone.
Select Android System Web-View. If necessary, tap Enable to get the installation request. But if it says disabled, it means that the application is already running and you do not need to do something else.
Can you Disable Android System Web-View?
The question of whether you can or can not disable WebView leads us to the question of whether you need it first. And if you have been an Android user from the get-go, you already know that it’s not for you to decide. On the contrary, the device must decide for you.
For those with Android 6.0 devices (marshmallow) or below, for optimal performance, it is best to keep Android System Web-View on. For Android smartphones operating with Android 7.0 (Nougat) or above, Chrome performs all the responsibilities of WebView instead. Therefore, you don’t need it as such so it is up to you whether you should activate it or not.
It would also be remarkable to install WebView manually if your device does not have it already then you can get equipped with this application and set it as default. This is true for Android devices released in 2015 or later. Otherwise, hackers can access your device by exploiting the smallest defects in your device’s code.
But to answer the question of deactivating this application, the answer is both yes and no.
For devices in which WebView came in as a pre-installed application, there is no option for deleting. The use of the Application Manager can disable the application. Deleting the application is only possible via rooting your Android device. But a fair warning: this can lead to the poor performance of the device, this is just that if you understand the risks.
You may be tempted to disable this app if you see it in your application settings, but it’s a good idea to keep it. Many of your other applications work with the WebView application and deactivation can result in performance differences.
This app is also very convenient, but you may not know how convenient it is until it is gone. So, unless it causes problems with the performance of your phone, it is better to let it continue to do what it has been designed to do.