How to fix unfortunately message has stopped error on any Android phone?

If you are using an Android smartphone, errors and issues are part of the system since Android is an open source and relatively fastest growing operating system in the world along with iOS. There are hundreds of features when you have an Android smartphone but it has its own share of issues ranging from performance issues, screen flickering, screen freezing, unresponsiveness, lagging, delay in touches and much more. In this post, we are studying one of the prominent error i.e. “Unfortunately messages has stopped” which is a pre-installed app. But here’s the catch. Although the app crashed due to a number of underlying reasons, it could hint towards more serious firmware problem.

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If you tried to open Messages app on your phone but it displayed error reading “Unfortunately messages has stopped”, it needs to be fixed then and there. As aforementioned, there could be tens of reasons that triggered such an event but at the end of the day, you need to fix the issue anyhow. We curated a number of issues that users have seen when using the default messaging app. Also, we have tried and tested several methods that will help in fixing the issue promptly without any need to visit a problem in case if it isn’t hardware-related.

How to fix unfortunately message has stopped error on any Android phone?

Let’s dive into the list of how to fix the issue with the basic troubleshooting tips and tricks for which, we have provided the exact procedure to follow so that you don’t have to search for associated details on any other website. GetDroidTips is action packed with ample of details in the first place.

Force Stop Messages app

When you click on any app icon to open it, the underlying process initiates where the system will procure the components required, storage, services, etc and then, the app starts up and all it takes is a blink of an eye to complete. But, it is possible for the app to develop a slight glitch when opening the app and it could lead to app crash. The simple way to get rid of it is to navigate to Settings > Apps > Messages and click on the Force Stop button to totally stop it. Now, try to access it again after few seconds and see if it is functioning properly or not.

Reboot the device

Similar to factory data reset which is the ultimate and powerful tool to eradicate any app or firmware related issue, rebooting the device can save your day as it is the most primarily used method to fix temporary glitches. If an app has crashed, there could be hundreds of reasons behind it of which, few are minor glitch during startup, insufficient resources, etc.  So when someone reboots the device, all the resources that were earlier used by other apps and services become free, the cache memory is erased which makes the system more efficient. It also enables the app that you have been trying to access but couldn’t, to open and function as required.

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Log into the Safe Mode

Safe mode is a special bootable partition of any smartphone or computer where users can log in to diagnose the performance of the system and to gauge the culprit or at least the potential section of apps or services which are creating the issues. When you are in safe mode, all the apps that you downloaded are disabled along with other additional services such Bluetooth, infrared, Wifi, etc. This creates an ideal isolated environment for the users to check out if any built-in apps which come preinstalled on their system are problematic or if the third-party apps that you later downloaded which are prone to errors are creating the problems.

For instance, if the Messages app keeps crashing whenever you open it or try to do something with the app. It could be because of the Messages app itself which is a pre-installed app which is also known as bloatware. Now, if the error is being caused by any third-party apps, the smartphone will work pretty fine when in the safe mode because you know, third-party apps are disabled. But how can you decipher the root cause of the problem? Before knowing that, first learn to boot into the safe mode on your Android device. Here is the procedure –

  • Firstly, switch off your smartphone using the Power button.
  • Once the phone is shut down, press the Power button again to restart it.
  • Note that as soon as the company logo is shown on the screen, for instance, HTC users will see the HTC logo on the screen, then press the Volume down button. [Note that some devices require Volume Up button in this step]
  • Here, the smartphone would users to either enter into the Safe Mode directly where you need to press ‘OK’ button OR the system might ask you to choose between options i.e. Safe Mode, Fastboot Mode, and Normal Mode.
  • Once you are in the safe mode, all the third-party apps and services will be disabled.

Now that you have successfully booted into the Safe mode, it’s time to test the cause of the problem. To simplify the procedure, if you have problems with the Message app which crashes repeatedly, note that it is a pre-installed app and must behave the same even in the safe mode. If it crashes again, you have your culprit right there. Now you can take the below-mentioned troubleshooting tricks to get it fixed.

But if the app is working properly, the culprit lies within the third-party apps which are prone to errors and issues due to many reasons. Here you need to uninstall these apps one-by-one to check if the problem is fixed or not. You can follow the steps that I have mentioned below.

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  • Go to Settings > Apps > Downloaded.
  • This is the complete list of apps that you had downloaded apart from the pre-installed bloatware.
  • Tap on one of these apps and press the ‘Uninstall’ button.
  • The system will prompt you to confirm uninstallation, so press ‘OK’ or ‘Accept’ as asked.
  • Now check if the error still persists in the normal mode. If yes, you need to repeat the procedure until it is fixed.

Clear data and cache of Messages

Cache is the temporary files that the apps create which enables faster access to data when the users return to use the service later. But cache files are known to corrupt often as well and when it comes to corrupted cache files on an Android phone, you know if it a massive problem since cache can cause series of issues including frequent app crashes which is the issue that you might be having citing you are on this post.

Thus, the cache memory is required to be eradicated completely from the device. There are three methods on how you can do it but we recommended you to do all three at once when the system starts to lag or any app crashes abruptly. The only problem is, the cache memory is recurrent and builds up even after you have eliminated it completely. Thus, you need to repeat the procedure whenever your smartphone is behaving funny.

  • To clear the cache and data specifically for an app, Messages for instances, you need to go to Settings.
  • Proceed to the Apps section and scroll towards the Downloaded section of apps.
  • Search for the app and click on it.
  • Here, you will find two buttons i.e. Clear Cache and Clear Data, so click on both the buttons.
  • Now, restart the app which has been crashing repeatedly and it must solve the issue to some extent. Follow the other two methods in this list to completely eradicate cache memory.

Wipe off Cache Storage

This is not rocket science since I have already explained that cache memory needs to be cleared to prevent any funny behavior. You need to follow the given procedure to eliminate the cache from the phone itself. Although it doesn’t cause any loss of data, it resets all the defaults settings.

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  • You need to proceed to the Settings app on your Android phone.
  • Next is to tap into the Storage option.
  • Here, the system will calculate the cache memory available on your phone. Once it is calculated, tap on the Cache Storage.
  • A dialog box will appear on the screen asking the user to confirm deleting all the cache files.
  • Tap on ‘OK’ or ‘Accept’ button to delete it.

Wipe cache partition

Now that you have cleared both the cache files specifically for the problematic app and the system on whole, proceed to the wipe cache partition where all the residual cache files are located. This process requires you to follow the procedure mentioned below without missing any step.

  • The very first thing you would do is to switch off the phone since you need to access the recovery mode here.
  • Now, press and hold Volume Up/Down and Home and/or Power button for which, the combination of buttons to press is based on the make and model of smartphone you use. Click here to know about it.
  • Once the Android logo appears on the screen, release all the keys and let the system do its task of booting into Recovery Mode.
  • Once in this mode, you need to follow the procedure as stated on the top of the screen.
  • Tap on Volume Up or Down button to scroll and then, press the Power button to choose your options.
  • You will have to scroll towards ‘wipe cache partition’ and then, select ‘Yes’ from the available option.
  • The system will perform the overhauling process of wiping off cache partition and then, once it is over, it will bring you back to the Recovery mode.
  • Tap on Reboot system now that will restart the system.

This is the 3-part procedure you need to comply to get rid of cache memory available on the phone. The effects of clearing cache are immediate since it will make the smartphone more efficient and faster than earlier. It will also help the apps to perform and reduce the probability of it crashing down.

Update the App

It is possible for an app to develop bugs and give backdoor access to viruses, malware, and even hackers trying to penetrate through the app to steal sensitive information. If not that, there are bugs that cause performance issues, freezes the screen or flickers it as well as make it unresponsive and crash often then ordinary. These are just some reasons because of which app developers update their application with latest security patches, feature updates, and fixes to discovered bugs. If you have turned off auto-update in your phone or if somehow, the Messages app become outdated and wasn’t updated, it can cause a crash. The quick fix is to simply update it from the Play Store. If you are a beginner on Android or confused, here is the procedure on how to do it.

  • Open up the Menu on your phone and then, search for Google Play Store.
  • Now, tap on the 3 horizontal bars on the left side of the screen and then, proceed to My apps and games.
  • Here, you can see a list of installed apps as well as all the available updates that need to be done.
  • Search for the Messages app and tap on update button and there you did it.
  • Note that updating the apps installed in your phone is crucial and must be done as soon as the updates are available.

Use an alternative

If the Messaging app is still showing the ‘Unfortunately message has stopped’ error and you need to use it anyhow, you can check out available alternatives such as TrueCaller’s Messages, etc. Then, you can even use Hangout as the default messaging app which comes pre-installed on all Android smartphone. Checking out alternatives available on the play store is beneficial since it lets the user take control over which app to choose based on the services and features.

  • To download an alternative to Messages, go to the Google Play Store.
  • Type the keywords like ‘Messages’, ‘Messaging app’, ‘message alternative’ etc and install the app similar to how you would do with any other app.
  • Now, select the new app as default for which, the dialog box will appear on the screen as soon as you access the app for the first time.

Reset All Settings

If any or all the previous method fail to perform on your smartphone which is highly unlikely, then you can continue with this method, however, you need to understand that it will remove all the files and folders, photos and videos, and all other stuff stored on your phone permanently. So if you are eager to fix this issue, firstly you need to take the backup of all the data that you wouldn’t risk losing. You can move all the files in an SD Card and then remove it until the procedure is complete or you can move the files to an external drive to keep it safe and secure. Once you have performed the procedure, you can move all the data back to your device without losing even a bit of data.

  • Now, to reset all the settings on your phone, go to Settings and then, navigate to Backup and Reset option.
  • Next step, go to Reset button and tap on Reset Settings.
  • This is where the system will review you with all the reset related things i.e. the types of files and data that will be formatted, etc.
  • Now, proceed by hitting the Reset button and enter the PIN or password saved on your phone.
  • Finally, tap on Reset or Reset Settings button to kickstart the process which will take few minutes to complete.

Do a factory reset

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Factory data reset or FDR is an advanced version of the previous method where you reset all the data saved on the smartphone. As aforementioned, there is a prerequisite that you need to take the backup of the data you want beforehand. Now, let’s see how to do FDR using hardware keys and recovery mode.

  • First of all, switch off the phone by pressing the power button for few seconds.
  • Next step is to hit and hold and Volume Up/Down [as per your make and mode] and Home button and/or Power key [based on your make and model of the device] and hold it until an Android logo is not shown on the screen.
  • After 30 to 50 seconds, the phone will start up and vibrate and it will show an Android logo on-screen which is where you need to leave the buttons.
  • Now, based on the version of the recovery mode your phone has, it would ask you either to press Volume Up or Down for scrolling and for selection, Volume Up/Down or Power button. [You can see for the instructions on the top of the screen].
  • Scroll towards the option that reads “wipe data/factory reset” and then, selects “yes – delete all user data” when asked on the next screen.
  • This will initiate the reset process which will take a few minutes to complete.
  • As soon as it completes, you can reboot the system and start the phone into original factory settings, the same which you had when you purchased it.

We at GetDroidTips are working round the clock to provide the best quality content on how-to guides. Hope the above methods helped you to fix the “Unfortunately message has stopped” error.

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