What Does System UI Not Responding Mean?

By John Adebimitan

A common error message on Android smartphones is “system UI not responding” or unfortunately, system UI has stopped”, and for some, it appears as “com.android.systemUI has stopped”.

While this slight variation depends on a smartphone’s manufacturer, they all mean the same thing: there is a problem with the system UI. If left unchecked, certain display features of your smartphone will not work as they should.

However, what is system UI? Why am I getting this error message? And how can I fix the system UI not responding issue? Continue reading to find answers to these questions.

What is System UI?

The acronym UI, stands for user interface. In the simplest of terms, system UI is responsible for any display on your smartphone that is not a part of an installed application.  With system UI, you can enable and control various display customization on your Android phone. We can conclude that everything you see on your phone that is not an app is linked to the system UI.

For example, we all love to customize our phones and completely change the themes, wallpapers, and maybe fonts. You can do all these because of your phone’s system UI. With the “system UI not responding” error message, you won’t be able to set your phone’s theme, wallpaper, screen brightness, volume control, and so on.

Your phone lags unusually, even with simple controls. In extreme cases, the phone freezes for a few minutes, with the power button not responding until it unfreezes. You’ll agree this can be frustrating, especially if you don’t know why this is happening.

That takes us to the following question: why is the system UI not responding?

What Does System UI Not Responding Mean?

Although the reason(s) may differ from phone to phone, system UI not responding can be traced to at least one of the following:

A need for an OS update: Android users must download and install the most recent updates to the OS because developers may see a need to improve a feature or maybe a bug that needs to be fixed. While this is a good thing, the updates may not download or install as they should. With a corrupt OS, it is most likely you’ll get the system UI not responding error message.

Flashing and Firmware Infection: Flashing a new ROM or installing an infected firmware may alter the system UI’s operation. Since it affects the phone’s software, the system UI will be affected.

Viruses: Just as smartphone owners are required to update the OS once regularly, there is an OS update; app developers also require users to download and install updates to apps occasionally. If the app is installed from unknown sources, it may contain a hidden virus. If it is downloaded from these sources and not correctly installed, chances are your phone’s system UI will stop working.

Storage Issues: Insufficient internal storage and a lower RAM can also trigger this error message.

Memory Issues: A corrupt or faulty SD card is the final culprit

So, how can you fix this problem?

System UI Is Not Responding? Best Fixes

When you get the “system UI not responding” message on your phone, the only thing you can do from there is press OK. Doing this clears the message and allows your phone to continue working. But after a while, the message reappears, and you must keep pressing the OK tab every time this happens.

You may not need to carry out each of these steps before finding a solution to your system UI not responding issue. However, if after trying one method, the problem ̣persists, feel free to try the next one.

Fix 1. Restart your smartphone

Most users who overcame this challenge mentioned how a simple device restart cleared the “system UI not responding” error message for them. So, the next time you receive that error notification, press OK to cancel it. Then switch OFF your phone and wait a few seconds before switching it back ON. This should reset basic phone operations.

Fix 2. Uninstall suspicious apps, including Google App Updates

Think about the apps you installed outside the official app store in recent times. Once identified, uninstall them immediately. Additionally, since some users started experiencing this after a recent Google Play Store update, you might want to uninstall the updates. To uninstall Google updates,

Go to Settings >> Apps/Apps & Notifications >> All Apps >> Google Play store >> Menu >> Uninstall updates >> OK. Restart your phone to complete the settings.

Fix 3. Scan your phone for viruses

Using a good antivirus program, scan your phone for any virus and immediately remove it. Visit Google Play Store for a reliable antivirus app if you don’t have an antivirus installed on your phone. Additionally, if you feel or think that your SD card may have been infected, remove it immediately. Doing this has been very effective in removing the error for some users.

Fix 4. Reset app preference

To reset app preferences, go to Settings and then click on Applications. On the three dots at the top right corner of the page, click Reset app preferences from the drop-down list. Click on Reset to complete the process.

Fix 5. Clear memory cache

Every application on your phone has a partition known as a cache where residual files are stored from all browsed pages or activities you’ve shared. Clearing this cache can clear the error from your device. To clear cache Go to Settings >> Apps >> All Apps. At this point, manually select each app and clear its memory cache

Fix 6. Do a factory reset

Although this step may be required only in extreme cases where other methods had not successfully cleared this error, a factory reset will return existing phone settings to default mode. Although guaranteed always to deliver, this method should only be the last resort. If a factory reset doesn’t stop the “unfortunately, system UI has stopped” messages, you might need to get a professional to look at the phone.

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