What is Android System WebView for and if it can be removed

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Manuel Moreno Molina
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To make Android easier to update and keep safe on all phones, Google has detached some of its critical parts, making them apps that automatically update from the Google Play Store.
We have seen, for example, what the Google Play Services app is for, without which it would not be possible to use any Google app.
Another mysterious application present in many Android smartphones is the one called Android system WebView, that is updated very often and that appears in the Play Store tab with a somewhat vague description: "system component with Chrome technology that allows Android apps to show web content ...".

This application is pre-installed in many models of Android smartphones, but as it remains hidden (starting with Android Nougat) and cannot be used directly, i.e. it cannot be found in the list of applications and it cannot be started as you would with Chrome or other browsers, you may be wondering what it does and if it was possible to uninstall and remove it in case you need memory space.

Generally speaking, the app "Android System Webview"must be maintained, even if it does not seem to do anything special.

WebView is basically a web browser, which, however, does not have a life of its own, but relies on other apps.
The purpose and the reason why this Android System WebView application exists is to provide an application browser.
In altre parole, quando su un'app come Facebook (anche se Facebook ha anche il suo browser interno se nelle impostazioni si disattiva l'opzione per aprire link all'esterno) si tocca per aprire un link esterno (per esempio un articolo di ), il sistema pu貌 usare the System WebView web page viewer within the same app you are using, without opening it in Chrome or Firefox.
Basically it is a mini-browser that is based on Chrome, with all the features of a browser including history, functions to zoom in and out, text search and so on.
If there were no Android System WebView, any link that opens from an application like Facebook would be opened on the default browser (for example Chrome) and then when you want to go back to Facebook, you would have to close the browser.
To simplify this process, the System WebView allows instead of open links within the app itself, with a key to quickly return to the app.

Android System WebView is therefore a hidden app that does not require any configuration, which is automatically used by apps that support it and runs in the background.
Note that not all apps support WebView, so sometimes links are opened in the default browser anyway.
In some cases, apps can have their own web page viewer and ignore any browser.

Can Android System WebView be removed without problems?
While as an app it remains so hidden that it doesn't create any problems, you can definitely uninstall System WebView as you would any other application.
On Android versions lower than Android Nougat, you can only uninstall updates and not remove the entire app.
In Android Nougat and later versions, on the other hand, Google uses Chrome as its Webview app, so you can safely remove it.
One reason not to remove it may be that WebView is slightly faster to open than Chrome.
To remove it, go to the Google Play Store, search for Android System WebView and then press the button that uninstalls the application.

So if you are using a phone with Android Nougat or later, you can safely remove it, while if the Android version is older, then you have to leave it as it is.
Finally, keep in mind that if Chrome had been disabled because you want to use another browser, then it is definitely worth keeping the Android System Webview app active.

ALSO READ: Best Android Browser for Smartphones and Tablets


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