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An error has occurred in app: how to fix it

Author: Vlad Brown

Data recovery specialist, guest author, journalist.

Published 11/27/2019

While working with the file system of a smartphone a user can receive a notification stating that "an error has occurred in app". What does it mean? 

What is responsible for

Photos, audio and video stored in the memory of your gadget are used by various apps. Android allows apps to get access only to the list of required files instead of the whole system content. And main responsibility is accounting and classifying.

In what cases can fail?

An error can occur in for the following reasons:

  1. Due to file name or location conflicts.
  2. Due to errors in software working with the data.
  3. Due to incorrect deletion of media files.
  4. Due to the overload of system with a large number of photos, videos or audio recordings (i.e. the lack of space in your phone memory).
  5. If there are image folders of the same name both on an SD card and in the internal memory of a device.

In Android 4.3 and later versions occurs very rarely. It has nothing to do with virus attacks, so there is no need to worry about the information you store.

The ways to fix error

After receiving a system notification stating that an error has occurred in the above mentioned app (for example, "unfortunately has stopped"), a gadget owner can use one of the following methods in order to eliminate the error. 

Method 1. Clearing apps cache

This is the easiest method since in most cases an app crashes due to a mismatch between its cache and the actual location of files.

You should open the Settings menu and go to the "Apps" tab.

Turn on "Show system apps" option.

In the opened list find "Downloads" app (or "Download Manager" depending on the version of your Android) and run it.

Go to "Storage" section and tap the "Clear cache" and "Clear data" buttons.

Go back to the list of apps and clear the cache of "File manager", "Media storage" and "Google Music".

Restart your Android phone.

By the way: you can find our article about clearing cache here. We've described there how to safely clear your cache and what apps you might need for doing it. 

Method 2. Deleting Google Services Framework and Play Store data

If the previous method doesn't work, try to fix android process media error by modifying media file data.

Go to Android settings and open the "Apps" tab.

Open Google Services Framework, tap "Force stop".

Go to "Storage", clear cache and delete data.

Perform the same actions with Google Play Store from "Apps" menu.

Restart your gadget.

If Google Services Framework and Play Store apps don't launch, do it yourself.

This method is likely to help you to prevent android process media error from repeating. In general, it's better to apply both methods at the same time.

Method 3. Disabling Google sync

Open the "Settings" menu and item "Accounts" (or "Accounts and Backup" in case of Samsung Galaxy).

In the opened menu find "Auto sync data" and turn it off.

This will result in being stopped for all Google apps and therefore it should stop failing.

Method 4. Rolling back to factory settings on Android

The described above methods of troubleshooting error are quite soft: they don't affect the data stored in device memory and on its external card. But there are more drastic measures. They're certain to help to solve the problem but all the information from the internal memory of your phone will disappear.

NB! Before performing a Hard Reset make sure to create a backup of important files stored in your phone memory. However, you can skip the files on your SD card since Hard Reset won't affect it. 

You can roll back the settings in the following way:

Enter the Settings menu ("Settings - General management" for Samsung Galaxy).

Find the "Reset" tab and tap the "Reset settings" item.

Read the message describing which files specifically will be destroyed.

Confirm the reset.

Note. We've described how to perform a Hard Reset in a more detailed way here with all the pros and cons of this method. 

Performing it will roll back the system to its factory settings and the problem related to android process media will be resolved.

Method 5. Removing an SD card from a phone

The most unpleasant cause of the error might be a malfunction of a memory card. The sign of it is the inability to open certain files on external media storage devices. If this is your case, there is only way out which is to replace your SD card with a new one.

Moreover, you can try to download apps directly into the internal memory of your device (of course, only if its volume allows it). But before installing an app from Google Play you'll have to remove the card from your gadget. This method has its own disadvantages:

  • if a media slot is closed with a case or battery, it's very inconvenient to extract an SD card;
  • frequent removal can damage both the slot and memory card itself;
  • each new downloaded app reduces the amount of free memory in the internal memory of Android.

Another possible option we can recommend is formatting your SD card (while it's inserted in a device).

  1. Transfer all the files you need to internal memory or to your computer in advance.
  2. Format your SD card (for example, via this program).
  3. Copy the saved data (point 1) back to the memory card.

A few tips on

In order to avoid error stick to the following recommendations:

  • Install updates for all downloaded apps. New versions can eliminate the cause of android process media failure.
  • If there is an update for Android 4.3 or later, we advise to download and install it. In these versions, the file system error occurs extremely rare.
  • You can fix the error if you face it again via special software, in particular QuickPic. It excludes folders from the file structure check. In order to do this, you have to set the required settings.
  • Another effective way is to create an empty file .nomedia. This file is placed in every folder which you want to exclude from the checking. Then the media check monitors only the folders without .nomedia in them. Which reduces the chance of android process media error.