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An error has occurred in android.process.media app: how to fix it

Author: Vlad Brown

Data recovery specialist, guest author, journalist.

Updated on 02/27/2020

While working with the file system of a smartphone, users may receive a notification stating that "an error has occurred in android.process.media app". What does it mean? 

What android.process.media is responsible for

Photos, audio, and video stored in the memory of your device are used by various apps. Android only allows apps to access the list of required files instead of all the system content, and android.process.media.’s main responsibility is accounting for and classifying access permissions.

In what cases can android.process.media. fail?

An error can occur in android.process.media for the following reasons:

  1. Conflicts in the  file name or dependencies on Android’s OS.
  2. Errors in the software working with the user data.
  3. Incorrect deletion of media files on the phone.
  4. Overload of the system with a large number of photos, videos, or audio recordings (i.e. the lack of space in your phone memory).
  5. Image folders having the same name on both an SD card and in the internal memory of a device.

In Android 4.3 and later versions, the android.process.media error 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 an android.process.media error

After receiving a system notification stating that an error has occurred (for example, "unfortunately android.process.media has stopped"), the device owner can use one of the following methods to eliminate the error. 

Method 1. Clearing the app’s cache

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

  1. Open the “Settings menu and go to the “Apps” section.
  1. Turn on the "Show system apps" option from the menu in the top right corner.
  1. In the opened list, find the "Downloads" app (or "Download Manager", depending on the version of your Android) and run it.
  1. Go to the "Storage" section and tap the "Clear cache" and "Clear data" buttons.
  1. Go back to the list of apps and clear the cache of the "File manager", "Media storage", and "Google Music".
  1. Restart your Android phone, tapping on the Power button.

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

Method 2. Deleting Google Services Framework and Play Store data

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

  1. Go to Android “Settings and open the "Apps" tab.
  2. Open “Google Services Framework”, then tap "Force stop".
  1. Go to "Storage", then clear cache, and delete data.
  2. Perform the same actions with the Google Play Store from the "Apps" menu.
  3. Restart your device.

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

Method 3. Disabling Google sync

  1. Open the "Settings" menu and select"Accounts" (or "Accounts and Backup" for Samsung Galaxy users).
  1. In the opened menu, find "Auto sync data" and turn it off.

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

Method 4. Rolling back to factory settings on Android

The above methods of troubleshooting the android.process.media error are quite soft: they don't affect the data stored in the device memory and on its external card. If they don’t work, 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 be deleted.

NB! Before performing a Hard Reset, make sure you create a backup of the important files in your phone memory. You don’t need to backup your SD card, as a Hard Reset won't affect it. 

You can roll back the settings in the following way:

  1. Tap the “Settings menu (“Settings” > General management for Samsung Galaxy).
  1. Find the "Reset" tab and tap the "Reset settings" item.
  1. Read the message describing which files specifically will be destroyed.
  2. Confirm the reset.

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

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

Method 5. Ejecting an SD card from a phone

The most unpleasant cause of the error might be a malfunctioning memory card. The clearest sign of this is the inability to open certain files on external media storage devices. If this is the issue you are experiencing, there is only one long-term solution: replace your SD card with a new one.

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 eject the SD card from your device. This method has its own disadvantages:

  • If a media slot is covered by 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 the device.

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

  1. Transfer all the files you need to the device’s 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 android.process.media

In order to avoid the android.process.media 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 you to download and install it. In these versions, the file system error occurs extremely rarely.
  • Another effective way is to create an empty .nomedia file. This file is placed in every folder which you want to exclude from the checking. The media check then monitors only the folders without .nomedia in them. This reduces the chance of the android.process.media error occuring.

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