The Google Search home screen widget is probably the quickest way to look something up without opening a browser. However, some Android users report a problem with the widget. It seems that the Google Search widget keeps crashing whenever they try to search for something. This includes voice search, as well. If you’re affected by this problem, check the instructions we provided below.
Why is my Google search bar widget not working?
If your Google Search bar widget is not working (crashing or lagging), it’s usually due to issues with the Google app. Restart your device, clear the local data from the Google app, or uninstall updates. You can also try removing and adding the widget again if that’s an option.
Finally, try uninstalling and updating Android WebView, wipe the cache partition, or, ultimately, go for the factory reset.
1. Clear the local data from Google App
The first thing you should do is restart your phone. The second step, if that fails, is to clear the local data from the Google app. The app itself deals with a variety of Google’s on-device services, including Google Assistant and, more importantly for the problem at hand, the At a Glance/Google Search widget. Clearing all of the local data should kickstart the app and, hopefully, address the bug that leads to the search widget crashing.
Here’s how to clear the local data from the Google App:
- Open Settings.
- Choose Apps.
- Open Google from the list of available apps.
- Select Storage.
- Choose Manage storage.
- Clear all data.
2. Uninstall updates and leave the Beta program
If the first step failed, you can try uninstalling updates from the Google app and re-update it again. Since the Google app comes pre-installed as a system app, you can’t remove it completely. What you can do is uninstall updates and restore the app version to the one that came with the device.
Also, if you’re, by chance, enrolled in the Beta program for the Google app, you should leave it. Better to opt out in case you run into issues with the current version. Issues like these are, luckily, not as common and Google Beta is not exactly unstable. Still, the public version is the way to go whenever the problem arises.
Here’s how to uninstall updates and leave the Beta program for the Google app:
- Open the Play Store and look for Google.
- Expand the app from the results and swipe down. Leave the Beta program and wait for the process to finish. Skip this step if you’re not an early adopter.
- Then just tap Uninstall and confirm when prompted.
- Restart your device and re-update the Google app in Play Store under Account > Manage apps & device > Available updates.
3. Remove then add the widget again
If you have the option to remove the widget and add it again on your device, you should definitely give it a go. This isn’t possible on Pixel devices unless you use a third-party launcher like Nova Launcher to hide the built-in widget. Most other devices allow you to remove the widget.
To remove the Google Search widget from your home screen, tap and hold on to it and then select Remove. You can also drag it to the top of the screen to remove it on some Android skins. Once you’ve done that, tap and hold on to the home screen until the pop-up menu appears. Select Widgets and locate Google. Add the Search bar to your Home Screen and try searching again.
4. Reinstall Android WebView
A few years ago, issues with Android System WebView led to apps crashing for millions of users around the globe. And, although the problem was sorted out, we are still suspicious of this essential service, especially since the problem points in that direction. Namely, the Android System WebView deals with displaying web content in the app, instead of switching to a dedicated web browser (most commonly Chrome). If it doesn’t work, the built-in browsers won’t work as well.
So, with that in mind, here’s how to reinstall Android System WebView on your Android:
- Open Settings.
- Select Apps.
- Choose Android System WebView.
- Tap on the 3-dots menu and Uninstall updates.
- On the same App Info page, tap “App details in store“. This should take you to Play Store.
- Tap Update and restart your Android.
If the Google Search widget keeps crashing, update the firmware on your device.
5. Update the firmware
In the previous steps, we tackled most app-related issues that can lead to widget crashing. However, what if the problem is in the system? There are reports that search in the Google app and the Search widget started crashing after a system update. So, hopefully, the next update addresses this which is why we suggest checking for updates and installing them regularly.
Not just for security purposes, but for bug fixes, as well. To check for available updates on your Android, navigate to Settings > Software update or Settings > System > Software update. Install updates and check if the issue persists.
6. Wipe the cache partition
The next thing you can try is wiping the cache partition. This is a system partition that stores temporary files and, occasionally, the data for certain apps can get corrupted. Wiping it won’t delete any of your data so there’s no need to worry about that. The only way to access it is through the Recovery menu, so that’s exactly what are we going to do.
Here’s how to wipe the cache partition on your Android:
- Power off your smartphone.
- Press and hold the Power button and the Volume Up button. On some devices, you need to hold the Power button + Volume Down while some, like Samsung, require to be connected to a PC with a USB cable to access Recovery or Fastboot modes.
- Hold both buttons and let go when the boot logo appears.
- Use the Volume keys to navigate through the menu and select Wipe Cache Partition.
- Use the Power button to confirm the selection.
- Now, choose Reboot now and follow through with the setup procedure once again.
7. Reset your Android to factory settings
Finally, if you can’t seem to sort out the problem with the Google app and the Google Search widget, the only remaining option is to perform a factory reset on your device. This is by no means a preferable solution considering that all of your data is deleted in the process. However, it’s suggested (by OEMs and tech-savvy individuals) to perform a factory reset after every major update. If you just recently upgraded to Android 13 from Android 12, a factory reset is a good idea. Just don’t forget to back up everything beforehand.
Here’s how to reset your Android to factory settings:
- Back up all media files to Google Photos/Google Drive or a PC. If you use an SD card, move everything you can there.
- Open Settings.
- Choose System.
- Select Reset options.
- Tap Erase all (factory reset).
- Choose Erase All.
- Your device will restart and you’ll get to the initial setup screen.
- From there, sign in to Google and/or to OEMs account and restore everything that’s backed up.
And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to tell us if the instructions provided here helped you address the problem in the comments below. Or share alternative solutions that worked for you that we forgot to mention.