‘Unfortunately, the process android.process.media has stopped’ – How To Fix your Android Device

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If you’re using an Android device and see the message ‘Unfortunately, the process android.process.media has stopped’, you’re not alone. It is apparently a common issue that tends to occur directly after an upgrade between OS levels. I saw it myself a while ago when I upgraded my Nexus to Ice Cream Sandwich. It happened every few seconds and while it didn’t crash the phone, it did get in the way of everyday use.

So if you’re seeing ‘Unfortunately, the process android.process.media has stopped’, I can help.

The error is apparently caused by two Android services, Download Manager and Media storage. After an OS upgrade, something happens to synchronization where these two services cannot synchronize with Google servers. This is what causes the error.

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How to fix ‘Unfortunately, the process android.process.media has stopped’ errors

Once you have performed your OS upgrade, you will need to restart those services and clear the cache. This should stop the error occurring. First we need to stop Google sync and then stop the download manager trying to keep everything synced too. Once stopped, we reboot the phone and restart the service.

On your Android device:

  1. Navigate to Settings, Accounts and Google.
  2. Move all of the toggles to off.
  3. Navigate to Settings, Storage & USB.
  4. Tap Cached data and then OK.
  5. Navigate to Settings, Apps and Downloads.
  6. Tap Downloads and select Force Stop.
  7. Turn off your device for a couple of minutes. Remove the battery if you are able to.
  8. Switch your device on once more and wait until it has finished boot.
  9. Navigate to Settings, Accounts and Google.
  10. Move all of the toggles to on to allow sync.

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In the vast majority of cases I have seen, this was enough for stop the error. If it doesn’t, there is one last thing you can try.

  1. Unmount your SD card on the device.
  2. Navigate to Settings, Storage & USB.
  3. Tap Cached data and then OK to clear.
  4. Mount the SD card.

For those few for whom that first method doesn’t work, this second one surely will.

As mentioned, this was predominantly an issue with older versions of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and KitKat. I have yet to hear someone upgrading to Lollipop, Marshmallow or Nougat having the issue. However, if you’re doing that very thing, these steps should also work for you. The menu positioning and naming may be different but the principle will be the same.

If these two methods don’t work, back up all of your data from your device and perform a factory reset. It overwrites whatever file gets corrupted by the upgrade and also stops the error. The downside is that you have to rebuild your phone afterwards!

Have any other methods to stop the annoying ‘Unfortunately, the process android.process.media has stopped’ error? Let us know below if you do.

Posted by Jamie on December 2, 2016

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