Nova Launcher widgets not working (Permission Denied)

Nova Launcher is probably the one app that’s, sooner or later, brought up when it comes to Android UI theming and customization. And, of course, like any other stock or custom launcher, it allows home screen widgets. Not for all users, though, as there are reports that Nova Launcher widgets are not working for some. Others get the “Permission Denied” error when trying to add Home Screen widgets on Nova.

If Nova can’t create (add) widgets or widgets are not updating, make sure to follow our instructions below to resolve these problems.

Permission Denied when adding widgets on Nova Launcher

Solution 1 – Remove and add the widget again

Firstly, if the widget is static and not updating, you should remove it and add it again from the widget menu. If there’s an option within the app to configure its widget, make sure to check for update frequency availability.

Once you remove the widget, add it again from the Widgets menu, and reboot your device. If the problem persists, move to the next step.

Solution 2 – Check Nova and apps permissions

For Nova Launcher to create widgets, you’ll need to grant it certain permissions. You are usually prompted to grant this particular permission upon installing the launcher and adding widgets for the first time.

In addition, the base apps (the ones that widgets belong to) need permissions as well. This has a special emphasis on Android 10 and later which deals with per-app permission more strictly.

So, here are some things you should check out to fix Nova Launcher widgets that are not working:

  • Navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps > Nova Launcher > Permissions and grant all necessary permissions. You can also enable Nova Launcher Labs settings and find permissions there.
  • Do the same for the app that provides the widget but won’t update (weather apps, step trackers, etc.).
  • Open Nova Launcher settings and hold the Volume Down key to open the Labs option. Open Labs and check the “Restart widgets on resume” box.Nova Launcher widgets not working

Solution 3 – Make sure Nova is the default launcher

Some custom Android skins (many of them, actually) tend to aggressively limit the activity of third-party apps. There are battery optimization and those pesky Phone Managers that can restrict apps from working in the background or updating. This applies to widgets of those respective apps.

So, make sure to set Nova as the default launcher, whitelist both Nova and widget apps, and disable battery optimization for those services. Follow these instructions to do so:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Apps.
  3. Open Default apps (you might need to tap the 3-dots menu and open Default apps from there).
  4. Under the Default launcher or Home app, select Nova Launcher.Nova Launcher widgets not working
  5. Restart your device.
  6. Now, navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps and select Nova and other apps respectively. Enable Autostart for Nova and all included apps (the ones that provide widgets) and disable Battery optimization.Nova Launcher widgets not working

Solution 4 – Reinstall Nova, clear cache, and update affected apps

Finally, if widgets are still not working on Nova Launcher despite the aforementioned steps, we recommend starting from scratch. First, you should reinstall Nova. Secondly, try clearing the cache and data from apps related to widgets. And, in the end, ensure that apps are up to date.

Here’s what you need to do, step by step:

  1. Open individual app settings (Settings > Apps > All apps), select Storage, and clear cache and data. You can reinstall those apps, as well.
  2. Open Nova Launcher Settings from the Home Screen.
  3. Select Backup & import settings.
  4. Back up Nova configuration either locally or upload it to Drive.
  5. From the Nova Settings menu, tap Select default launcher.
  6. Choose System Launcher as the default one.Nova Launcher widgets not working
  7. Then open Play Store and uninstall Nova Launcher.
  8. Restart your device and reinstall Nova from the Play Store.
  9. Make it the default launcher, add widgets again, and look for improvements.

On that note, we can call it a wrap. Thank you for reading and make sure to leave your feedback in the comments section below. It is more than welcome.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in February 2020. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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