Can’t stop any apps permission to use data in background

Can’t deny ANY apps permission to use data in background!

LG Rebel 4 LTE, Android 8.1.0 (Oreo), Snapdragon, Chrome 91+.

It’s my 2nd device, synched with an (almost) exact duplicate, which works fine. My 1st phone has all but 6 apps cut off from using background data. Went to do same to wife’s phone and can’t!

Everything works Except:
click Settings permission to use data in background on Any app, System or Not, stock or download, gets flag:
"Settings Has Stopped Working."

If "Turn back On" is tried too many times in a row, something balks: and a different flag warning appears.

Data consumption is outrageous with many of the apps I can’t deny, and it worries me that some tracker malware might be doing this, but Malwarebytes says phone is clean.

Anyone know what’s up with this?
Is there a setting somewhere I’ve missed?

Thanks in advance..

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