There’s no need to panic if you have run into Google Pixel problems. As you know all smartphones have their own issues, bugs and glitches, from the unique to the familiar. The Google Pixel is one of our favorite devices which has its share of problems. The good news is that because Google updates its phones directly, and issues monthly patches, there’s a good chance your problem has been solved through software.
Despite its age, the original Google Pixel is still a great phone and it was updated to the latest Android 9.0 Pie, which is more than we can say for a lot of newer phones. In any case, there’s no doubt you want your Pixel to be in perfect, working condition. We can help with that. Let’s see what are the Google Pixel problems and how to fix them
What Is the Actual Google Pixel Problem?
It’s a phone. The interoperability of hardware and software is very complicated, and even though it now has much greater control over both. Google is still unable to check for every conflict before it ships.
The important thing to know is that not everyone is experiencing problems. The issues with the Pixel appear to be isolated and not endemic of the entire product lineup.
Google Pixel Problems and How to Fix Them?
1. Google Pixel Wi-Fi Problems
It’s not a unique problem to the Pixel. But if you find yourself unable to connect to Wi-Fi, or you’re experiencing drops in connectivity, there are steps you can work through to get your Pixel connected again.
- Restart your Wi-Fi connection by going to Settings > Network & Internet and toggling Wi-Fi off and on again.
- Remove the network you’re attempting to connect to in Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Saved Networks. Then tap and hold on the chosen network and tap Forget. You can then connect to the network as if for the first time.
- To completely reset all network connections and settings, navigate to Settings > System > Reset options > Reset Wi-Fi, Mobile & Bluetooth. This will restore all network settings to their defaults, clear saved networks, and remove connected Bluetooth devices.
- Restart your Pixel. Long press the power button on the right side of your device to display the power menu, then tap Restart.
- If other devices on the network are experiencing issues, it may not be a problem with your Pixel. To rule this out, restart your router and modem.
2. Text Messages Not Working
Some users have found that they are unable to send or receive text messages on their new Pixel or Pixel XL.
- This issue has been faced mostly by users who have switched to the Pixel from the iPhone, and is related to iMessage. If you still have your old iPhone, go to Settings – Messages and turn off iMessage. If you have already sold it, you will need de-register the number from iMessage.
- Make sure that you haven’t accidentally blocked some users. Open the Messenger app and open the additional menu by tapping on the three vertical dots at the top right corner. Open Blocked Contacts and see if there are any numbers that aren’t supposed to be there.
3. Screen Auto Rotate Not Working
Some have found that the auto-rotate feature does not work as expected even though the setting is enabled.
- A rogue app may be causing this issue. To check if this is the case, boot the device in Safe Mode. Then see if the problem persists. If it doesn’t, a recently-installed application may be causing the issue. Uninstall any apps that were added just before the problem started, and see if that fixes it.
- This could also be an issue with the accelerometer and G-sensor as well. Download an app from the Google Play Store like GPS & Status Toolbox and re-calibrate the sensors, and see if that fixes it. If this proves to be a hardware issue, the only option will be to pick up a replacement.
- A temporary workaround that has worked for some is using a third-party app, such as Rotation Control. It will let you manually trigger the switch to the landscape orientations.
4. Home and Recent App Buttons Not Working
We’ve seen threads at the XDA developers forum and elsewhere complaining about the Home and Recent apps buttons not working. Only the Back button continues to work. It’s not clear what is causing this. But of course there are a couple of ways to fix it.
- If you’ve done a back up recently, then you might want to try a factory reset. But beware that it will delete everything on your phone. You can do it via Settings > System > Advanced > Reset options > Erase all data (factory reset) > Reset phone > Erase everything. This seems to have fixed the issue for everyone who tried it.
- If you’re not keen on wiping your Pixel, then you can try this instead: Install Nova Launcher, you may have to sideload it. Then open it up and set it up as your launcher. Now, hold down on an empty space on your home screen and look at Widgets to find the Activities widget. Drag it onto a space on the screen, scroll down to Setup Wizard and tap and hold on Setup Wizard Upgrade Activity. Complete the steps and you should be good.
5. Delayed Notifications
Some users have come across delayed notifications, with notifications coming in a few hours late sometimes. This is usually related to email and messaging apps running in the background.
- This issue seems to be caused by the new active Doze mode that is available with the Pixel and Pixel XL to help get a lot more out of your battery life. However, it looks like it results in notifications not arriving, or getting delayed. Until the apps are updated to address this problem, you may be better off removing these apps, like Gmail, Whatsapp, and more, from the list of apps that are optimized. Go to Battery > Settings (three vertical dots) > Battery Optimization, open the All apps section from the drop down menu, go to the relevant app, and tap on “Don’t optimize.” So far, users have reported that this doesn’t affect battery life significantly either.
6. Microphone Issues
This is one of the other Google Pixel problems. Some users have come across issues with the device microphone, with people at the other of the line unable to hear anything during calls.
- Toggling the speakerphone while on a call seems to work.
- A reboot seems to temporarily fix the problem, but this is another software issue that will be fixed.
- Google has recently acknowledged that the problem with the microphone goes beyond just a software bug. In this case, the only option you will have is to pick up a replacement.
7. Camera Issues
With so many people relying on their smartphones to capture the special and everyday moments of their lives, a problem with the camera can feel more than just inconvenient. Fortunately, there are a few troubleshooting steps that can get you back to taking your favorite pictures in no time.
- The Camera app may be the cause of the problem and has been known to experience crashes after app updates. To restart the app, navigate to Settings > Apps & notifications and expand the list to see all installed apps listed alphabetically. Tap the Camera app, then tap Force stop. On the same screen,tap Storage > Clear storage > Clear cache. This will remove any stored data in the app, and reset all settings back to their defaults.
- Restart your Pixel. Long press the power button on the right side of your device to display the power menu and tap Restart.
- Check for any app updates in the Play Store. Open the Play Store from your apps list. Then swipe in from the left to display the navigation menu and tap My apps & games. This will open the Updates tab where you can see all available app updates.
- If your photos haven’t been saving, or have been corrupted during saving, you may be out of storage space. You can check this in Settings > Storage. Consider enabling Smart Storage to allow the system to automatically clear space when your storage is almost full. If your device is almost full, tap Free up space to locate files you may wish to delete.
- If the problem is related to image quality, the camera hardware may be at fault. Ensure the camera lens is clean and free of dirt, debris, or grease. You can enable a dirty lens warning, which will display on your screen when using the camera app. Open the Camera app, then swipe along the bottom menu to More. Navigate toSettings > Advanced, then toggle Show dirty lens warningon.
- If after troubleshooting the camera and image quality the problem persists, there may be a hardware fault. Contact Google Support to investigate further options.
8. Connectivity Issues
As is the case with any new device, you may find yourself facing some connectivity issues with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
- Turn the device and the router off for at least 10 seconds. Then turn them back and retry the connection.
- Go to Settings > Power saving and ensure that this option is turned off.
- Use the Wi-Fi Analyzer to check how crowded your channel is, and switch to a better option.
- Forget the Wi-Fi connection by going to Settings > Wi-Fi and long tapping the connection you want. Then selecting Forget. Re-enter the details and try again.
- Make sure the router firmware is up to date.
- Make sure the applications and software on the device are up to date.
- Go into Wi-Fi > Settings > Advanced and make a note of your device MAC address. Then you can make sure that it is allowed access in the router’s MAC filter.
- With issues when connecting to the car, check the manufacturer’s manual for the device and the car and reset your connections.
- Ensure that you are not missing a vital part of the connection process.
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth and ensure nothing needs changing.
- Go into Settings > Bluetooth delete all prior pairings and try setting them up again from scratch.
- When it comes to issues with multiple device connection, only a future update will be able to address this problem.
9. Pixel Overheating
Picking up your smartphone and finding it searingly hot is hugely alarming. Given that it’s not unheard of for smartphone batteries to explode or catch fire. It is understandably worrying if your Google Pixel suddenly overheats. However, it may not be a battery fault causing your phone to overheat, and could be an app causing the problem.
- If your Pixel only overheats while charging, the charger itself may be at fault. Switch your current charger for a new one. Preferably use a Pixel charger supplied by Google. Try connecting the charger to different outlets too to rule out faulty power outlets.
- Your overheating phone may be caused by a phone case or the inside of a warm pocket. Try giving your phone some ventilation. Remove any cases and store at room temperature.
- Heavy phone usage will cause the Pixel to get warm, especially power-intensive tasks like video streaming or gaming. In this case, turn off the Pixel and allow it to cool. If the phone doesn’t get overly hot during regular light usage, then it’s likely normal heat given off by high power consumption.
- Your Pixel may overheat even when you aren’t running demanding apps. However, an app could still be at fault. An app drawing too much power may cause the phone to overheat, and will appear to use a large percentage of the battery. Navigate to Settings > Battery, tap the three dots at the top right of the screen. Then tap Battery usage. This will list apps that have used the battery since the last full charge. If there’s an app consuming a large percentage of the battery, then it may be the cause. Try uninstalling the affected app and reinstall from the Play Store.
- Some Pixel and Pixel XL users noted their Pixel charger no longer provided fast charging after the update to Android 9.0 Pie. Google confirmed that some non-power delivery chargers are affected and released a patch in October 2018. Although there are no related reports to overheating devices. If all other troubleshooting fails, you should contact Google Support to discuss the issue.
10. Google Pixel Battery Life and Excessive Battery Drain
One of the Google Pixel’s strengths is its 2770mAh battery and battery-optimized software. Since its release, however, there have been multiple reports of software updates causing battery drain issues. But it could just as easily be misbehaving apps.
- Close all open apps. To view running apps, tap the Square at the bottom of the screen. Swipe an app up to close it, or swipe right until you reach the end. Then you should tap Clear all to remove all running apps.
- Restart your Pixel. Long press the power button on the right side of your device to display the power menu. After that you need to tap Restart.
- Navigate to Settings > Battery, tap the three dots at the top right of the screen. Then tap Battery usage to view battery usage by app since the last full charge. If you notice any unusual or infrequently used apps towards the top of the list, uninstall them. In this way you can see if they’re the root of the excessive battery drain.
- Since the Pixel’s release, some users have noted that certain Android features misbehave after a system update. Adaptive Brightness has been known to malfunction and uses an excessive amount of battery. To turn this feature off, head to Settings > Display > Adaptive Brightness and toggle the feature off.
- If the problem persists, perform a Factory Reset of your Pixel. This will remove all files, apps, and settings. So ensure you’ve fully backed up your device before performing the reset. To begin, navigate to Settings > System> Advanced > Reset options, then tap Erase all data (factory reset).
- If, after a factory reset, the problem still occurs, contact Google Support to discuss a potential hardware fault.
So, there you have it. That’s our roundup of some of the common Google Pixel problems faced by owners. Also, we have provided the potential solutions to fix them. If you have come across any other problems, do let us know in the comments section below.
Actually, you should know that all of these Google Pixel problems are software related and will be fixed in upcoming updates, and timely software updates is one of the best parts of owning a Google device.