10 Common Google Pixel Problems & How to Fix Them

Google Pixel and Pixel XL problems continue to plague users around the world, even after the update to Android 8.0 Oreo. With that in mind, below we’ll look at some common Google Pixel and Pixel XL problems and offer tips on how to fix them.

Recent updates to Android 7.1 and then 7.1.2 Nougat fixed some issues while delivering a few of its own. However, Google recently released Android 8.0 Nougat with a vastly improved experience. It isn’t all perfect though, and some issues are still present.

Read: 20 Best Google Pixel Cases

We’re still seeing complaints about random reboots, freezing, Bluetooth issues and more. If you’re still experiencing problems on your Pixel or Pixel XL we’re here to help. Read on for more details, suggestions, and tips for the best experience.

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Overall most Google Pixel owners are reporting an excellent experience. From a world-class camera, battery life better than most Android devices, to a beautiful screen and more. It isn’t perfect though.

Some users are facing WiFi issues, microphone problems, and Bluetooth is still a big issue for many. There are complaints about lens flare or pink colors and a halo in photos from the 12.3 megapixel camera. Not to mention overheating, slow charging, poor GPS and more. There are even some random reports about the battery running out before it says its empty. If so, try this fix or read on for more details about any and all problems.

Google Pixel WiFi Problems

Just like we see with virtually every smartphone release on Android or iOS, a lot of users are complaining about WiFi. Whether that be speeds, drops or connectivity. Typically this is just a little glitch that is easily fixed.

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If you’re having issues with WiFi our first suggestion would be to toggle it off and back on. Slide down the notification bar and tap the WiFi quick-setting tile at the top. Then turn it back on and try to connect. If this still doesn’t help a quick reboot usually solves the problem.

That said, if you’re still experiencing Pixel WiFi problems it’s always a good idea to reset any home routers or modem. Another option is to head into Settings > WiFi and forget your wireless network. Then search again and reconnect, put in the password, and try it again.

Pixel Bluetooth Problems

With so many different devices, brands, accessories and car makers we always see Bluetooth complaints. Personally, my Pixel never had a single issue until I updated to Android 8.0 Oreo. Now, we’re seeing widespread complaints on Nexus and Pixel devices. It appears that even after 4-5 months of beta testing Bluetooth still isn’t right.

Some are reporting Bluetooth drops randomly, which has been a problem in the past. The biggest thing we’re seeing is connectivity in cars. Some just don’t want to keep the connection, or it turns itself off. We recommend deleting all Bluetooth pairings and starting over, for the best experience.

Google recently confirmed they fixed this issue in recent updates, including patches in the August security update. For whatever reason, the problem is back with Oreo. Try deleting or repairing any Bluetooth, and stay tuned for a fix from Google in the near future.

You can also try booting into safe mode on the Pixel. Safe Mode disables third-party apps and can help you figure out what’s causing a problem. There’s a chance one of your apps is misbehaving and messing with Bluetooth. If you aren’t familiar with the process, follow Google’s instructions.

Pixel Camera Problems

Google claims the Pixel and XL have the best smartphone camera on the planet. It received the highest score ever from independent reviews, and so far most owners absolutely love it. Sadly, there does seem to be a hardware issue with ALL Pixel phones, but Google made some tweaks to fix this. Android 7.1.2 added more tweaks to improve the camera.

We’re talking about lens flare, which happens on all cameras, especially expensive DSLR’s. That’s why big lenses come with hoods to block out reflecting light. Some users are seeing a flare of light in photos, or a ring. Many use this for artistic purposes, but it’s happening more than it should on Pixel.

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This is due to a variety of reasons, and Google promises that it’s nothing to worry about. Personally, out of over 300 photos, only two of mine experienced this in just the right situation.

If photos are blurry make sure to enable HDR+ and try wiping the camera lens free of any fingerprints. Google released an update in 2016 that fixed the camera, and most don’t have this issue anymore.

Another problem is international models in poor signal areas (no 4G LTE) have a weird camera glitch or artifacts on the display. The Google Support forum has multiple complaints of the camera freezing, artifacts, and blocks on the screen or even pink and purple colors appearing and ruining photos. This is a small limited problem that only happened in specific scenarios. Read all about Google’s fix at the Google product forum.

Pixel Microphone Problems

Our microphone on two Pixel XL devices work just fine, but this Reddit thread is full of complaints. Apparently, sometimes the microphone just stops working or acts funny. This is an issue we’re not hearing too much about, but some have received replacements over the situation.

We recommend starting a phone call to voicemail and turning speakerphone on and back off. That should toggle the microphone and fix any issues. Another idea is to perform a factory data reset, although that will erase everything from your device. Those with microphone problems may want to get a replacement. Are you facing problems with this? Let us know.

While not the microphone, there is another problem with sound. Multiple owners have confirmed at loud volumes the speaker gets scratchy and there’s some sort of audio problems. Some have even received replacement devices as a result. We have good news, the Android 7.1.2 update fixes Pixel audio problems. Google confirmed this was one of many fixes too.

Pixel Overheating

Every smartphone gets hot while charging, especially using the fast rapid charging technology with USB Type-C. Because of the issues Samsung faced last year, all users are getting worried about a hot phone, when they shouldn’t. There is nothing to worry about with your Pixel.

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It’s what allows our phone to charge from 0-50% in about 20 minutes, and gives the Pixel amazing battery life. Fast charging is a great feature although the phone may get a little hot while charging. Especially if you are gaming or using navigation at the same time.

We recommend just using one of the great cases we linked to at the top of the page, and you won’t feel the charging heat. At the same time, there could be an app misbehaving that is causing the device to stay awake. Thus using too much power and heating things up. Head into Settings > Battery > and see if anything suspicious is at the top of the list. If so, uninstall it and contact the developer.

Pixel Notification LED Light Missing

Most Android smartphones have a notification LED light near the top that blinks for incoming calls, texts or notifications. It’s something many Samsung users love. We’ve received a lot of questions about why the Pixel doesn’t have one.

Google's Pixel has a notification LED. It's just disabled out of the box
Google’s Pixel notification LED is disabled out of the box.

It does though, it’s just disabled by default. Follow this guide to enable the notification LED, and customize it with an app called Light Flow for the best experience. The phone uses a feature called Ambient Display, but some users prefer the old style. Carry on.

Pixel Battery Life Problems

In our testing, the Google Pixel XL has some of the best battery life of any Android smartphone on the market. Pair the 5.5-inch screen with its huge 3,450 mAh battery and it should last everyone an entire day if not more.

As with every phone, because everyone uses them differently, some are having problems with poor battery life. This could be due to a lot of things but is likely an app that isn’t working right with the new Android Oreo update. We recommend customizing location settings, turning the screen brightness down to around 40% or automatic, and closing big apps you no longer need.

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However, the best route is to head into settings and make sure an app isn’t draining your juice. Head to Settings > Battery and see what’s at the top of the list. Typically Android system, Android OS, or the screen is at the top. If there’s an app at the top, something isn’t right. Uninstall it, disable the app, or tap on it and hit “Force Close” to kill an app that’s draining the battery.

We also recommend setting up Battery Saver modes when you’re in a pinch and need extra juice.

Another issue is the phone draining abnormally fast, or shutting down at 40% instead of when the battery runs out. This affects the Nexus 6P too. Again, Android 7.1.2 Nougat reportedly fixes this. And further refinements were likely included in Android 8.0.

Fingerprint Scanner Problems

The Google Pixel has one of the fastest, most accurate, and easiest to use fingerprint scanners. That said, if you didn’t set it up right or saved a print before adding a case, it might not work 100% of the time.

If so, try going into settings and deleting any saved fingerprints and redoing the process to set it up. If you’ve installed a case the angle could be slightly different, so again we recommend redoing the entire process. Make sure the scanner is clean and free of dirt, and same goes for your fingertips.

On a semi-related note, previous Nexus devices had a feature where the screen would turn on when the device is picked up. So you don’t have to constantly tap the scanner on the back. This was left out of the Pixel software at launch but Google added it in recent software updates. Find this under display settings.

General Bugs & Problems

Another problem is the Pixel and Pixel XL keep freezing for users. The June Android Nougat update fixed it, according to Google. Some did have issues with the Oreo update installing, but that should work as expected now. Most should already be on the latest software.

Of course, some users may have other small problems here and there. Like screen glitches or rotation, lag, app crashes, or other minor things that can often be solved by a simple reboot. Actually, most problems I get asked about daily are often solved by a reboot.

Owners can easily reboot the phone by long-pressing the power button, and hit “restart”. It will quickly turn off and restart back to how it was before the problems. You shouldn’t need to do this often.

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If the Pixel is completely frozen, do a hard reset. Simply press and hold both power and volume up at the same time, and hold for about 10 seconds until it reboots. This will fix any issue with a frozen or unresponsive device, then make sure you’re running the latest Android release.

Pixel Factory Data Reset

Last but not least is a factory data reset. This is the last resort, as it will erase all user data, apps, messages, and content from the phone. This typically fixes any major issues, software problems and more. It will revert the Pixel back to the stock out of the box state.

This is the best route to take for any big problems, and actually something I do after every major software update for a fresh start. Keep in mind it erases everything on the phone. Backup all data using many of the tools available, then follow the steps below wipe out your phone.

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Head into Settings by pulling down the notification bar and hitting the gear-shaped icon near the top. In settings scroll down to Backup & reset and then tap Factory Data Reset. The phone will reboot a few times, erase everything, and boot up fresh and ready to go.

Expect more changes and bug fixes to arrive with each monthly update, or with the big Android O release later this summer.

What Next?

After trying some of these fixes are you still having problems? If so, we know what’s next. An update to Android 8.0 is more than likely already in the works. Google product forums have lines of complaints about WiFi or Bluetooth, so we can expect an update to Android 8.0.1 in the near future. In fact, we’ve already seen exactly that in leaked images of the Pixel XL 2.

In the meantime, here’s a full changelog of what to expect and what’s new in Android 8.0 Oreo as it continues to roll out.

10 Best Google Pixel Screen Protectors

InvisibleShield Glass for Pixel XL

 1 / 10
InvisibleShield Glass for Pixel XL

 Zagg is a pioneer when it comes to screen protectors. Being one of the first years ago to offer durable and safe protection for our phones. And they continue to do so in 2016. This is an InvisibleShield Glass screen protector made of hardened, re-inforced and strengthened glass just like what comes on the phone. From the company behind Zagg. 

It's extremely resistant to scratches and damage just like the stock Gorilla Glass on the Pizel, and will act as a second layer of protection. If for whatever reason it gets a scratch, chip or crack, remove it and the phone is as good as new. Zagg is one of a few brands we always turn to for screen protection.

Reviews suggest it doesn't cover the entire screen, which is by design as the glass has a slight curve on the edges. This is to prevent the "halo" effect many see on iPhones. It also makes the screen protector case friendly so it doesn't get pulled up and wasted. Keep that in mind before ordering. 

Buy it Now from Verizon for $39.99

 1 / 10

16 Comments

  1. Brennon

    11/27/2016 at 3:33 pm

    I am having some pretty serious issues. My pixel is only 3 weeks old and it constantly restarts by itself. The manager at verizon restarted in safe mode and it still messed up. It started acting up first when during phone calls, I couldn’t hear them and they couldn’t hear me. The “phone” app also started freezing and that prompt would pop up that you get when apps crash and become unresponsive. I am getting a replacement but fear it will do the same as this phone has snowballed into a catastrophe for me.

    Reply

  2. Max Power

    12/02/2016 at 1:13 pm

    I love the swipe option using the fingerprint reader. It’s disabled out of the box, but can be turned on by going to Settings > Moves > turn on “Swipe for notifications”.

    Reply

  3. Vipul

    12/10/2016 at 3:50 am

    Why SHAREit is not played in Google pixel

    Reply

  4. JOE WARREN

    12/12/2016 at 3:26 pm

    not to poo poo your article but come on…if you’re spending a ton of money on this phone the wifi should work out of the box! i mean in today’s world wifi is kinda the most important part of the things aside from making calls…having to do these small tips is stupid in my opinion. if you’re watching a movie or other and have to constantly reset, safe mode, toggle, etc…thats a cop out. google needs to figure this out plain and simple. its embarrassing. i just returned my pixel as google themselves said that we should wait 48 hours to see if it works itself out…this coming from google? dumb. there is an issue with the radio…samsung sgs6 works great, why cant google, or better yet htc make the radio work correctly? this is a cop out in the 1st order…and what about the headphone jack? the damn thing doesn’t connect flush to the phone and pops out. really???

    Reply

  5. ammy96429

    01/02/2017 at 3:43 pm

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  6. Jaedon

    01/08/2017 at 2:53 am

    Has anyone else had the problem where when connected to a wifi router (ADSL Broadband), that it causes severe drops in internet speed for the phone and other devices?

    Reply

  7. SB

    01/22/2017 at 10:25 am

    We are experiencing freezing, mic and audio completely out and overheating at the same time. Any help? Thanks!

    Reply

  8. CS

    01/30/2017 at 9:31 pm

    Microphone issues! I’m on my 2nd Pixel, and this one has the same problem. I think everything is fine until the person I’m talking to starts asking if I’m still there. It’s so hit and miss that Verizon or Google could not get it to duplicate, so neither really wants to believe me. This would be a great phone if it worked all the time. One solution Verizon offered was to use a Bluetooth headset when talking. WHY would I need another gadget to use a $700 phone?

    Reply

  9. RegretsHisPixel

    02/14/2017 at 2:08 pm

    This phone sucks. I wish I could have a windows phone instead. I gave it a chance…everyone said: This is the single best phone on the market, give it a month. Well I did. And I regret it.
    1) notifications do not sort.
    2) most of the time, no notification sound when I get a new text (sometimes I DO get a notification, but no sound)
    3) DND mode gets turned on by the most random things: in a call, turn on speaker phone, ok. now turn it off. Oops you are not in DND mode and won’t go away when the call ends. Hope you noticed your phone doing this, or else: doom on you!
    4) My screen just turned on. But I don’t have a new notification.
    5) Where is my wireless charging? How is this not standard?
    6) Can I customize something? Anything? I could customize EVERYTHING on winphone. Even changing it to working with google products (except for drive). Oh, but then GOOGLE disabled support for winphones and blamed windows. Hackers used change logs to prove it was google’s active decision (not just an accident). No one cared. No one brought google up on anti-trust.
    7) Slower than my Nokia 928 when it comes to actually doing anything.
    8) Plenty of bars, other person on the call can’t hear me – can’t hear anything. I’ve been muted. Muting and unmuting does not fix it. Going in and out of speaker phone does not fix it. I hope this doesn’t happen to anyone in a 911 call.

    There are two good things about this phone:
    1) The number of apps (And yet, the apps I switched to android for, no support for pixel…yes, it was a baby tracking thing) – however, back in phone land, I had all the apps I needed. No app I’ve found makes me more productive, or feel like the phone is mine. But I’ve found endless time wasting games. If I cared just about apps, any samsung phone has more available apps (at least, when I search for an app, my wife on her samsung can always get it, but me on my pixel only about 2/3 of the time).
    2) Super Rapid charging. It is the best feature on this phone. I refuse to call it lightning charging. Lightning implies near instant. This is just super fast! But this in no way makes up for the lack of wireless charging.

    Reply

  10. Steve Metzke

    02/26/2017 at 8:35 pm

    I am frequently muted during calls. I can hear them, but they can’t hear me. Finally had to go back to another phone. Please fix this. I am on Verizon and have had Verizon send me new sim cards…. still mutes.

    Reply

  11. Jeanne BilleciJr

    03/09/2017 at 7:08 am

    yes I’m one of the many Pixel owners having mic problems. I switched out the phone in January and the new phone has the same problem. Pixels team is trying to figure out our but if they don’t soon they’ll need to own up to the problem and replace it again. During a call the phone mic at any time can stop working and the people on the other end cant hear me. Google asst can’t hear me half the time.

    Reply

  12. Susan L. Flowers

    03/13/2017 at 2:01 pm

    I am having problems with my keyboard not typing correct letters and then putting another word in. My “a” won’t work half the time. I have tried just about everything. I have already sent my “brand new Pixel” back and they sent me a used one (that made me mad) but now my keyboard doesn’t work.
    I am ready to get my Samsung back!!

    Reply

  13. Susan Flowers

    03/13/2017 at 2:08 pm

    I am having problems with my keyboard not typing correct letters and then putting another word in. My “a” won’t work half the time. I have tried just about everything. I have already sent my “brand new Pixel” back and they sent me a used one (that made me mad) but now my keyboard doesn’t work.
    I am ready to get my Samsung back!!

    Reply

  14. S. Flowers

    03/13/2017 at 2:08 pm

    I am having problems with my keyboard not typing correct letters and then putting another word in. My “a” won’t work half the time. I have tried just about everything. I have already sent my “brand new Pixel” back and they sent me a used one (that made me mad) but now my keyboard doesn’t work.
    I am ready to get my Samsung back!!

    Reply

  15. Rps

    04/03/2017 at 8:26 am

    I bought my Pixel phone in October 2016, had a protective screen put on by Verizon (where I purchased the phone). One month​ later a bubble showed up at top left hand corner, went back and Verizon replaced it. It’s been 5 months and I’ve had to replace my screen protector on average every month. I’ve had 5 different screen protectors​ including 3 of the highly recommend Zagg screen protectors. Why is so difficult to keep a scree protector on this phone? I’ve tried everything!!! Is anyone else having this issue?

    Reply

  16. Craig williams

    04/13/2017 at 8:10 am

    On my second Pixel XL. And again having mic problems. This one seems to be getting progressively worse. I’ll be talking to someone (us old dudes still do those kinds of things) and suddenly the person on the other end can no longer hear me. I can hear them just fine. It doesn’t matter if it’s on speaker or not and toggling doesn’t help. I have relatively few apps on my phone. I’ve done all of the fixes suggested and still get cut out of the conversation. It’s very annoying.

    Reply

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