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Apparently if a Pixel 6 runs out of battery, it breaks the fingerprint sensor

Just to be safe, we'd recommend not letting your Pixel 6 drop to 0% battery power.

Published onNovember 9, 2021

The Google Pixel 6 in-display fingerprint sensor close up
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
  • Multiple users on Reddit report a broken Google Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor.
  • The problem seems to stem from the phone completely running out of battery.
  • Google is aware of the issue, but for now, only a factory reset fixes the problem.

Now that lucky buyers have had time to play with their new Pixel 6 smartphones, we’re starting to see some issues. Unfortunately, most of the issues seem to stem around the fingerprint sensor, which we noted was fairly weak in our Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro reviews.

Disappointingly, it appears there’s more bad news for the Google Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor now. According to multiple users on Reddit, a dead battery can permanently disable your phone’s fingerprint sensor.

See also: The best phones with in-display fingerprint scanners

In the thread, you can see many different people all telling the same story: their Pixel 6 died from an empty battery and, upon rebooting, the fingerprint sensor became non-operational. So far, it appears the only way to fix the problem once it occurs is a factory reset, which is not exactly convenient.

However, at least one person claims they faced the issue without losing battery power. This suggests a dead battery could be a trigger for some other issue instead of the root cause.

Thankfully, there’s already an official Google issue tracker for this problem. That tracking page has even more people discussing the issue.

In the meantime, if you’re lucky enough to get a Pixel 6, try not to let it run out of juice. The Google Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor might be slow (which is apparently a feature, not a bug), but a slow sensor is better than none at all.

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