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Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro problems and how to fix them
The Pixel 6 series was one of the most exciting launches of 2021, with reviewers and consumers happy with Google’s return to proper flagship territory. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, since it is a Pixel phone, it hasn’t been smooth sailing since then. People have faced plenty of problems with their new Pixels with many complaints of various bugs and other issues. The good news is that many of these Pixel 6 problems are software-based, so there are some workarounds to try. Here’s a look at some Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro problems and how to fix them!
Problem #1: Fingerprint sensor issues on Pixel 6
The Pixel 6 series comes with an under-display fingerprint scanner, a first for the series. Unfortunately, users are reporting that the Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor isn’t particularly fast, requires multiple attempts, and sometimes doesn’t work at all.
- The January security update, which also combines the botched December update, seems to have fixed some of the problems with the Pixel 6 Pro fingerprint scanner. Users report that it is working faster than before and is more reliable, but it’s still not the fastest. You might need to add your fingerprints again after you update your phone.
- In the case of the Pixel 6 fingerprint scanner not working at all, it seems to be caused when the battery runs out. On restarting the phone, the scanner doesn’t register any fingerprints. The only solution is a factory reset, which is far from ideal. So your best bet is not to let the battery run out if possible. Google has acknowledged this problem but hasn’t provided a timeline on a software fix.
Problem #2: Charging issues
Users are facing some charging problems with their Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The Pixels either don’t charge as quickly as expected or don’t charge at all.
- If you aren’t aware, the Pixel 6 charges slower than what the “30W charging” spec implies. Our testing found that the phones charge at the peak of 21W (Pixel 6) or 23W (Pixel 6 Pro) and slow down further as the battery fills up.
- The more significant issue is an apparent incompatibility with some third-party chargers and cables. This is particularly troubling because Google doesn’t include a charger with the phone.
- You will have issues charging the phone with chargers from companies like OnePlus that use proprietary fast charging tech. The best option is to get the Google charger or a third-party USB-PD charger.
- Chargers that a USB-A to USB-C cable might also not work. Once again, you’ll need to buy a compatible charger and a USB-C to USB-C cable.
- A few users have found that disabling Developer Options seems to do the trick. Go to Settings > System, tap on Developer Options, and toggle it off.
- The January update fixes any charging issues with the Pixel wireless charger and the Pixel 6 charges as expected.
Problem #3: Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro display problems
The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro have excellent displays, when they work. However, some users have reported multiple issues with the phone’s display, from screen flickering and refresh rate problems to a green tint and the surprising issue of the screen randomly cracking without any physical impact.
- The flickering screen issue seems to appear when the phone is powering up. Pressing and holding the power button with a little more pressure fixes the problem. The January update comes with a permanent fix for this as well.
- Some Pixel 6 owners see a green tint on their screen. Users are reporting that disabling the Smooth Display feature fixes the problem. Go to Settings > Display and toggle off the feature. Google is yet to acknowledge this bug, but it appears to be a software issue, so a future update will hopefully address it.
- Google is still investigating the reported issues with the screen randomly cracking. The only option here is to pick up a replacement if available.
Problem #4: Auto-brightness issues
Many phones have a problem with the auto-brightness not working as expected, and the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are no different.
- You will need to reset the Pixel 6 Pro’s adaptive brightness setting, and it’s not very easy to find. Go to Settings > Apps > See All Apps > Device Health Services > Storage and Cache > Manage Space and tap on “Reset adaptive brightness.” Even after resetting the feature, you might need to continue to “train” it. Set the slider to the right level whenever you notice the brightness at a level you don’t want. This will teach the adaptive brightness feature the levels you prefer and adjust it accordingly in the future.
- You can also turn off adaptive brightness entirely and manually set your brightness, but that’s obviously not the best solution.
Problem #5: Screen freezing
Some Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro users say that the screen often freezes for a few seconds.
- To fix the screen freezing issue on the Pixel 6, you will need to disable Accessibility features. Go to Settings > Accessibility and turn off all the features on the list. Google says that the February update will include a permanent fix for this problem.
Problem #6: Android Auto issues with Pixel 6 and 6 Pro
Problems with getting Android Auto to work are common across most phones, and Pixel 6 owners are also facing this.
- You might be running into Android Auto connection issues if you loaded settings from your older phone when setting up the Pixel 6. If that’s the case, find the app in the Google Play Store, uninstall it, and download it again.
- Keep in mind that you won’t see the Android Auto app in your app drawer anymore (also, the reason why you can uninstall it only by finding it in the Play Store). Since the update to Android 10, Android Auto settings are now baked into the phone settings.
- This might also be a hardware problem if you find frequent disconnections. Check the cable you’re using in the car and replace it if needed.
- On the other hand, Android Auto Wi-Fi can be pretty spotty and take a long time to connect. If possible, it may work better to use a wired connection in this case.
- Google is looking into the issue with frequent Android Auto disconnections, and a fix should be available soon.
Problem #7: Connectivity issues
You may occasionally come across connectivity problems with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Pixel 6 owners see frequent Wi-Fi disconnections, and only a software update will fix that. Until then, you can try these general troubleshooting tips.
- Turn the device and the router off for at least ten seconds, turn them back on, and retry the connection.
- Go to Settings > Power saving and ensure that this option is turned off.
- Redo the Wi-Fi connection. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi, long press on the connection name, and tap on “Forget.” Now re-enter the details and try again.
- Make sure the Wi-Fi 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’s MAC address, then 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. Some Bluetooth devices have unique instructions.
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth and ensure nothing needs changing.
- Go into Settings > Bluetooth, delete all prior pairings, and set them up again from scratch. Don’t forget to delete any devices on this list that you no longer connect to.
- When it comes to issues with multiple device connections, only a future update will address this problem.
Problem #8: Gesture navigation issue
A few users say that the gesture navigation on the phone is freezing or unresponsive.
- A quick workaround that works for some is to change the setting and reset it. Go to Settings–>System–>Gesture and set it to the three-button navigation. Restart the phone and then switch the setting back to gesture navigation.
- Go to Settings–>All apps and search for the Pixel Launcher. Clear the cache and restart the device.
- A rogue app might be causing the problem. Boot the phone into Safe Mode (the instructions are below) and check if the issue persists. If it doesn’t, then an app is the issue. Uninstall any recently installed or updated apps and see if the problem goes away.
Problem #9: Proximity sensor problems
Some users say that the phone proximity sensor doesn’t work as expected, causing them to accidentally mute or put calls on hold.
- Disabling and reinstalling the Phone app seems to have worked for some users. Find the Phone by Google app in the Play Store and uninstall it. It’s a system app so it won’t completely uninstall. Then tap on Update.
- You can also try clearing the phone app cache. Go to Settings–>Apps, find the Phone app, and tap on Storage. Then tap on Clear cache.
- In extreme cases, it might be a hardware issue with the proximity sensor. The only option is to pick up a replacement if that’s the case.
Problem #10: Audio cutting out on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro
Quite a few users say that the audio cuts out or skips every few seconds. There are a few different workarounds that have worked for some people, but only a software update will bring a permanent fix.
- Turning off “Hey Google” detection seems to work. Go to Settings–>Google–>Settings for Google apps–>Search, Assistant, and Voice–>Google Assistant–>Hey Google and voice match and toggle off “Hey Google” detection.
- You can also try changing the Bluetooth AVRCP setting. You’ll need to first activate Developer Options. Go to Settings–>About phone and tap on the build number multiple times until you see an alert. Go to Settings–>System–>Developer options and search for or scroll down to Bluetooth AVRCP version and change it to AVRCP 1.3.
- Boot the phone into Safe Mode (the instructions are below) and check if the issue persists. If it doesn’t, then an app is the issue. Uninstall any recently installed or updated apps and see if the problem goes away.
Pixel 6 and 6 Pro problems where the only option is to wait for a software update
Unfortunately, both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro suffer from plenty of bugs that don’t have a workaround. The only option, in this case, is to wait for a software update. Check the changelogs of the software updates to see if it brings a bug fix for a problem you’re facing. These are just a few that have been widely reported.
- Network connectivity issues: Plenty of users are reporting network connectivity issues since the recent March and April updates.
- Forgetting previously connected Bluetooth devices: The phones seem to automatically forget previously connected Bluetooth devices and users have to go through the setup process from scratch. The issue seems widespread and affects Bluetooth speakers, headphones, smartwatches, and car connections.
- Bluetooth issues with Toyota cars: This is one of the more common Pixel 6 problems that have been reported since the phone launched.
- Stuttering sound in video recordings: Some users have noticed stuttering or clicking sounds in video recordings. It seems to happen randomly and the standard troubleshooting steps don’t work. It might also possibly be a hardware problem. The only option then is to pick up a replacement.
- Automatically declining calls: A recent issue that has cropped up is that the phone randomly declines calls automatically. It’s a known problem that will be fixed in an upcoming update.
Guides: Factory reset, boot into Safe Mode
If the phone is on
- Press and hold the device’s power button.
- Touch and hold the power off icon. A pop-up message will ask for confirmation to reboot to Safe Mode. Tap “OK.”
If the phone is off
- Press and hold the phone’s power button.
- When the animation starts, press and hold the volume down button. Keep holding it until the animation ends, and the phone should start in Safe Mode.
Exit Safe Mode
- Press the phone’s power button.
- Tap on “Restart,” and the phone should automatically reboot to its regular mode.
- You can also simply press and hold the power button for 30 seconds until the phone restarts.
Reset with the phone on
- Go to “Settings.”
- Go to System > Advanced > Reset options.
- Tap “Erase all data (factory reset)” and then “Reset phone.”
- You may have to enter your PIN, pattern, or password.
- Tap on “Erase everything.”
Reset with the phone off or if it’s unresponsive
- Press and hold the power and volume down buttons simultaneously until Fastboot mode (image of a triangle with an exclamation point) appears.
- If you see “No command” on the screen, press and hold the power button. While holding the power button, press the volume up button and release both.
- Select “Recovery mode” by navigating the list with the volume up and down keys. Use the power button to select the option.
- In the Recovery menu, use the volume keys to go down to “Wipe data/factory reset.”
- Select “Factory reset” in the following menu.
- Once complete, select “Reboot system now.”
What Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro problems have you encountered? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. We’ll do our best to help.