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This pesky PIN bug can lock you out of your Google Pixel XL

Multiple reports of a serious PIN bug that has left users locked out of their Pixel XL have surfaced.

Published onSeptember 24, 2019

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If you are still using the original 2016 Pixel XL, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise when you next lock your phone.

Owners on reddit (via Android Police) say they can’t unlock their devices because they are looped back to the lock screen when they try to enter their PIN.

The issue was first reported about a month ago and seems to affect mostly Pixel XL owners. However, posts describing the same problem on the Pixel and Pixel 2/2 XL have also surfaced on various forums. All of the affected devices are using either Android 9 Pie or Android 10.

The bug occurs when the PIN is entered and the screen turns black before returning to the lockscreen. In most cases, it can be circumvented if you are using fingerprint authentification. But if your phone reboots, you will be required to enter the PIN and you can get stuck in the endless loop. One user on YouTube even demonstrated that the bug can persist when fingerprint unlock is enabled and that most workarounds are ineffective — check it out below.

For now, it seems the only thing you can do to avoid the PIN bug is to switch to a pattern or a password. If it’s already happening on your device, you can boot your Pixel XL in safe mode and try unlocking it again. If that doesn’t work, you might need to perform a factory reset from recovery. This will wipe all your data but it can make your Pixel usable once again. Finally, you can contact Google support and report the bug here.

Have you experienced this issue before on your Pixel phone? Did you find a workaround? Let us know in the comments.

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