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Google addresses Pixel 6 series bricking bug amid user complaints

The issue is seemingly related to software updates.

Published onJuly 2, 2024

Google Pixel 6 Pro back lying on concrete
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
  • Several Pixel 6 series users have reported their devices bricking after performing a factory reset.
  • The issue appears to be linked to a recent software update and affects Pixel 6, 6 Pro, and 6a models.
  • Google’s temporary solution is to either wait 15 minutes after updating before resetting or to factory reset before installing the update.

Yesterday, we reported that several users of the Google Pixel 6 series encountered a critical problem, bricking their devices in the process. The issue occurred when users attempted a factory reset, a common procedure for troubleshooting or formatting a device. Instead of successfully resetting, the devices failed to reboot, displaying error messages about missing system files.

In response, Google has updated its support page with a temporary workaround. Here’s what Google said:

Hi Pixel Community,
We’ve recently received reports from some users who have run into issues factory resetting their Pixel 6, 6 Pro, and 6a after they take the latest system update. We understand that factory resetting isn’t something many users do regularly, but because we care about your experience and want to keep you informed, we would like to share these additional details with you:
  • To avoid this issue, we recommend leaving your device powered on and idle for 15 minutesafter it has rebooted following a system update. After that time you may factory reset your device. Alternatively, you can factory reset your device before taking the latest system update.
  • If you’ve already factory reset your Pixel 6, 6 Pro, or 6a and are experiencing issues, stay tuned to this thread for further information and updates. The team has identified the root cause of the issue and is working on developing the best possible solution.
Our teams are actively working to fix this issue. We appreciate your patience and support.
The Google Pixel Support Team

According to the statement, the issue is related to new software update installs. The company advises users who haven’t yet performed a factory reset to leave their devices on and idle for 15 minutes after rebooting following a system update. Alternatively, users can factory reset before installing the latest update.

Unfortunately, this offers no relief for users whose devices are already bricked. Google states that it has identified the root cause and is working on a solution, which it will update in the same thread, but for now, affected users are left in limbo. As far as we know, attempts to recover devices using the Android Flash Tool and Pixel Repair Tool have proven unsuccessful.

The issue’s origin remains a mystery, and it doesn’t seem to affect all Pixel 6 users universally. In our own testing, we were able to perform a factory reset on a Pixel 6 running the latest Android 15 beta without any issues.

Google has not provided a timeline for a fix, and we strongly recommend avoiding factory resetting your Pixel 6 device until Google releases a definitive solution. We will continue to follow this story and provide updates as more information becomes available.

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