Google Pixel 6 problems: all the known problems and solutions

The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are great phones, each achieving four stars in our reviews, but they’ve also suffered from a surprising number of problems, with users reporting all sorts of issues with the devices.

Below, we’ve cataloged the main problems that have been reported, along with details of any potential fixes for them, be they things that you can do now or planned software updates to resolve the issue.

Sadly, not all of the issues have any known fixes, but we’ll update this article if that changes.

Unreliable fingerprint scanner

One of the most common complaints about the Pixel 6 range is that the fingerprint scanners don’t work very well. Readings can be slow and they will often fail, as we found ourselves in reviewing these phones.

Google has addressed the slowness part of the problem and suggested that you press firmly, make sure the display is clear of dirt and smudges, and – if you have excessively dry fingers – moisturize or re-enroll them.

At the moment there aren’t any proper solutions, with Google claiming that it’s slow because of "enhanced security algorithms", but it’s possible that Google might eventually be able to optimize those algorithms to speed things up in future.

Broken fingerprint scanners

Google Pixel 6 held in hand with thumb reaching for fingerprint scanner

(Image credit: TechRadar / John McCann)

Perhaps the most troubling issue suffered by Pixel 6 users is that the fingerprint scanner reportedly breaks if you let the battery run flat.

This is fixable, but at the moment only by factory resetting your phone – and if the battery runs flat again then you might suffer this issue all over again. It seems this problem doesn’t affect every Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, but a large number of people have reported it.

The good news is that since a factory reset fixes this it’s presumably a software issue rather than a hardware one, which means Google will hopefully be able to provide a more permanent software fix down the line, but so far there’s no word of that.

Screen issues

Users have reported a number of issues with the screen on the Pixel 6 range, with some saying that the screen flickers when pressing the power button while the phone is off, and others reporting a green tint to the display.

While there’s no news on a fix for the greenish tint, Google has acknowledged the flickering, saying that the issue can happen if you don’t press the power button hard enough to turn the phone on.

To avoid the issue, simply hold the power button down until your Pixel handset switches on. Google also plans a proper fix for this in a December software update.

Slow charging

Google Pixel 6 Pro review

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Pixel 6 range can supposedly charge at up to 30W, but Android Authority has found that the maximum power obtained by either the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro when charging is 22W, with the average being 13W over a full charging cycle.

There’s probably no way for Google to increase it to 30W, as that’s likely a hardware limitation, but it might be possible for a software update to at least bring the average closer to 22W. For now though there’s no news on that.

Ghost calling contacts

Some Pixel 6 owners have reported that their phone will spontaneously call contacts, with the issue seemingly being related to Google Assistant, which might be mishearing things and thinking they instructed it to call someone.

A temporary fix therefore is to disable Google Assistant on the lock screen, by heading to Settings > Google Assistant > Lock Screen > Assistant responses on the lock screen, and turning it off.

This obviously isn’t ideal, but according to 9to5Google the company is aware of the issue and is “working on an immediate fix.”

No signal

There are scattered reports of Pixel 6 models just flat out refusing to connect to a network, either intermittently or at all.

Tom’s Guide reports that on Verizon they’ve sometimes been told that the carrier is temporarily unavailable, leaving their phone out of action for a period of time, while some users of networks such as iD Mobile and Giffgaff in the UK are reporting that they can’t get a signal at all.

It’s unclear how widespread this issue is, but there doesn’t appear to be a fix currently, other than hoping it resolves on its own, or that Google or your network will push an update through to fix it.

Android Auto issues

Android Auto

(Image credit: Google)

Another issue affecting some Pixel 6 owners is the handset not connecting to Android Auto.

A number of posts to this effect have been logged on Google’s community support pages, with one gaining a reply from a member of the Android Auto team, who claimed that the company is unable to reproduce the issue, but will use bug reports from users to attempt to fix it. So there’s hope that this one will be solved soon.

Broken Wi-Fi Calling

Some Google Fi customers are finding that Wi-Fi Calling isn’t working on the Pixel 6 range, but posts on Reddit suggest that in many cases this issue seems to be fixing itself over time, so patience might just be needed here.

In the meantime, you might have some luck if you turn airplane mode on and then off again.

Iffy auto brightness

Some users on Reddit are also reporting that their Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro will keep adjusting its screen brightness, with no change to the environmental lighting.

Seemingly this is a result of the auto brightness algorithm learning how bright you like your phone, so if you manually adjust your brightness when it shifts to a level that you’re not happy with then it should eventually learn how you want it.

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