How to Fix Google Pixel Problems

Solve Wi-Fi, connectivity, camera, overheating, and other issues

Google Pixel smartphones are popular, reliable, and powerful Android devices. Still, you may occasionally experience problems with your Google Pixel's Wi-Fi, connectivity, camera, and more. Here's a look at known problems with Google Pixel devices and how to troubleshoot your smartphone.

Instructions in this article apply to the Google Pixel 4XL, 4, 3XL, and 3, with Android 8.0 or later.

Causes of Google Pixel Problems

There are varied reasons behind problems with Google Pixel smartphones, some of which are problems any smartphone might encounter. For example, connectivity and Wi-Fi issues can plague any smart device. Still, some Google Pixel versions have known hardware issues, and users report that software updates seem to cause other problems. Sometimes apps go rogue and interfere with the smartphone's operation.

We'll look at how to troubleshoot common problems Google Pixel users experience, including issues with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, the camera, the microphone, overheating, and battery life.

Google Pixel 4 smartphones in black, coral, and white
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

How to Troubleshoot Google Pixel Wi-Fi Problems

It's not a problem unique to the Pixel, but if you can't connect to Wi-Fi or experience drops in connectivity, there are steps you can work through to get your phone connected again.

  1. Restart the Pixel. Restarting or rebooting any digital device often solves mysterious issues. Give this a try and see if your Wi-Fi comes back.

  2. Reset the Wi-Fi connection. When you experience spotty Wi-Fi, restarting your Wi-Fi connection can often solve the problem. Reset your connection and see if this fixes the issue.

  3. Remove the saved network. Under Saved Networks, remove the network you're attempting to connect to, and then reconnect to that network as if it's the first time you're using the network. This might freshen up the connection and solve whatever issue was plaguing the device.

  4. Reset all network connections. Completely reset all network connections and settings, which restores settings to the defaults, clears saved networks, and removes connected Bluetooth devices. See if this solves your Pixel's Wi-Fi problems.

  5. Restart the router or modem. If other devices on the network experience issues, it may not be a problem with your Pixel. Restart your router and modem and see if this solves the problem.

How to Troubleshoot Google Pixel Bluetooth Connectivity Issues

Not long after the release of the Google Pixel 3, users reported that they were unable to connect the Pixel to their Bluetooth devices, including many in-car systems. Even though there have been system updates, these Bluetooth issues occasionally reappear. Here's how to fix it.

  1. Restart the Pixel. Again, this simple troubleshooting step often solves myriad issues.

  2. Reset the Pixel's Bluetooth connection. This is an easy troubleshooting step that often gets Bluetooth connectivity up and running again.

  3. Unpair and then re-pair the Bluetooth accessory. If you've successfully connected to the device in the past, remove the device from your previously connected devices and then add it back in. This often solves Bluetooth connectivity issues.

  4. Reset all Bluetooth connections and settings. This restores all Bluetooth settings to the defaults and removes connected devices. See if this solves your Pixel's Bluetooth connectivity problems.

    This also resets other network settings to the defaults and removes saved Wi-Fi networks.

  5. Check for any system updates. Google issues regular security updates alongside its annual operating system upgrades. Many of these patches also include bug fixes and may contain a solution for your issue. Update your system and see if this solves the problem.

  6. Perform a factory reset of the Pixel. If the problem persists, perform a factory reset of your Pixel. This removes all files, apps, and settings, so back up your device before performing the reset.

How to Troubleshoot Pixel Camera Issues

With so many people relying on their smartphones to capture special and everyday moments of life, camera problems can feel more than inconvenient. A few troubleshooting steps can get you back to taking your favorite pictures in no time.

  1. Restart the Pixel. This familiar troubleshooting step has been known to fix Pixel camera issues.

  2. Clear the Camera app's cache. The Camera app has been known to experience crashes after app updates. Clearing the Camera app's cache removes any stored data in the app and resets all settings back to the defaults.

  3. Check for Camera app updates. Go to the Play Store and download and install any available Camera app updates.

  4. Free up storage space. If your photos aren't saving or were corrupted during saving, you may be out of storage space. Check your storage and free up space on your device.

  5. Turn on Pixel's dirty lens warning. If the problem is related to image quality, make sure the lens is clean and free of dirt, debris, or grease. Enable the Pixel's dirty lens warning to keep you apprised about the state of the lens.

  6. Contact Google support. If the problem persists, there may be a hardware fault. Google's Pixel support offers live chat and an array of other help options.

How to Troubleshoot Pixel Microphone Issues

A few months after the Pixel's initial release, Google confirmed reports of a microphone hardware fault caused by a hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec. However, there may be other reasons your microphone isn't working, so it's worth some troubleshooting to find out.

  1. Check if anything blocks access to the microphone. The Pixel's microphone is located underneath the screen, next to the USB-C charging port. A third-party case or debris buildup might be blocking the microphone.

  2. Uninstall the affected app. If you noticed the issue in one app, but other apps that require the microphone work fine, uninstalling and then reinstalling the rogue app might solve the issue.

  3. Restart the Pixel. This familiar troubleshooting step has been known to fix Pixel microphone issues.

  4. See if the microphone can record audio. If it can pick up some sound, the problem isn't likely hardware related.

  5. Contact Google Support. If the microphone is still unresponsive, your Pixel may suffer from the known hairline crack in the solder connection. Google committed to replacing affected devices.

How to Troubleshoot Pixel Overheating

It's alarming to pick up your smartphone and find it searingly hot. Given that it's not unheard of for smartphone batteries to explode or catch fire, it's worrisome if your Google Pixel suddenly overheats. It may not be a battery fault that causes your phone to overheat; an app could be causing the problem.

  1. Get a new charger. If your Pixel only overheats while charging, the charger may be at fault. Switch your current charger for a new one, preferably a Pixel charger supplied by Google.

    Connect the charger to different outlets to rule out faulty power outlets.

  2. Give the phone some ventilation. An overheating phone may be caused by a phone case or the inside of a warm pocket. Give your phone some ventilation by removing the case and storing it at room temperature.

  3. Note heavy usage and power consumption. Heavy phone usage can cause the Pixel to get warm, especially power-intensive tasks like video streaming or gaming. In this case, turn off the Pixel and allow it to cool.

  4. Check the Pixel's battery usage. Sometimes an app can be at fault. Check your battery usage to see which apps used the battery since the last full charge. If something consumes a large percentage of the battery, then it may be the culprit. Uninstall the affected app and reinstall it from the Play Store.

  5. Contact Google Support. If all else fails, contact the experts at Google for help.

How to Troubleshoot Battery Life Issues

One of the Google Pixel's strengths is its 2770mAh battery and battery-optimized software. Since its release, however, there have been multiple reports of software updates causing battery drain issues, but it could be misbehaving apps.

  1. Restart the Pixel. This familiar troubleshooting step has been known to fix Pixel battery life issues.

  2. Close all open apps. Too many open apps might cause battery-drain issues.

  3. Check battery usage by app. View battery usage by app since the last full charge. If you notice any unusual or infrequently used apps toward the top of the list, uninstall those apps to see if any of those are the root of the excessive battery drain.

  4. Turn off Adaptive Brightness. Some users say that certain Android features misbehave after a system update. Adaptive Brightness has been known to malfunction and use an excessive amount of battery. Turn off this feature and see if it solves the problem.

  5. Perform a factory reset of the Pixel. If the problem persists, perform a factory reset of your Pixel. This removes all files, apps, and settings, so back up your device before performing the reset.

  6. Contact Google Support. If the problem still occurs after a factory reset, contact Google support to discuss a potential hardware fault.