Some Pixel users are getting locked out of their phones thanks to a nasty bug

Some Pixel users are getting locked out of their phones thanks to a nasty bug
It appears that some Pixel users are having an issue with a lock screen PIN bug that doesn't recognize the correct PIN number and continuously sends them back to the lock screen. Device owners have been posting complaints on the Pixel Phone Help page (via Android Police). The bug has been spotted on Pixel XL models but there have been a sprinkling of complaints from those who own phones in the Pixel 2 or Pixel 3 line as well.

The devices in question are running Android 10 or Android 9 and when the user taps in the correct PIN, the screen goes black; when the user awakens the phone, he/she finds himself at the lock screen once again. While using the fingerprint scanner will work and authenticate the user, after a reboot the phone demands that the user punch in his or her PIN numbers. Additionally, the PIN number is requested after a certain period of time has elapsed without the phone being unlocked.

Google's solution to the issue certainly didn't make Pixel owners happy

Earlier this month, a Google product expert replied to one of the Pixel users affected by this lock screen bug and she wrote the two ugliest words in the history of smartphone ownership: "factory reset." This issue has been ongoing since late August and even today there were a couple of fresh complaints posted on the page. One Pixel XL owner had to restore everything that got wiped on her phone when she completed a factory reset. This, she said, was annoying because the model in her hand was a replacement sent to her by Google after her first Pixel XL went into a loop and crashed.

These stories are not exactly what Google wants consumers to read about just three weeks before its October 15th Made by Google event. During this extravaganza, the company will roll out the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. And this time, Google feels that it has designed a handset that belongs in the top tier of premium smartphone models along with the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy flagships. And while all models experience bugs and issues now and then, the Pixels do not have a great reputation, especially when first released. Who could forget the Pixel 2 XL's burn-in screen or the strange clicking noises heard during phone calls made and received by the Pixel 2. Sure, Google corrected these issues with a software update (well, except for the Pixel 2 XL screen) and the warranty was extended on certain models from one year to two. But when you're convinced that your phones are now ready to play in the same sandbox as the big boys, you are going to need consumers to feel confident too.

Hopefully, Google will come up with a better response to those Pixel owners affected by the lock screen PIN bug than to perform a factory reset.



1. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 730; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Pixel phones having software issues?! No way!

3. xperian

Posts: 420; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

Imagine the outrage if this was apple.

4. Tizo101

Posts: 566; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

Yeah but also imagine how many ppl buy iPhones... I haven't even seen a pixel in person let alone in the wild.

14. Jrod99

Posts: 759; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Come to think of it I never seen one in the wild. I tinker with one at Best Buy.

11. Vancetastic

Posts: 1567; Member since: May 17, 2017

I can imagine Apple fanboys denying it.

25. Venom

Posts: 3722; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Exactly. People overreact and exaggerate just because it's the Pixel. Some people are just talking out of their backside.

5. Cyberchum

Posts: 1093; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

It's a Pixel, I doubt anyone would be surprised, here, considering it's track record so far.

6. yalokiy

Posts: 1049; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Isn't it great to always get the latest updates first?

7. AlienKiss

Posts: 200; Member since: May 21, 2019

Imagine that you in a holiday trip (somewhere where the internet is expensive) and you get a new update. You finally decide to install the update at extra cost and when the phone reboots SURPRISE! You're locked out of your own phone, can't call nobody, can't take photos or videos and the place where you are never heard of service centers. All of this at EXTRA cost! No thanks! I'd rather wait for a stable release from Samsung or Sony. Not to mention they make the ugliest phones out there. Even those cheap china brands make better looking phones.

8. yalokiy

Posts: 1049; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Well said! Exactly my point.

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 22264; Member since: May 28, 2014

At this point, I think people would be surprised if the Pixels didn’t have any issues, since “having issues” has become part of the user experience. Pixels having all of these issues does not bode well for the Pixel 4 line, as some potential customers are bound to stay away due to this.

10. inFla

Posts: 135; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

Every time I consider buying one........

22. meanestgenius

Posts: 22264; Member since: May 28, 2014

Agreed. It’s how I was before I purchased a Pixel 3A XL, but I got rid of it now. Unlike those that post anecdotal evidence and try to past that off as gospel, the truth is that Pixels are full of bugs of issues that rear their ugly heads constantly.

30. Venom

Posts: 3722; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

If you want a more "credible" opinion of the Pixel 3A, just look on Amazon and Best Buy. Much more credible reviews there over some who think anything otherwise is anecdotal gospel. At least I tried to give my 6.1 a chance before I returned it because it was lagging like molasses.

35. meanestgenius

Posts: 22264; Member since: May 28, 2014

Documented facts from “credible” users have made me feel the same way you do, InFla. Those posting their anecdotal evidence and assuming it’s gospel don’t trump the plethora of users hitting up the forums to post the issues they’ve been having. The fact that they then deflect by attacking other OEM’s devices is more evidence of the real issues Pixel users are having, but trying to hide.

38. Venom

Posts: 3722; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Documented facts is just a cop out word some people hide behind because they deflect every time they are asked about the issues they personally encountered with their device. Documented issues would be a charging port going out or a pentacamera phone getting multiple updates because it is still half baked to this day months after release.

43. meanestgenius

Posts: 22264; Member since: May 28, 2014

Those that call documented facts a cop out for anyone are just running interference and deflecting from the truth, much like when they say to check reviews on Amazon to deflect from the fact that are hiding from when asked what personal issues have they experienced with smartphones that they bash. Documented issues are the camera app not even starting up on what was supposed to be the best camera on a smartphone, or the fact that their smartphone of choice is a bug ridden beta mess based on the documented facts, with updates that just break more things than they fix.

46. Venom

Posts: 3722; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Those that hide behind the same, stale response trying to play the "documented facts" line just proves that they don't know what the fudge they are talking about. They can't even give you a straight answer without backtracking whenever you call them out. I don't have to make up bs statements. I speak from my experience, not from my arse like geeks do. I haven't encountered any problems with my Pixel 3A XL and there are multiple users who can say the same thing. Fact checked.

51. meanestgenius

Posts: 22264; Member since: May 28, 2014

Those that deflect from documented facts as if the facts don’t trump everything are truly blinded fanboys and shills. They can’t give a solid answer without backtracking and changing the facts to suit their false narrative whenever you call them out. They make up BS statements and speak from their @$$ like all 5th dimension imps do. They think that their lying is something that should be gospel, when the documented facts prove otherwise. #FactChecked

12. Vancetastic

Posts: 1567; Member since: May 17, 2017

I haven't had this happen yet. No snake eyes on that dice roll....

31. Venom

Posts: 3722; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I have not had any issues with my 3A XL. Works as well as it did when I unboxed it.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.