Moto G6 Android 9.0 Pie update locks users out of their phones, here is how to fix it

Moto G6 Android 9.0 Pie update locks users out of their phones, here is how to fix it
Ever since Motorola was acquired by Lenovo, the software updates have started to come much later than we've been used to, but that's not all. The US company no longer offers two major Android OS updates for many of its mid-range and budget-friendly smartphones, probably to force customers to upgrade faster to new devices.

Back in March, Motorola kicked off the Moto G6 Android 9.0 Pie rollout, but for whatever reason not many units received the update at that time. Anyway, a broader rollout commenced less than two weeks ago, as many Moto G6 owners confirmed they successfully captured the update.

Unfortunately, it looks like the update has a serious bug that locks users out of their phones. A massive thread on Lenovo's forums explains in detail that the issue has been present in the initial update as well, as some Moto G6 owners claim they have been locked out of their phones since they installed Android 9.0 Pie back in March/April.

Those affected can't get past the lock screen, as the phone doesn't recognize their lock pattern to gain access to the home screen. Even so, they can still receive calls, see notifications and control the volume and restart options, but that's just about it. Here is how one of the Moto G6 owners describes the issue:

Yesterday I was invited by my phone to upgrade to the latest system update, including android 9. I downloaded it, and then set it installing overnight. This morning I restarted the phone. First, it asks for my pin to start Android. I enter it. Ok. Then it asks for my pin to access SIM 1. I enter the same pin. Ok. At this point, I can see I have a few notifications, etc from my usual apps, so it looks like all is good. I tap the fingerprint, but it needs the screen pin to be entered to activate it. I enter the same pin (same as the above two pins, and the same as I have been using to unlock the screen since I first set up my phone following purchase). However, the screen lock pin isn’t recognized.

The thread was started in late March and there are several reports from around the same timeframe, and then jumps directly to July when Motorola started a broader Moto G6 Android 9.0 Pie rollout.

At the moment, the only way to recover those Moto G6 units affected by the issue is to perform a Factory Reset and wipe out everything stored on the phone that hasn't been backed up before the update. The only Motorola replies explain how people affected by the issue can perform a Reset.

Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+ have been affected by the same issue


Weird enough, the same issue affected many Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+ phones two weeks ago (via ZDNet). Samsung owners both on the company's support forum and Reddit claim their phones are asking for a PIN code (even though no code was entered), which causes the handsets to restart and ask for a PIN code again.


Just like in Moto G6's case, the only workaround is a factory reset, which means losing all data from the phone. Samsung hasn't released any updates that would address the issue and prevent people from performing hardware resets on their Galaxy S10/S10+, so there's little chance that Motorola will do otherwise.

Perhaps the number of users affected by this issue is too small to force Motorola to provide a software fix, so if you've been hit by this nasty bug, the only way you can recover your Moto G6 is to perform a Factory Reset.

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8 Comments

1. lyndon420

Posts: 6786; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Lesson be learned. NEVER jump onto an update just because one is available....let it stew awhile...and let the pawns go first.

2. kennybenny

Posts: 214; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

Lenovo/Moto has never sunk so low their phones are so buggy and the most recent blow is the midrange Z series, they lowered the max number of updates to one Android update!!!!

3. Tony2

Posts: 18; Member since: May 21, 2019

I boycotted moto after I purchased a g4+, terrible support, they don't care, they got my $$, but won't get anymore. Everyone should do the same. Nothing will change unless customers force them to.

5. Reptar

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 28, 2019

The Pie update ruined my G6. It drains the battery in less than 20 hours, when I used to get nearly 2 days, my wifi cycles on and off over and over again, it lags and locks up, opens unwanted apps at random, the auto-brightness makes the phone too dark to see nearly all the time. This is just a few of the annoying problems I have had since they rolled out Pie. I am going to try to return the phone to Costco for a refund, and will not be buying Moto again.

6. stevebeedie

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 28, 2019

Hi, my update to Pie 9 on my g6 resulted in almost all my photos disappearing from the phone's memory card. To view all my photos I had to put the card in my old g4 phone. Really annoying and little help from Motorola who just said it's an Android problem who are owned by Google and it's almost impossible to get any help from them. I sympathize with you. Fortunately the photos problem was the only thing that the update ruined. Steve

7. stevebeedie

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 28, 2019

Did anyone else apart from me find that the majority of their photos on the g6 memory card just seemed to disappear straight after the Pie 9 update? Kept getting messages that the card was now corrupted. However on putting the card in an old phone all the photos were visible! Seems like this update has too many glitches.

8. Shorterm

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 29, 2019

I have the Motorola Model XT1900-1 also known as the Moto X4 which is on the android one program. I just got an update version PPWS29-69-39-2-3 for July 1 2019 and it rebooted without a problem.

9. wackawacka

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 29, 2019

My G6 updated and began running like a dog afterward. Two or three seconds to open apps, consistently. And this is with all the animation and window drawing timers set to 0.5. Ended up doing a full backup and reset just to clear the garbage. It's running OK now but I've come to realize features like call forwarding do not work. In no way shape or fashion. But if I put the same SIM card in a Nexus 6, forwarding works. It's also hella faster than the G6 and the display blows it away. I really regret the step backward from that phone to the G6. Meanwhile, I am now trying out the Visible wireless service that doesn't support the G6 anyway. The service is great. I'll probably be buying a Samsung this week and say good riddance to the Moto G6. It's barely even worth throwing out on ebay.

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