Some Android users are locked out of their phones after Gboard crashes

Some Android users are locked out of their phones after Gboard crashes
Gboard is Google's keyboard app and is available for both Android and iOS users. Complaints posted this week on the Android Help page, Reddit and Twitter (via 9to5Google) indicate that Android users are having a major issue with the app. A bug is causing the virtual QWERTY keyboard to crash and has locked some users out of their own devices since they cannot type a password or PIN. The culprit is an update that Google rolled out for Gboard a couple of days ago.

Reportedly, Android phones manufactured by Motorola have been affected the most. A tweet sent by Motorola put the blame for the bug squarely on Google and said, "This issue was caused by an update on Gboard, which belongs to Google. If one cannot access their device because Gboard won't come up, then the only way to bypass the Screen Lock is by performing an external reset, unfortunately." Naturally, the thought of having to factory reset their device sent many Android users straight to the bathroom. Luckily, there is a workaround that doesn't require users to wipe their handset. Go to Settings > Apps > Gboard > Clear Data and Clear Cache

If you can unlock your phone, you might want to consider a third-party virtual QWERTY app like SwiftKey until Google disseminates an update (more on that below). You can install SwiftKey from the Google Play Store. Another idea would be to use a pattern instead of a PIN or passcode to unlock the device since a pattern wouldn't require the use of a keyboard to gain access to your handset.


There are conflicting reports about whether Google has already issued an update to exterminate the bug, but considering the seriousness of this issue, we wouldn't be surprised if one has already started rolling out.

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7 Comments

1. warrenellis93

Posts: 560; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

I feel like gboard intentionally clicks the wrong button when i type

2. Cyberchum

Posts: 1141; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Now, this is funny. Lmao.

3. Ichimoku

Posts: 188; Member since: Nov 18, 2018

beta version or stable version?

4. Zappo

Posts: 26; Member since: Oct 04, 2016

How would you be going to Settings when you cannot unlock your phone?

8. TBomb

Posts: 1714; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Hopefully you'd have a different way of unlocking thep hone besides password/passcode (FPS, facial recognition, smart unlock, etc)

6. libra89

Posts: 2338; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

No wonder why it kept crashing on my dad's phone. Once updated, it was fine though...

7. tokuzumi

Posts: 2005; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

This happened with my neighbor's motorola phone last year. Only way to remedy this was to do a reset of the phone. Luckily there wasn't any critical data that was lost, as most of it was backed up to the cloud. I always use a third party keyboard on my phones, and have never had an issue. Seems Gboard tends to consistently have this issue.

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