Android 14 upgrade is bricking some Google Pixel devices — what you need to know

Google Pixel 6 held in a hand
(Image credit: Google)

Some Google Pixel owners have been having issues with Android 14, particularly those with multiple profiles on their device. The simple version is that attempting to upgrade causes the devices to crash, and can potentially lead to a bunch of problems. Fortunately, Google has confirmed that a fix is on the way.

Initially this problem mainly seemed to affect Pixel 6 owners, but there have been reports that the Pixel 7 and Pixel Fold has been affected as well. The only real constant is that it’s happening to phones with multiple profiles, which includes guest and child users. That’s different from having multiple Google accounts on your phone, which doesn’t seem to be triggering the bug.

The main problems users seem to be experiencing are being locked out of the device storage, or being asked to reboot the device with a “Factory data reset” pop-up. Apparently accepting that message will trigger a factory reset, wiping all data that hasn’t been backed up, while declining can send you into a reboot loop — neither of which are particularly great options.

The good news is that Google is working on fixing this problem, and has already released a Google Play system update to “help prevent this issue from being triggered on additional devices". You can check if this is available by opening Settings > Security & Privacy > System and updates > Google Play system update.

If you’re already suffering from the issue and can’t access your device storage, a fix is still on the way. Google claims it’ll be able to solve the problem with a system update, and won’t require you to wipe your phone and restore it from factory settings. Unfortunately, there’s less positive news for anyone with a device stuck in a reboot loop. Google claims that it’s “investigating methods that may be able to recover some data”. 

So that means that anyone with problems that can’t be solved by updating Google Play services is just going to have to sit tight and wait for a fix. Which sucks, but there’s not a lot anyone except Google's developers can do about it right now.

If anything this problem helps highlight the importance of backing up your data, especially before major software upgrades. Whether you’re affected or not, regularly backing up your device is a good habit to get into. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our guide on the best cloud backup services to get started.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.