Google's latest update fixes Android 14 issue that bricked some Pixel phones

Google Pixel 8 Pro held in hand.
(Image credit: Future)

Google has been working on a fix for an Android 14 bug affecting Google Pixel owners with multiple profiles on their devices which caused their newly updated phones to become stuck in an endless reboot loop, among other issues. Today, Google pushed out an Android update to address the issue on supported Pixel phones. 

As for the problem itself, users reported being locked out of the device storage or being asked to reboot the device with a "Factory data reset" pop-up prompt. Accepting the message would purportedly trigger a factory reset, erasing all data that hasn't been backed up, while declining the prompt sends the device into a reboot loop. 

Initially, this problem mainly seemed to affect Pixel 6 owners. But it turns out the bug has been reported throughout most of the Pixel line, including the Pixel 6, Pixel 6a, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7a, Pixel Tablet, Pixel Fold, Pixel 8, and Pixel 8 Pro. One constant is that it's been happening on phones with multiple profiles, which include guest and child users, whereas phones with multiple Google accounts don't seem to be triggering the bug. 

The November Android update Google released today also fixes a few other issues. That includes one specific to the Pixel 7 Pro that caused a green flash to trigger when the display is turning off in certain conditions along with another specific to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro causing screen jerkiness when touch registration became imprecise. Problems with desktop icons disappearing when you unlock your device, wallpaper misalignment, and system instability when an app requests another app that is no longer installed have also been patched. 

Google says the update is rolling out in stages and all supported devices should receive it within a week. The new build number is UP1A.231105.001 for the Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, and Pixel 5a 5G, UD1A.231105.004 for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, and UP1A.231105.003 for all the rest of the supported devices.

While annoying, this problem definitely hammers home the importance of backing up your data, especially before major software upgrades. Whether your phone was impacted or not, it's always a good time to get into the habit of regularly backing up your device. 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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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.

  • Ishes
    It seems the models older than the pixel 6 line are being ignored, but we've been affected as well. I specifically have a 5a 5g but I've seen pixel 4's getting affected as well (google forum link below). My screen is blank, but I can confirm it's in a boot loop by plugging in a USB fan into the phone. It turns on the usb fan for around 10 seconds, turns off and loops this until the phone is discharged.

    I just hope google offers free repairs or replacements internationally to those whose phones cannot receive update fixes due to being bricked or being stuck in a bootloop.
  • mqpg
    Just today my Pixel 5a display died.

    I'm a Pixel 5a user with this exact same problem bricking my phone today (Nov 24, 2023). Google is being sketchy with their forum thread surrounding the controversy. I am going to try to replace my screen manually to see if that is sufficient to solve the problem.


    As Ishes described, my screen is also blank, but I can verify that the system is there. I can use my finger print sensor and feel the haptic feedback. I can press the power button for a second and feel the haptic feedback. I seem to even be able to reboot the phone (hold power for 30 seconds, then try the aforementioned fingerprint sensor and power button and they are no longer responsive for somewhere like another 10-60 seconds). Furthermore, I was able to call my phone and I could get it to vibrate. When it first started, I could even use my paired blutooth device to take a phone call (havent tried since force reboot, so not sure if this is still the case).

    I was on Android 14, and had multiple google accounts on the phone, but not multiple guest/work type user accounts. I always update my phone within 24 hours of receiving an update. I stay on top of it because I'm one of those people who cares about security. I do remember getting at least one update within the last couple of months, but I don't exactly remebmer when. I also recall that the screen went blank in the last month or two before but only for several seconds. It had happened when I was connected to android auto so I assumed that the android auto was the cause. Today, because my phone is no longer accessible, I began searching for others who had the issue.

    I came across the link that Ishes posted, and found that a lot of other people experienced this issue last month. I tried to make a comment on the thread, Initially, google wouldn't let me post and referred me to the community guidelines. I thought that perhaps Google was intentionally blocking users from discussing the issue further. I even took a screenshot of the message.

    My phone screen died today, Pixel 5a (Nov 24, 2023). I like this phone a lot because its latest version of the pixel that has my favorite fingerprint sensor position: the back.

    I had my phone hooked up to my car with android auto when the screen suddenly turned off. I had seen the screen turn off before when connected to my car, but I assumed that it was a glitch in android auto as the phone screen always turned back on after a few moments in the car. But this time the screen was totally unresponsive. I can press the power button and feel a vibrate.

    My phone is responsive to power button presses and a hold-for-30-seconds does reboot the phone. The touchscreen seems not to work. I can call the phone. While the phone is ringing, the screen remains black. I have tried to swipe up to answer the call but It does not seem to answer. Based on this, I believe the screen input is also not working, not just the display.

    I have ordered a replacement screen from iFixIt and will be attempting to replace it. I haven't seen anyone in this thread respond with any kind of successful resolution. Because of this, I will try replacing the screen on mine to see if that is the problem.

    But, now, trying it about 30 minutes later, the post succeeded here.


    None-the-less, the post doesn't really seem to go against anything in their Content Policy. It just seems to be contributing to the question to provide better scope and understaning of the problem.

    As Ishes says, the older models don't see much attention. In fact, I recall seeing the news story about this last month but dismissed it entirely because the news story reported that the issue did not affect Pixels earlier than the 6.

    I've been able to move my SIM card to another phone and get access to my phone number at least. However, I won't be able to use any authenticators that were on my pixel.

    I didn't see anyone post any solutions, but I ordered a screen replacement to see if replacing the screen itself is sufficient to solve the problem.

    Edit 1:
    2023-11-24 15:43 PST
    Fixed error in "but the multiple guest/work type user accounts."
    This was supposed to say "but not multiple guest/work type user accounts."

    Edit 2:
    2023-11-24 15:47 PST
    Fixed error in "As Ishes says, the older models din't see much attention."
    This was supposed to say "As Ishes says, the older models don't see much attention"
    Fixed error in "but only several seconds."
    This was supposed to say "but only for several seconds."
    Added edits to spoiler section.