Google Pixel 6 problems: all the known problems and solutions

Google Pixel 6
(Image credit: Future)

The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are some of the best phones out there – each earning a four-star review from us and being the phones of choice for several members of our team – but unfortunately, they have suffered from a surprising number of problems.

Thankfully Google has addressed most of the issues with the Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro via Android OS updates, or at the very least offering a workaround while it finds a better solution.

Below you’ll find a list of potential issues you might face with your Pixel 6, as well as some potential fixes if there are any.

Google’s unreliable fingerprint scanner 

One of the most common complaints with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro is its fingerprint scanner, with reports that there are several ways in which it can stop working. Users have claimed that the scanner can break if you let the battery run flat or if the screen is repaired and that the fingerprint reader is just generally unreliable.

The good news is that most problems with the scanner have been sorted out via updates – and there are a few best practices you can follow to avoid issues.

Google Pixel 6 held in hand with thumb reaching for fingerprint scanner

(Image credit: TechRadar / John McCann)

If you’re having trouble with the scanner first give your phone’s screen a clean and make sure you’re using the right finger and part of your finger – depending on how you performed the calibration it might not recognize your digit if you place it at an angle. You might also want to make sure your screen protector isn't causing any issues if you use one, as some protectors can affect the scanner.

The only issue that Google has yet to resolve is that getting your screen repaired can cause the fingerprint scanner to stop working too. As even Google-approved professionals have had difficulty replacing the screen without issue we’d recommend you don’t attempt any at-home repairs; instead, if your phone screen really needs replacing make sure you send it to a good repair shop with a solid track record of fixing Google Pixel 6 smartphones.

Dead pixels

Speaking of getting your phone’s screen repaired, that might be the only solution if you notice clumps of black pixels on your screen.

Having dead pixels appear isn’t uncommon for phones – especially if you aren’t careful – and unfortunately, if they’ve appeared on your Pixel 6 your only solution might be to replace the screen. That said, we’d recommend checking if your Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro is using the latest version of Android OS before sending your phone off for repair; some users have found that dead pixels have been brought back to life after simply installing a software update.

Other Pixel 6 screen problems

Users have reported a number of other issues with the screen on the Pixel 6 range too, with some saying that the screen flickers when pressing the power button while the phone is off, and others reporting a green tint to the display.

While there’s no news on a fix for the greenish tint, Google has acknowledged the flickering, saying that the issue can happen if you don’t press the power button hard enough to turn the phone on.

The company issued a fix for this in a January software update, but if you're still having problems then to avoid the issue, simply hold the power button down until your Pixel handset switches on.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

The Pixel 6 Pro's screen looks great, when it's working properly (Image credit: Future / Google)

Auto-rotate not working 

Some users complain that the auto-rotate feature – which has the phone’s screen match the vertical or horizontal orientation of the phone – stops working even though it should still be turned on.

Unfortunately, there’s not yet a permanent fix from Google but we and others have found that the best solution is to restart your phone; doing this appears to fix any issues the accelerometer was having and it should start working normally again.

Auto brightness is too dark or too dim

Some users on Reddit are also reporting that their Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro will keep adjusting its screen brightness, with no change to the environmental lighting.

Seemingly this is a result of the auto brightness algorithm learning how bright you like your phone, so if you manually adjust your brightness when it shifts to a level that you’re not happy with then it should eventually learn how you want it.

On top of that, a January 2022 software update included "general improvements for Adaptive brightness response in certain conditions" which might hopefully mean it learns your habits less intrusively.

Not so fast charging

Google Pixel 6 Pro review

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Despite initially saying that Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones could get back up to half-power in 30 minutes thanks to a 30W charging cable (that was sold separately), Google has since confirmed that neither device can actually support 30W charging – instead topping out at around 21W and 23W for the base and Pro models respectively.

As such if you’re used to using a phone that supports faster rates of charging then you may feel the Pixel 6’s battery refills at a snail’s pace by comparison.

That said, you might also find that there’s an issue with your power cable. As the Google Pixel 6 doesn’t come with a charging cable you have to rely on third-party options; if the one you pick up isn’t as fast as the minimum 21W speeds the device is capable of then your charging times may take longer than expected. 

Broken Wi-Fi Calling

Some Google Fi customers are finding that Wi-Fi Calling isn’t working on the Pixel 6 range, but posts on Reddit suggest that in many cases this issue seems to be fixing itself over time, so patience might just be needed here.

In the meantime, you might have some luck if you turn airplane mode on and then off again.

Google has also issued a software update that includes a "fix for issue that disabled call features on certain devices or networks in certain conditions", so that might be referring to this.

  • Want to upgrade your Pixel 6? You might want to check out the Google Pixel 7
James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.

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