On October 27, a Google representative acknowledged an Android 14 bug that has been affecting Pixel users with multiple user profiles on their devices for well over two weeks and promised to patch it via a security update. The issue was brought to the tech giant’s attention after hundreds of users reported on it in a Pixel community post.
According to a report by tech news outlet ‘ars Technica’, when users with multiple accounts on their devices – including the user themself, guests, restricted profiles, and child users – upgrade to the latest version of Android, they are most likely to be locked out of the phone’s local storage and shown a message saying their “storage is full”. Apparently, it was Pixel Pro 6 users who have been mostly affected by the issue, with later models also facing similar problems.
Pixel Users on Android 14 Forced To Factory Reset After Being Unable To Access Data
Users who had 50GB to 250GB of storage space remaining on their phones also faced the issue, leaving them with no choice but to restart and factory reset their devices. This posed another risk as completely rebooting the phone would erase all data that hasn’t been backed up either on the Google Cloud or on a computer.
Unfortunately, the devices of users who declined the factory reset option entered a start screen loop where the message “Pixel is starting” is repeatedly displayed on their screen.
Since users were not able to access local storage and none of their data appeared when they attempted to back it up on the phone, they were encouraged to connect the Pixel devices to a computer and manually back up their important data like photos and videos before performing a factory reset.
Google Releases Security Update and is Investigating the Start Screen Loop Issue
Over the weekend, Google pushed the bug issue from its mid-level “P2” priority to “P0”, its highest priority criteria on the “issue tracker bug”. The company has since assigned a team to look into the case and even released an official statement.
On October 29, a Google community manager said the company is “continuing to work on fixes for impacted devices” and has already released a Google Play system update that is supposed to prevent the bug from being triggered on additional devices.
Google noted that it expects the security patch to repair the issue and restore users’ access to media files without requiring a factory reboot. The company noted that it is currently looking into methods on how to recover the data of those whose devices are stuck in a “Pixel is starting” boot loop.
Google also recommended users who already factory reset their devices or are not experiencing the bug avoid creating or logging into a secondary user profile on their devices until an over-the-air update is made available to them.
As of now, the issue tracker has over 500 replies, with some users pasting log files or uploading screenshots of their phone’s screen with the error message. The issues range from missing apps to constant crashes to being locked out of internal storage entirely on one of the device’s user accounts.
Other users replied that they were not able to provide on-device screenshots because the phone reportedly says it has no storage available to save the image. Several users have likened the issue to being infected with a ransomware bug.
How To Update Android 14 With The Latest Security Patch
Users can also force Play System updates themselves by going to System Settings > Security & Privacy > System Updates > Google Play system update. If there is an update available, the user will be prompted to reboot the phone and the device will apply the patch automatically while it restarts.