Don’t Factory Reset Your Pixel 6—It Might Brick Your Phone

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Google Pixel 6, Pixel 6a, and Pixel 6 Pro users should hold off on factory resetting their smartphones for the moment. That’s because new reports suggest that resetting your phone could brick the device completely.

The issue first popped up on Google’s own support forums, as spotted by Tech-Issues Today. There, users posted photos of their bricked (or nonoperational) phones. Google itself is aware of the problem and is investigating, but a fix is not yet available. There’s also no ETA for when one can be expected.

The error seems to be tied to a message that reads “Cannot load Android system,” which appears after the device has been factory reset. The message also advises users that their device’s data may be corrupted and suggests a factory data reset. They’re also given the option to “try again,” although replies in Google’s support forums point toward this proving futile.

Any additional attempts to complete factory resets also seem to provide even more warning messages, including references to missing critical files like “tune2fs” or even warnings that the device has failed to “enable ext4 verify.” That’s pretty jargony, but these references could to point to much deeper issuers within the phone’s storage systems—which could spell more trouble for users who run into the problem.

Unfortunately, as Google hasn’t shared an ETA on when a fix will be released, it’s best to refrain from performing a factory reset on your Pixel 6 in the meantime. This is a disappointing outcome, as factory resetting is a common troubleshooting step for other issues. It also seems Google’s own recovery tools can’t even resolve the issues users are encountering with this error.

There’s currently no indication that the issue affects other Pixel models, such as the current generation Pixel 8, Pixel 8a, and Pixel 8 Pro.

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