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Google Pixel won’t stay on and keeps overheating [troubleshooting guide]

The #GooglePixel has definitely seen better days but millions are still using it around the world so it remains one of the most used smartphones at this time. Today’s post addresses an issue on how to fix an overheating and randomly restarting Pixel device.

Today’s problem: Google Pixel won’t stay on and keeps overheating

My phone turned off about 12 hours ago. It turns off when it gets over heated so I thought that’s what happened. Every time I try to turn it back on, it turns right back off. There are sometimes fuzzy lines on the screen. It doesn’t even turn on all the way. It turns on and shows the “Google” words then turns off after that. I tried turning it on over 50 times. — Alex Cassin

How to fix a Google Pixel that keeps overheating and turning off

Overheating is generally a sign of hardware malfunction though in some cases, software may also be to blame. If you Pixel struggles to stay on, or keeps overheating or both, it can be due to either a software bug or hardware issue. This troubleshooting article will help you narrow down the possible causes.

Solution #1: Check for and install app and Android updates

Updates for apps and operating system sometimes include patches for known vulnerabilities and bugs. To minimize the possibility of an app or Android bug from causing trouble to your device, make it a habit of regularly installing apps. By default, your Pixel device should be set to automatically check for app and OS updates so it can then notify you to install them. If you turned this automatic feature off, be sure not to forget to check regularly for any updates.

To check for and install system updates follow these steps:

  1. Open your device’s Settings app.
  2. Near the bottom, tap System.
  3. Then, tap System updates. If needed, first tap About phone.
  4. You’ll see your update status. Follow any on-screen steps.

To check for app updates (installed via Play Store), do these:

  1. Open Play Store app.
  2. Tap Menu icon (three horizon lines) at the upper right.
  3. Select My apps & games.
  4. Wait for the app to check what apps can be updated.
  5. Hit UPDATE ALL button.

If you installed apps outside the Play Store, it’s your responsibility to find updates for them. Try to use Google to know how to do that.

Solution #2: Free up storage space

Computers or smartphones may restart if there’s not enough storage space left. That’s becuase the operating system sometimes need extra storage space to operate properly. If your Pixel is running low on storage, try to clear out some space and see if that will help. If you have lots of photos and videos on the phone, consider moving them to an SD card or to a computer so you have more than enough space. Ideally, you should maintain at least a 1GB of free space all the time to allow for updates and other contingencies. When the operating system tries to do a task that requires extra storage space and can’t find anything, it may encounter an error which it may not be able to resolve. To prevent this from happening, just give your Pixel some breathing space by freeing up some storage space.

To check how much storage your device has:

  1. Open your device’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Storage.
  3. See how much storage you have available. Your device can start having issues when less than 10% of storage is free.

Google has anticipated an issue like this can occur so your Pixel can be set to automatically delete photos and videos that were already backed up to Google Photos. If you turn this feature off before, try to turn it back on. If you don’t know what to do, here’s how:

  1. Open your device’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Storage.
  3. Turn on Smart Storage.

Alternatively, you can manually delete some stuff from your Pixel yourself. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open your device’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Storage.
  3. Tap Free up space.
  4. To pick something to delete, tap the empty box on the right. (If nothing is listed, tap Review recent items.)
  5. To delete the selected items, at the bottom, tap Free up.

Another great way to free up space is to uninstall apps you don’t need. Apps and their updates can easily take the bulk of your storage device so removing some of them from the system can be good for this situation.

Solution #3: Close apps

Low RAM often translates to slow speed or even random shutdown. In this is the reason for your issue, it might help if you can close apps running in the background. Closing apps you’re not using should not be a user’s way to fix issues. By design, Android is supposed to manage RAM so there’s no need for user intervention to close apps when memory gets low. However, in reality, some Android devices may not be in an ideal situation when it comes to managing memory. This can be due to a number of reasons but we won’t discuss them here. To see if your Pixel has way too many apps hogging memory, consider closing apps and background services by doing these steps:

  1. Open your device’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications and then App info and then the app.
  3. Tap Force stop.

In order to keep track of the apps you’ve turned off so far, try to create a list. This will allow you to know what app/s may be causing problems.

Solution #4: Boot to safe mode

Another good thing to do here is to see if one of downloaded apps is problematic. To do that, you want to boot your Pixel to safe mode. In this mode, all third party apps and services will be prevented from running. If any one of them is interfering with the operating system causing the sudden shut down issue, you’ll know.

There are two ways to restart your Pixel to safe mode. If it’s ON, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold your device’s power button.
  2. On your screen, touch and hold Power off Power. If needed, tap OK.
  3. Your device starts in safe mode. You’ll see “Safe mode” at the bottom of your screen.

If you can’t manage to power on the phone, or if it restarts before you can complete the steps provided above, try to do this one:

  1. With your Pixel off, press your device’s power button.
  2. After the Google logo shows on your screen, when the animation starts, press and hold your device’s volume down button. Keep holding it until the animation ends and your device starts in safe mode.
  3. You’ll see “Safe mode” at the bottom of your screen.

Solution #5: Remove external case

Some overheating cases can be due to usage of poorly designed external case. Just like any electronic device, your Pixel has some breathing holes to keep it ventilated inside. If you’re using a case, try to remove it and let your Pixel run for some time to notice any difference.

Solution #6: Recalibrate battery

For an issue like yours, there’s a chance that the random restart issue is being caused by the battery. To see if it’s a battery calibration issue, consider recalibrating the OS and the battery by following these steps:

  1. Drain the battery completely. This means using your device until it powers down by its own and the battery level reads 0%.
  2. Charge the phone until it reaches 100%. Be sure to use original charging equipment for your device and let it charge up completely. Do not unplug your device for at least two more hours and also don’t use it while charging.
  3. After the elapsed time, unplug your device.
  4. Restart your Pixel.
  5. Use your phone until it completely runs out of power again.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5.

Solution #7: Factory reset

If all the remedies above won’t help at all, you need to perform a drastic step by wiping the phone. Factory reset will revert all software settings back to their defaults. Of course, third party apps will also be eliminated, leaving only known, stable builds of Google apps. In this state, your Pixel is expected to work normally. If the cause of the problem is app- or software-related, this should be the solution. Before you proceed, be sure to know the Google account on your phone. Check if you got the correct Google username and password by logging in to your account using a browser. Also, be sure to back your files up to avoid losing irreplaceable data.

  1. Open your phone’s Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap System and then Reset.
  3. Tap Factory data reset and then Reset phone. If needed, enter your PIN, pattern, or password.
  4. To erase all data from your phone’s internal storage, tap Erase everything.
  5. When your phone has finished erasing, pick the option to restart.
  6. Set up your phone and restore your backed-up data. Learn how to restore data on a Pixel phone.

Solution #8: Have your Pixel repaired

Should factory reset fail to fix the issue, that’s a clear indication that you have a hardware problem. It can be a battery issue or the power management IC. Whatever it is, you’ll need professional help to fix it.


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