How to fix a Google Pixel 3 with flashing red LED light when charging (won’t turn on)

Some Google Pixel 3 users may encounter problems with their device not turning on. This type of problem can have a few variations. Below is one of the examples when a Pixel 3 fails to charge and eventually stops turning on. If you have a similar problem, follow our suggestions below.

Problem: Google Pixel 3 has flashing red LED light when charging (won’t turn on)

I have had a brand new Google pixel 3 phone for a little over a week. I haven’t dropped it. It died earlier today. I tried charging it with the charger it came with and my other charger and both of them gave me the same problem. It just shows a battery symbol completely filled with white as if it is charged and a little lightning bolt in it. Then it goes away and the little red light in the top corner stays. I can’t turn it on and it won’t charge. When I unplug it, it shows the battery symbol that I already stated and then that goes away and it shows a tiny white line that fades. When I try to turn it on the little red light in the top right corner just blinks while nothing happens. I have tried to reboot it by holding down the power key and the volume down key and it didn’t work.

Solution: There are three possible reasons for your problem right now. One is that the screen might have gone bad, two is that the battery may be malfunctioning, and third is that there might be a something wrong with the motherboard. Your primary task is to know what the underlying problem is in order to do the most effective fix. Here’s what you can try:

Forced reboot. In case there’s a temporary bug that blocks Android from booting up, you want to refresh the system first. Simply press and hold the Power button for about 10 seconds. Afterwards, wait for your phone to complete the reboot sequence and see what happens.

If nothing happens when you press and hold the Power button, or even after the phone has attempted to restart, proceed to the next step below.

Use another set of charging cables. Try to use a known working charging cable and adapter and see if there’s a difference. If possible, use an official set of charging accessories or those certified by Google. If you can go to your local store, try to bring your Pixel there and charge it using their own USB cord and adapter. This is an important step to know if there’s an issue with the cable and adapter you’re currently using. Keep in mind that a red flashing LED light is an indicator that the battery has been fully discharged and there’s simply not enough energy to power up the phone. Be sure to leave the device charged for 30 minutes.

Use wireless charger. Another way to check the charging functionality of your Pixel is to use a wireless charger. There may be a problem with the phone’s charging port so to bypass that, you can try to charge the device wirelessly. If you don’t readily have access to a wireless charger, you can go to a store and see if you can try to use their wireless charger. Make sure to leave the phone charged for at least 30 minutes before you try to turn it back on.

Connect to a computer. One other way to charge a Pixel 3 is by using a computer. With a computer on, connect your device to it via USB cable and let it charge for 30 minutes.

Check the screen. If the phone appears to charge but the screen stays black, that’s a clear sign of a bad screen problem. The same is true when the device appears to receive messages, emails, or calls but the screen is also black. In any of these scenarios, the best option for you is to send the device in so Google can examine the screen and replace it when necessary.

Keep in mind that any screen discoloration or lines can be an indicator of damaged screen as well. Again, you must get professional help if you encounter such issue.

Boot to Recovery. If you think that the screen is working but the system may have encountered an error, it’s a good idea to boot the device to Recovery Mode and wipe it from there. In Recovery Mode, you’ll have the option to hard reset the device and return all software settings to defaults. If the cause of the problem is software-related, this troubleshooting step should help.

  1. Turn off your Google Pixel 3 XL.
  2. Press and hold the Power+Volume Down buttons until bootloader mode (image of an Android with Start above it) appears, then release.
  3. Select Recovery mode. You can use the Volume buttons to cycle through the available options and the Power button to select. The device will flash the Google start screen momentarily and then restarts in Recovery mode.
  4. If presented with an image of a broken Android with “No Command” printed on the screen, press and hold the Power button. Press the Volume Up button once. Then release the Power button.
  5. From the Android Recovery screen, select Wipe data/factory reset.
  6. Select Yes. Wait for several minutes for the factory data reset process to complete.
  7. Select Reboot system now. Allow several minutes for the factory data reset and reboot processes to complete.
  8. Set the phone up again.

Get professional help. If nothing works and no software troubleshooting has helped at this stage, you can assume that your Pixel 3 must have a hardware error. It can be a bad battery or a general issue with the motherboard. Only a trained technician will be able to tell you what the real reason is for your problem. It’s best if you send the phone back to the store where you got if from, or to a Google Service Center for repair.


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