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How to fix a Google Pixel 3 XL that keeps freezing or has become unresponsive

Is your Google Pixel 3 XL freezing? Has it become unresponsive lately? This troubleshooting article will help you figure out what may be causing the problem and how to address the said factor.

Before we proceed, be reminded that we provide answers to Android problems. If you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page. When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

What causes Google Pixel 3 XL to become slow, unresponsive, or freezing constantly

There are a number of possible factors why a smartphone such as your Pixel 3 XL works slow or is being unresponsive. Some of the common reasons include the following:

  • software bug
  • inefficient app code
  • battery bug
  • battery damage
  • lack of storage space
  • bad third party app or malware
  • hardware malfunction

How to troubleshoot your Google Pixel 3 XL that keeps freezing or has become unresponsive

Based on a short list of common factors above, we can provide you with some general troubleshooting tips on how to fix this issue. Be sure to follow the steps in the order provided below so you can narrow down the factors logically.

When it comes to Android troubleshooting, the most that you can do is to exhaust software solutions. If you’ve already tried all the software tricks that can be applied, you can assume that the problem is not fixable on your level.

Force reboot

Before you perform any advanced troubleshooting, it’s always a good idea to refresh the system by restarting it. If you are unable to use your Pixel 3 XL normally nor restart it the traditional way, try to do a forced reboot. 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.

Check for system updates

Some bugs may only be fixed a patch. If your Pixel 3 XL suddenly slowed to a crawl for no apparent reason, make sure to check for Android or carrier updates.

To check for and install system updates:

  1. Load the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap System.
  3. Tap Advanced.
  4. Tap System update.
  5. If needed, first tap About phone.
  6. You’ll see your update status. Follow any steps on the screen.

Make some room

If your phone’s internal storage device is full or almost full, it may affect the performance of the system. That’s because some functions or apps may need more space than what is currently available for a cache or temporary files. If Android suddenly finds itself running out of space while doing a certain task, the entire computing processes may hit a snag or result to an error. To be on the safe side, we suggest that you maintain at least 1GB of free storage (internal storage) all the time. This should be enough to provide buffer for any app or task that needs immediate storage space. You can remove unnecessary files and clear cached data first. If clearing them is not enough, you can then try to move personal data to another storage device or cloud.

To check how much storage your Pixel 3 XL has:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Storage.
  3. See how much storage you have available.

If you want your Pixel 3 XL to manage storage efficiently without your intervention, you can use its Smart Storage feature. Here’s how to enable it:

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

If you want to manually free up storage yourself, 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.

Install app updates

Like Android operating system, apps regularly need updates to stay in optimum shape. Make it a point to install app updates whenever they are available.

  1. Open your device’s Play Store app.
  2. Tap Menu icon.
  3. Tap My apps & games.
  4. Apps with available updates are labeled “Update.”
    • If an update is available, tap Update.
    • If more updates are available, tap Update all.

Manually close or quit apps

Running apps uses your phone’s memory or RAM so the more apps run actively or in the background, the more RAM are used up. On paper, Android is supposed to manage RAM without user intervention but sometimes, this does not happen in a timely manner. This is the where slow downs can occur. If you noticed that your Pixel 3 XL has become sluggish all of a sudden, closing apps might help. To do that:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications.
  3. Select an app. If needed, tap App info before the app.
  4. Tap Force stop.

Observe in safe mode

If your phone suddenly froze after installing an app, or if you suspect that one of your added apps is causing the problem, you can confirm that by restarting to safe mode. When running on safe mode, your Pixel 3 XL will suspend all downloaded apps. To boot to safe mode:

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. On your screen, touch and hold Power off.
  3. Tap OK.
  4. After you see “Safe mode” at the bottom of your screen, wait to see if the problem goes away.

Remember, safe mode blocks third party or downloaded apps. If the problem goes away in safe mode, you can bet one of the apps is to blame. To identify which of your downloaded apps is causing the problem:

  1. To exit safe mode, restart your device.
  2. One by one, uninstall recently downloaded apps. After each removal, restart your device. See whether removing that app solved the problem.
  3. After you remove the app that’s causing the problem, you can reinstall the other apps that you removed.

Wipe the phone with factory reset

If all the troubleshooting steps above won’t solve the freezing issue on your Pixel 3 XL, the final software troubleshooting step that you can do is to wipe it. This way, you can return all software settings back to their defaults in one stroke. If the reason for the problem is software related, factory reset will most likely help.

To factory reset your Pixel 3 XL:

  1. Create a backup of your personal data.
  2. Make sure to know the username and password for Google account in the phone.
  3. Open Settings app.
  4. Tap System.
  5. Tap Advanced.
  6. Tap Reset options.
  7. Tap Erase all data (factory reset) and then Reset phone. If needed, enter your PIN, pattern, or password.
  8. To erase all data from your phone’s internal storage, tap Erase everything.
  9. When your phone has finished erasing, pick the option to restart.
  10. Set up your phone and restore your backed-up data.

Get professional help

If your Pixel 3 XL freezing issue won’t go away at all, after exhausting all software troubleshooting, bad hardware must be to blame. In this case, you want to let Google help you by setting up a repair appointment.

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