How to fix Google Pixel 2 with “Camera Failed” error (easy steps)

The “Camera failed” warning that usually shows up when you open the camera app could mean the sensor or the app itself failed to initialize. As a result of this error, you won’t be able to use the camera and take pictures or record videos and that seems to be the case with some of our readers that own Google Pixel 2 units. We’ve been contacted several times in the past regarding this problem so we may already have published articles that tackled this specific issue but for the benefits of those who contacted us, we will try to address this problem once again.

In this post, I will walk you through in troubleshooting your Google Pixel 2 with warning “Camera failed.” We will try to determine what the root cause of the problem is so that we would know how to deal with it. Moreover, I will share with you the solutions we’ve been using to address this kind of problem since it’s not the first we encountered it. So, if you’re one of the owners of this device and are currently having similar symptoms, continue reading as this article may somehow help you.

But before anything else, if you have another issue with your phone, drop by our troubleshooting page as we have already addressed hundreds of issues reported by the owners. Odds are that there are already existing solutions on our website or at least, there are similar problems we already fixed. So, try to find ones that are similar or related to your problem. If you need further assistance, however, feel free to contact us by filling up our Android issues questionnaire.

How to troubleshoot Google Pixel 2 with Camera failed error

Since this error is more inclined to revealing a hardware issue, all we need to do is rule out the possibilities that this is just due to apps and firmware problems. After this troubleshooting guide and you still can’t use the camera of your phone because of the error, then I suggest you bring it to the shop or back to the store so that a technician can check it up for you. Now, here’s what you should do about it:

First solution: Reboot your phone

Before doing anything else, make sure you take time restarting your phone especially if this is the first time you encounter this problem because it’s possible that it’s just a result of a glitch due to some apps or the firmware itself. Press and hold the power key of your phone and turn it off normally. Allow a few seconds before turning it back on. If the problem continues after the normal reboot, then try doing the forced restart. Press both the volume down and power keys at the same time and hold them down together for 10 seconds or more. Your phone will reboot like it normally does but this procedure refreshes the memory better than the normal reboot.

If the problem continues after this, then move on to the next solution.

Second solution: Clear cache and data of Camera

Doing this will reset the camera back to its default settings or configuration as well as delete its cache and data files. If this is just a problem with the app, then this procedure is more than enough to fix it.

  1. From a Home screen, tap the Arrow Up icon to display all apps.
  2. Navigate: Settings > Apps & notifications.
  3. Tap See all xx apps.
  4. Locate then select Camera.
  5. Tap Force stop.
  6. Tap OK.
  7. Tap Storage.
  8. Tap Clear cache.
  9. Tap Clear data.
  10. Tap OK.

After this, try opening the camera to know if the error still pops up and if it does, then try the next solution.

Third solution: Find out if it’s due to third-party apps

There are third-party apps that also use the camera. Remember that you can’t have two sessions of the camera at a time so if there’s an app that already using it, expect to get the “Camera failed” error when you open it. To know if this is really the case, run your phone in safe mode to temporarily disable all third-party applications:

  1. With the device powered on, press and hold the Power button (located on the right-edge) until the Power off prompt appears then release.
  2. Touch and hold Power off until the “Reboot to safe mode” prompt appears then release.
  3. Tap OK to confirm.
  4. The restart process may take up to 45 seconds to complete.
  5. Upon restart, “Safe mode” appears in the lower-left of the unlock/home screen.

Open the camera while the phone is in this mode to know if the problem is fixed and if it is, then it’s confirmed that the cause of the issue is a third party. Find that app and uninstall it to fix the problem…

  1. From a Home screen, tap the Arrow icon to display all apps.
  2. Navigate: Settings > Apps & notifications .
  3. Tap See all ‘xx’ apps.
  4. Tap an app that you think causes the problem.
  5. Tap Uninstall.
  6. Tap OK to confirm.

However, if the flickering continues even in safe mode, the next thing you should do is troubleshoot the firmware.

Fourth solution: Delete the system cache

In troubleshooting the firmware, the first thing  you have to do is delete the system cache because it’s possible that some of the files got corrupted. Corrupt system cache may lead to performance issues like crashing of apps and other problems. You need to wipe the cache partition to delete and replace all system caches and here’s how you do it:

  1. Turn off your Google Pixel 2.
  2. Once off, press the power and volume down button together for some time.
  3. This will turn the device on and you need to hold both the buttons till the Google Pixel 2 logo disappears.
  4. After this, simply wait for the time till your device boots into the recovery mode.
  5. Next, you can choose the language of your choice.
  6. Next is to tap on the “Wipe Data and Cache” option.
  7. After this, simply tap on the “Wipe Cache” option.
  8. You will be asked to confirm the same, click yes to proceed.
  9. After this, you need to wait till your Google Pixel 2 clear the entire cache partition.
  10. After this, tap on the reboot. This will restart your device.
  11. Once restarted, you are done.

Don’t worry, none of your files will be deleted if you did this. It’s actually very effective but if the problem continues after this method, then try the next solution.

Fifth solution: Backup your files and reset your phone

After doing the fourth solution and the camera of your Pixel 2 is still failing, then you need to reset your phone to rule out the possibility that it’s a firmware issue. You have no other choice at this point and if the problem continues after this, then you should bring the phone to the shop or back to the store so that a technician can check it for you. Before the reset, make sure you backup all your files and data especially those that are stored in your phone’s internal storage as they will be deleted.

  1. Ensure the device is powered off.
  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.
  4. Use the Volume buttons to cycle through the available options and the Power button to select.
  5. The device will flash the Google start screen momentarily and then restarts in Recovery mode.
  6. If presented with an image of a broken Android with “No Command” shown on the screen, press and hold the Power button. Press the Volume Up button once then release the Power button.
  7. From the Android Recovery screen, select Wipe data/factory reset.
  8. Select Yes and then allow several minutes for the factory data reset process to complete.
  9. Select Reboot system now.
  10. Allow several minutes for the factory data reset and reboot processes to complete.

I hope that this troubleshooting guide have helped you. If you have other issues with your phone that you want to share with us, feel free to contact us anytime or leave a comment below.

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Harold Hisona

Harold has been in the tech industry since 2008 when he started out as a tech support for companies like Time Warner, Comcast and Tracfone. He’s been troubleshooting phones when the smartphone industry started booming. During his tenure as a tech support, he’s already been writing for various tech blogs and doing some freelance SEO. In 2012, he joined a small team of bloggers to write for The Droid Guy, and he has been with the company ever since. Today, he doesn’t only write tutorials and troubleshooting pieces but also shoots and edits videos for The Droid Guy channel while trading stocks on the side. Contact me at Email

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