Google’s December security patch is crashing loads of Pixels

Pixel 2 and 3 users are being forced to factory reset their phones after updating them to Google’s latest OS.

Google launched its monthly security update yesterday. The update – which was the last to include the original Pixel phone – promised to bring some key Pixel 4 features to the 2017 and 2018 handsets.

While a handful of Pixel 2 and 3 users did receive these features, others were left fighting off error messages as their phones struggled to deal with the new software.

The issue seems to lie with the Pixel Launcher, which has become completely unresponsive on many users’ phones. Tapping the Launcher on these phones instead triggers a pop-up notification with an option to close the app that does not appear to work, leaving users caught in an endless cycle of error messages.

Frustrated Pixel users took to Reddit to report the crashes and discuss different round about ways to fix the issue.

Reddit user rohanbathla007 wrote:

“I was able to uninstall updates and that fixed it. Try opening app info from the force close menu you get, and then quickly click ok 3 dots on top right to get the uninstall updates. It would be a bit difficult with the force stop message coming again and again but is doable”.

Related: Best Phone

The crashes seem to be connected with Android 10’s gesture navigation feature.

According to AndroidPolice, those using Android Pie’s two-button or legacy three-button navigation on the same device and launcher setup didn’t suffer any issues, while they did find that switching back to the new gestures brought the crashes back.

Unfortunately, switching back to the gesture navigation isn’t always easy.

“I updated from the system automatic update and this was happening to me”, wrote Reddit user wuyudang. “Difficult to change to 2-button navigation to fix it. very unimpressive. Gesture navigation has on two separate occasions wacked out on me, meaning i can only access pull-down settings and nothing else. and now this. kind of annoying”.

Many users found themselves resorting to hitting factory reset simply to escape the launcher error loop.

The security update issue has primarily affected Pixel 3 and 3a users, along with some Pixel 2 users. We expect Google to address the issues and hopefully send out a fix soon.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor