Google Pixel 4 XL randomly shutting/turning off in pocket (or with screen off) for a lot of users

Several frustrated Google Pixel 4 XL users have lamented that their device is turning off in their pocket for no apparent reason.

And as a result, there have been quite a lot of complaints on the official Pixel Phone forums as well as on Reddit.

pixel 4 xl turning off in pocket

my 4 XL shut off in my pocket while having like 98% battery. Thought “Ok, that’s weird. Have never had a phone do that before. Maybe I pressed the button to turn it of?” Turned my phone back on, still had same battery level, but within 5-10 minutes it happened again. Over the course of the weekend my phone was off more than it was on. Battery was always at same level as when it turned off.

A few days ago, my Pixel 4 XL started occasionally not responding when I took it out to use it. Just a blank screen. I had to hold the power button to restart it. Then it was fine for a while and a few hours later, same issue.

As apparent from the above reports, the 4 XL powers off completely after a while in the pocket or even when kept face down on any surface, for some users.

This is especially bothersome when one has important business calls to attend to but keeps missing them due to the phone being off.

And no, the battery isn’t to blame for the issue as users have reported that the phone turns off at random battery levels. The only way to turn on the phone then is, of course, holding down the power button.

Moreover, the issue has only plagued the XL version of the Pixel 4 duo, with the smaller one staying safe.

While it’s not exactly clear if it truly is a hardware issue, but going by the gathered evidence, it does seem so.

Firstly, most of the users facing the problem have observed that the problem disappeared for them in the new unit after a replacement.

However, a couple of such users have also reported that the problem began again a few months after replacement hinting that the issue could be affecting more units than initially thought.

pixel 4 xl
The Google Pixel 4 XL

Secondly, it seems that the issue is reproducible not by just keeping the phone face down or putting it in pocket, but by also simply pressing onto the center of the phone’s front.

It’s repeatable. Cover the Soli sensor at top right and then apply touch pressure to the middle of the screen – boom, shutdown.

Phone keeps turning off in pocket. Decided to find out why and push thumb in center of screen and it shuts off.

The series of steps mentioned by the above users may occur automatically when the 4 XL is placed in the pocket which leads us to believe that this is the real culprit.

For now, the only workaround is placing the phone in such a manner that there is no chance of pressure being applied onto the display.

To do so, avoid keeping the phone face down on any surfaces. Another plus point of doing this is that your screen would less prone to scratches.

Also, try placing your phone in a manner such that the display is facing in the opposite direction from your leg, as the user below has recommended.

I have so far had success with facing my phone outwards when placing it in my pocket. It has not turned off on my yet.

And if nothing seems to help, then your last resort could be getting a replacement done.

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Zohaib Ahmed

Simply love being surrounded by technology as it's a constant reminder of how far humans have advanced as a race. Every new development feels exciting, which I convey to others through writing. And after a day's work, gaming just feels therapeutic.