[Updated] Some Google Pixel phones experiencing unusual battery drain after Android 12 update

Here’s the crux of the article in video form:

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on October 29, 2021) follows:

The stable version of Android 12 arrived with the Google Pixel 6 phones. Since then, it has also been available for other Pixel phones. However, some models are having problems after updating.

Some Google Pixel phones experiencing battery drain after Android 12 update

Some Pixel phones users are reporting their discomfort regarding the battery life of their devices (1, 2, 3, 4). They point out that, after Android 12 update, battery life worsened significantly compared to Android 11.

After updating to Android 12, the battery seems to be draining at a significantly higher rate on my pixel 4a. Losing a percent per half hour when the phone isn’t in use. This wasn’t the case before the update. I would get 24 hours of full usage in a single charge.
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The reported issue seems to be present in very recent models. For example, many of the affected users have a Google Pixel 4a 5G or a Google Pixel 5, both released last year. So, the problem is not limited to older models.

The problem was present in Android 12 betas

In Android 12 public betas, an alleged excessive battery consumption was already reported (1, 2). Now that the stable version is available, some Pixel phone still have the problem.

The problem is with the Android system intelligence service. There were lot of treads about this problem in Android 12 beta program. It seems that the problem is not fixed by Google.
This was my first pixel phone and if this is how Google tests its devices, it will be my last one…
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There’s a Workaround

It seems that there is a workaround that allegedly helps to solve the problem, according to a report. However, not all affected users may be willing to apply the process, as it requires a factory reset and clean installation.

1. Backup everything
2. Go to Settings/system/reset options/Erase all data (factory reset)
3. When your phone restarts DO NOT RESTORE from backup
4. When you have got the phone up and running and Play Store has updated everything, install your apps again from Manage apps & device/installed (drop down menu). Change to “Not installed” and select the apps you want.
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It is not known if Google is aware

Currently, it is not known if Google is aware of the problem. Among the reports, some product experts recommended that affected users send their feedback. However, they do not confirm that the problem has been escalated.

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So for the moment, affected users can only wait for an official pronouncement from Google on the matter. They can also try the workaround described above.

When there is more news about the alleged battery drain problem in some Google Pixel phones after updating to Android 12, we will update this article with the relevant information.

You can also check the bug/issues tracker dedicated to Android 12 on Pixel phones.

Update 1 (November 01)

04:43 pm (IST): Google support on Twitter is also asking users to boot into safe mode to see if the problem persists. Further, the team is also asking users to reach out to the chat support team for more help.

We understand how difficult that would be. Could you try rebooting your phone into safe mode and see if it works fine? https://goo.gle/35xj3It Let us know how it goes. (Source)

Update 2 (November 02)

06:25 pm (IST): A Google employee on the official issue tracker has confirmed that they’ll investigate a user’s report regarding the battery issues after the Android 12 update.

We appreciate your help! In most cases, we won’t be able to send you an individualized response, but we’ll investigate your report and use the information you provide to improve Android. (Source)

Update 3 (November 03)

10:30 am (IST): While Google works on a fix for the battery draining issues on Android 12, we’d suggest heading to the Battery settings > Battery Manager, and then enabling the option to ‘Manage apps automatically,’ if it isn’t enabled by default.

With this enabled, the apps that you don’t use often will stop guzzling down your battery juice in the background. However, it also means that notifications might get interrupted in some situations.

Update 4 (November 04)

04:00 pm (IST): Google revealed its plans for Android 12L which is expected to go into beta testing next month. A fix for the battery issues should hopefully make its way to the early builds, although, we’d take it with a grain of salt.

Update 5 (November 05)

03:28 pm (IST): It seems that third-party apps might have no contribution to the issue with battery drain on Android 12. Some users confirm that the battery drains even in safe mode or when no third-party apps are installed.

I concur with the significant battery life drain on Android 12 with Pixel 5. It is extremely noticeable with just the common apps installed. (Source)

Even Safe mode drains the battery. It seems Android itself has a problem. I would like to have Android 11 back… (Source)

Update 6 (November 06)

05:20 pm (IST): An individual took to Reddit to highlight what could possibly be a big culprit for the increased battery drain on Android 12, which is Mobile Data being always-on even while on Wi-Fi.

This setting can be turned off via the Developer Options. Simply search for ‘Mobile data always active’ via the settings and disable the option. This should help reduce battery drain, especially if you’re mostly connected to Wi-Fi.

Update 7 (November 08)

04:31 pm (IST): It now seems that some users have got stuck in a way worse situation since they claim (1, 2, 3, 4) that the battery has stopped charging at all after updating to Android 12.

One user claims they were able to solve the problem with the following steps:

Here is how I was able to resolve: Let phone die to 0%. Charge with USB to USB-C charger (not my pixel blocks) and it worked. After this re-charge I can now use the pixel block. Very odd but it has been working since.

Update 8 (November 23)

12:03 pm (IST): A user reports that reconfiguring the third-party launcher that was installed (Nova Launcher) helped solve the problem.

That is, first, removed Nova Launcher and returned to the Pixel Launcher. Then, reinstalled Nova Launcher and configured it from scratch (without import settings).

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Update 9 (December 07)

12:03 pm (IST): The December 2021 update is rolling out to Pixel devices and a few improvements are also coming to the battery experience as outlined in the changelog snippet below.

Battery & Power

– Additional improvements for battery charging information shown in notification shade.
– General improvements for battery & thermal performance in certain conditions.
– General improvements for wireless charging in certain conditions *[5].
– Improvements for alignment detection on Pixel Stand in certain conditions.
– Fix for issues occasionally causing incorrect Battery usage accounting to display in Settings.
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A tech enthusiast since ever. I like to always be up to date on the latest news in the industry and write about it.