One of the most feared situations for anyone is that, after restarting their smartphone (for whatever reason), it gets stuck on the boot screen. The appearance of such a problem can potentially cause total loss of many GB of valuable personal data if you did not make a backup shortly before.

It seems this is what some Google Pixel 7, 7 Pro and 7a users are experiencing, whose devices are getting stuck on the ‘Pixel is starting’ screen or soft bricked after updating to Android 14. This is in addition to the ‘black screen’ issue that other Pixel users have been facing after updating to the latest Android version available.

Google Pixel 7, 7 Pro & 7a units soft bricked or stuck at ‘Pixel is starting’ screen after Android 14 update

The Pixel 7 series is the second generation of Google smartphones to implement their own Tensor chipsets. Being among the brand’s most recent flagship smartphones, one of the advantages that its users enjoy is receiving the new big Android versions from the very first day. Currently, Android 14 is the latest version and has been available since the beginning of this month (October).

Android 14 brings some exciting improvements, so many were eager to install it as quickly as possible on their devices. However, Google Pixel 7 users did not expect that, in some cases, their phones would get stuck on the ‘Pixel is starting’ screen after the reboot required to complete the installation (or even randomly while using them).

What affected users say

Multiple users are reporting on social platforms and forums their sad experiences where they lost access to their devices and data after the update. According to them, the Pixel 7 series ‘Pixel is starting’ error can appear both suddenly when using the phone, or immediately after updating it to Android 14.

In the first case, affected users receive a message saying that their phones will be factory reset. This notification may appear either while using it or after a reboot. Then, when they restarted their phone to try to solve the problem, they got permanently stuck on the ‘Pixel is starting’ screen.


This problem is not exactly new or exclusive to the Android 14 update. By searching a little, I was able to find reports describing similar situations of Pixel 7 users for several months (check screenshot below).


Some users suggest that the root of the problem is a corrupt system partition. So, the Android 14 update could be triggering this ‘corrupt partition’ issue on some Pixel 7 phones somehow. There is even a case where the problem appeared after the phone fell to the ground, so in this kind of case the influence of a potential hardware failure is evident.

Potential solutions to the problem

According to Redditor FATALiTY-o-, the only way they could solve the problem was to download the Android 14 ZIP file and install it from the phone Recovery menu. For those who don’t know, you can access the Recovery menu on your Google Pixel by following these steps:

1. Turn off your phone
2. Press and hold both the ‘Power’ and ‘Volume down’ buttons at the same time for a few seconds
3. In the on-screen menu, use the ‘Volume’ buttons to navigate between the available modes until you find ‘Recovery’

Click/tap to expand

4. Confirm your selection by pressing the ‘Power’ button

If you want to try this method and have some knowledge, you can download the Android 14 ZIP files for eligible Google Pixel phones from this link.

Alternatively, from the ‘Recovery’ menu you can also find the ‘Factory Reset’ option, which could help solve the problem. However, using this option will completely wipe all data on your device, so keep that in mind. This option may be ideal for those who are sure that all the content on their phones is already backed up.

Bug acknowledged, fix in the works

Fortunately, a member of the Google team confirmed that they are already aware of the bug and working on a fix. The fix will not delete user data once it is deployed, and they are even studying methods to help recover some data for those who already made a factory reset to regain access to their devices.

For now, they have already sent a Google Play system update that prevents the problem from appearing for those who were not affected. Additionally, they confirmed that it is related to the use of the Android ‘multiple profiles’ feature, as well as the ‘locked storage’ bug also reported.

If you are one of those affected, you can give the solutions suggested above a try and let me know if they worked for you in the comments box below.

NOTE: You can also check our Pixel 7 series bugs/issues tracker.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Jean Leon
1613 Posts

A tech enthusiast since ever. I like to always be up to date on the latest news in the industry and write about it. Twitter: @jean_ERdC

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