Update 1 (December 4, 2023)

05:33 pm (IST): Fortunately, Google has completely addressed the ‘locked storage’ bug with the November 2023 security patch.

Original story follows:

Since the first stable rollout of Android 14, several Google Pixel 6 series users have been reporting a serious bug where their local storage is completely blocked after updating, losing access to their valuable personal data.

It seems that the initial rollout of the latest Android version is a bit bumpy, given the multiple problems reported. Added to this bug are third-party launchers not working, Bluetooth instability cases, soft bricking, or Android Auto erratic behavior, among others.

Google Pixel 6 series ‘locked storage’ bug after Android 14 update

The Google Pixel 6 series brought a big change of direction in the company’s way of doing things. From there, Google began implementing their own Tensor custom chipsets, in addition to new 50 MP camera sensors after several years using the same 12.2 MP Sony IMX363.


These phones remain in force thanks to the long-term support that the company offers. However, after installing Android 14, many Pixel 6 series users are experiencing a terrible bug that is blocking their local storage.

According to reports, when trying to use an app with access to storage (for example, Camera app to take photos or WhatsApp to send media files) affected users get an error message that says ‘no internal storage is available’ or ‘not enough storage available’.

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Also, when they try to access the content saved in the local storage through a file explorer app, everything is completely inaccessible. That is, all downloads, documents or multimedia are just blank files.

Click/tap to expand

The root of the problem: ‘Multiple profiles’ feature

Of course, this issue can raise fears of potential hardware damage and the total loss of all user data. However, it appears that it does not cause permanent damage to the device’s storage, but ‘data loss’ can happen as the only way to fix it (at least for now) is to perform a factory reset.

That said, it seems that the ‘multiple profiles’ feature is responsible for triggering the Google Pixel 6 series ‘locked storage’ bug on Android 14. More specifically, it is happening to many unfortunate people who had more than one user profile set on their devices before updating.


It’s noteworthy that the ‘multiple profiles’ option seems one of the most buggy in Android 14. In addition to being the potential cause of this severe issue, it is also triggering freezing and black screen on some Pixel devices running the latest Android version.

Therefore, for now, the most recommended thing for Google Pixel users is to disable or avoid using the ‘multiple profiles’ option on their devices, at least until Google sends a new Android 14 update with critical bug fixes.

Google Pixel 6 series ‘locked storage’ bug finally acknowledged

After days without an official response from Google, and with several more similar reports emerging non-stop, the bug has finally been acknowledged. This was confirmed by a Google Product Expert on the Pixel support forums.


For now, it has only been confirmed that the Google team is already working on a fix for this annoying storage problem. However, there is still no ETA for its rollout, so affected users will still be unable to use their devices or access their local files for an indefinite period of time, unless they decide to do a factory reset. But, if they choose the ‘factory reset’ route, they will lose all their data.

According to the Product Expert, Google’s recommendation is to contact the Support team directly for better assistance. On the other hand, the Google team also publicly confirmed what the Product Expert said, adding some additional details.

According to the post on Google’s support page, the bug is present from the Pixel 6 series onwards, and its effect may vary depending on the device. While the Google Pixel 6 phones seem to be facing the ‘locked storage’, the Pixel 7 series is getting soft-bricked or stuck on the ‘Pixel is starting’ boot screen.

They already sent a Google Play system update that will help prevent the issue from appearing for those who have not yet been affected. The final fix that will arrive later will recover access to the local storage, and Google team is also working on methods to help recover some data for those users who have already done a factory reset.

Here’s how Google is handling the situation

One of the affected people (Jeoff R on Google support forums) directly contacted the Google support team and got a response, so now we have an idea of what kind of handling the company is giving to this situation.

First, they are adding $25 credit to spend in the Google Store to those affected. In addition, they are offering two options to choose for repair: Advanced Exchange (the user will receive a temporary replacement before sending the damaged device to technical service) and Standard Exchange (the user will receive a replacement device once the damaged phone is inspected by technical service).

Each option has its own additional conditions that must be taken into account. If you want to analyze which one would suit you best, the detailed response from the Google support team is shown below:


Let’s hope it doesn’t take too long for Google to send a fix to this critical bug that it should never have been present in the first place, so that Pixel 6 series fans can finally regain access to their personal data and use their devices without concerns.

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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