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Wireless charging on Pixel phones may be broken after March update

Google Pixel 5 Wireless Charger
Google Pixel 5 Wireless Charger (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Users are reporting that their Pixel phones are unable to charge wirelessly after receiving the March update.
  • Pixel Stand chargers seem to work after being recently updated, but the problem still affects third-party chargers.
  • There appears to be no fix from Google, and troubleshooting has not seemed to work.

Smartphone security updates usually come with several improvements, and Google's Pixel smartphones receive them very regularly. The most recent update started rolling out at the beginning of the month and brought several bug fixes, such as one that addressed the battery indicator getting stuck. But while the March update came with several fixes, it seems to have introduced a new bug that affects charging.

Owners of Pixel smartphones that support wireless charging, like the Google Pixel 5, have reported that the feature has been spotty or no longer seems to work. Users on both Reddit and Google support forums have noted that since the March security patch was released, their Pixels receive an "align phone to charge" error message and are seemingly unable to charge.

Some Reddit users are also reporting that their Pixel smartphones will stop charging wirelessly when reaching 91%. The two problems seem to be related, and the common variable among the reported issues is the March security update. Troubleshooting with reboots and factory resets doesn't seem to have much effect. One user did roll back to the February patch and managed to get it working again, more or less confirming a software problem. You can, of course, attempt to roll back as well, as long as you understand the necessary steps to downgrade Android.

It also seems only to affect third-party wireless chargers and not Google's own Pixel Stand. One user pointed out that the Pixel Stand was recently updated and that wireless charging works fine, indicating that Google may actually be aware of the problem. Curiously that leaves Google's own charger as the only working option, rendering many of the best Google Pixel 5 wireless chargers more or less useless until the software problem is addressed.

Some users note that wireless charging on third-party chargers seems to work only when the device is turned off; otherwise, you may have to resort to wired charging for the time being.

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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

11 Comments
  • I thought it was just my charger being goofy. It either asks to reposition for faster charging or doesn't work at all.
  • Pixel 3 and 4 both charging on the Pixel stands. I've never tried a 3rd party charger.
  • My Pixel 4 XL charges fine on a third-party wireless charger.
  • Same here. No problems on any of my 3rd party chargers with the 4xl.
  • The Pixel Stand is good but it's not particularly portable. Wish Google would release a charging pad.
  • My pixel 5 charges fine on the built-in wireless charger in my car and pixel stand.
  • Strange. On this site under the Pixel 4/4XL there is a thread going on March Update and starting with post 15, the person notes his pixel charger stop charging his pixel; meanwhile some (including me) have posted that there has been no problem with wireless and in m case, I'm using an Ankey and just checked...still works. Phone at 93% charge, placed on the charger, and showing it is charging.
  • A Google product that isn't working properly? That IS a surprise...
  • Come on Man' you're charging it wrong
  • My 3rd party wireless charger seems to be working as usual with a Pixel 4. No strange messages, connection indicator light turns on, phone shows it is charging.
  • Bug my butt...sounds to me like a Google feature...you know, force them to use a Google charger. LOL