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 Lee
News Editor

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.