User Profile Android 14 Bug with ‘locked storage’ message may soon brick Pixel phones! No ETA in sight

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Android 14 rollout had been kicked off in a phased manner to eligible Pixel devices in the first week of October. One of the high-severity Android 14 bugs reported was a storage bug impacting users using the “multiple profiles” feature. Initially, reports suggested that this bug was limited to the Pixel 6.

Several Pixel 6 owners started reporting the Android 14 bug that completely obstructed access to their local storage, thereby resulting in the loss of valuable personal data. However, the User Profile Android 14 issue is found to be not limited to a specific device now. It has been found to be affecting a range of devices upgrading to Android 14 early, including the Pixel 6, 6a, 7, 7a, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet.

User Profile Android 14 Bug with 'locked storage' message may soon brick Pixel phones! No ETA in sight

This bug is causing significant disruptions, rendering devices virtually unusable due to a lockout of their device storage. Some users have likened this experience to encountering “ransomware.”

What is User Profile Android 14 Bug?

Following the installation of Android 14, numerous Pixel users are encountering a significant bug that severely impacts their local storage. According to user reports, when attempting to use applications that require access to storage, such as the Camera app for taking photos or WhatsApp for sending media files, affected users are presented with error messages indicating ‘no internal storage available’ or ‘not enough storage available.’

Furthermore, when users try to access the content stored in their local storage through a file explorer app, they find that all downloads, documents, or multimedia are rendered inaccessible.

User Profile Android 14 Bug with 'locked storage' message may soon brick Pixel phones! No ETA in sight

In other words, previously saved files and data, including documents and media, appear as blank or non-functional. cannot take pictures, I cannot install or uninstall apps. It affects only my main account. I have a separate account where everything works just fine.

User Profile Android 14 Bug with 'locked storage' message may soon brick Pixel phones! No ETA in sight

The original poster mentioned experiencing “storage is full” errors following a reboot following an overnight update to Android 14, while another commenter reported a complete loss of access to their device’s internal storage. This issue is causing considerable disruption for those affected and may result in the loss of important data and the inability to use essential apps and features that rely on storage access.

User Profile Android 14 Bug with 'locked storage' message may soon brick Pixel phones! No ETA in sight

A few of the most common issues being reported on the issue tracker of Google, Reddit, and Google community forums have been summed up below. It’s evident that the Android 14 update has had a detrimental impact on your primary user account, rendering the device practically unusable. Here are the key issues a Pixel user is facing:

  1. Inability to Use the Camera: The Camera app is no longer functional, preventing you from taking photos. The camera app is displaying an “out of storage” message, and one is unable to take screenshots due to a lack of available storage space.
  2. App Management Problems: It’s impossible to install or uninstall apps.
  3. Download and Attachment Issues: New downloads and media attachments cannot be saved.
  4. Loss of Internal Storage Recognition: The primary user account no longer recognizes the device’s internal storage. The file manager on the Pixel device shows 0 bytes for all types of files and empty folders, and one cannot view the files from a PC over USB.
  5. App Download and Update Failures: The device is unable to download and update apps due to its inability to recognize internal storage.
  6. File Access Limitations: Accessing and searching for files on the device is not possible.
  7. Backup Creation Issues: Creating and accessing backups is no longer feasible.
  8. App Deletion: Deleting apps doesn’t remove them from the device but rather adds them to the system section.
  9. Apps Requiring Internal Storage: Apps that rely on internal storage access, such as Camera, Music, Photos, WhatsApp, and Viber, are non-functional.
  10. YouTube Premium Issues: YouTube Music app issues have also affected subscription service.
  11. QR codes – Scanning QR codes is no longer possible
  12. Persistent crashing of System UI and Settings

This problem has not only affected Pixel phones with multiple profiles, but it has also rendered it stuck at the “Pixel is starting” stage where one cannot use the Authentication app, thus getting locked out of work. Google support has suggested a factory reset as a potential solution, but most of the users are reluctant to proceed with this option due to concerns about data loss.

Has Google acknowledged the User Profile Android 14 Bug?

The Google issue tracker for the Android Bug “pixel 6 can’t access storage with multiple profiles after updating to android 14” has garnered over 400 responses. However, it has not been moved to P0 nor assigned to any dev. Currently, it is assigned medium “P2” priority (with P0 as the highest priority). This suggests that, as of the last update, no one from Google has taken up investigating and resolving the soft bricking issue.

User Profile Android 14 Bug with 'locked storage' message may soon brick Pixel phones! No ETA in sight

One of the Pixel users has shared the response on Issue Tracker that he received from Google support when he briefed the Android 14 bug.

However, a confirmation has come from a Google Product Expert on the Pixel support forums. Currently, it’s been confirmed that the Google team is actively working on a solution to address this disruptive storage problem. However, there is no estimated time of arrival (ETA) for when the fix will be rolled out.

User Profile Android 14 Bug with 'locked storage' message may soon brick Pixel phones! No ETA in sight

With no ETA in sight, affected users may continue to be unable to use their devices or access their local files for an unspecified period, unless they opt for a factory reset. Unfortunately, going the ‘factory reset’ route entails the loss of all data, making it a challenging decision for those affected.

Also for Google Pixel users after the Android 14 update, it’s advisable to consider disabling or avoiding the use of the ‘multiple profiles’ option on your devices. This precautionary measure can help prevent encountering critical bugs until Google releases a new Android 14 update with the necessary bug fixes. By disabling this feature, you may reduce the risk of experiencing storage-related problems and disruptions currently affecting some users.

User Profile Android 14 Bug with 'locked storage' message may soon brick Pixel phones! No ETA in sight

However, we can also see Google taking steps to address the critical issue by providing some compensation and repair options. Here’s what Google is offering:

  1. $25 Store Credit: Google is providing a $25 credit to be used in the Google Store for those affected by the bug.
  2. Repair Options:
    • Advanced Exchange: Under this option, users will receive a temporary replacement device before sending their damaged phone for technical service. This allows users to continue using a device while their original one is being repaired.
    • Standard Exchange: With this choice, users will receive a replacement device after their damaged phone is inspected by the technical service. This option ensures that the replacement device meets the necessary standards before being sent to the user.

Both repair options aim to provide users with a solution to their device issues, but they come with different conditions that should be considered. The detailed response from the Google support team likely outlines the specific terms and requirements for each option.

The hope is that Google will resolve this critical bug promptly, as it should never have been present in the first place. This will enable Pixel owners to retrieve their personal data as well as use their devices without worries and frustrations.

Rashmi
Rashmi
Rashmi is the Editor of PhonesWiki. She launched PhonesWiki back in 2018, turning it into a top spot for phone news and updates by 2019. Now, it's your go-to for leaks and solutions to phone problems. Her first phone was a Nokia 6610, but now she relies on an iPhone 14 Pro as daily driver. Rashmi's a tech enthusiast through and through, always tinkering with gadgets and gizmos. When she's not writing, you'll find Rashmi hanging out with her beloved pet, enjoying some quality playtime. Have a tip or just want to say hello? Contact her at info@phoneswiki.com

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