The March 2021 update for Google’s Pixel smartphones delivered some new features and security improvements as well, but it also came with an issue for some users. Apparently, some Pixels are having problems with wireless charging on the March update.

Multiple Google support threads, as well as posts on Reddit show that a fair number of Pixel owners from multiple generations are having wireless charging woes over the past two weeks. The root cause is unknown, but it seems to be something to do with the March 2021 update that rolled out on the 1st.

Those affected report that their phone is regularly displaying the “align phone to charge” error message that usually shows when a phone isn’t properly aligned with the coils of their wireless charger, but in this case it’s showing up even when the phone is perfectly lined up. The issue seems to main affect third-party, fast wireless chargers, while some older, slower chargers are working fine, according to some users.

In many cases, charging still works, but in most, the phone can’t get to 100%. It’s worth noting, though, that this strange wireless charging bug on Pixels following the March update isn’t hurting everyone. Our own Kyle Bradshaw, a daily Pixel 5 user, hasn’t had any trouble with this device. Personally, my Pixel 5 has been mostly fine, but I have noticed once or twice that the phone didn’t fully charge, even though I thought it was aligned properly. It’s hard to tell for sure if this bug was the cause, though.

Google has yet to officially acknowledge this issue, but it’s likely that a fix will arrive in the future. Notably, the March update did fix a battery indicator bug on Pixel 5 devices. If you are affected, some users report that a reboot temporarily fixes the issue, while a reset or rolling back to the February update can also solve the problem more permanently.

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Ben Schoon

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