It’s almost hard to believe this is happening again, but Pixel users are reporting that an OS update has locked them out of their phones’ internal storage, causing app crashes, non-functional phones, and a real possibility of data loss. Over in the Google Pixel subreddit, user “Liv-Lyf” compiled a dozen posts that complain of an “internal storage access issue” and blame the January 2024 Google Play system update.
In October, Pixel phones faced a nightmare storage bug that caused bootlooping, inaccessible devices, and data loss. The recent post says, “The symptoms are all the same” as that October bug, with “internal storage not getting mounted, camera crashes, Files app shows no files, screenshots not getting saved, internal storage shows up empty in ADB Shell, etc.” When asked for a comment, Google told Ars, “We’re aware of this issue and are looking into it,” and a Google rep posted effectively the same statement in the comments.
“We’re looking into it” isn’t what users want to hear.
“If you needed any further convincing that Google is a ____ company, it’s Google breaking a fundamental aspect of a phone brought to you by Google to supposedly deliver the purest Android experience available,” said one commenter.
“How the hell did this ever get released?” asked another. “I know Google hasn’t been doing basic management well recently but this is a whole new level of incompetence. If there were real active competition in the smartphone OS market, this is the kind of thing that would have damn nearly killed a company.”