After installing the January 2024 Google Play system update, some Pixel owners reported an issue accessing data stored in internal storage, and Google is now out with a detailed fix that end users can apply to their phones.
The company confirmed today that the January Google Play system update was responsible for this problem that resulted in app crashes, being unable to take screenshots, and “external storage working inconsistently.”
It impacted a “small number of Pixel phones” and was “more prevalent in devices with multiple user accounts and/or work profiles.” Last year’s issue after the initial Android 14 update impacted devices with multiple users enabled, but this problem appears to impact more people.
Google today is “working on a fix for the root system update issue,” and will share more details when they become available.
In the meantime, Google has a way to “restore storage functionality to your device without causing data loss.” Those that don’t care about losing data/have backups can reset their phone to get rid of the Play system update.
The fix is a pair of ADB commands and restarting your device.
- ./adb uninstall com.google.android.media.swcodec
- ./adb uninstall com.google.android.media
It requires that you have a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer and are “comfortable installing and using some developer tools” (ADB). You also need to enable Developer options and USB debugging. Notably, Google’s closing step is to turn off USB debugging/Developer options.
Full instructions from Google are available here.
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