I thought I’d lost my mind when Android 8.1 was released for the Pixel XL (the first one) and charging stopped working. I mean, it’d work sometimes, but a lot of the time my phone would no longer charge. I’d plug it in, and nothing – sometimes the charging notification (the lightning bolt) would appear on the battery icon, but most of the time it wouldn’t. I tried all sorts of cords, old and new – nothing!
I searched for the problem on the internet – nothing doing. For about a week I thought I was just going crazy – or that my phone had some sort of invisible piece of cookie stuck in its charging port. As it turned out, other people where having the same problem as I, and Google caught wind of the issue and began working on a fix back in March of this year.
Thanks to an intrepid Google Issue Tracker user, we seem to have the issue tracked. It would SEEM that after the Android 8.1 Oreo update was released, the Pixel XL began to attempt to draw power at a voltage too high for its standard charger. Unfortunate for users like myself, most standard smartphone chargers couldn’t deal with the large power draw the Pixel XL had switched to. As a result of this power draw request, most chargers will detect a hazardous fault and stop providing power.
The good news is, it does not appear that the situation destroyed any hardware. The other good news, as seen first by Android Central, is that the latest update provided by Google fixes the issue at hand. That’s the May security update which you can read all about over at Android Developers Security The issue is patched as follows: “References: A-72851087, Category: Power, Improvements: Adjust Pixel XL charging behavior, Devices: Pixel XL.”
You can expect this update to appear on your Pixel XL immediately if not soon. This update can be forced to appear by heading to Settings – System – System Update – Check for Update. There ye shall find the button ye be seeking.