Pixel 7 and 6 Series Restart or Freeze When Watching Videos on YouTube

People buy Pixels for the Google software experience and also for consistent updates. Apps usually are stable and work just the way you want them to.

However, the Pixel experience is not perfect, and we previously covered many issues with Bluetooth connectivity and blurry images from the front camera. That aside, we’ve also seen reports of weird bugs with social media apps and video calls.

Now, many people across Reddit and Twitter are reporting problems with the YouTube app on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 6 series. The problem only shows up with one particular video for some people, but the entire app isn’t functioning normally for others.

Many people say that their Pixel 7 and 6 phones instantly reboot. This happens as soon as they try to play that video. Note that the bug only happens on the YouTube app, not the web player.

For some Pixels, the phone randomly did a 3-second reboot. To get it to work normally, you had to hard restart the phone. As soon as the YouTube app loads up, the phone doesn’t play the video.

It’s interesting to note that if you download the video and play it back, this problem doesn’t happen. The problem persists even with mod apps like Re Vanced.

Some others report that the Pixel is experiencing random crashes, and a band of colors appears on the phone’s display. To get it to work normally again, restarting is the only solution.

People are chalking this down to an auto caption bug. Or, it’s a problem with the way Pixels handle High Dynamic Range content. There are many HDR standards, but YouTube compresses all videos uploaded to the platform.

There’s a chance it’s a software decoding issue. AV1 spec videos that are out of the capabilities of the decoder are unable to play properly. People tried playing the video on iPhones and the S23, but it plays fine on those.

Apparently, this problem is exclusive to Pixels with Tensor chips. So, even some Pixel 6A users have this issue. There’s a chance it’s a problem with Bits and Colour Encoding.

The video in question is a 4K HDR video that’s really CPU and GPU-intensive to play on a phone post-upscale. Other than this, there are some general bugs with the YouTube app, too.

For some people, if they watch YouTube on full screen, the phone completely hangs and freezes up. When they put the YouTube app or YouTube TV in full-screen mode, the problem happens when you try to exit the app using navigation gestures.

The entire screen goes static, and the phone no longer accepts any physical touches. We can’t tell if this is happening to a lot of units, and it’s hard to judge the scale. In some cases, the audio keeps playing, and the physical buttons are still responsive.

The problem doesn’t happen on the normal YouTube player, though. In some extreme cases, the phone is unresponsive for a couple of minutes before you can successfully reboot it.

For some, the buttons don’t work either. To get the phone to work normally, you have to hard restart the device. That’s the only workaround available right now. You’ll have to hold down on the power button until the phone automatically restarts.

We hope newer versions of YouTube fix these bugs, and we’ll keep you updated if there’s any information about bug fixes.

Sudhanshu, a tech writer at DealNTech, is a tech enthusiast who loves to experiment with the latest gadgets and software, especially mobile devices and operating systems. He shares his findings on mobile technology in informative and engaging articles. Email: [email protected]

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