Pixel 6’s December Update Sure is Rolling Out Slowly

Google Pixel 6

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Because I’m writing this, Google is probably going to open the floodgates and give you the update you keep asking about, but yes, this month does seem slower than usual. We aren’t sure what’s happening, all we know is that the December update for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro isn’t readily available for all owners to simply pull and update to as we are used to.

To back up for a second, everyone is well aware that Google pushed out the December update for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro by a full week, separately from the other still-supported Pixel phones. All other Pixel phones got their builds on December 6 and the word from Google was that the Pixel 6 files would show up the following week. That then happened – the Pixel 6 factory image and OTA files were posted December 13, only the over-the-air update has been tough to find in the US.

Since that moment Monday morning, we’ve seen numerous readers complain about not being able to head into Settings>System>System update and tap the “Check for update” button with any success. That’s not typically how it’s supposed to work. Remember, Google told us years ago that tapping that “Check for update” button is a “user-initiated” trigger that should confirm to Google servers that you want the update and to send it to you. For the most part in recent years, it has worked too.

My Pixel 6 Pro running on Google Fi has not successfully pulled the update and I’ve been checking each day.

The only semi-official word from Google on this slow rollout has been through the @MadebyGoogle Twitter account, where they are simply responding to complaints about the slowness of this update rollout with:

We’ve started rolling out December security patch update and your Pixel phone should receive it soon. Updates are released in phases and you’ll receive a notification once it comes through. Appreciate your patience.

And to be honest, rolling this update out slower than usual makes some sense. The December update is a big one, at least in terms of the number of items it aims to fix or address. The list of bug fixes and tweaks that Google shared earlier in the month is one of the longest we’ve ever seen for an update. Android 12 clearly arrived with a lot of problems that Google has worked to fix in these first couple of months since it debuted in October on Pixel phones.

Also, so you are all aware, the factory image and OTA files really are still out there for you to flash if you want. Google hasn’t pulled them, as I’ve seen folks across the internet suggest. The US carrier build is listed as SQ1D.211205.017 for both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. I flashed the OTA build to my Pixel 6 the minute it dropped and have been running it since. If you want to go the same route I did, here are the instructions to do so. Flashing the OTA file won’t factory reset your phone.

To recap, yes, the December update for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro hasn’t arrived as quickly as we are used to. We don’t know why. It’s supposedly rolling out, though, and should be here before long if you’d like to keep hammering that “Check for update” like we used to do.



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