Is this why your Google Pixel is feeling sluggish?

Josh Hall's picture
by Josh Hall

Google Pixel owners on Reddit believe they have found the cause of slow performance that has been frustrating some owners of the popular smartphone.

As The Verge reports, contributors to a thread on the site report that performance issues with the Pixel 3 may be fixed by turning off Google's Digital Wellbeing service, with one user describing the difference as being "like night and day".

"My Pixel 3 is finally a flagship phone" once Digital Wellbeing has been switched off, according to one poster.

The app is designed to encourage users to consider their tech habits, and provides dashboards showing breakdowns of daily device usage. It also counts the number of times a smartphone has been unlocked during the day, and the number of notifications the user has received.

In order to do this Digital Wellbeing runs constantly in the background, logging details of which apps are being used and for how long.

But contributors to the several related threads in the Google Pixel sub-Reddit report that the app appears to be a major contributor to the sluggish performance reported by some Pixel 3 owners.

After turning off the 'usage access' permissions for Digital Wellbeing, Reddit user Trueray17 said their phone "has been butter smooth [with] not one stutter or lag. Switching between apps is a breeze now, no more text input lag, just speedy performance throughout the whole UI."

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL users wishing to turn off Digital Wellbeing's usage access permissions can do so by navigating to Settings, clicking Digital Wellbeing, selecting the menu icon in the top right corner, and pressing 'Turn off usage access'.

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