Broken Gboard Update Locks Some Android Users Out of Their Devices

An update that Google released for its Android keyboard Gboard causes the app to keep crashing, with some users claiming they’ve been locked out of their devices because the keyboard no longer shows up to enter the passcode.

Very important to note is that not all Android devices where this update was installed are affected, and at this point, figuring out a pattern to tell exactly who encounters the bug and who doesn’t is impossible.

User posts on Google’s support forums and on reddit point to the Gboard crashing issue happening on various Android devices, including Motorola phones.

Fix and workarounds

In a statement released a few hours ago, Google explains that it has already pushed a fix to Google Play Store, and users are recommended to install the new version of Gboard as soon as possible to avoid the bug. Only older versions of Android are impacted, Google claims, and the company admits that users locked out of their devices might have to reset their phones.

“We’re aware of a bug in a recent update to Gboard users on Android 7.1 and below that caused the keyboard to crash for some users. A fix for this issue (8.9.14) has been rolled out; for most people, the app will update automatically which will resolve the problem. For some users, it may require a reset of their device for the update to take effect,” Google says.

As per 9to5Google, those who want to fix the issue without installing the latest version of Gboard can just clear storage and cache from Settings > Apps > Gboard > Clear Data and Cache.

On the other hand, the workaround is a lot less convenient in the case of users who can no longer unlock their devices because the app crashes. If connecting a keyboard to the smartphone isn’t possible, then resetting the device altogether is the only way to go.

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