The most common Huawei P20 Pro problems, and how to fix them

It might be an older phone now, but the Huawei P20 Pro is still sure to impress. It has an eye-catching design, a long-lasting battery, and still one of the best cameras we’ve ever encountered on a smartphone. But as impressive as it is, this phone is not perfect, and we’re not just talking about the fact that it isn’t on sale in the U.S.

More on the Huawei P20 Pro

We’ve gathered together some of the most commonly reported Huawei P20 Pro problems for you here, and we’re offering up workarounds and potential fixes to help you get your issues sorted out.

Issue: The Play Store and other Google apps have disappeared

As a flagship phone, the Huawei P20 Pro was entitled to a number of software updates for a couple of years following its release. EMUI 9.1 (under Android 10) is included in that, but many users may wish it wasn’t. Some have noticed the Google Play Store has disappeared from their devices, seemingly having been hidden from view.

Problem is, this isn’t a bug. Due to Huawei’s ongoing issues with the U.S., Huawei is not allowed to use Google’s services — which means no Play Store, no Google Maps, and none of Google’s other services.

Unfortunately, that means there’s no solution to this particular problem, as it’s not a bug or a problem that can be fixed. However, that doesn’t mean you’re without access to new apps. Huawei’s own App Gallery might not be as large as the Google Play Store, but it’s packed with enough favorites that you shouldn’t miss the Play Store too much.

Glitch: Fingerprint sensor not working

Quite a few people have found that the fingerprint sensor on their P20 Pro has stopped working. We’ve seen threads about the issue on the XDA Developer forum and Reddit, among other places. For most people, it seems to be unresponsive, but others have also noted the sensor heating up and the fingerprint sensor options in the Settings menu becoming inaccessible.

Possible fixes:

  • Try going into Settings > Security & privacy > Fingerprint ID. You’ll have to enter your PIN and then you can try adding a New fingerprint.
  • If you can’t access the settings, then try a factory reset, but make sure that you back up everything first because it will wipe your phone completely. Once you’ve backed up, go to Settings > System > Reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone > Reset phone.
  • If the problem persists after a factory reset, then it could be a hardware failure. You’ll have to contact your carrier, retailer, or Huawei to enquire about a repair or a replacement.

Issue: Push notifications not working

A few people have run into an issue with push notifications, whether it’s a new message from WhatsApp or an incoming email from Outlook, not working as they should. When the P20 Pro is in standby, with the screen off, the notifications seem to stop and then they flood in when the phone is picked up and unlocked again. There’s a thread about it at the XDA Developers forum. This is likely due to Settings on your P20 Pro, and it’s easy to fix.

Possible fixes:

  • Start by going to Settings > Battery > More (gear icon at top right) and make sure that Keep Wi-Fi on is set to Always and Keep mobile data on is toggled on.
  • Look in Settings > Apps & notifications > Apps > Settings > Special access > Ignore battery optimization and select any apps you’re having trouble with.
  • Go to Settings > Battery > App launch and toggle any apps you’re having issues with to Manage Manually.
  • Look in Settings > Wireless & networks > Mobile data or Data usage and make sure that Data saver is off.
  • Huawei also has a number of solutions you can try.

Problem: Random reboots

There are a couple of threads on the XDA Developers forum that mention unprompted reboots. For one person, it was happening repeatedly in the Gallery app, but for others, it seems to be a bit more random when it occurs. The P20 Pro will suddenly shut down and restart itself with no apparent cause. This is an issue we’ve seen from time to time on a lot of different phones.

Possible fixes:

  • Try wiping the cache partition to begin with. Turn your Huawei P20 Pro off by holding down the Power key and then tapping Power off. Once it has shut down, hold down the Power and Volume up keys at the same time until you see the Huawei logo. Then release the Power key, but keep holding the Volume up key until you see EMUI on screen. You can use Volume down to highlight Wipe cache partition and the Power key to select it. When it’s done, use Volume up to highlight Reboot system now and the Power key to select it.
  • If the rebooting problem persists after this, we’d guess that an app or setting is to blame. The easiest way to test this hypothesis is to factory reset the phone. Back up everything first, then go to Settings > System > Reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone > Reset phone. When it’s done, try setting your phone up as new instead of restoring the backup and test to see if the rebooting problem returns. If it doesn’t, then you can start reinstalling apps selectively, watching out for a recurrence of the reboot problem.
  • If you do a factory reset and set the Huawei P20 Pro up as new and it still reboots unexpectedly, then it’s time to contact Huawei, your carrier, or your retailer.

Issue: Battery draining too quickly

We were particularly impressed by the battery life of the Huawei P20 Pro, which boasts a 4,000mAh battery. It should easily last you a day — and two full days between charges is not out of the question. Yet we’ve seen threads on the XDA Developers forum and Android Central forum about disappointing battery performance. The battery is big enough that you shouldn’t really have to bother with workarounds, but we have a few suggestions anyway. We also have an idea about a possible fix.

Workarounds:

  • You can always go to Settings > Battery and turn Power saving mode or Ultra power saving mode on, but doing so will cut some background operations and slow performance.
  • You can save some battery life by going to Settings > Security & Privacy > Screen Lock & Passwords and toggling Always display information off.
  • You might also consider going to Settings > Battery to toggle on Darken interface colors.
  • Take a look in Settings > Battery > App launch and consider tweaking some settings to save power.
  • Go to Settings > Display and change Screen resolution from FHD+ to HD+ or set it to Smart.
  • Set the Sleep setting in Settings > Display as low as you can tolerate.

Potential fixes:

  • Back up everything first, then go to Settings > System > Reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone > Reset phone. If you restore a backup after the reset and the problem returns, then try factory resetting again and set the phone up as new. It’s possible that a setting or app in your backup is causing the problem.
  • Replace the battery. It’s an extreme fix, but an effective one. As devices age, batteries begin to wear out. As such, replacing a battery for a fresh one can reap real benefits for a phone’s performance. If you’re considering this, make sure to

Glitch: Touchscreen latency or lag

We’ve seen a couple of posts, most notably on the XDA Developers forum, about touchscreen delays or lag when people are scrolling or trying to do small, precise movements on the screen.

Potential fixes:

  • Some users have suggested going to Settings > Smart assistance > Motion control to turn things like Smart screenshot off. It’s possible these gestures are tweaking how the touchscreen responds. You should also make sure that Gloves mode is toggled off in Settings > Smart assistance.
  • A few people say that a software update has fixed the issue for them. Check in Settings > System > System update > Check for updates and see if there’s a software update available.

Workarounds:

  • Try going to Settings > Display and changing Screen resolution from FHD+ to HD+ to see if that makes any difference.

Problem: Slow charging

Huawei’s SuperCharge system can take the battery from zero to full in about 90 minutes, but some people have had trouble getting fast charging speeds. There are a couple of threads on XDA Developers forum about this.

Potential fixes:

  • Make sure that you are using the cable and charger that came with your Huawei P20 Pro and it is plugged into a working wall outlet.
  • If your Huawei P20 Pro got wet, then it might be limiting charging speed as a safety feature. Give it some time to dry out or place it in a bowl of uncooked rice to draw any moisture out, then test again.
  • If the problem persists, contact Huawei, your carrier, or your retailer.

Issue: Microphone not working properly

Another issue with the Huawei P20 Pro is the microphone not working. Users report that the mic malfunctions during voice calls and while trying to record sound for audio and video messages. Plenty of online threads on the XDA Developers forum discuss this topic.

Workarounds:

  • Restart your device by holding down the Power button and tapping Restart. This solution seems to work for most users, although it’s only temporary. Of course, it’s also possible that the issue stems from using Private Space, utilizing the USB-C headphone adapter, or using Bluetooth for audio. If you’re running any of those options, try restarting them, too.
  • It’s also possible that other apps that use your microphone are affecting your audio performance. One way to handle that is by uninstalling any apps that use your microphone. A less extreme solution is to deny or remove microphone permissions for those apps. Check for apps that use your microphone via Settings > Apps & notifications > Permissions.

Possible fix:

  • There’s a good chance that the microphone issue is just a software bug that will resolve with an update. Go to Settings > System > System update > Check for updates and see if there is a software update available. You may also want to open the Play Store, tap the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) at the top left and tap My apps & games > Update all. That should fix any problems caused by microphone glitches in-app.

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