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How to Fix Delayed Notifications on a Google Pixel Phone on Android 11, 12, 13, 14 Using ADB via USB (Tethered) or On the Device Itself (Untethered)

Relevant for Google Pixel models:

  • Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 4 XL
  • Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 5a 5G
  • Pixel 6, Pixel 6a, Pixel 6 Pro
  • Pixel 7, Pixel 7a, Pixel 7 Pro
  • Pixel 8, Pixel 8a, Pixel 8 Pro

Android versions:

  • Android 11
  • Android 12
  • Android 13
  • Android 14

Great Cameras, Buggy OS

One of the requirements for a new project of mine was a dedicated Android smartphone with some of the best cameras on the market. According to the latest tests, the Google Pixel smartphone lineup still leads the pack when it comes to reasonably priced camera phones. It also seems like there haven't been any noticeable improvements on the camera hardware in those since the release of the 6th generation of Pixels. So I picked up a shiny new Pixel 6a, created a new Gmail account and signed in.

All was going well until I realized that most, if not all email and instant messaging apps' notifications were delayed. Sometimes for a minute. Usually – for much longer.

At first I shrugged it off, thinking, "Well, what did I expect? It's an Android phone. You have to spend time fiddling with it to get it to behave as needed...". You know the drill.

Therefore, I made sure to try and fix this with the tools presented by the OS:

  • Disabled Battery Saver and Adaptive Battery
  • Lifted any background activity restrictions for Gmail and messaging apps
  • Allowed those apps to have unrestricted access to the internet
  • Updated both Android and the apps to the latest versions


Alas, even after completely powering down and restarting the phone, as recommended in some forums, nothing changed. Within about 5 minutes, the phone would still go into some sort of deep sleep mode, which in turn would cause email and instant messaging notifications to be delayed again.

Really? Do I still have to switch into a "Power User" mode and jump through hoops even in 2024 to fix freaking notifications?

Guess some things never change…