Digital wellbeing

Last year at I/O, Google launched its Digital Wellbeing feature that made its debut with Android Pie. This feature is aimed at monitoring smartphone usage to curb wasting of time on apps and strike a healthier balance between life and tech.

But over the last few days, several Pixel owners have been complaining of Digital Wellbeing slowing down their phones. There’s even a thread on Reddit dedicated to this issue where users are sharing their experience.

Some of them are saying that switching off the Digital Wellbeing feature seems to resolve the issue while others don’t think it makes any difference.

The theory that turning off Digital Wellbeing fixes performance issues on Pixel phones was first brought up by a Redditor named Trueray17 who claimed that it completely resolves the issue.

Slowing down phones is definitely not a part of Digital Wellbeing but the idea that it could be the reason behind the sluggish performance of phones is concerning.

Digital Wellbeing first arrived on Pixel smartphones, followed by Android One devices and later on to other devices. The list of devices that have this feature is still relatively small. Given that Google is planning to further expand the feature with a new Focus mode in Android Q, this could further worsen the issue.

How to turn off Digital Wellbeing feature?

Google is yet to comment on the issue. Until then, if you want to turn off the feature and see for yourself whether it makes a difference in the performance, here’s how you can do it:

  • Go to Settings
  • Select Digital Wellbeing
  • Tap on the three-dot icon at the top right and select Turn off usage access
  • Select Turn off in Settings in the pop-up card
  • Tap on Digital Wellbeing in the next screen
  • Toggle Permit Usage Access
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