OnePlus has become notorious for shipping either half-baked updates or ones that cause devices to bootloop or worse. The Android 12 developer preview for the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro was pulled back after it bricked devices. While the unstable nature of developer software dilutes the culpability to an extent, it’s surely not acceptable when a stable OTA causes the same problem. Unfortunately, the stable OxygenOS 126.96.36.199 update for the OnePlus 9 Pro has lead to similar issues for some people.
The problem doesn’t seem to be widespread, but it’s still concerning that an incremental update could render your phone unusable. Our very own Artem faced the issue (#ArtemsLuck), and we spotted yet another user on Twitter who received the “init_user0_failed” error before the phone went into a boot loop.
— Artem Russakovskii (@ArtemR) June 6, 2021
Fortunately, if you’re facing a similar issue with a OnePlus update, there’s a simple fix that could address this. Power off the phone and then boot into recovery mode by holding the volume down and power button until you see the OnePlus logo.
Now, select the language of your preference, and tap Wipe data and cache. Here, select the Wipe cache option and hit Yes to continue. This should take a few seconds and once successful you can then Reboot. Don’t worry, following this process won’t delete any of your data. This worked out well for Artem and there’s no harm in trying this out if a different update causes your OnePlus phone to bootloop.
If this doesn’t work for you, it’s best to approach OnePlus support and ask them what the hell just happened to your phone. I’m joking, don’t be rude but make sure to leave some stern feedback — stable updates shouldn’t cause major problems like this, and not all of us have the knowledge or time to deal with it. This method will hopefully help a few of you out in your time of need.