How To Unlock Google Pixel 2/XL Bootloader


While heading towards the end of a great year in the history of smartphones, Google also played its role and rolled out two new smartphones. Google released the Pixel successors in the form of Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Just like the predecessor, these smartphones differentiated from each other in terms of display and a few other hardware aspects. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both run on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are also the very first smartphones to receive the Android 8.1 Oreo update. These phones have great cameras as well. Both these phones were surrounded by a number of issues in the start. Some users even received the handsets without any operating system and some users were simply unable to unlock the bootloader of their phones. Google has fixed most of the issues now and the phones are running pretty stable.Unlock Google Pixel 2/XL Bootloader

Since these are pure Google phones, customization on these phones is more than easy. Unlike other phone manufacturers, Google doesn’t restrict its users from unlocking the bootloader. All it takes is a set of a few commands and you are done kicking away all the limits set up by Google on your phone. The only compromise here is the loss of warranty(which can be restored by locking the bootloader again), OTA updates any kind of official services provided by Google for your phone. You are still capable of updating your phone, you are still capable of taking your phone back to the official form. The way you unlock your bootloader, you can lock it the same way as well. What this means is, once you have unlocked the bootloader, you are on your own. If you know what you are playing with while unlocking the bootloader, you definitely know how to deal with it afterwards.

Users who are new to the term “unlocking bootloader” have some questions in mind beforehand. It’s important to clear those queries so that you can go ahead without any hiccups. The very first question that comes up in the mind of an average Android user is what is the bootloader and why you would want to unlock it. Well, the answer is simple. The bootloader works for a phone just like a heart works for the human body. The bootloader has the kernel code that helps a phone boot up. It also helps the phone to read whether the system installed on it is in the original form or it has been modified. One purpose of a secure bootloader is also to ensure the users’ security and privacy. For this reason, the manufacturers ask you to accept a few warnings before you go ahead breaking the boundaries. If you try to flash anything custom on the phone without unlocking the bootloader, the phone will simply refuse to boot up. It needs to be solid to let the phone boot into the system. That’s why it requires you to say goodbye to the security settings on the bootloader before installing a custom recovery, a custom ROM or rooting your phone.

Now that you are on this page reading this post, It’s safe to assume that you are here to learn the method to unlock the bootloader of your Pixel 2/XL. Here’s a detailed tutorial to help yourself to unlock Google Pixel 2/XL Bootloader.

Things to take care of:

  1. This guide is only for the Google Pixel 2/XL. Do not try this on any other phone.
  2. Backup your contacts, call logs, text messages and media content. Unlocking bootloader will wipe your phone completely. Make sure that you have backed up everything beforehand.
  3. Enable USB Debugging mode on your phone. To do so, go to Settings > About Phone > Tap the build number for 7 times. Now get back to Settings > scroll down > open Developer Options > Enable USB Debugging now.
  4. Enable OEM Unlocking on your phone. To do so, go to Settings > About Phone > scroll all the way down > Developer Options > Enable OEM Unlocking.
  5. Use original data cable to connect your Google Pixel 2/XL to your computer.
  6. Follow this guide carefully.

Required installations:

How to Unlock Google Pixel 2/XL Bootloader now

  1. On your computer, open the Minimal ADB and Fastboot.exe from the desktop. This will open the command window.
  2. Now connect your phone to your computer. Accept the permission on your phone if it asks for any.
  3. Now in the command window, enter the following commands one by one.
    1. adb devices
      1. This command will verify the connection in adb mode.
    2. adb reboot bootloader
      1. This command will reboot your phone into the bootloader.
    3. fastboot flashing unlock
      1. This command will perform a normal bootloader unlock process on your phone. Use this if you do not want to flash bootloader files directly on your phone.
    4. fastboot flashing unlock_critical
      1. This command will unlock the bootloader for flashing bootloader files directly. Use this if you want to go ahead with direct modifications on the bootloader of your phone.

That’s all for now. Don’t forget to learn to install TWRP recovery on Google Pixel 2/XL. There’s a guide to root Google Pixel 2/XL available on our site as well. In case you have got any queries, feel free to drop them in the comments section below.

Usama M, a software engineer by profession, is the founder and editor-in-chief at Techbeasts. At Techbeasts, he uses his expertise to craft solutions to solve everyday consumer tech problems. His main areas of interest are Android, iOS, and Windows. You can find him on YouTube at "Tech with Usama".

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