How to Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

How to Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

This tutorial will take you through the easy instructions to unlock bootloader on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL in a very simple and detailed manner.

If you’ve already bought the Pixel 2 and are keen on unlocking its bootloader, then this tutorial is for you. Unlocking the bootloader will allow you to perform several custom actions on your device. It basically wide opens the gates to seamless customization on Android. It is often considered as the foremost requirement for rooting most Android devices. Following this tutorial you will be able to unlock bootloader on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

How to Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
How to Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Check out more on Pixel 2 and Android Oreo:

Table of Contents

Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

If you are here, then there must be a solid reason behind it. An unlocked bootloader could help you in more than a few ways and not just for rooting, particularly.

Here is a list of few advantages of unlocking the bootloader:

  • The first and foremost reason to have an unlocked bootloader is the ability to flash the factory image.
  • It also gives you the ability to format, erase, and rewrite the current device partitions. So, if you want to restore stock firmware or flash existing partitions like recovery or boot (kernel), you will need to unlock bootloader on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices.
  • If you are also keen on rooting and further customization, then unlocking the bootloader will ensure that your device is ready when the root and TWRP recovery arrive.

Kudos to Google that the Nexus and Pixel lineup offer unlockable bootloaders. Often, on several OEM devices, unlocking the bootloader could be a headache. But not when you have a Pixel series device in your hands. The process is effortlessly simple and doesn’t require any expertise.

Before we get to the actual steps to unlock bootloader on Google Pixel 2/2XL, there are a few things that you should take a note of first.

Important Information

This process will erase your device completely, which includes the apps and data, contacts, internal storage, and everything else present on the device.

Although according to Phandroid, unlocking the bootloader on this device should not affect the warranty status, but we would still advise you to cross-check on your end with Google. In any case, you can always revert back to the locked bootloader state if you want.

One more thing, these instructions will not work on Verizon variant of the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. Now, head over to the instructions and unlock bootloader on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices.

Prerequisites

  • Backup your Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL completely. As told earlier, this process will erase your device completely. So make sure to backup anything and everything that is important. You can also follow our tutorial on how to effectively backup an Android phone.
  • Also, charge your Pixel device to at least 50-60% battery level to avoid any disturbance during the unlock process.
  • In order to unlock bootloader on Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, you must first enable USB debugging on the device and install ADB and Fastboot tools on your PC. We have an extensive guide for this purpose. In case you already have it setup, you can move to the next step right away.
  • You will also need to enable ‘OEM Unlocking‘ option in Settings -> System -> Developer options. This is very important, or else the unlock command will not work at all.

Now after you’re done with the requirements stated above, you will be ready to unlock bootloader on Google Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL. So go through the simple instructions below.

Also read: How to Use Autofill on Android Oreo 8.0

Steps to Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

  1. Boot your Pixel 2 device into Bootloader Mode:
    • Power off the phone completely.
    • Wait for 2-3 seconds.
    • Press and hold the Volume Down + Power button simultaneously for 3-4 seconds.
    • Your Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL shall now be in Bootloader Mode.
      Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL - Bootloader Mode
      Bootloader Mode as seen on Nexus 6P and is similar to that on the Pixel 2.
  2. While your device is in Bootloader Mode (Also, sometimes referred as Fastboot Mode), connect it to the PC using the USB cable. We recommend using a good quality cable, preferably the one you got in the box. Low-quality alternatives could be dodgy and harmful.
  3. On your Windows PC, go to the folder where the ADB and Fastboot binaries are present. If you have followed our tutorial, it should be C:\adb.
    • Note: If you’re using Linux/macOS, you will have to use the change directory (cd) command to direct the Terminal to the directory where ADB and Fastboot files are present.
  4. Now, press and hold the SHIFT key. While holding it, right-click on an empty space inside the folder. Then select ‘Open PowerShell window here’ from the menu that appears.
    Open PowerShell on Windows
  5. Start by entering the command below to confirm that your Pixel phone is being detected by Fastboot. If you’re using Linux/macOS, add a dot and a forward slash (./) in front of every command that we have mentioned below.
    fastboot devices
  6. The command shall return a device ID along with “fastboot” message in the CMD/PowerShell/Terminal window.
  7. Now, unlock bootloader on Google Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL by entering the following command:
    fastboot flashing unlock

    According to Google Developers website, the Pixel 2 XL might also require a slightly different command to unlock all the critical partitions. So, to unlock bootloader on Google Pixel 2 XL, you will need to enter:

    fastboot flashing unlock_critical
  8. As soon as you enter the unlock command, your device will prompt with an on-screen confirmation message. This will erase all the data and bring back your phone to factory settings.
    Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 2 - Confirmation Message
    Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 2 – Confirmation Message
  9. Tap on either of the Volume buttons to highlight ‘Yes‘ and then select it by pressing the Power button.
  10. The device will reboot back into the bootloader. Just enter the command below to reboot it back into the OS.
    fastboot reboot

You have just been successful to unlock bootloader on Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Once your phone boots up, go through the on-screen instructions and perform the setup.

It is still an initial phase for the device, so it may take some time before actual modifications like official TWRP or root solutions arrive for it. But when they do, your device will be ready and we will definitely let you know with another tutorial.

Check out more:

If you have any questions on how to unlock bootloader on Google Pixel 2, feel free to drop a comment and we would love to answer it.

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