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How to Unlock Google Pixel Bootloader on Android 7.1 Nougat

Written by Hassan Abbas

How to Unlock Google Pixel Bootloader on Android 7.1 Nougat? Just like the Nexus series, Google Pixel bootloader can also be unlocked for your customization needs. However, the s have slightly changed this time as Verizon has locked the bootloader by default, unlike the Google Store version of Pixel and Pixel XL. Developers and users choose to have an unlocked bootloader as it allows them to flash third-party packages and factory images. As for third party packages, custom recoveries, custom ROMs and other tweaks do require you to have an unlocked bootloader. The process is quite simple and once you do unlock it, it won’t void your warranty. However, unlike previous Nexus phones, this time around, the process to unlock the Pixel / Pixel XL bootloader is somewhat different. However, we have explained each in good detail so there shouldn’t be any issue. You can now unlock the bootloader of Pixel and Pixel XL using the complete guide given below.

As you continue reading below, we will guide you on how to unlock the Pixel / Pixel XL bootloader for doing a lot of things with your phone. You may ask, why do we even need to unlock it in the first place? Well, unlocking allows you to install a custom recovery, flash custom ROMs, install latest Android updates with a factory image and do other nasty stuff with your phone — most of all, you will be able to root Pixel / Pixel XL on Android 6.0 and enjoy the various root apps. Just to be clear, the unlocking bootloader will wipe ALL your data from the phone. So make sure you backup everything or unlock bootloader on a new device with nothing to lose.

Google Pixel / Pixel XL USB Drivers

You will need to connect your Android phone with the computer. For that, please make sure you have installed the USB drivers for Google Pixel / Pixel XL properly. If not, you can download the latest official drivers from our Android USB Drivers section here:

Download Google Pixel / Pixel XL USB drivers!

How to Unlock Pixel / Pixel XL Bootloader

We have put together a detailed -by- instructions guide on how to unlock bootloader on Pixel / Pixel XL. If you are used to unlocking bootloaders on any previous Nexus devices, then this should not be any different for you.

Please read every line carefully and make sure you read the tutorial once before actually performing it on your Android device.

To Remember:
  • This unlocking bootloader tutorial is only for Google Pixel / Pixel XL. Please don’t try this on any other variants of the phone.
  • This tutorial has been performed on Windows, but anyone familiar with Fastboot on Mac or Linux can perform this as well with the same commands.
  • Make sure you back up all your data on your phone before proceeding as it will erase all data.
  • You will void your warranty by unlocking the bootloader.
  • Pixel / Pixel XL
  • USB cable
  • Android SDK with drivers (How to set up? Tutorial link given below)

NOTE: A new checkbox has been added in the Developer options in Settings that you have to enable before proceeding below with unlocking your bootloader. First, enable Developer options. Then check the box that says “Enable OEM unlock”. That’s it. Now you can proceed below to 1.

1. Download the following files:

  • Android SDK / Fastboot and install all the USB drivers.

2. Enable USB Debugging mode on your Pixel / Pixel XL.

3. If you already have Android SDK, then you can just download Fastboot and extract it in android-sdk-windows\platform-tools directory. Create directory if not already there.

4. Make sure you have backup your data as it will be erased. Then switch OFF your Pixel / Pixel XL phone.

5. Navigate to the android-sdk-windows\platform-tools directory and open Command Prompt (Shift + Right-click > Open Command Prompt). You should also make sure you have the dePixel8 in the same folder where you open Command Prompt.

6. Type in the following commands, one by one, and press Enter.

adb push dePixel8 /data/local/tmp

adb shell chmod 755 /data/local/tmp/dePixel8

7. The previous basically copies the instruction files. You have to execute it now by entering the following command:

adb shell /data/local/tmp/dePixel8

8. You now have to wait for the phone to reboot to bootloader. If it doesn’t, you can try running any apps. If it still persists, please redo the previous s.

Once it does, execute the following command.

fastboot oem unlocking

9. Your phone will now open the unlocking screen. Type the following command afterwards:

fastboot oem unlock

10. If your Pixel / Pixel XL doesn’t reboot automatically, issue the following command.

adb reboot


That’s it! Your Pixel / Pixel XL bootloader is now unlocked! You can now install a custom recovery, a custom ROM or any system tweak you like. Just be careful with what you do! 😉

Also Read: How To Root LG G4 H815 Using Chainfire’s SuperSU Root Tool

About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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