One of the best things about Android OS is level of customizability it offers over Apple s iOS and Microsoft s Windows Mobile OS. While you can install a new launcher, change themes and do more on any Android smartphone, there are certain options that are only accessible on bootloader unlocked and rooted smartphones. While there were reports that Google may not allow users to tinker around with the Pixel and Pixel XL, but the developers at XDA Developers forum have come up with the required tools to let you root your Pixel smartphones. The tool even works on smartphones locked to Verizon network in the US. Also Read - Jio-Google partnership: From JioPhone Next to new 5G collaboration and moreAlso Read - Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go powered by Intel Jasper Lake Celeron processor revealed
The tool is made by a popular Android developer going by the name Chainfire. He shared details about the required tools and rooting method on his Google+ post. While usual rooting methods don t work on Pixel and Pixel XL, the developer was about to perform ‘systemless root’ by “forcing the kernel to again use the boot image’s initramfs as root directory, instead of using files from the system partition, he said in a post. Before you go ahead to root your Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, you ll first need to download Minimal ADB and Fastboot from here. Double click on the.EXE file to install it and when it asks for the directory, create the new one on the desktop. After connecting the smartphone to your PC, if you are asked for Google USB drivers, you can download it from here. Also Read - Free COVID-19 vaccine: Today’s Google Doodle urges all to get vaccinated, wear mask
How root Google Pixel and Pixel XL
Step 1: To begin with, you will have to unlock the bootloader of you smartphone. Turn off your smartphone and then press the — volume down and power button simultaneously for a few seconds. This will boot the smartphone in fastboot / bootloader mode.
Step 2: Connect your smartphone to the PC using the USB cable. Now, open the Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder that you created on the desktop, press and hold Shift key on your keyboard, right click on the mouse or touchpad and select — open command window here. Now type adb devices and press enter, which will show your connected device. ALSO READ: Google Assistant: I m feeling lucky includes surprise trivia game for Pixel and Pixel XL owners
Step 3: Once your device is recognized, type the following command fastboot devices and press enter. Then type fastboot oem unlock and press enter. Once it shows success, then type fastboot reboot and press enter.
Step 4: Now that the bootloader on your Pixel / Pixel XL is unlocked, you can go ahead to download the boot image of your device. Click here for Pixel and here for Pixel XL. Once the .ZIP file is downloaded, extract it and copy the boot-to-root.img file onto the Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder on the desktop. (Do note – unlike other smartphones where you have to flash the images, in case of Pixel smartphones, you need to write them via fastboot command)
Step 5: Once again, press and hold Shift key on your keyboard, right click on the mouse or touchpad and select — open command window here inside the Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder. Now, type fastboot devices and press enter. Once your device shows up, type — fastboot boot boot-to-root.img and press enter. This process will write the modified boot image on to your Pixel or Pixel XL smartphone. Your device will reboot a couple of times (have patience) and then Android OS should boot successfully. ALSO READ: Ok Google, your Pixel smartphones are impressive
Once your device is rooted, you can do a lot of stuff. For instance, you can edit the build.prop to disable Google Assistant and turn on Google Now on Tap (it would be a silly move as Google Assistant is one of the USPs of Pixel smartphones, but still). You can even install custom recovery and flash custom ROMs. However, as I checked on XDA Developers forums there aren t any custom ROMs available as yet. Now that the root access is here, I wouldn t be surprised to see custom ROMs popping up in a few weeks.
Disclaimer: Rooting your smartphone would void the phone’s warranty and could also lead to the phone bricking. Proceed at your own risk.