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[Guide] How to remove encryption from your Pixel 2 XL

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northmendo

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2007
338
138
California
In an effort to keep this chatter out of other threads, here is the info that you seek. I didn't discover this process @DespairFactor and Bryant (not sure of his XDA handle) get the credit.

First you need to go through the Google set up and Skip everything except, the unlock Theft Protection. It will then ask you if you want to add the Google account and you say no. If at any point you say yes to something or add a pin / fingerprint it will encrypt. Then you need to reboot to the bootloader and run, fastboot format userdata then, Boot and Skip through the set up again. As long as you do not add a pin / password or a google account you will stay un-encrypted. This will work on the stock boot.img.
 

QAM

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2008
423
206
Xiaomi Poco F3
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Hola
And further to @DforDesign's question, I take it that having a decrypted device helps with existing TRWP and available custom kernel installations? I haven't reviewed the Development sub-forums yet as I am still awaiting my device.
Thanks for the guide.
 

jlee08517

Senior Member
Aug 30, 2012
615
163
If you do stay unencrypted, isn't all we can do for now is just edit the build prop? Anything else? I thought magisk would still bootloop
 

Az Biker

Senior Moderator / Moderator & RC-RT Committees
Staff member
Let me make sure I'm understanding this.

I already set up my 2 XL with pin and fingerprint, so now it's encrypted making seeing root file tree impossible (like sdcard, download folder).

If I reset my device, and say NO to everything requiring pin or fingerprint on the device, I can set it up normally and still have access to the root file tree?

So long as I don't password, pin, fingerprint protect the device, I'll continue to have access to these files, right?

But this also means no google account activity (Gmail, contacts , photos, etc) right?
 

northmendo

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2007
338
138
California
Let me make sure I'm understanding this.

I already set up my 2 XL with pin and fingerprint, so now it's encrypted making seeing root file tree impossible (like sdcard, download folder).

If I reset my device, and say NO to everything requiring pin or fingerprint on the device, I can set it up normally and still have access to the root file tree?

So long as I don't password, pin, fingerprint protect the device, I'll continue to have access to these files, right?

But this also means no google account activity (Gmail, contacts , photos, etc) right?


You understand correctly. The only thing I'm not sure about is whether or not a factory reset will be enough. We used format userdata in fastboot to achieve it. It may be a good test to see if simply linking a Google account will trip encryption.
 

bryantjopplin

Senior Member
Sep 15, 2010
1,635
724
Let me add something we discovered. It seems to be on the pin/pattern setup only. I think you can do everything else to stay decrypted in twrp. Now might thought was to setup everything they way you want without pin/pattern and you can then backup. Then save that backup on a PC. After that you lock your device via pin/pattern. If for some reason something screws up instead of setting everything up again. Just factory reset and skip everything and place backup on SD card then boot twrp and try to restore. Someone want to test this theory lol????

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

northmendo

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2007
338
138
California
Let me add something we discovered. It seems to be on the pin/pattern setup only. I think you can do everything else to stay decrypted in twrp. Now might thought was to setup everything they way you want without pin/pattern and you can then backup. Then save that backup on a PC. After that you lock your device via pin/pattern. If for some reason something screws up instead of setting everything up again. Just factory reset and skip everything and place backup on SD card then boot twrp and try to restore. Someone want to test this theory lol????

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

Thanks for confirming
 

Mike02z

Senior Member
Feb 3, 2012
1,953
794
Greenville, SC
OnePlus 9 Pro
Great! Thanks. I can't use TWRP on the Nov patch but I have a question... I'm now using a permissive kernel. Can I simply wipe userdata to unencrypt? Can you confirm? Is the command fastboot format userdata?
Thanks in advance!
 

Mike02z

Senior Member
Feb 3, 2012
1,953
794
Greenville, SC
OnePlus 9 Pro
Can't you just factory reset and then flash Magisk before re-setting up your phone? I thought Magisk disabled force encrypt by default.

Tried it, no luck. Removed my Google account, reset phone, did not log into my Google account and did not set up any PIN or password and it's still encrypted. I'll try fastboot erase userdata and cache and see if that works.
 

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    Let me add something we discovered. It seems to be on the pin/pattern setup only. I think you can do everything else to stay decrypted in twrp. Now might thought was to setup everything they way you want without pin/pattern and you can then backup. Then save that backup on a PC. After that you lock your device via pin/pattern. If for some reason something screws up instead of setting everything up again. Just factory reset and skip everything and place backup on SD card then boot twrp and try to restore. Someone want to test this theory lol????

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
    1
    so after the setup, can you add your google account, fingerprint/pin later?

    Then you will lose twrp after doing that process. It will be encrypted.
    1
    I can add my google account as long as i dont set a pin or fingerprinter my phone's internal storage is visible via TWRP with no issues.
    1
    Thanks. I didn't realize we needed twrp. I was thinking we could just use fastboot erase userdata in leu of twrp.

    No you can, I thought you were thinking format userdata would fix twrp. Sorry
    1
    Tried it, no luck. Removed my Google account, reset phone, did not log into my Google account and did not set up any PIN or password and it's still encrypted. I'll try fastboot erase userdata and cache and see if that works.

    Yeah, try that. When Magisk first came out, one of its primary features was that it disabled force encrypt. Also, installing Magisk was the preferred way to disable it on the original Pixels, so I'd be surprised if it didn't work here.

    EDIT: I just noticed that the Magisk post says it's a limited released that focuses only on granting root access. Maybe he's still working on getting force encrypt disabled properly, which is why it still encrypts for now.