How To Guide [GUIDE] Pixel 5a "barbet": Unlock Bootloader, Update, Root, Pass SafetyNet

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V0latyle

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Staff member
Sideload OTA. This time I used Canary to root. It was okay at first then after a couple of minutes my 5a froze then auto reboot. Then it happened again. The last time I solved it was doing a factory format on recovery mode.
See if dirty flashing the factory image helps with stability.
 
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V0latyle

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For those of you having boot loops after updating, try disabling Magisk modules. You can do this through adb while booting the patched image (even if it bootloops)
Code:
 adb wait-for-device shell magisk --remove-modules

Some updates break Magisk modules, so it's important to be aware of this. I personally only use Systemless Hosts, Universal SafetyNet Fix, and MagiskHide Props Config, and have never had issues with a bootloop after updating.
 
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V0latyle

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For those of you running custom kernels: DO NOT attempt to update via OTA, and DO NOT try to reflash the custom kernel after OTA.
The best way to update while running a custom kernel is by dirty flashing the factory image. The OTA process checks to make sure the kernel matches the system; a custom kernel won't match, and you'll get the corrupted error.
 
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zer0se7en

Senior Member
Apr 27, 2013
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Sony Xperia ZL
Google Nexus 5
For those of you having boot loops after updating, try disabling Magisk modules. You can do this through adb while booting the patched image (even if it bootloops)
Code:
 adb wait-for-device shell magisk --remove-modules

Some updates break Magisk modules, so it's important to be aware of this. I personally only use Systemless Hosts, Universal SafetyNet Fix, and MagiskHide Props Config, and have never had issues with a bootloop after updating.
Still wondering why it happened on mine when I haven't even installed any modules yet and I have only installed Magisk less than 5 mins prior. I fixed mine by sideload OTA again. But yeah... No more root.
 

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Still wondering why it happened on mine when I haven't even installed any modules yet and I have only installed Magisk less than 5 mins prior. I fixed mine by sideload OTA again. But yeah... No more root.
There have been issues with OTA. Dirty flashing the factory image is honestly the safest way of updating while retaining root.
 

zer0se7en

Senior Member
Apr 27, 2013
226
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Sony Xperia ZL
Google Nexus 5
There have been issues with OTA. Dirty flashing the factory image is honestly the safest way of updating while retaining root.
I used to flash stuff, factory image, flash-all.sh, or whatever when I still have Nexus 5 and 6P. I shifted to OnePlus, Huawei and Xperia and did not bother to root. Now I'm back to Google devices I felt the need to root. But then I realized the command lines even for flashing a factory image seemed different from before because of having an A/B partition. I need to re-train myself to this. Haha. Sucks to be out of the loop.😅
 
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CarinaPDX

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2013
278
92
Google Pixel 5a
I thought I would update on OTA and root. Always start with the most current version of Magisk as often updates come close to Android updates.

To take update first the phone has to be unrooted, by using Magisk and selecting Uninstall Magisk/Restore Images. If the root is not removed the OTA will download and then try to install but failing - a waste of time.

The Magisk instructions are to let the install proceed until it is ready to reboot, then go to Magisk and choose the third install method for OTA to unused partition. Magisk will then restart the phone after it does its thing. But Android senses that the update has not completed and you will have to go through the OTA all over again to clear it. It seems that the actual install of the updated OS is not done until after the Restart button in the OS Update is pressed, and then there is activity before and after restart. And of course root is gone. It would be nice if it worked that easily but apparently not - anyone with any suggestions would be welcome.

Of course it is easy to just do the OTA completely and then use a computer to flash the boot image. It does mean more downloading, extracting, and Magisk modifying the boot.img but it goes quickly with a good connection. But if you have to do that anyway then just download the factory image, flash it, extract the boot.img and modify and flash it - what the OP has been recommending. It will result in the least downloads and the most robust update (installing the complete factory image is more reliable than applying updates).
 

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
I thought I would update on OTA and root. Always start with the most current version of Magisk as often updates come close to Android updates.

To take update first the phone has to be unrooted, by using Magisk and selecting Uninstall Magisk/Restore Images. If the root is not removed the OTA will download and then try to install but failing - a waste of time.

The Magisk instructions are to let the install proceed until it is ready to reboot, then go to Magisk and choose the third install method for OTA to unused partition. Magisk will then restart the phone after it does its thing. But Android senses that the update has not completed and you will have to go through the OTA all over again to clear it.
No, this means something went wrong. A successful update (and patch) means you'll be in the updated slot with root after reboot.
It seems that the actual install of the updated OS is not done until after the Restart button in the OS Update is pressed, and then there is activity before and after restart.
Not quite. These are "out of band" updates - the system downloads and unpacks the OTA package to the inactive slot, then commands a reboot to that slot. If for whatever reason something goes wrong with the update process, like the kernel version doesn't match, or the kernel panics on boot, the system will revert to the original slot.
And of course root is gone. It would be nice if it worked that easily but apparently not - anyone with any suggestions would be welcome.
I believe this has been fixed as of Canary 24306 and should be incorporated in the next stable update.
Of course it is easy to just do the OTA completely and then use a computer to flash the boot image. It does mean more downloading, extracting, and Magisk modifying the boot.img but it goes quickly with a good connection. But if you have to do that anyway then just download the factory image, flash it, extract the boot.img and modify and flash it - what the OP has been recommending. It will result in the least downloads and the most robust update (installing the complete factory image is more reliable than applying updates).
In terms of simplicity, I only recommend two methods of update:
  • Automatic OTA, patch to inactive slot
  • Dirty flash factory image
The other options are there if anyone wants to use them, but some may have difficulty with some methods. Keep in mind that Magisk support is continually evolving as well.
 

SideSkroll

Member
Jun 1, 2014
48
5
Lima
Guys, I need a little help please.
I tried updating my 5A OTA following these steps:

Spoiler: Update and Root Automatic OTA


  1. Before you download the OTA, open Magisk, tap Uninstall, then Restore Images.
  2. Take the OTA update when prompted. To check for updates manually, go to Settings > System > System Update > Check for Update
  3. Allow the update to download and install. DO NOT REBOOT WHEN PROMPTED. Open Magisk, tap Install at the top, then Install to inactive slot. Magisk will then reboot your device.
  4. You should now be updated with root.
The OTA didn't work. (update failed for whatever reason, multiple times) and I wasn't sure what to do next so I kept following the steps.
After the reboot the phone displays the google logo and goes into a screen that says "device corrupt and cant be trusted" something along those lines.
I'm on the latest release (minus the last OTA security update which is 14.28 MB IIRC) so I don't think I need to update the bootloader, radio or whatever to get it working... I THINK, not sure...

Any help fixing this would be greatly appreciated (obviously no data loss would be preferable). Cause I cant even turn the phone off. Its stuck on either the "device corrupt" screen or (if I press the power button to continue) the GOOGLE logo screen. NO matter how long I press the power button the phone wont turn off.
Like I said, I followed the instructions to a T but since there is no instruction for what to do in case the OTA isn't working...
Thanks in advance.

UPDATE: Managed to turn it off by pressing PWR+DWN VOL, that took me to fastboot mode (which says I'm on boot slot B?), among rescue, recovery, start was the turn off option. By the way, no other selection seems to be working.

UPDATE 2: Switching to boot slot A didn't fix it but at least the "system is corrupt" screen doesn't show up anymore. Now it "boots" to a "no command" screen. No GOOGLE logo, no nothing. Bootloader is still unlocked though, that's what gives me SOME hope that I might fix this without losing my data.
ANY HELP would be appreciated.
 
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V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Guys, I need a little help please.
I tried updating my 5A OTA following these steps:


The OTA didn't work. (update failed for whatever reason, multiple times) and I wasn't sure what to do next so I kept following the steps.
After the reboot the phone displays the google logo and goes into a screen that says "device corrupt and cant be trusted" something along those lines.
I'm on the latest release (minus the last OTA security update which is 14.28 MB IIRC) so I don't think I need to update the bootloader, radio or whatever to get it working... I THINK, not sure...
The OTA package includes the updated bootloader and radio. Updating these separately is not necessary. What version of Magisk are you using? Canary 24306 includes fixes for automatic OTAs, which seems to keep breaking.
Any help fixing this would be greatly appreciated (obviously no data loss would be preferable). Cause I cant even turn the phone off. Its stuck on either the "device corrupt" screen or (if I press the power button to continue) the GOOGLE logo screen. NO matter how long I press the power button the phone wont turn off.
Download the factory image, reboot to bootloader and flash the unpatched boot image.
Like I said, I followed the instructions to a T but since there is no instruction for what to do in case the OTA isn't working...
Thanks in advance.

UPDATE: Managed to turn it off by pressing PWR+DWN VOL, that took me to fastboot mode (which says I'm on boot slot B?), among rescue, recovery, start was the turn off option. By the way, no other selection seems to be working.

UPDATE 2: Switching to boot slot A didn't fix it but at least the "system is corrupt" screen doesn't show up anymore. Now it "boots" to a "no command" screen. No GOOGLE logo, no nothing. Bootloader is still unlocked though, that's what gives me SOME hope that I might fix this without losing my data.
ANY HELP would be appreciated.
See above.

If flashing the unpatched boot image doesn't help, try sideloading the OTA. Don't try to patch anything in Magisk until you get it working again, and we'll go from there.

You can also try using the Android Flash Tool. Don't check any of the boxes, the goal here is to just get a healthy flash.
 
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SideSkroll

Member
Jun 1, 2014
48
5
Lima
The OTA package includes the updated bootloader and radio. Updating these separately is not necessary. What version of Magisk are you using? Canary 24306 includes fixes for automatic OTAs, which seems to keep breaking.

Download the factory image, reboot to bootloader and flash the unpatched boot image.

See above.

If flashing the unpatched boot image doesn't help, try sideloading the OTA. Don't try to patch anything in Magisk until you get it working again, and we'll go from there.

You can also try using the Android Flash Tool. Don't check any of the boxes, the goal here is to just get a healthy flash.
Thanks for replying.
IIRC, I have Magisk 24.2 installed. I could have updated it, cant remember to be honest. But its probably 24.2

So, should I just flash with Android Flash Tool (all boxes uncheck). Just like that? Will I lose my data? Or I just try to flash the boot image first?
In either those cases, I cant remember the EXACT version of Android I have. Probably the February release... Pretty sure it is 12, not 12.1. Does it matter?
Also, Should I revert to boot slot B? Or was that part of the failed patching of magisk?
Thanks again for helping me. I really appreciate it man.


Alright, Android Flash Tool did the trick. I was using the march release of android. But I flashed the boot with the latest one (April).
Will that be a problem? How would I go about "correctly updating" the entire build now that Im able to boot the phone?
And last but not least, do I root like "new"? Do I patch THIS NEW boot.img or the one I had earlier? (before the flash)


The Android Flash Tool flash seems to have updated the whole build. Not just the boot.img. So is that it? Is the phone "fixed". If so, can I patch the boot img as usual?

Went ahead and verified everything was "updated" and it seems to be so I patched the latest boot.img and now everything seems to be working fine. root working and everything.
Am I correct to assume that? Is everything "fine" and UP TO DATE or do I have a Frankenstein hybrid of some sort? Cause if needed Id be OK with wiping and flashing clean (now that I can backup my stuff and use titanium etc.)
But like I said, everything LOOKS fine.
Thanks again.
 
Last edited:

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for replying.
IIRC, I have Magisk 24.2 installed. I could have updated it, cant remember to be honest. But its probably 24.2

So, should I just flash with Android Flash Tool (all boxes uncheck). Just like that? Will I lose my data? Or I just try to flash the boot image first?
In either those cases, I cant remember the EXACT version of Android I have. Probably the February release... Pretty sure it is 12, not 12.1. Does it matter?
Also, Should I revert to boot slot B? Or was that part of the failed patching of magisk?
Thanks again for helping me. I really appreciate it man.


Alright, Android Flash Tool did the trick. I was using the march release of android. But I flashed the boot with the latest one (April).
Will that be a problem? How would I go about "correctly updating" the entire build now that Im able to boot the phone?
And last but not least, do I root like "new"? Do I patch THIS NEW boot.img or the one I had earlier? (before the flash)


The Android Flash Tool flash seems to have updated the whole build. Not just the boot.img. So is that it? Is the phone "fixed". If so, can I patch the boot img as usual?

Went ahead and verified everything was "updated" and it seems to be so I patched the latest boot.img and now everything seems to be working fine. root working and everything.
Am I correct to assume that? Is everything "fine" and UP TO DATE or do I have a Frankenstein hybrid of some sort? Cause if needed Id be OK with wiping and flashing clean (now that I can backup my stuff and use titanium etc.)
But like I said, everything LOOKS fine.
Thanks again.
If you want, you can download the latest factory image and compare the bootloader/radio versions to what you have; you can see these in bootloader mode.

To check the system version (build number), you can look at the bottom of the notification window shade:
Screenshot_20220417-092621.png

Alternatively, go to Settings > About Phone > Version. There you can see your baseband, kernel, and system version.
 
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SideSkroll

Member
Jun 1, 2014
48
5
Lima
If you want, you can download the latest factory image and compare the bootloader/radio versions to what you have; you can see these in bootloader mode.

To check the system version (build number), you can look at the bottom of the notification window shade:
View attachment 5591045
Alternatively, go to Settings > About Phone > Version. There you can see your baseband, kernel, and system version.
Well, everything seems fine. Baseband and bootloader match. And build number as well.... So that's that I presume? No need for wiping...
Again, thank you for your help.
And IIRC you mentioned something about a fix for OTA updates in Magisk? I already updated to the latest version so this situation should not occur again, right?
Thank you man. I appreciate it very much.

One last thing, I did all of this while on the A boot slot....I imagine the B one is for OTA and the way Magisk SHOULD'VE updated it etc.? Reason I ask is because I manually switched to A thinking it might "wake up" the phone.... Or updating it through the flash tool "fixed" all of that automatically?
And with that, Im out of your hair....
 
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V0latyle

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Staff member
Well, everything seems fine. Baseband and bootloader match. And build number as well.... So that's that I presume? No need for wiping...
Again, thank you for your help.
And IIRC you mentioned something about a fix for OTA updates in Magisk? I already updated to the latest version so this situation should not occur again, right?
Thank you man. I appreciate it very much.
Until stable or beta are updated to 24.4, they do not have the fixes yet. Only Canary does, currently at build 24306. Beta and stable are both 24.3, build 24301.
 
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V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
GOOD TO KNOW! Thanks. Could you take a look at my edit above please?
Thank you.
One last thing, I did all of this while on the A boot slot....I imagine the B one is for OTA and the way Magisk SHOULD'VE updated it etc.? Reason I ask is because I manually switched to A thinking it might "wake up" the phone.... Or updating it through the flash tool "fixed" all of that automatically?
And with that, Im out of your hair....
Not quite. The system does not use a specific slot for out of band updates, and it doesn't matter what slot you're on.

Here's how it works:

Say you're on the March release, on slot A. The system downloads and unpacks the April OTA to the "other" slot (Slot B), then when you select Restart to finish update, it then reboots to slot B. Slot A in the meantime is still March; the system preserves the "old" version in case there's a problem booting the updated slot, in which case it'll revert to the old one and notify you of an update failure.

When the June update comes, the system will download and unpack the update to what is now the "other" slot, Slot A.

The only purpose really of having A/B slots is this specific function - the ability to update on the fly. Devices without A/B slots have to download the OTA to storage, then reboot to recovery to unpack and install the update....and if something goes wrong, there's no way to recover.

A caveat: If you are doing ANYTHING with OTA updates (both automatic and sideload), DO NOT change slots. This can break boot, because the system does expect you to be on whatever slot was updated. If you're using the factory image on the other hand, it doesn't matter, and you can flash to one, the other, or both slots as much as you want.
 

V0latyle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Here's how I updated my Pixel 5 and wife's 5a:

Downloaded and extracted May factory image.
Rebooted device to bootloader.
Bootloader and baseband versions have not changed; skipped.
Applied factory image:
Code:
fastboot update --skip-reboot --slot all <image-device-buildnumber.zip>
When update completed, rebooted to bootloader
Booted April patched image (24305) from previous update: (I cheated here and reused the Pixel 5 boot image; bramble, redfin, and barbet hardware are identical, so the kernels are too)
Code:
fastboot boot <April patched image>
Device booted into Android with root. Opened Magisk, tap Install, tap Direct Install, reboot.
Running 24.3 Stable on wife's 5a, Canary 24306 on my 5.
 

CarinaPDX

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2013
278
92
Google Pixel 5a
Great - thanks for that.

I assume that your instruction to reboot into the bootloader can be accomplished with this command:
Code:
fastboot reboot bootloader
And IIUC both slots will end up with the current patch level, the active slot rooted and the inactive not.

Is this correct?
 

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  • 1
    So I tried the OTA for the June Update and it worked. Somehow I still ended up missing a step somewhere because even though I had updated to the latest Canary (25001) I was unable to see the option to install to the inactive slot. So I just an already patched kernel to boot and then ran Magisk install. And was up and running again.
    1
    So I went back and figured out the problem. I rebooted after restoring image and before taking the OTA, which explains why I didn't have the option to install in the inactive slot.
  • 20
    If you are looking for my guide on a different Pixel, find it here:
    Update 6-20-22: Magisk 25.1 is recommended as this includes fixes for OTA updates.
    Discussion thread for migration to 24.0+.

    DO NOT use any version of Magisk lower than Canary 23016 as it does not yet incorporate the necessary fixes for Android 12 and your device.


    WARNING: YOU AND YOU ALONE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO YOUR DEVICE. THIS GUIDE IS WRITTEN WITH THE EXPRESS ASSUMPTION THAT YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH ADB, MAGISK, ANDROID, AND ROOT. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

    Prerequisites:


    Android Source - Setting up a device for development


    1. Follow these instructions to enable Developer Options and USB Debugging.
    2. Enable OEM Unlocking. If this option is grayed out, unlocking the bootloader is not possible.
    3. Connect your device to your PC, and open a command window in your Platform Tools folder.
    4. Ensure ADB sees your device:
      Code:
      adb devices
      If you don't see a device, make sure USB Debugging is enabled, reconnect the USB cable, or try a different USB cable.
      If you see "unauthorized", you need to authorize the connection on your device.
      If you see the device without "unauthorized", you're good to go.
    5. Reboot to bootloader:
      Code:
      adb reboot bootloader
    6. Unlock bootloader: THIS WILL WIPE YOUR DEVICE!
      Code:
      fastboot flashing unlock
      Select Continue on the device screen.

    1. Install Magisk on your device.
    2. Download the factory zip for your build.
    3. Inside the factory zip is the update zip: "device-image-buildnumber.zip". Open this, and extract boot.img
    4. Copy boot.img to your device.
    5. Patch boot.img with Magisk: "Install" > "Select and Patch a File"
    6. Copy the patched image back to your PC. It will be named "magisk_patched-23xxx_xxxxx.img". Rename this to "master root.img" and retain it for future updates.
    7. Reboot your device to bootloader.
    8. Flash the patched image:
      Code:
      fastboot flash boot <drag and drop master root.img here>
    9. Reboot to Android. Open Magisk to confirm root - under Magisk at the top, you should see "Installed: <Magisk build number>

    1. Before you download the OTA, open Magisk, tap Uninstall, then Restore Images. If you have any Magisk modules that modify system, uninstall them now.
    2. Take the OTA update when prompted. To check for updates manually, go to Settings > System > System Update > Check for Update
    3. Allow the update to download and install. DO NOT REBOOT WHEN PROMPTED. Open Magisk, tap Install at the top, then Install to inactive slot. Magisk will then reboot your device.
    4. You should now be updated with root.

    1. Download the OTA.
    2. Reboot to recovery and sideload the OTA:
      Code:
      adb reboot sideload
      Once in recovery:
      Code:
      adb sideload ota.zip
    3. When the OTA completes, you will be in recovery mode. Select "Reboot to system now".
    4. Allow system to boot and wait for the update to complete. You must let the system do this before proceeding.
    5. Reboot to bootloader.
    6. Boot the master root image (See note 1):
      Code:
      fastboot boot <drag and drop master root.img here>
      Note: If you prefer, you can download the factory zip and manually patch the new boot image, then flash it after the update. Do not flash an older boot image after updating.
    7. Your device should boot with root. Open Magisk, tap Install, and select Direct Install.
    8. Reboot your device. You should now be updated with root.
    Note: You can use Payload Dumper to extract the contents of the OTA if you want to manually patch the new boot image. However, I will not cover that in this guide.

    Please note that the factory update process expects an updated bootloader and radio. If these are not up to date, the update will fail.
    1. Download the factory zip and extract the contents.
    2. Reboot to bootloader.
    3. Compare bootloader versions between phone screen and bootloader.img build number
      Code:
      fastboot flash bootloader <drag and drop new bootloader.img here>
      If bootloader is updated, reboot to bootloader.
    4. Compare baseband versions between phone screen and radio.img build number
      Code:
      fastboot flash radio <drag and drop radio.img here>
      If radio is updated, reboot to bootloader.
    5. Apply update:
      Code:
      fastboot update --skip-reboot image-codename-buildnumber.zip
      When the update completes, the device will be in fastbootd. Reboot to bootloader.
    6. Boot the master root image (See note 1):
      Code:
      fastboot boot <drag and drop master root.img here>
      Note: If you prefer, you can manually patch the new boot image, then flash it after the update. Do not flash an older boot image after updating.
    7. Your device should boot with root. Open Magisk, tap Install, and select Direct Install.
    8. Reboot your device. You should now be updated with root.
    Note: If you prefer, you can update using the flash-all script included in the factory zip. You will have to copy the script, bootloader image, radio image, and update zip into the Platform Tools folder; you will then have to edit the script to remove the -w option so it doesn't wipe your device.
    The scripted commands should look like this:
    Code:
    fastboot flash bootloader <bootloader image name>
    fastboot reboot bootloader
    ping -n 5 127.0.0.1 > nul
    fastboot flash radio <radio image name>
    fastboot reboot bootloader
    ping -n 5 127.0.0.1 > nul
    fastboot update  --skip-reboot --slot=all <image-device-buildnumber.zip>
    Once this completes, you can reboot to bootloader and either boot your master patched image, or if you patched the new image, flash it at this time.

    1. Follow the instructions on the Android Flash Tool to update your device. Make sure Lock Bootloader and Wipe Device are UNCHECKED.
    2. When the update completes, the device will be in fastbootd. Reboot to bootloader.
    3. Boot the master root image (See note 1):
      Code:
      fastboot boot <drag and drop master root.img here>
      Note: If you prefer, you can download the factory zip and manually patch the new boot image, then flash it after the update. Do not flash an older boot image after updating.
    4. Your device should boot with root. Open Magisk, tap Install, and select Direct Install.
    5. Reboot your device. You should now be updated with root.

    This is my configuration that is passing Safety Net. I will not provide instructions on how to accomplish this. Attempt at your own risk.

    Zygisk + DenyList enabled
    All subcomponents of these apps hidden under DenyList:
    • Google Play Store
    • GPay
    • Any banking/financial apps
    • Any DRM media apps
    Modules:
    To check SafetyNet status:
    I do not provide support for Magisk or modules. If you need help with Magisk, here is the Magisk General Support thread. For support specifically with Magisk v24+, see this thread.

    Points of note:
    • The boot image is NOT the bootloader image. Do not confuse the two - YOU are expected to know the difference. Flashing the wrong image to bootloader could brick your device.
    • While the Magisk app is used for patching the boot image, the app and the patch are separate. This is what you should see in Magisk for functioning root:
      screenshot_20211218-194517-png.5486339
    • "Installed" shows the version of patch in the boot image. If this says N/A, you do not have root access - the boot image is not patched, or you have a problem with Magisk.
    • "App" simply shows the version of the app itself.
    • If you do not have a patched master boot image, you will need to download the factory zip if you haven't already, extract the system update inside it, then patch boot.img.
    • If you prefer updating with the factory image, you can also extract and manually patch the boot image if desired.
    • Some Magisk modules, especially those that modify read only partitions like /system, may cause a boot loop after updating. As a general rule, disable these modules before updating. You are responsible for knowing what you have installed, and what modules to disable.


    Credits:
    Thanks to @ipdev , @kdrag0n , @Didgeridoohan , and last but not least, @topjohnwu for all their hard work!
    3
    Absolutely fantastic! Thanks for this thread and guide!

    As an aside, how is it I didn't know you can drag and drop to the command window? (This tip gets the hero of the day award in my book!)
    Makes things a whole lot easier, don't it?

    I try to stick with the KISS method. Keep It Simple, Stupid!

    Or...Keep it stupidly simple, whatever. :D
    2
    "Install to inactive slot" is no longer supported in Magisk.

    This is extremely old information from September 2020. Install to inactive slot has been re-implemented as of Magisk Canary 23017 {January 20, 2022).

    Please, check your information to ensure it's up to date before you post.
    2
    I'm currently using Magisk Canary build?
    May I Install Magisk Beta and also Magisk Stable build to the latest November 2021 build?
    I honestly don't know. I've used Magisk 22.1, 23.0, Canary 23001 through 23011, all have worked for me.

    The caveat is that Magisk 23010+ is Zygisk, which means that some legacy modules won't work anymore until they're updated - Universal SafetyNet Fix for example.
    Coming from the Pixel 3XL, which bricked out of the blue. I did every update on that phone, but never got to do 12 before the magical brick. I want to update this phone (5a, which I just realized is different than the 5?), but this seems to be missing quite a few steps. Shouldn't there be 4 different files added to your SDK folder and flashed, or has it completely changed, and I need to do more digging? Thanks.
    You don't have to add any files to your SDK folder, you can always drag and drop them into the command line window. We are only working with two files here: vbmeta.img and boot.img.
    Is there any way to do this after already updating? Or do I have to wait for the next update (I prefer flashing factory images).
    You can do this as many times as you want. The critical point to remember is that if you allow Android to boot after not disabling verity/verification, you will have to wipe the next time you disable it.
    I flashed the Nov factory image but forgot to disable the verified boot. Is there any way I can disable it so i can flash the magisk patched boot?
    Yes...but you're going to have to wipe data. Extract vbmeta.img, and reflash it:
    Code:
    fastboot flash vbmeta --disable-verity --disable-verification <drag and drop vbmeta.img here>
    Then, reboot your device. You will end up in Rescue Party, with the option to "Try again" or "Factory data reset". Choose the factory reset.

    The best way to make sure you don't have to wipe your data is to always use --disable-verity --disable-verification when updating via the factory image.
    2
    Followed directions for recommended Android Flash Tool and everything worked flawlessly. If you've already rooted your phone once then you have somewhat of an idea of what you're doing. Just read everything twice and follow the directions. Thank you OP for such a clear path to update and root!