[Guide] Root Pixel 4a (5G) with Magisk Android 12.1

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Homeboy76

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2012
3,213
1,765
Google Pixel XL
Late response here, but unfortunately, I can't do the "Instead..." because the restart button did just what it said. It restarted and booted the new update. Problem is, since I didn't have the option of downloading the OTA then installing Magisk to the inactive slot before rebooting, I lost root. Even bigger problem is now the phone is not recognized by a PC to use adb/fastboot commands. Tried 3 different PCs and multiple cables, and the PC does nothing. The phone screen flashes and the phone starts charging, but USB preferences notification does not show to change to data transfer mode. I can manually open USB preferences, but all options are grayed out. Changing default USB mode doesn't do anything. It's like it's attached to a charger, not a PC. I even did a factory reset and it's still not recognized. Not sure what I can do to regain root at this point.
The post you replied to is out dated. The instructions in the OP are usually up to date.

Did you install the pixel driver's on your computer?
 

zubblwump

Member
Dec 29, 2008
42
7
The post you replied to is out dated. The instructions in the OP are usually up to date.

Did you install the pixel driver's on your computer?
What part is outdated? The procedure in the post I replied to and in the OP are the same: Download and install OTA, use Magisk to install to inactive slot before reboot. I only see reboot option. Regardless, the more pressing issue is I cannot connect to PC to push root via fastboot, so I'm stuck with a functional phone but one that I can no longer re-root. How do I install/update driver if the computer doesn't even see a USB device was connected?
 

Homeboy76

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2012
3,213
1,765
Google Pixel XL
What part is outdated? The procedure in the post I replied to and in the OP are the same: Download and install OTA, use Magisk to install to inactive slot before reboot. I only see reboot option. Regardless, the more pressing issue is I cannot connect to PC to push root via fastboot, so I'm stuck with a functional phone but one that I can no longer re-root. How do I install/update driver if the computer doesn't even see a USB device was connected?
What OS and version is on your Computer?
You may have to install Google USB driver's.
 
Last edited:

Homeboy76

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2012
3,213
1,765
Google Pixel XL

zubblwump

Member
Dec 29, 2008
42
7
- Go to Download and Install Google USB Driver for Windows [Pixel and Nexus]
- Scroll down to Download Google USB Driver
- Tap Download Google USB Driver
- Scroll dow to How to Install Google USB Driver on Windows 10/11
- Follow the instructions

After, The Google USB Driver is installed your Computer should see your phone.
Right, that's what I'm saying...those instructions say "open Device Manager, expand the Portable Devices section, right-click on the connected device name and select Update Driver Software". None of the PCs I've tried see anything connected, so I can't do this. When I connect different Android phones using the same cable and port, the PC sees a device connected and the phone sees that it is connected to a PC, so I believe it is a phone problem.
 

Homeboy76

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2012
3,213
1,765
Google Pixel XL
Right, that's what I'm saying...those instructions say "open Device Manager, expand the Portable Devices section, right-click on the connected device name and select Update Driver Software". None of the PCs I've tried see anything connected, so I can't do this. When I connect different Android phones using the same cable and port, the PC sees a device connected and the phone sees that it is connected to a PC, so I believe it is a phone problem.
:rolleyes: You're right.
 

fremont85

Member
Apr 17, 2011
34
5
Long Bottom, OH
Right, that's what I'm saying...those instructions say "open Device Manager, expand the Portable Devices section, right-click on the connected device name and select Update Driver Software". None of the PCs I've tried see anything connected, so I can't do this. When I connect different Android phones using the same cable and port, the PC sees a device connected and the phone sees that it is connected to a PC, so I believe it is a phone problem.
Have you figured this out yet?
 

zubblwump

Member
Dec 29, 2008
42
7
Have you went into the Developer Options and under the "Networking" section, look for Default USB Configuration and change it to File Transfer/Android Auto?
Yep, tried it. I can slide the slider and pick a connection mode, but it doesn't make a difference. Similar with manually finding USB preferences. It doesn't recognize a data connection, so it's grayed out exactly the same as it is when it's plugged into a charger.
 

Homeboy76

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2012
3,213
1,765
Google Pixel XL
Magisk Canary Update
app-release (2106751e) (24315)

Zygisk
[MagiskSU] [Zygisk] Proper package management and detection
[Zygisk] Fix Zygisk's self code unloading implementation...
 

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    [Guide] Root Pixel 4a (5G) with Magisk Android 12.1
    Android Security Bulletin—June 2022
    Pixel Update Bulletin—June 2022

    Introduction
    This Guide is for Pixel 4a 5(G) owners that want to Root their phone, and enjoy the benefits of rooting it. The Guide is divided into three parts: Information, Instructions, and Other.

    ~ ~ ~ Part I - INFORMATION ~ ~ ~
    1. Disclaimer

      1. I assume no responsibility for the malfunctioning/bricking of your phone.
      2. The order of listed items i.e., Custom Kernels, Custom ROMS, etc. Does not indicate my preference for them. It is your responsibility to do the research before selecting an item.
    2. Prerequisites

      1. A Pixel 4a 5(G) phone with an unlocked bootloader.
      2. The latest Android Factory or OTA Image: "bramble" for Pixel 4a 5(G)

        Factory Image

        OTA Image
      3. A Computer with the latest SDK Platform-Tools: r33.0.2 installed.
      4. Important Notes:
        a. Update Platform Tools, regularly, for optimal performance.​
    3. Update(s)

      1. Factory/OTA Images - 06Jun
      2. Magisk Alpha - edb76503-alpha 25May
      3. Magisk Beta - 25.1 19Jun
      4. Magisk Canary - app-release_(9183a0a6) (25101).apk 19Jun
      5. Magisk Stable - 25.1 19Jun
      6. TWRP - Waiting for T.R.W.P. for Android 12
      7. SafetyNet - SafetyNetFix v2.1.3 (Riru) v2.2.1 (Zygisk) 22Dec
      8. SDK Platform-tools - r33.0.2 07Jun
      9. Custom Kernels
      10. Custom ROMs
        a. ProtonAOSP[12] 01Nov
        c. [ROM] [UNOFFICIAL] LineageOS 19.0 - microG Edition 18Dec
        d. [ROM][12][bramble] PixelExperience [AOSP][OFFICIAL]
    4. NEW

      • Magisk Beta 25.0 is here! :)
    5. My Other Guides
    6. Credits/Thanks/Recognitions

      1. @creezalird- Flash Android 12 factory image.
      2. Those I may have, inadvertently, forgotten.
    ~ ~ ~ Part II - INSTRUCTIONS ~ ~ ~
    1. Unlock Bootloader/Return Phone to Stock/Lock Bootloader

      • Unlock Bootloader

        1. This will erase all user data from the device!
        2. Backup your data
        3. Activate Developer Options: Tap Settings > About Phone > Tap Build Number 7 times or until you see you are a Developer. Tap back > System > Advanced > Developer Options. Enable OEM Unlock and, USB Debugging.
        4. Boot fastboot mode
        5. Connect the phone to the Computer with USB cord.
        6. Open a Command Prompt on your computer and type fastboot flashing unlock and press enter.
        7. You should see a request for confirmation on your phone, use the volume keys to scroll and the power key to select.
        8. Allow the process to complete and then type fastboot reboot at the Command Prompt and press enter.
        9. When your phone reboots disconnect your usb cable.
        10. Notes:
          • After unlocking your bootloader, you'll see a warning: The bootloader is unlocked and... You will see this warning until, you relock the bootloader.
          • Do not relock your bootloader until you have returned the device to Stock.
      • Return Phone to Stock

        1. Backup your data/Internal storage
        2. Settings > System > Advanced > Reset Options > Erase all data (factory reset)
        3. Log in
        4. Set up phone
      • Lock Bootloader

        1. Return the phone to Stock before locking the bootloader, failure to do so could brick your phone
        2. This will erase all user data from the device!
        3. Boot fastboot mode
        4. Open a Command Prompt and type this at the Prompt: fastboot flashing lock
        5. You should see a request for confirmation on your phone, use the volume keys to scroll and the power key to select.
        6. Allow the process to complete, then type this at the Command Prompt: fastboot reboot
        7. Enable Developer Options: Settings > About phone > Tap Build number 7 times or until you see 'you are a developer'.
        8. Tap Back > Developer options and toggle OEM Unlock off.
    2. Install/Update Factory Image keep data or wipe data

      • Important Note(s):
        1. When doing a Major Upgrade Android 12 (12.0.0) to Android 12.1 (12.1.0), I recommend doing a Clean Install: Do Flash Factory Image Wipe Data (below).
        2. Always verify you have the latest version of SDK Platform-Tools installed on your computer before installing the Factory Image: Pixel 4a 5(G) - bramble.
        3. If you get an error: while flashing, try one of these options:
          • Change the USB port to a non charging USB port.
          • Change the USB cord.
          • Change Computers.
        4. If you phone bootloops
          • force Safe Mode by continually pressing volume down button during boot animation.
          • After the system boots into safe mode you can reboot your device to boot up normally (since all modules will be disabled).
          • Thanks @Typhus_ for the instructions to force Safe Mode.
        5. Backup your data
        6. Download the latest Factory Image: Pixel 4a 5(G) - bramble to your Computer.
        7. Go to Part II - INSTRUCTIONS => 4. Extract Files from the FactoryImage/Flash boot.img and extract the flash-all.bat file.
      • Flash Factory Image Keep Data

        • Open the folder you extracted the Factory Image to and Edit the flash-all.bat file with a file editor i.e., DroidEdit app.
          1. Change this line: fastboot -w update image-bramble-aa9a.999999.999.zip
          2. to this: fastboot update image-bramble-sp1a.999999.999.zip
          3. Note: If you do not remove the -w your internal storage will be wiped.
        • After, you have edited the flash-all.bat file. Copy/Move these files to the Platform-tools folder:
          1. bootloader-bramble-....img
          2. flash-all.bat
          3. image-bramble-....zip
          4. radio-bramble-....img
        • On your phone: Boot the bootloader (Power off the phone => Press the Power and Down buttons until you see Start)
        • Connect your phone to the computer.
        • Open a Command Prompt on your computer in the Platform-tools folder and type: flash-all at the Command Prompt and press enter.
        • The phone will reboot when flashing is complete.
        • Go-to Part II - INSTRUCTIONS => 5. Root/Reroot with Magisk and Pass SafetyNet, • Patching the boot.img - to root/reroot.
      • Flash Factory Image Wipe Data

        • This will wipe your phone's Internal Storage.
        • Open the folder you extracted the Factory Image to and Copy/Move these files to the Platform-tools folder:
          1. bootloader-bramble-....img
          2. flash-all.bat
          3. image-bramble-....zip
          4. radio-bramble-....img
        • On your phone: Boot the bootloader (Power off the phone => Press the Power and Down buttons until you see Start)
        • Connect your phone to the computer.
        • Open a Command Prompt on your computer in the Platform-tools folder and type: flash-all at the Command Prompt and press enter.
        • The phone will reboot when flashing is complete.
        • Setup phone
        • Enable Developer Mode and USB Debugging
          1. Setup => About phone => Tap Build number 7 times or untill you see you are a 'Developer'.
          2. Setup => System => Developer options => Enable Developer options => enable USB Debugging
        • Go-to Part II - INSTRUCTIONS => 5. Root/Reroot with Magisk and Pass SafetyNet, • Patching the boot.img - to root/reroot.
    3. Take the OTA Update and Maintain Root

      • All the credit for this set of instructions goes to @topjohnwu for writing the instructions: Install Magisk to Inactive Slot , use Magisk Beta, Stable 24.3.
      • NOTE: If you had a Custom Kernel installed, after you Open Magisk and Restore Images. Do the following to return your phone to Stock:
        • fastboot flash dtbo dtbo.img
        • fastboot flash vendor_boot vendor_boot.img
        • There may be more .img files you need to flash. Please check the OP of the Custom Kernel thread you install for instruction to remove the Custom Kernel and return your phone to Stock. Additionally, if you installed Mods Please check the OP of the Mod thread you installed for instruction to remove the Mod and return your phone to Stock before you download the OTA.
      • If you phone bootloops
        • force Safe Mode by continually pressing volume down button during boot animation.
        • After the system boots into safe mode you can reboot your device to boot up normally (since all modules will be disabled).
        • Thanks @Typhus_ for the instructions to force Safe Mode.
    4. Extract Files from Factory Image/Flash boot.img

      • Extract Files from Factory Image

        1. Extract flash-all.bat and boot.img file
        2. Download the latest Factory image to your phone.
        3. Extract the Factory Image file (bramble-r2d1a.999999.999-factory-99a9a99a.zip) to a folder. The, stock, flash-all.bat file should be in this folder.
        4. Open the folder you extracted the Factory image to and, extract the Image file (image-bramble-aa9a.999999.999.zip) into the folder. The, stock, boot.img file should be in this folder.
      • Flash boot.img

        1. Flashing the boot.img removes root.
        2. Open the folder you extracted the 'image...zip' file to and copy the boot.img file to your computer's platform-tools folder or to the folder that has fastboot.exe in it.
        3. Boot fastboot mode
        4. Connect the phone to the Computer
        5. Open a Command Prompt and type the following command at the prompt:
          fastboot flash boot --slot all boot.img
        6. Reboot
    5. Root/Reroot with Magisk and Pass SafetyNet.

      • Android 12

        • Upgrade to Android 12: OP, Part II - INSTRUCTIONS, 2. Install/Update Factory Image keep data or wipe data, Keep data
      • Patching the boot.img - to root/reroot.

        1. Go to Part II - INSTRUCTIONS => 4. Extract Files from the FactoryImage/Flash boot.img and extract the boot.img file.
        2. Install Magisk Canary - Download app-release.apk
          or
          Magisk Beta 25.0/Stable 24.3 App
        3. Open Magisk Beta/Canary/Stable App
        4. The Update Channel should be set to Beta/Canary/Stable, depending on the version you Installed.
        5. Tap Install (next to Magisk)
        6. Tap, Select and Patch a File
        7. Select the boot.img file you extracted from the latest factory image.
        8. Tap the ✓ (Check Mark)
        9. Tap Let's Go
        10. When you see done, the boot.img has been patched (magisk_patched_xxxxxx.img), and stored in the download folder.
        11. Reboot
        12. Copy/Move the patched boot.img file to your computer's Platform-tools folder or the folder that has fastboot.exe in it:
          • Copy it to a USB drive and transfer it to your computer.
          • Move it to your computer using adb push
        13. Boot fastboot mode
        14. Connect the phone to the Computer with USB cord.
        15. Open a Command Prompt in the folder you copied the patched boot.img to.
        16. Type fastboot flash boot "name of patched boot".img without the quote marks at the Prompt and press enter.
        17. Type fastboot reboot at the Prompt and press enter.
        18. Important Notes: If your phone boot loops try one of the following options:
          • Flash the 'stock' boot.img to both slots: fastboot flash boot boot.img --slot all
          • Boot Safe Mode - Press Power Off button ==> Press Power Off until you see boot Safe Mode ==> Press Ok.
      • Pass Safety Net with SafetyNet Fix 2.2.1

        1. Download File(s)
        2. Install SafetyNet Fix 2.2.1
          • Open Magisk
          • Tap Modules icon
          • Tap Install from storage
          • Navigate to the SafetyNetFix file you downloaded
          • Tap the SafetyNetFix file
          • Tap the check mark (✓ at the bottom) to start the installation.
          • After it installs tap the Save icon to save the log
          • Tap Reboot.
        3. Settings for Magisk Canary
          • Open Magisk App
          • Tap the Setup icon.
          • Scroll down to App and set the Update Channel to Canary.
          • Scroll down to Check Updates and enable it.
          • Scroll down to Magisk and enable Zygisk and Enforce DenyList.
          • Tap Configure DenyList => Tap 3 Dot Menu => Check ✓ Show system apps => Check ✓ Google Play Store, Google Pay, etc.
          • Scroll down to Superuser and enable Enable Biometric Authentication.
        4. Get Device Certified Clear Google Play Services, Google Play Store, Google Pay, etc. data
          • Turn Airplane mode on
          • Open Settings
          • Tap Apps & notifications
          • Tap see all...
          • Tap three dot menu
          • Tap Show system
          • Scroll down to Google Play Store
          • Tap Storage and Cache
          • Tap Clear storage
            Note: Repeat the 3 steps above for Google Play Services, Google Pay, etc.
          • reboot
          • Turn Airplane mode off
        5. Check Device Certification
          • Open Google Play Store app
          • Tap Menu - Circle top right
          • Tap Settings
          • Tap About
          • Check Play protect certification.
    6. Set Magisk App Update Channel/Update Magisk

      • Set Magisk App Update Channel

        • Open Magisk App > Tap Settings icon > Update Channel > Select Stable, Beta, Canary or Custom.
      • Update Magisk

        1. When Magisk App notifies you of an update:
        2. Tap install.
        3. Select, Direct Install (Recommended)
        4. When it finishes installing
        5. Tap, Save Log
        6. Log location: /storage/emulated/0/Download
        7. Tap, Reboot
        8. Done!
    7. Install/Update Magisk Modules

      • Download Modules
      • Install Modules

        1. Open Magisk
        2. Tap the Modules icon
        3. Tap Install from storage
        4. Navigate to the folder with the Module you want to install.
        5. Tap the Module to highlite it and tap Select.
        6. After it installs, tap the Disc Icon to save the install log.
        7. Tap Reboot
      • Update Modules

        1. Open Magisk
        2. Tap the Modules icon
        3. You, will see the Modules that have Updates.
        4. Tap the Module you want to update.
        5. Tap install.
        6. After it installs, tap the Disc Icon to save the install log.
        7. Tap Reboot
    8. Open a Command Prompt/Boot Fastboot Mode/Boot Recovery

      • Open a Command Prompt on Computer
        1. Open File Explorer, click the platform-tools folder ==> click the folder icon (left side of address bar) to highlight it type cmd and press enter.
        2. Open a Powershell Command Prompt on Computer: Open File Explorer, click the platform-tools folder ==> click the folder icon (left side of address bar) to highlight it type powershell and press enter.
        3. Notes:
          • Enable USB Debugging, on your phone: Settings ==> System ==> Advanced ==> Developer options ==> Scroll down to USB debugging and enable it.
          • When using the Powershell Command Prompt Commands must be preceeded with ./: i.e, ./fastboot devices
          • If you do not want to open a Command Prompt every time you want to use the fastboot command, add the path to the Platform-tools folder to Windows environment variables.
      • Boot fastboot mode (bootloader):
        • Power off phone, press and hold the power and volume down buttons until you see Start.
      • Boot Recovery
        • Power off phone, press and hold the power and volume down buttons until you see Start. Use volume up/down button until you see Recovery mode. Press power button.
    9. Test fastboot

      • Enable Developer Options - Tap Settings > About phone > Build number 7 times or until you should see 'you are a Developer'.
      • Enable USB Debugging - Tap Settings > System > Advanced > Developer options >
        Enable USB Debugging.
      • Open a Command Prompt on your computer in the Platform-tools folder.
      • Boot fastboot mode on your phone
      • Connect the phone to the Computer.
      • At the prompt type: fastboot devices to verify communication with phone. It should return your phone's serial number.
    10. ADB Sideload

    ~ ~ ~ Part III - Other ~ ~ ~
    1. Custom ROMs

    2. Mods
    3. T.W.R.P. Backup/Restore

      • Waiting for Android 12 T.W.R.P.
    3
    Provided you are not on Verizon:
    Try reinstalling the stock boot.img from the update, flash the OTA, or perform another clean install. After first boot and performing any necessary setup (if clean install), power off phone, remove sim card, reboot. Creat a new patched boot.img, install it and reboot. Turn phone off, reinstall sim card, reboot as normal. Should fix the issue. Make sure you are using the latest magisk (I prefer stable of canary personally but it's your call).
    If you are on verizon, do not install the April update in this thread, as it is stated "All carriers EXCEPT Verizon."

    However, there is an OTA update on the official frimware website that does work on Verizon. I just flashed it myself. Maybe Homeboy76 could update thread?
    :( Do not repeat do not follow these instructions. The information is only partially correct. :(

    I just checked the Factory image and the OTA image pages the only change was the All carriers EXCEPT Verizon has been removed from the images description.

    The OP has been updated to reflect the change.

    These images work on Verizon Pixel 4a 5g phones.
    3
    Thanks for the write-up. Just got one of these as I dropped my old phone, and I was due anyways. So question regarding Safetynet. I went ahead and went with the latest Feb factory image, patched the boot and rooted with Magisk, then tried the safety net and attestation fails. Anybody have the feb patch and passing safetynet? if so what was the sequence you used? thanks
    - Root with Magisk patched img
    - Open Magisk Manager install SafetyNet module
    - Reboot
    - Open Magisk Manager Enable Magisk hide
    - Hide Google Play store, Google pay, etc
    - Clear cache and storage for the above apps
    - Reboot
    3
    hi @Homeboy76 ,
    maybe i'm wrong, but in your
    Prerequisites

    1. A Pixel 4a 5(G) phone with an unlocked bootloader.
    2. The latest Android 11 (R) Factory or OTA Image: "bramble" for Pixel 4a 5(G)
    3. Factory Image
    also at:
    4. Install/Update Factory Image keep or wipe data
    Just checked
    It is pointing to the Pixel 4a 5(G) bramble factory image.

    Download the latest Factory Image: Pixel 5 - bramble to your Computer. --> pixel 5 (only text)? Fixed!
    2
    Thanks for the write-up. Just got one of these as I dropped my old phone, and I was due anyways. So question regarding Safetynet. I went ahead and went with the latest Feb factory image, patched the boot and rooted with Magisk, then tried the safety net and attestation fails. Anybody have the feb patch and passing safetynet? if so what was the sequence you used? thanks

    You need Universal Safetynet fix v 1.1.1 Magisk module.