How To Guide [Pixel 6 Pro] Easy STEP BY STEP Unlock-Root-Update

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DanHakimi

Senior Member
Aug 11, 2010
127
6
Is it impossible to root / unlock the bootloader for a carrier-locked device? My Pixel 6 is carrier locked and I'm getting the impression that I'd have to actually use the device for 40 days and get an official carrier unlock before I could unlock the bootloader, and I'd need to unlock the bootloader to root.
 

KOLIOSIS

Senior Member
Is it impossible to root / unlock the bootloader for a carrier-locked device? My Pixel 6 is carrier locked and I'm getting the impression that I'd have to actually use the device for 40 days and get an official carrier unlock before I could unlock the bootloader, and I'd need to unlock the bootloader to root.
Sounds like you're on T-Mobile US.......
Typically,the phone needs to be SIM Unlocked 1st .
Some here may have a work-around,but,I recommend getting it SIM Unlocked 1st,this may prevent issues in the future if you end up bricking a SIM Locked phone.

Here's their unlocking policy:

Even if you haven't met all the standard requirements listed,you can always hit up T-Force on Twitter & state your need/reasons to SIM Unlock your P6P.
 
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Az Biker

Sr. Mod / Mod & RC-RT Committees / Shred'r of MTBs
Staff member
Is it impossible to root / unlock the bootloader for a carrier-locked device? My Pixel 6 is carrier locked and I'm getting the impression that I'd have to actually use the device for 40 days and get an official carrier unlock before I could unlock the bootloader, and I'd need to unlock the bootloader to root.
Unless I'm mistaken carrier unlock and bootloader unlock are two completely separate animals.

Some carriers allow carrier unlock (freedom to choose your carrier) after a few months, but lock their bootloaders tight (like Verizon)...
 
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DanHakimi

Senior Member
Aug 11, 2010
127
6
Unless I'm mistaken carrier unlock and bootloader unlock are two completely separate animals.

Some carriers allow carrier unlock (freedom to choose your carrier) after a few months, but lock their bootloaders tight (like Verizon)...
Somebody implied to me that my bootloader unlock option was grayed out because my phone was carrier locked. Are you syaing that Sprint-T-Mobile locked my bootloader Verizon-style, just to make my life worse? And that there's no way around that?
 

Az Biker

Sr. Mod / Mod & RC-RT Committees / Shred'r of MTBs
Staff member
Somebody implied to me that my bootloader unlock option was grayed out because my phone was carrier locked. Are you syaing that Sprint-T-Mobile locked my bootloader Verizon-style, just to make my life worse? And that there's no way around that?
No.

I'm saying carrier unlock, and bootloader unlock are two completely different things, and carrier unlock doesn't lead to bootloader unlock.

I've seen several members who bought devices that can be carrier unlocked, thinking it meant the bootloader could be unlocked.

Not sure how your carrier handles the bootloader on it's devices. Verizon's are locked down tight...

Just making sure it's understood that one doesn't equate to the other 👍
 
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roirraW "edor" ehT

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Somebody implied to me that my bootloader unlock option was grayed out because my phone was carrier locked. Are you syaing that Sprint-T-Mobile locked my bootloader Verizon-style, just to make my life worse? And that there's no way around that?
To add: Once you pay off your device, they can carrier unlock your phone, and also make it possible to enable OEM unlocking (so that you can unlock the bootloader). Many, many others on T-Mobile have reported doing that.

Like @Az Biker, I always try to make sure that others don't assume that carrier unlock = being able to unlock the bootloader. In this case, you will likely be able to once you pay off the device, but as said, they are two completely different things and not always associated with each other.
 
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DanHakimi

Senior Member
Aug 11, 2010
127
6
To add: Once you pay off your device, they can carrier unlock your phone, and also make it possible to enable OEM unlocking (so that you can unlock the bootloader). Many, many others on T-Mobile have reported doing that.

Like @Az Biker, I always try to make sure that others don't assume that carrier unlock = being able to unlock the bootloader. In this case, you will likely be able to once you pay off the device, but as said, they are two completely different things and not always associated with each other.
My phone is fully paid off. That's not the issue. It's carrier locked because that's just their policy and they apparently just carrier lock everything and refuse to change that until you've been using it, active, for 40+ days. Because they suck.

Yes, I know that carrier locks are not the same thing as bootloader locks, my phone is carreir unlocked and the OEM Unlocking option is grayed out and my understanding is that the OEM Unlocking option is grayed out because the bootloader is only meant to be unlockable once the carrier lock is removed.
 

Az Biker

Sr. Mod / Mod & RC-RT Committees / Shred'r of MTBs
Staff member
My phone is fully paid off. That's not the issue. It's carrier locked because that's just their policy and they apparently just carrier lock everything and refuse to change that until you've been using it, active, for 40+ days. Because they suck.

Yes, I know that carrier locks are not the same thing as bootloader locks, my phone is carreir unlocked and the OEM Unlocking option is grayed out and my understanding is that the OEM Unlocking option is grayed out because the bootloader is only meant to be unlockable once the carrier lock is removed.
If your OEM Unlocking is greyed out, it is most likely because you do not have the option to unlock the bootloader, regardless of whether or not your device is carrier unlocked.

Here's a blurb from Verizon about their devices being carrier unlocked after 60 days;

"Devices that you purchase from Verizon and certain devices purchased from our retail partners are locked for 60 days after activation. After 60 days, we will automatically remove the lock. Following the 60 day lock period following device purchase, we do not lock our phones at any time."


I can assure you that NONE of these Verizon devices has a bootloader that can be unlocked, even after the carrier lock is removed.
 
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Dragon Kumera

Senior Member
Mar 14, 2019
328
110
So, I was on android 12 beta February build. I decided to dirty flash android 13 (was a no go kept booting into bootloader). I then flashed android 12 stable release dirty flash. (Removed -W) and it worked! I kept all my data and never had to wipe.
 

stoph8n24

Senior Member
So this method worked well at getting root for me but I somehow lost root (don't ask). My bootloader is already unlocked, would I be better off just getting the OTA update then just flashing the new Magisk patched boot image? Thanks for all your help!
 

Az Biker

Sr. Mod / Mod & RC-RT Committees / Shred'r of MTBs
Staff member
So this method worked well at getting root for me but I somehow lost root (don't ask). My bootloader is already unlocked, would I be better off just getting the OTA update then just flashing the new Magisk patched boot image? Thanks for all your help!
Not sure what caused you to lose root.

I've used this exact process dozens of times without any issues or losing root.

Be sure you disable any modules, patch the correct boot.img from the image you're updating to, and that you reboot into bootloader on step 16. (even though it appears to be a redundant/unnecessary step) before moving forward.
 
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probono10

Member
Nov 6, 2017
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Unless I'm mistaken carrier unlock and bootloader unlock are two completely separate animals.

Some carriers allow carrier unlock (freedom to choose your carrier) after a few months, but lock their bootloaders tight (like Verizon)...
Like you, I'm one of those "root once per millennium" folks. As a result, it looks like I made a mistake somewhere along the line. I took the steps below, but...bootloop. Is it hopeless or can my Pixel 6 Pro be revived?


1) Downloaded May 2022 "12.1.0 (SP2A.220505.002, May 2022)" image from google
2) Downloaded USB drivers for Windows 10
3) Unlocked bootloader ("Successful" screen returned)
4) Disabled verity and verification using "fastboot flash vbmeta -- disable-verity --disable-verification vbmeta.img" ("Ok" sending/writing screen returned)
5) Download Magisk 24.3
6) Patched boot image ("Succesful" screen returned)
7) Copied boot image from Pixel to folder containing ADB AND "12.1" image from google
8) Flashed patched boot image: fastboot flash boot .\magisk_patched-24300_ZeVXf.img
9) Phone enters bootloop - never gets past "Google" screen and goes to the "hit power to pause" screen
9a) Rescue and recovery yield the same results
 

Az Biker

Sr. Mod / Mod & RC-RT Committees / Shred'r of MTBs
Staff member
Like you, I'm one of those "root once per millennium" folks. As a result, it looks like I made a mistake somewhere along the line. I took the steps below, but...bootloop. Is it hopeless or can my Pixel 6 Pro be revived?


1) Downloaded May 2022 "12.1.0 (SP2A.220505.002, May 2022)" image from google
2) Downloaded USB drivers for Windows 10
3) Unlocked bootloader ("Successful" screen returned)
4) Disabled verity and verification using "fastboot flash vbmeta -- disable-verity --disable-verification vbmeta.img" ("Ok" sending/writing screen returned)
5) Download Magisk 24.3
6) Patched boot image ("Succesful" screen returned)
7) Copied boot image from Pixel to folder containing ADB AND "12.1" image from google
8) Flashed patched boot image: fastboot flash boot .\magisk_patched-24300_ZeVXf.img
9) Phone enters bootloop - never gets past "Google" screen and goes to the "hit power to pause" screen
9a) Rescue and recovery yield the same results
If you're stuck at G, you're not dead in the water.

Start fresh.
I'd reco a fresh install wiping everything (leaving the -w in the flash-all script).

Follow the step by step in the OP, disregard verity blah blah blah, that language is no longer needed.

You should be right as rain 👍
 
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probono10

Member
Nov 6, 2017
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If you're stuck at G, you're not dead in the water.

Start fresh.
I'd reco a fresh install wiping everything (leaving the -w in the flash-all script).

Follow the step by step in the OP, disregard verity blah blah blah, that language is no longer needed.

You should be right as rain 👍
Started again at the "flash-all" step since the bootloader is already unlocked and I have the patched boot image using the image: image-raven-sd1a.210817.036.zip, but started getting messages like:

archive does not contain "init_boot.img"
archive does not contain 'dt.img'
archive does not contain 'pvmfw.img'
archive does not contain 'recovery.img'

Phone is on the "fastbootd" screen currently, but it hasn't been able to boot.

It's raining, but all is apparently not "right". Any thoughts?
 

Az Biker

Sr. Mod / Mod & RC-RT Committees / Shred'r of MTBs
Staff member
Started again at the "flash-all" step since the bootloader is already unlocked and I have the patched boot image using the image: image-raven-sd1a.210817.036.zip, but started getting messages like:

archive does not contain "init_boot.img"
archive does not contain 'dt.img'
archive does not contain 'pvmfw.img'
archive does not contain 'recovery.img'

Phone is on the "fastbootd" screen currently, but it hasn't been able to boot.

It's raining, but all is apparently not "right". Any thoughts?
I think initially getting the 'does not contain " text is normal. At least I recall seeing it every time.

Without intending to be insulting at all, make sure you have the latest factory image for 6Pro, and you're pulling the boot.img out of the SECOND ZIP file and patching THAT one.

I have followed the OP since the beginning of the 6P without any issues, but I'm OCD and even reread my own steps a few times before doing them :D

And IIRC, there's a new version of SDK TOOLS available over the last few months, make sure you're on them although that may not matter since I still use the previous version of SDK, but some people are the windshield, and some are the bug :p
 
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Dragon Kumera

Senior Member
Mar 14, 2019
328
110
Like you, I'm one of those "root once per millennium" folks. As a result, it looks like I made a mistake somewhere along the line. I took the steps below, but...bootloop. Is it hopeless or can my Pixel 6 Pro be revived?


1) Downloaded May 2022 "12.1.0 (SP2A.220505.002, May 2022)" image from google
2) Downloaded USB drivers for Windows 10
3) Unlocked bootloader ("Successful" screen returned)
4) Disabled verity and verification using "fastboot flash vbmeta -- disable-verity --disable-verification vbmeta.img" ("Ok" sending/writing screen returned)
5) Download Magisk 24.3
6) Patched boot image ("Succesful" screen returned)
7) Copied boot image from Pixel to folder containing ADB AND "12.1" image from google
8) Flashed patched boot image: fastboot flash boot .\magisk_patched-24300_ZeVXf.img
9) Phone enters bootloop - never gets past "Google" screen and goes to the "hit power to pause" screen
9a) Rescue and recovery yield the same results

I think your mistake is including magisk boot image during the factory install wipe. Try first boot without any magisk modifications to the boot image then once booted go to bootloader and flash the boot image
 
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R2DeeTard

Senior Member
Aug 10, 2011
514
104
Fort Mitchell, KY
Doing this on the Pixel 6 Pro for the first time. Unlock worked fine but when I try to flash the updated boot.img I get this error.

C:\platform-tools>fastboot flash boot --slot=all C:\platform-tools\magisk_patched-24314_zbwXC.img
Warning: skip copying boot_a image avb footer (boot_a partition size: 67108864, boot_a image size: 100663296).
Sending 'boot_a' (98304 KB) OKAY [ 2.315s]
Writing 'boot_a' (bootloader) unable to update boot image: use unmerged...
FAILED (remote: 'failed to flash partition (boot_a)')
fastboot: error: Command failed
 

Az Biker

Sr. Mod / Mod & RC-RT Committees / Shred'r of MTBs
Staff member
Doing this on the Pixel 6 Pro for the first time. Unlock worked fine but when I try to flash the updated boot.img I get this error.

C:\platform-tools>fastboot flash boot --slot=all C:\platform-tools\magisk_patched-24314_zbwXC.img
Warning: skip copying boot_a image avb footer (boot_a partition size: 67108864, boot_a image size: 100663296).
Sending 'boot_a' (98304 KB) OKAY [ 2.315s]
Writing 'boot_a' (bootloader) unable to update boot image: use unmerged...
FAILED (remote: 'failed to flash partition (boot_a)')
fastboot: error: Command failed
See the last few posts above.

Magisk must be done in a very specific manner, and IMHO is the hardest part of the entire process.

Make sure you're using the boot.img within the second zip folder after unzipping the first factory zip folder.

Then you must make sure you have the proper version of magisk, install it first, then follow the patch boot.img steps.

While I cannot promise you what went wrong with your magisk install, I CAN promise you my step by step in the OP works 100%, as do the guides also mentioned in the OP.

Start fresh right after unlock. Read every step, understand it, then perform it. I know the impulse to just go balls to the wall and get a device rooted, but manufacturers, even Google to a degree, have made root harder to achieve, requiring more difficult methods to install. THANK GOD FOR DEVS!!!

Make sure you have the following;
Latest SDK Tools
Proper version of magisk
Correct factory image
Correct boot.img file

All this is mentioned, with links, in the OP 👍👍👍

Best of luck!
 
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  • 2
    If you're using Verizon, install the Verizon one. If you're in a EMEA/APAC area (Google Search - more details at that search hit here), install that one. If neither of those, install the other one.
    So phone bought from google, bootloader unlocked. I should go verizon since my carrier is verizon? That wont interfere with bootloader?

    ota updates never work for me lol. I tried uninstalling magisk rematching original image. Disabled all modules. Update installed but when installing magisk to inactive slot and rebooting it caused corrupt device. So now gt install factory image without -w
    1
    What july update do we install? There are 3 versions.
    If you're using Verizon, install the Verizon one. If you're in a EMEA/APAC area (Google Search - more details at that search hit here), install that one. If neither of those, install the other one.
    1
    Yes.


    No. The only thing that can lock or unlock the bootloader is you, with local access to your phone via the correct fastboot command.

    It's likely the IMEI of the device is what determines whether the bootloader can be unlocked or not, and updates don't affect that.


    I think I fooled with the OTA method once or twice after I got my Pixel 1 almost six years ago, but I like the full factory image process instead. OTA method seems so hit and miss - it seemed to depend on hitting the lottery on more variables. It may work flawlessly for months, and then something happens. The rare times I've ever had a problem with the full factory image, all that I can think of but once was my own fault, and even the one time I don't know how exactly it could've been my fault was probably my fault too. :D

    Now that I think of it, for quite a while on my Pixel 1 I was using @Chainfire's FlashFire app that allowed me to flash updates and keep root/re-root without using TWRP or a computer. It was awesome.
    chainfire seems familiar.

    I am one of those who have a verizon pixel xl gen 1 phone still. I unlocked the bootloader before verizon patched the exploit. Its been running solid since with lineage os. Its currently in storage as a backup phone. Replaced the battery in like 2020. Wanted a p6 pro to fiddle with so got one.
    1
    Well, chainfire is the one who is very well known for introducing root to Android.

    Has anyone managed to updgrade to July updates without losing root?
  • 2
    Just a PSA for those on Android 13 Beta 2.1:

    Starting with Canary 24314, updating to a new Magisk version via direct install results in a bootloop. This behavior has continued with the latest Beta 25/Canary 25001. Patching the boot image, however, allows the phone to boot as expected.

    An issue was opened but unfortunately closed as "not planned". So for those on Android 13 Beta 2.1 (and beyond most likely), when updating Magisk you'll want to avoid the direct install method and patch and flash the boot image instead to avoid a bootloop until they decide to resolve this issue.

    2
    Just a PSA for those on Android 13 Beta 2.1:

    Starting with Canary 24314, updating to a new Magisk version via direct install results in a bootloop. This behavior has continued with the latest Beta 25/Canary 25001. Patching the boot image, however, allows the phone to boot as expected.

    An issue was opened but unfortunately closed as "not planned". So for those on Android 13 Beta 2.1 (and beyond most likely), when updating Magisk you'll want to avoid the direct install method and patch and flash the boot image instead to avoid a bootloop until they decide to resolve this issue.

    Looks like the issue may have been fixed with these commits...

    2
    Unlocked the bootloader today. What magisk version works for the June 2022 security update? I used 24310 as in OP link but somehow have issues.
    Stable 25.1 or Canary 25101.
    2
    Thanks to everybody here especially the OP AZ Biker for doing these kinds of posts for people like me. Jun2022 and Magisk 25.1 did the trick.
    2
    Thanks.
    Can i just patch the boot.img with this magisk version and flash the patched img? Or need to start from earlier steps?
    Patch and flash. Of course, disable any modules that may need updating beforehand.
  • 63
    Ready to Unlock, Root, and Update factory images on your Pixel 6 Pro?

    There are some really good guides by V0latyle here, and by roirraW "edor" ehT here which are great for veteran/regular users who are really familiar with adb/fastboot and the commands, steps used in the unlocking, rooting environment.

    This step by step is for people like ME who are not adb/fastboot gurus, who need every step spelled out so we don't brick our over-priced flagship devices :D


    What You Need On Your PC:

    Factory Image
    MAGISK - Canary 24310
    SDK Platform Tools & USB Drivers (first time installation)

    (additional files I use: optional)

    Working SafetyNet @Pekempy
    Kirisakura Kernel @Freak07


    *** MAKE SURE YOU EXTRACT THE CORRECT BOOT.IMG FILE TO PATCH IN MAGISK ***
    -download latest factory image, unzip the MAIN image.zip, then unzip the SECONDARY image.zip , copy the contents of the SECOND image.zip into the same platform tools folder that has the fastboot application in it, then open the image.zip you just copied into the fastboot folder and copy the boot.img and paste it somewhere on your PC.


    Device Setup PRIOR To Starting Fastboot:

    Settings>About phone>Build Number (click build number until you see YOU ARE NOW A DEVELOPER)
    Settings>System>Advanced>Developer Options
    Enable OEM Unlocking & USB Debugging & USB Configuration> enable FILE TRANSFER



    Unlock the Bootloader, Update Factory Image, and Get Root:

    1- Boot your device into bootloader/fastboot (hold power / vol down)


    2- Connect USB cable to device and PC ( have diff USB cables available for troubleshooting)


    3- From address bar in the platform tools folder where the fastboot application is located on your PC, type CMD to open command prompt window


    4- Type FASTBOOT DEVICES, if you see a serial number(s) you are ready, if you don't, verify you've properly set up platform tools folder, change cable, check command, try again)


    5- TO UNLOCK BOOTLOADER- type fastboot reboot bootloader
    (***YOUR DATA WILL BE WIPED***)

    6- Type fastboot flashing unlock


    7- Type fastboot reboot bootloader



    PRIOR TO FLASHING THE FACTORY IMAGE:

    -if you want a clean install, WIPING ALL DATA, skip to step #8
    -if you want to SAVE data, edit the FLASH ALL.bat file, REMOVING the -w (leaving just ONE space between the remaining text) and SAVE the file (reopen file to verify -w is removed)


    Disabling Verity and Verification isn't required except for use with some custom kernels, but just rooting those custom kernels with the latest Magisk Stable v24.1 or higher should make them not require disabled Verity and Verification anymore. click HERE for more



    8- Flash the factory image by typing FLASH-ALL


    9- After the install, it will reboot into system, let everything settle, skip start up options and get to where you can download the latest MAGISK apk on your device (downloads folder)

    ***DISABLE MAGISK MODULES as some have reported issues caused by some active modules***


    10- Connect your device and PC and put the extracted BOOT.img file (from the CURRENT factory image you are flashing FOUND IN THE SECOND ZIP FOLDER) that you placed on your PC, put it on your mobile device where you can easily find it (I created a folder FILES TO FLASH)


    11- Install Magisk (use Canary 24310 linked above), follow instructions to allow files like this to be installed) ***DISABLE MAGISK MODULES as some have reported issues caused by some active modules***


    12- Open Magisk and choose SELECT AND PATCH FILE (select the BOOT.img you just put on your device


    13- Copy the new PATCHED BOOT.img from your download folder back into your PLATFORM TOOLS folder where the fastboot application is located on your PC


    14- Boot device into fastboot/bootloader, connect device and PC


    15- Type CMD in address bar and verify fastboot connection (step 4)


    16- Type fastboot reboot bootloader


    17- Type fastboot flash boot --slot=all (drag and drop patched boot.img here) OR type in the file name magisk_patched-xxxxxxxxxx.img)



    18- Reboot into System


    UPDATE Factory Image WITHOUT Wiping Data:


    1- Within the Platform Tools folder, find the FLASH-ALL (.bat) file


    2- Open it with text editor and
    remove the -w (keep ONE space between remaining text, SAVE file, reopen to verify -w is removed)


    3- Verify FASTBOOT DEVICES by typing CMD in the address bar of the same platform tools folder


    4- Type FLASH-ALL


    5- Let it boot into system and settle for a minute


    6- Patch the boot image (follow steps 10, 12 -18 above)


    *** Thanks to V0latyle, roirraW "edor" ehT, and Lughnasadh for the foundations of these instructions! ***

    Please let me know if any part of this process is incorrect, has been updated, or is no longer necessary (y) (y) (y)
    5
    If anyone finds errors, missing or confusing information while following the steps in the OP, please post it and tag me so I can fix it immediately.

    A few things I'm seeing in other threads is users still using disable verity, and not verifying their edit of the falsh-all.bat file, then accidentally wiping their device.

    My OP is supposed to be super easy for anyone without much knowledge using fastboot, so if anyone has suggestions, please post them.

    Thanks!
    5
    Right, I wanted to wipe. It's a brand new phone that was on .036, and not yet activated. I'm wondering if I did wipe, with the --disable-verity --disable-verification into the .bat file, am I good to go ahead and install Magisk, and from now on, not wipe on future updates, or do I have to do this extra step after (fastboot flash vbmeta --disable-verity --disable-verification vbmeta.img)?
    Oh, you wanted to wipe, lol. My misunderstanding. Yeah, what @Az Biker said.
    It appears that everything is fine. I have Magisk installed after patching image. I'm not getting any modules to pop up in the search though, so I guess I'll head to Magisk thread to see what's up there.
    The Magisk Repo has been removed from the Magisk app. You can use this instead...

    4
    You shouldn't need to flash to both slots. So you can just do fastboot flash boot <nameofpatchedbootimage.img>.

    You should be able to rename the patched boot image (although I have never done it). I usually just put it in a labeled folder and copy and paste the name into the command prompt.

    You should be patching the boot.img that you extracted from the factory image. It's located in the image-raven-sd1a.210817..037 zip file within the factory image (assuming you are on build .037).

    If you are still having problems, then 2 things to check:
    1. Make sure your Platform Tools are up-to-date. Latest I believe is 31.0.3
    2. Make sure you have the correct (and latest) USB drivers installed on your computer... https://developer.android.com/studio/run/win-usb

    EDIT: Oh, one very important thing. Make sure you are using the latest Canary version of Magisk.
    Root has been achieved, thank you for your time & assistance, it's much appreciated. ✌️
    4
    Maybe it makes more sense to combine and improve upon existing tutorials, instead of creating a load of new ones. It's getting a bit confusing here, ESPECIALLY since we don't have any sub-threads/forums.

    Why is that, anyway? it makes sifting through threads here a nightmare, since you have to scroll through dozens of threads to find one that suits your interest. Instead of just giving us, like, an overview labeled "mods", "kernels", "camera", "discussion", "flame" - like, in every other previous XDA Pixel forum?!