How To Guide Rooting the Google Pixel 6a

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Lughnasadh

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Mar 23, 2015
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That's what I've done with my OnePlus 7T for the last three years. Any repercussions for doing it this way versus patching the kernel?
Just that it has been hit or miss for some on the Pixel 6 series, possibly for the reasons explained above. I personally just use the flash-all method and patch the boot image. Very reliable (although I would recommend using the latest Platform Tools rather than the outdated adb installer in the OP). Of course there are other methods for updating as well.

There's also this tool.
 
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LightC

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Jun 6, 2009
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Is there any way to the oem unlock toggle without a factory reset? Is flashing the verizon rom my best bet?
 

bobby janow

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Jun 15, 2010
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Is there any way to the oem unlock toggle without a factory reset? Is flashing the verizon rom my best bet?
As @ctfrommn said no one so far has gotten away without a reset. I believe what happened is they never set up their IMEI database identifying which devices were Verizon, which were carrier TM and which were unlocked allowing for bl unlock. That happened once before with the P2 but it wasn't as widespread as this one. That also took a reset. Why don't you want to do it, setup is a beiatch?
 

Lughnasadh

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Mar 23, 2015
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Is there any way to the oem unlock toggle without a factory reset? Is flashing the verizon rom my best bet?
It really doesn't matter because once you unlock your bootloader your data is wiped automatically anyway. Unless of course you just want to enable OEM Unlocking without unlocking the bootloader in case you get into trouble and need to unlock it so you can flash something to get out of trouble.
 

ctfrommn

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It really doesn't matter because once you unlock your bootloader your data is wiped automatically anyway. Unless of course you just want to enable OEM Unlocking without unlocking the bootloader in case you get into trouble and need to unlock it so you can flash something to get out of trouble.
That actually didnt happen to me with this device. I was very surprised.
 
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Lughnasadh

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That actually didnt happen to me with this device. I was very surprised.
You mean you unlocked your bootloader and it didn't wipe your data? Wow, that's the 1st time I've ever heard this being done on a Pixel. I've seen people on Xiaomis do it whereby they entered the unlock command but instead of rebooting they rebooted into fastboot and then rebooted and it didn't wipe their data.

So you just entered the unlock command (fastboot flashing unlock) and rebooted and all your data was preserved?

Interesting...
 

ctfrommn

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You mean you unlocked your bootloader and it didn't wipe your data? Wow, that's the 1st time I've ever heard this being done on a Pixel. I've seen people on Xiaomis do it whereby they entered the unlock command but instead of rebooting they rebooted into fastboot and then rebooted and it didn't wipe their data.

So you just entered the unlock command (fastboot flashing unlock) and rebooted and all your data was preserved?

Interesting...
Yeah, I was as surprised as you. Usually you get a message about it wiping all your data but I saw none of that nor did it wipe anything.
 
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wire55

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Feb 25, 2013
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Anyone know a fix to get Netflix and Hulu to show up in the Play Store? They both list as incompatible even though I pass SafetyNet per YASNAC, the device is certified per the Play Store, and I even have working GPay.

Edit: Just posted but I installed MagiskHide Props Config, set the fingerprint as a Pixel 6 and now they both popped up and are now installed on it!
 

IImanuII

Senior Member
Mar 12, 2010
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3.) flash the boot partition with the magisk patched boot.img
Code:
fastboot flash boot magisk_patched.img
4.) Now you can reboot back into your device and you should be rooted!
Code:
fastboot reboot
Immagine 2022-08-08 142455.png

For me flash boot img dont work, why?


All done, driver updated
 
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wadameanster

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Aug 5, 2022
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Google Pixel 6a
This is a bummer, seems I am not able to get oem unlock working and still greyed out. Seems it's due to Verizon huh?

Tried the method in the OP to the T about 3 times now and sadly no luck.
 

ctfrommn

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The method provided from OP, about to try going to android 13 then reverting back as this method seems to work oem unlocking not being greyed out. Unsure how to flash the boot img since it’s not oem unlock
And youve tried factory resetting? If so, yeah, try enrolling in the beta, flashing it, un-enrolling, flashing 12 again and factory reset.
 

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    I was using powershell so tried cmd and it worked fine this time!
  • 11
    Rooting the Pixel 6a is just about as easy as any other factory unlocked pixel, but because so many people have had issues with unlocking their bootloaders, I figured I'd post my exact personal steps I took when a Pixel 6a came into my tech shop to be rooted, and I discovered the current bug with Rooting

    What You'll Need:
    - June 2022 Firmware OTA Update Installed at least: Do this on device. Do Not download the OTA update from google's firmware website.
    - ADB/Fastboot/Google Drivers for Windows: I use this to install- ADB 15sec Installer
    - Magisk Manager APK: Github - Magisk Github Releases
    - Firmware Matching Currently Installed: Google FW page - Google Official Firmware Downloads - you need this for the boot.img file
    - A Windows Computer
    - A USB-C cable to connect to your phone to the computer

    OEM Unlock Bug
    With early units sold by Google, they're shipping with a bug where OEM Unlock stays grayed out. Here's the only way I got around this issue
    1.) Log out of any Google Account on the device
    2.) Connect to Wifi, check for updates without your sim card in the device. There is a bug where it will potentially download the update for your carrier sim
    3.) At minimum, you should get the June 2022 security patch update. Run the update and remember which update it is for when you download the firmware to get boot.img
    4.) When the update is finished, Factory Reset your device either from settings or Android recovery
    5.) Go through Android setup without sim card in, and don't connect to wifi, finish setup without logging into a google account or anything
    6.) When setup is done, connect to wifi and put your sim back in.
    7.) Pay attention in your notifications for "Preparing your Device" notification.
    8.) When that notification pops up, enable Developer options (tap build number a bunch of times)
    9.) OEM Unlock should be possible to enable now. Also enable USB Debugging

    Pre-Root Setup
    1.) Install Magisk Manager from Github
    2.) Use 7zip (or any other ZIP opening program) to extract the boot.img from your firmware download from google
    -- the boot.img is inside another zip file that's in the download from google. very easy to get
    3.) Put the Boot.img on your phones internal storage
    4.) Open Magisk Manager, and select your Boot.img from internal storage. Patch the boot.img to make it a rooted boot.img
    5.) With your phone connected to the computer, move the magisk_patched.img from sdcard/downloads to your computer
    6.) If USB debugging is properly enabled, now you can open CMD and reboot to bootloader with
    Code:
    adb reboot bootloader

    Unlocking the bootloader
    1.) With the device connected, OEM Unlock enabled, and booted to bootloader, you can unlock the bootloader with the following command
    Code:
    fastboot flashing unlock
    -- If nothing changes on your phone screen, use Device Manager to make sure the device is recognized via google drivers: vid here on that - Quick Fastboot Drivers Install Tutorial
    2.) On your phone, use the volume keys to select Unlock Bootloader, then hit the power button, device should reboot back to bootloader
    3.) flash the boot partition with the magisk patched boot.img
    Code:
    fastboot flash boot magisk_patched.img
    4.) Now you can reboot back into your device and you should be rooted!
    Code:
    fastboot reboot

    Congrats! Now you're bootloader unlocked and rooted! GrapheneOS is already available if you want a degoogled rom, haven't seen another rom pop up yet
    all done from there

    updating your device when rooted
    I do not have a pixel 6a specifically for this right now to confirm this will work, but on every other device with OTA's, this has been my process.
    1.) Download your OTA using the system update part of Settings
    2.) When it pops up and is ready to restart to finish installing the update, DO NOT CLICK RESTART IN SETTINGS/SYSTEM UPDATE
    3.) Go to Magisk Manager, and select Install next to Magisk
    4.) Select "Install to Inactive Slot (After OTA)
    5.) When its done patching the boot partition, hit restart in Magisk
    Your OTA Update is now rooted
    5
    Im starting work on my custom kernel now so hopefully MVK for Bluejay will be ready in the coming days/weeks.
    4
    To save time and effort here is the magisk patched boot.img for June 2022 patch level, Carrier Unlocked 6a from the Google Store. Make SURE you are on build SD2A.220601.003 before flashing! ;)
    3
    Guys!! English!!! Please!!! :)
    You won't like this answer, but if you don't know what you're doing, you shouldn't be doing this.
    I'm done for tonight :)

    Somehow I got to the point where the security update got installed!!! I followed the ota with magisk guide and did not restart after it, went into the magisk, installed onto the secondary partition (or whatever it's called), rebooted.. and the phone completely froze.. I thought "that's it, this pixel has had a nice long 1wk long life :D".
    Held the power button for over 30 seconds, booted up, went to magisk, patched the boot.img file, flashed it, and nothing - still no security update installed.

    I want to offload the process of updating the phone to my wife, but I kinda like permanent root for acc control, etc
    I think you misunderstand me.

    When you flash the boot image with fastboot flash boot <boot image>, you're actually writing that binary to the /boot partition. If you do this with a patched image, Magisk does not have a backup.
    When you boot the boot image, with fastboot boot <boot image>, you're sending the binary to the device to load instead of what's written to /boot. If you boot a patched image, then perform Direct Install in Magisk, Magisk then creates a backup of the original image in /boot so as to be able to restore it later.

    Just reflash the stock June bootimage, take the new update and reflash the patched boot. The kernel didnt change between these 2 releases so the patched boot works on either.
    I would not recommend doing this. While the kernel may be the same, the boot image contains other components that are updated with almost every release, such as the Android security engine. It's OK to temporarily boot an older image, but I recommend always flashing the boot image that corresponds to the update.

    how reflash stock boot image if i dont have a backup? I need to flash it in bootloader mode?
    Download the factory update package (not the OTA) and extract boot.img from within it, then flash in bootloader: fastboot flash boot <boot image>
    Let me explain worse 😂: I download the boot.img directly from google, but then if I flash it in bootloader mode, I don't lose all the magisk modules on reboot? Don't risk the bootloop?
    Magisk operates via a kernel patch to grant root access. If you flash an unpatched boot image, you lose root, meaning Magisk is unable to load any modules. The only time this would cause a boot loop is if you updated via OTA, then flashed an older boot image; the system would see the mismatch and assume the update failed.
    2
    To save time and effort here is the magisk patched boot.img for June 2022 patch level, Carrier Unlocked 6a from the Google Store. Make SURE you are on build SD2A.220601.003 before flashing! ;)
    As this thread ages, not everyone will have the June 2022 update. That's why I suggested/put the steps in to do it themselves with matching firmware to what their device is on.

    To get the `OEM Unlock` option in Developer Options to work, it's simpler to just manually flash 12.1.0 (SD2A.220601.004, Jun 2022, Verizon, Verizon MVNOs) and then wipe.

    Even though it's label as Verizon, it should work for all carriers.
    This DID NOT work for me. That's why I wrote this up the way I did.

    Hello, if we have already unlocked the bootloader, we just have to do this: start cmd then fastboot flash boot magisk_patched.img then restart the phone?
    If you're bootloader is already unlocked, you just have to flash the patched magisk boot img, correct. I wrote this up for those having issue with not having the ability even if it is an unlocked from google device

    these instructions sound like "the usual process", but for the 6a isn’t there something to patch regarding vbmeta as well?

    (never had a phone that "needed" this, but in my understanding it "should" be necessary with the 6a? won’t have time to try out myself before the weekend, just asking ..)

    Correct, these are basically the usual steps. There's nothing regarding vbmeta flashing in this case of just rooting stock firmware. You only need to do that with ROMs (GSI's mainly)