Unlock Bootloader on Verizon Pixel 2 [CONFIRMED]

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Shiestie

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2013
82
64
Harrisburg
I'm not entirely sure if this is old news or not, but if you have the Verizon Pixel 2 like I do, and have been depressed that we can't unlock the bootloader thanks to the Evil Verizon people, and want to stick it to the Evil Verizon people and still Unlock the Bootloader for whatever purpose (Root, TWRP or Custom recovery, Custom ROM, Kernel, etc...) we are in luck! :good:
Even though the Evil Verizon people have Disabled the OEM Unlocking in Developer Options. :( :mad:
There is a fastboot command that bypasses the disabled oem unlocking. :victory:
This only works for the Pixel 2 not the Pixel 2 XL variant.

Thanks to @b00ster23 for the following;
Correct on the steps, including the entire discussion found here. https://forum.xda-developers.com/pix...el-2s-t3726294

Big Thanks goes to @D3RP_ for finding the command.

***PATCHED BY OUT-OF-CYCLE JANUARY UPDATE***
If you have received the OTA patch for your pixel2, and now are on OPM2.171019.016, you will no longer be able to run the command. And downgrade is not available at this time.

As of 1/24/2018 users who have purchased new phones have been able to remove the SIM, refuse internet (WiFi) connection at the initial startup. After completing the initial setup, you can sideload 8.1 to take advantage of the command in the OP. If you connect to the internet with WiFi or with your SIM, chances are high you will receive the update and this method WILL NOT work. To date, there are no other ways to unlock the bootloader on VZW PIX2 other than this method.

Instructions to sideload stock OTA's are found here along with the downloads. https://developers.google.com/android/ota

Once again, DO NOT USE 8.1.0 (OPM2.171019.016, Jan 2018, Verizon) but instead use 8.1.0 (OPM1.171019.013, Jan 2018) The command is not available on 8.0


Unlocking the Bootloader WILL WIPE YOUR DEVICE!! so backup important files.

To Unlock your Verizon Pixel 2, follow the steps below..
  1. Install ADB/Fastboot Drivers
  2. Enable Developer Options
  3. Enable USB Debugging in Developer Options
  4. Plug Pixel 2 into PC
  5. Open a Command Prompt window;
  6. In Command Prompt, type
    Code:
    adb start-server
    and hit ENTER
    If you see * daemon started successfully *
    continue to next step
  7. In Command Prompt, type
    Code:
    adb devices
    and hit ENTER
    If you see "List of devices attached" as well as "Your Devices Serial Number device or unauthorized"
    continue to next step
  8. On Pixel 2 - Allow PC for USB Debugging
  9. In Command Prompt, type
    Code:
    adb reboot bootloader
    Once your Pixel 2 has rebooted into the bootloader
  10. In Command Prompt, type
    Code:
    fastboot flashing lock_critical
    and hit ENTER
  11. Then follow the instructions on your Pixel 2 to finish Unlocking Bootloader.

If you have successfully unlocked your bootloader on reboot you should see;
qIdnwfH.jpg
 
Last edited:

nes4r2

Senior Member
Dec 19, 2010
184
28
OP any chance you can include step by step instructions on how to load TWRP and magisk? I did mines already but I was a bit confused with loading (pushing) twrp.img via adb and also installing magisk.
 

b00ster23

Senior Member
Feb 19, 2016
435
172
Correct on the steps, including the entire discussion found here. https://forum.xda-developers.com/pixel-2/help/maybe-stupid-question-verizon-pixel-2s-t3726294

Big Thanks goes to @D3RP_ for finding the command.

***PATCHED BY OUT-OF-CYCLE JANUARY UPDATE***
If you have received the OTA patch for your pixel2, and now are on OPM2.171019.016 or LATER, you will no longer be able to run the command. And downgrade is not available at this time.

As of 1/24/2018 users who have purchased new phones have been able to remove the SIM, refuse internet (WiFi) connection at the initial startup. After completing the initial setup, you can sideload 8.1 to take advantage of the command in the OP. If you connect to the internet with WiFi or with your SIM, chances are high you will receive the update and this method WILL NOT work. To date, there are no other ways to unlock the bootloader on VZW PIX2 other than this method.

Instructions to sideload stock OTA's are found here along with the downloads. https://developers.google.com/android/ota

Once again, DO NOT USE 8.1.0 (OPM2.171019.016, Jan 2018, Verizon) but instead use 8.1.0 (OPM1.171019.013, Jan 2018) or 8.1.0 (OPM1.171019.011, Dec 2017)The command is not available on 8.0

***UPDATED 6/11/18***
https://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=75945799&postcount=167 As of 3/19/18 People are still finding VZW Pixel2 phones in stores with the December patch. Not sure if VZW/Google are shipping newer patched phones at this time, but a good sign to users still looking for a phone they can unlock.

https://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=75908059&postcount=1 Another user confirms that his phone was shipped "It was still on 8.1.0 (OPM1.171019.011, Dec 2017)"

***UPDATED 6-9-18*** https://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=76757116&postcount=239 Another user received the 128GB White variant of the Pixel2 with the December build and was able to unlock successfully

***UPDATED 6-14-18*** https://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=76795831&postcount=265 Users are are now getting phones directly from Verizon and the store with .016 or later factory installed.

To review, the command referred in the OP is available in 8.1 and not 8.0. Which means that you can upgrade to a compatible version of Android OS to take advantage of the command. However, your phone CANNOT be on ANY build OPM2.171019.016 or later, as the command was patched. Please see the attached table. Some users have been able to find phones in stores, and from surplus. However some newer phones are now being shipped with the latest security updates (OPM2.171019.016 and older.)

The best way to ensure you can unlock the BL on your VZW PIX2 is going to the store and physically verifying the patch revision on device.
 

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steejo

Member
Oct 20, 2017
32
16
whatsittech.com
OP any chance you can include step by step instructions on how to load TWRP and magisk? I did mines already but I was a bit confused with loading (pushing) twrp.img via adb and also installing magisk.

I second this. After having read through the instructions for them both, it's still incredibly hard to understand what needs to be done.
 

b00ster23

Senior Member
Feb 19, 2016
435
172
I thought you didn't want to use the unlock critical command on pixel 2 and only the xl?

Not sure where you heard NOT to use the unlock_critical_ command. However, if there is a reason not to, please post your findings. Keep in mind this is for the VZW Variant ONLY that is being referenced. (See OP)
 

Shiestie

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2013
82
64
Harrisburg
OP any chance you can include step by step instructions on how to load TWRP and magisk? I did mines already but I was a bit confused with loading (pushing) twrp.img via adb and also installing magisk.

I'll write up a little how to on flashing TWRP and Magisk first thing tmrw morning and add it to the original post.
 

b00ster23

Senior Member
Feb 19, 2016
435
172
I'll write up a little how to on flashing TWRP and Magisk first thing tmrw morning and add it to the original post.

I would add disclaimers....links to other posts where information is already available.... Reference this post is for unlocking VZW pixel2 only.... Give credit to the XDA user that found the command...

Personally it's difficult to try and hash thru data in a forum post when the scope of information is too broad or double-posted. I like to have steps and supporting discussion for each step... My 2 cents about guide posting :)
 
Last edited:
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SoloTSi97

Member
Jul 16, 2008
14
9
Ordered my VZW Pixel 2 on 12/31, received it yesterday. It automatically updated to the January OTA. This morning, I ran the above steps and the bootloader is now unlocked. Easy Peasy. Thanks @Shiestie for the guide and @D3RP_ for the discovery!
 

D3RP_

Senior Member
Mar 20, 2016
120
56
Ordered my VZW Pixel 2 on 12/31, received it yesterday. It automatically updated to the January OTA. This morning, I ran the above steps and the bootloader is now unlocked. Easy Peasy. Thanks @Shiestie for the guide and @D3RP_ for the discovery!

Oh. My. God. AAHHHHH! Could you go over to My thread And post a screenshot (cover your serial) and a picture of your bootloader screen?
 

Slapbox

New member
Jul 3, 2013
3
0
I'm trying this on a Pixel 2 which I received today (have not connected it to any network yet to ensure I avoid OTAs) but when I run fastboot flashing lock_critical I just get: FAILED (remote: Device already : locked!)

Any ideas? Thanks!

---------- Post added at 11:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:54 PM ----------

According to this thread, you need the Android 8.1.0 OTA before you can unlock it. https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/7ms5ke/verizon_pixel_2_bootloader_unlock/drxs086/

UPDATING TO 8.1 LET ME UNLOCK IT!
 
Last edited:

dobbs3x

Senior Member
Dec 25, 2010
681
187
Eugene, OR
Not sure where you heard NOT to use the unlock_critical_ command. However, if there is a reason not to, please post your findings. Keep in mind this is for the VZW Variant ONLY that is being referenced. (See OP)

It says it on the google developers website here ----> https://developers.google.com/android/images

scroll down a little and you will see this --->


" If necessary, unlock the device's bootloader using one of the following methods:

If you are updating a Nexus or Pixel device that is manufactured in 2015 or later (for example, a Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL device), run this command:

fastboot flashing unlock
Note: the 'flashing unlock' command is only available with fastboot version 23.0.1 or later. The latest available version of fastboot can be downloaded from SDK Platform Tools.
For Pixel 2: To flash the bootloader, Pixel 2's boot loader must be updated to at least Oreo MR1's version first. This may be done by applying an over-the-air (OTA) update, or sideloading a full OTA with the instructions on that page.

For Pixel 2 XL only: the critical partitions may also need to be unlocked before flashing. The unlock can be performed with this command, and should NOT be done on other devices:

fastboot flashing unlock_critical
If you are updating an older device, run this command:

fastboot oem unlock
The target device will show you a confirmation screen. (This erases all data on the target device.)

See Unlocking the bootloader for more detailed instructions. "
 
Last edited:

b00ster23

Senior Member
Feb 19, 2016
435
172
It says it on the google developers website here ----> https://developers.google.com/android/images

scroll down a little and you will see this --->


" If necessary, unlock the device's bootloader using one of the following methods:

If you are updating a Nexus or Pixel device that is manufactured in 2015 or later (for example, a Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL device), run this command:

fastboot flashing unlock
Note: the 'flashing unlock' command is only available with fastboot version 23.0.1 or later. The latest available version of fastboot can be downloaded from SDK Platform Tools.
For Pixel 2: To flash the bootloader, Pixel 2's boot loader must be updated to at least Oreo MR1's version first. This may be done by applying an over-the-air (OTA) update, or sideloading a full OTA with the instructions on that page.

For Pixel 2 XL only: the critical partitions may also need to be unlocked before flashing. The unlock can be performed with this command, and should NOT be done on other devices:

fastboot flashing unlock_critical
If you are updating an older device, run this command:

fastboot oem unlock
The target device will show you a confirmation screen. (This erases all data on the target device.)

See Unlocking the bootloader for more detailed instructions. "

Interesting. I may take some time later to understand exactly what the command is intended to do. I have a feeling that the command was probably intended for an lock/unlock to other areas, but because of BigRed's config the phone defaults to the bootloader unlock option first. It's like giving the command to upgrade windows, and the setup displaying a format option without actually giving the format command. Speculation here...

Either way... Tick Tick Boom goes the dynamite
 
Last edited:

robocuff

Senior Member
Jul 23, 2011
711
274
Interesting. I may take some time later to understand exactly what the command is intended to do. I have a feeling that the command was probably intended for an unlock to other areas, but because of BigRed's config the phone defaults to the bootloader unlock option first. It's like giving the command to upgrade windows, and the setup displaying a format option without actually giving the format command. Speculation here...

Either way... Tick Tick Boom goes the dynamite

You aren't using fastboot flashing unlock_critical to unlock the verizon Pixel 2. It's fastboot flashing lock_critical. Either way, yes, it shouldn't do what it does.
 

BDragonD24

Senior Member
Mar 7, 2009
72
12
PA
I can confirm that it worked on mine this morning. I just used the fastboot flashing lock_critical command I found in the article that was posted out on the main site. Hate having to put all of my stuff back but it was worth it. That said, can I leave the standard recovery on the phone and continue to get VZ updates and not have it relock the bootloader? Or should I definitely install TWRP ? If I do that will I still get OTA updates or will I have to start doing them manually?
 

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  • 21
    I just read this entire thread beginning to end (not skimmed, not searching through it, but actually read it), all 779 posts. At least a quarter of it is people asking the same questions over and over, since obviously no one else is crazy enough to read through a 779-post thread to have their questions answered.

    I'm no expert, but in case it helps others and also to prevent myself from having to read this over again when I inevitably forget everything, I'll summarize what I've read here.

    1) Verizon locked down their Pixel 2 so that the bootloader could not be unlocked. This is separate from being carrier-unlocked, which is what most people are referring to when they sell an "unlocked Pixel 2", so if you're buying a Pixel 2 with an unlockable bootloader, make sure that's specified.

    2) The non-Verizon Pixel 2s that people receive from RMA replacements from Google also seem to have bootloaders that can't be unlocked. Some people have gone through 5 RMAs or more and countless calls with Google support to get a Google replacement with an unlockable bootloader, some many gave up, a couple eventually got refunds after many failed replacements.

    3) The method used to prevent the booloader from unlocking seems to be the same, or highly similar between the Verizon phones and the Google RMA phones, which is why there are plenty of non-Verizon Pixel 2 people in this thread.

    4) There were a couple Pixel 2 "walleye" Android 8.1.0 patch versions (.011 and .013) from December and January which had a hole in the unlock prevention code that allowed the booloader to be unlocked by running the "critical lock" command through ADB. This was "fixed" in the .016 release of 8.1.0 and beyond, never to return.

    My understanding is that this code is intended to lock the bootloader, not unlock it, which is probably why it was missed in the code that is supposed to block this ability. My guess is that in ADB, the command was probably written as a toggle instead of straight up locking the bootloader (i.e. "if bootloader is unlocked, lock it, otherwise, unlock it"). This is just me attempting to fill in the blanks though, as nothing in this thread really goes into this level of detail.

    5) If you have ANY version of 8.1.0 patch .016 or beyond, even if it's Android 9 or 10, you're out of luck, as there is still to this day NO way of unlocking the bootloader (unless you have a non-Verizon and non-locked-Google version of the Pixel 2, since even some of the Google versions come locked now too).

    6) With an unlocked bootloader, you can load whatever versions of the factory images or other ROMs you want, so you can move back and forth in Android versions. With a locked bootloader though, you can only move forward in Android versions, never backward. So if you got a Verizon Pixel 2 on 8.0.0, you can update it forward to the vulnerable versions of 8.1.0 in order to then unlock the bootloader, but you can't go from a later version of 8.1.0 (or Android 9 or 10) backward to the older vulnerable versions of 8.1.0 to unlock the bootloader.

    7) If you're going to update your new Verizon Pixel 2's Android version as in (6) you probably want to make sure that you do it right out of the box, but that you first turn off wifi, don't insert the SIM card or activate the phone, because as soon as you do, the phone will try to take over the air (OTA) updates that zoom you right past the vulnerable versions that allow unlocking the bootloader. And, as stated in (6), once this happens and you go past those versions, you can never go back, so it's game over. So, the recommended way to update forward to the vulnerable versions is to use ADB sideloading/fastboot with the factory OTA or full images, respectively.

    Likewise, if your Verizon Pixel 2 comes with a later version out of the box, then you never even had a chance, and there's no way to unlock the bootloader no matter what you do. The firmware version of the phones are written on the box, so you can check before you buy, assuming the phone wasn't returned or previously opened and powered on by a sales associate.

    8) If you got a Verizon Pixel 2 that allows you to toggle the "Allow OEM Unlock" setting in the Developer Options in Settings and isn't grayed out, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. A lot of the phones have this option available out of the box, but still won't let you unlock the bootloader even when you toggle the setting to enable it. The consensus is that there is some other check that Verizon has the Android firmware doing that overrides this setting. When you try to unlock the bootloader, the command will fail and then the setting will become grayed out. If you do a factory reset, it'll go back to being able to be toggled, but then actually trying it will gray it out again.

    9) Similar to the "critical lock" command described in the OP to unlock the Pixel 2 on the vulnerable Android builds, there is also a "critical unlock" command. The Google documentation says that this command is ONLY to be used on the Pixel 2 XL, but no one knows why.

    A couple people have tried it on the Pixel 2 with varying success, and it's unclear if the successful ones would have been successful anyway with the "critical lock" command. Futhermore, no one knows why it shouldn't be used on other phones. It could be due to the specific hardware of the phone, or maybe it's just not well tested. The main advice is to heed the Google documentation's warning and not to use it on the Pixel 2. And yes, the Pixel 2 is a fundamentally different phone than the Pixel 2 XL, since the Pixel 2 is made by HTC and the Pixel 2 XL is LG.

    10) There was quite a bit of effort by one person in this thread in particular to try to figure out the exact mechanism that is overriding the OEM unlock ability on the Verizon and RMA Pixel 2's, in an attempt to find an alternate way to unlock the bootloaders on the phones that either came or were updated past the vulnerable Android versions before the bootloader was unlocked. However, despite much progress and a valiant effort, nothing came of it and they eventually moved on from the Pixel 2 to other phones. Unfortunately there was no slam-dunk replacement for the Pixel 2 in terms of features, unlockable bootloader, performance, updates, etc.

    11) Once you do unlock the bootloader, no OTA update should ever re-lock your bootloader. While it's technically possible, doing so requires wiping all user data from the phone, and carriers would cause a PR ****storm if they pushed out an OTA that wiped people's phones without their consent.

    12) If you do manage to unlock your bootloader, DON'T re-lock it. If you do, you're removing your ability to flash back to known working images if something should go wrong, since locked bootloaders only allow moving forward. Even worse, you could end up bricking your phone if for instance you re-lock your bootloader with a modified boot image or root on your phone, since the verification checks required by a locked bootloader to boot your phone may no longer pass.

    13) There are sometimes weird errors running ADB/fastboot commands that can be caused by certain USB ports and cables. Some people have reported that USB-C to USB-C cables don't work for them, but switching to a USB-A to USB-C cable made the errors go away. Some people report that USB 2.0 and USB 3.2 ports worked, but USB 3.0 ports did not, while others say their USB 3.0 ports worked fine for them. A couple people couldn't get commands to work on one computer, but got them to work on another.

    The point here is, if you're following the guide closely, and your platform-tools with ADB and fastboot are all up to date, but you're still getting weird errors despite doing everything correctly, try different USB ports on your computer, different USB cables, or even switching to another computer.

    14) Having an unlocked bootloader shouldn't affect your ability to take OTA updates once you're unlocked (I'm not an expert, so I can't take responsibility if it does affect OTA updates, I'm just echoing what I've read here and using my own understanding). However, if you've actually done anything with having an unlocked bootloader, like using it to patch your Android boot image to allow rooting, or modifying system files or anything, then you can no longer take OTA updates straight up. You now must use Magisk or ADB to side-load updates supplied by Google on their image or OTA download pages.

    15) Other info about rooting, taking updates when you're rooted, using Magisk or TWRP, etc. are outside the scope of this thread. Once your bootloader is unlocked, you can basically treat your Pixel 2 as any other bootloader-unlocked Pixel 2, and so you can follow the generic Pixel 2-specific guides on rooting, updating Android while rooted, modifying your phone's software, etc., with the exception that you can't follow their instructions on unlocking your bootloader in the first place, and you also should NOT re-lock your bootloader, since unlike the actual bootloader-unlockable Pixel 2's, you can't just re-unlock them later if you've updated beyond the vulnerable versions of Android on the Verizon/RMA Pixel 2's.

    I haven't said anything here that hasn't already been said in this thread several times, except some of my filling in the blanks in (4). But hopefully, this helps anyone coming across this thread and not able to read through the entire thing as I just did, or anyone that has read through it but can't remember it all.

    If I've missed anything or gotten anything wrong, please feel free to add or correct me. I went from not understanding much about unlocking bootloaders to feeling like I have a decent understanding, so thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
    11
    I'm not entirely sure if this is old news or not, but if you have the Verizon Pixel 2 like I do, and have been depressed that we can't unlock the bootloader thanks to the Evil Verizon people, and want to stick it to the Evil Verizon people and still Unlock the Bootloader for whatever purpose (Root, TWRP or Custom recovery, Custom ROM, Kernel, etc...) we are in luck! :good:
    Even though the Evil Verizon people have Disabled the OEM Unlocking in Developer Options. :( :mad:
    There is a fastboot command that bypasses the disabled oem unlocking. :victory:
    This only works for the Pixel 2 not the Pixel 2 XL variant.

    Thanks to @b00ster23 for the following;
    Correct on the steps, including the entire discussion found here. https://forum.xda-developers.com/pix...el-2s-t3726294

    Big Thanks goes to @D3RP_ for finding the command.

    ***PATCHED BY OUT-OF-CYCLE JANUARY UPDATE***
    If you have received the OTA patch for your pixel2, and now are on OPM2.171019.016, you will no longer be able to run the command. And downgrade is not available at this time.

    As of 1/24/2018 users who have purchased new phones have been able to remove the SIM, refuse internet (WiFi) connection at the initial startup. After completing the initial setup, you can sideload 8.1 to take advantage of the command in the OP. If you connect to the internet with WiFi or with your SIM, chances are high you will receive the update and this method WILL NOT work. To date, there are no other ways to unlock the bootloader on VZW PIX2 other than this method.

    Instructions to sideload stock OTA's are found here along with the downloads. https://developers.google.com/android/ota

    Once again, DO NOT USE 8.1.0 (OPM2.171019.016, Jan 2018, Verizon) but instead use 8.1.0 (OPM1.171019.013, Jan 2018) The command is not available on 8.0


    Unlocking the Bootloader WILL WIPE YOUR DEVICE!! so backup important files.

    To Unlock your Verizon Pixel 2, follow the steps below..
    1. Install ADB/Fastboot Drivers
    2. Enable Developer Options
    3. Enable USB Debugging in Developer Options
    4. Plug Pixel 2 into PC
    5. Open a Command Prompt window;
    6. In Command Prompt, type
      Code:
      adb start-server
      and hit ENTER
      If you see * daemon started successfully *
      continue to next step
    7. In Command Prompt, type
      Code:
      adb devices
      and hit ENTER
      If you see "List of devices attached" as well as "Your Devices Serial Number device or unauthorized"
      continue to next step
    8. On Pixel 2 - Allow PC for USB Debugging
    9. In Command Prompt, type
      Code:
      adb reboot bootloader
      Once your Pixel 2 has rebooted into the bootloader
    10. In Command Prompt, type
      Code:
      fastboot flashing lock_critical
      and hit ENTER
    11. Then follow the instructions on your Pixel 2 to finish Unlocking Bootloader.

    If you have successfully unlocked your bootloader on reboot you should see;
    qIdnwfH.jpg
    5
    I just read this entire thread beginning to end (not skimmed, not searching through it, but actually read it), all 779 posts. At least a quarter of it is people asking the same questions over and over, since obviously no one else is crazy enough to read through a 779-post thread to have their questions answered.

    I'm no expert, but in case it helps others and also to prevent myself from having to read this over again when I inevitably forget everything, I'll summarize what I've read here.

    1) Verizon locked down their Pixel 2 so that the bootloader could not be unlocked. This is separate from being carrier-unlocked, which is what most people are referring to when they sell an "unlocked Pixel 2", so if you're buying a Pixel 2 with an unlockable bootloader, make sure that's specified.

    2) The non-Verizon Pixel 2s that people receive from RMA replacements from Google also seem to have bootloaders that can't be unlocked. Some people have gone through 5 RMAs or more and countless calls with Google support to get a Google replacement with an unlockable bootloader, some many gave up, a couple eventually got refunds after many failed replacements.

    3) The method used to prevent the booloader from unlocking seems to be the same, or highly similar between the Verizon phones and the Google RMA phones, which is why there are plenty of non-Verizon Pixel 2 people in this thread.

    4) There were a couple Pixel 2 "walleye" Android 8.1.0 patch versions (.011 and .013) from December and January which had a hole in the unlock prevention code that allowed the booloader to be unlocked by running the "critical lock" command through ADB. This was "fixed" in the .016 release of 8.1.0 and beyond, never to return.

    My understanding is that this code is intended to lock the bootloader, not unlock it, which is probably why it was missed in the code that is supposed to block this ability. My guess is that in ADB, the command was probably written as a toggle instead of straight up locking the bootloader (i.e. "if bootloader is unlocked, lock it, otherwise, unlock it"). This is just me attempting to fill in the blanks though, as nothing in this thread really goes into this level of detail.

    5) If you have ANY version of 8.1.0 patch .016 or beyond, even if it's Android 9 or 10, you're out of luck, as there is still to this day NO way of unlocking the bootloader (unless you have a non-Verizon and non-locked-Google version of the Pixel 2, since even some of the Google versions come locked now too).

    6) With an unlocked bootloader, you can load whatever versions of the factory images or other ROMs you want, so you can move back and forth in Android versions. With a locked bootloader though, you can only move forward in Android versions, never backward. So if you got a Verizon Pixel 2 on 8.0.0, you can update it forward to the vulnerable versions of 8.1.0 in order to then unlock the bootloader, but you can't go from a later version of 8.1.0 (or Android 9 or 10) backward to the older vulnerable versions of 8.1.0 to unlock the bootloader.

    7) If you're going to update your new Verizon Pixel 2's Android version as in (6) you probably want to make sure that you do it right out of the box, but that you first turn off wifi, don't insert the SIM card or activate the phone, because as soon as you do, the phone will try to take over the air (OTA) updates that zoom you right past the vulnerable versions that allow unlocking the bootloader. And, as stated in (6), once this happens and you go past those versions, you can never go back, so it's game over. So, the recommended way to update forward to the vulnerable versions is to use ADB sideloading/fastboot with the factory OTA or full images, respectively.

    Likewise, if your Verizon Pixel 2 comes with a later version out of the box, then you never even had a chance, and there's no way to unlock the bootloader no matter what you do. The firmware version of the phones are written on the box, so you can check before you buy, assuming the phone wasn't returned or previously opened and powered on by a sales associate.

    8) If you got a Verizon Pixel 2 that allows you to toggle the "Allow OEM Unlock" setting in the Developer Options in Settings and isn't grayed out, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. A lot of the phones have this option available out of the box, but still won't let you unlock the bootloader even when you toggle the setting to enable it. The consensus is that there is some other check that Verizon has the Android firmware doing that overrides this setting. When you try to unlock the bootloader, the command will fail and then the setting will become grayed out. If you do a factory reset, it'll go back to being able to be toggled, but then actually trying it will gray it out again.

    9) Similar to the "critical lock" command described in the OP to unlock the Pixel 2 on the vulnerable Android builds, there is also a "critical unlock" command. The Google documentation says that this command is ONLY to be used on the Pixel 2 XL, but no one knows why.

    A couple people have tried it on the Pixel 2 with varying success, and it's unclear if the successful ones would have been successful anyway with the "critical lock" command. Futhermore, no one knows why it shouldn't be used on other phones. It could be due to the specific hardware of the phone, or maybe it's just not well tested. The main advice is to heed the Google documentation's warning and not to use it on the Pixel 2. And yes, the Pixel 2 is a fundamentally different phone than the Pixel 2 XL, since the Pixel 2 is made by HTC and the Pixel 2 XL is LG.

    10) There was quite a bit of effort by one person in this thread in particular to try to figure out the exact mechanism that is overriding the OEM unlock ability on the Verizon and RMA Pixel 2's, in an attempt to find an alternate way to unlock the bootloaders on the phones that either came or were updated past the vulnerable Android versions before the bootloader was unlocked. However, despite much progress and a valiant effort, nothing came of it and they eventually moved on from the Pixel 2 to other phones. Unfortunately there was no slam-dunk replacement for the Pixel 2 in terms of features, unlockable bootloader, performance, updates, etc.

    11) Once you do unlock the bootloader, no OTA update should ever re-lock your bootloader. While it's technically possible, doing so requires wiping all user data from the phone, and carriers would cause a PR ****storm if they pushed out an OTA that wiped people's phones without their consent.

    12) If you do manage to unlock your bootloader, DON'T re-lock it. If you do, you're removing your ability to flash back to known working images if something should go wrong, since locked bootloaders only allow moving forward. Even worse, you could end up bricking your phone if for instance you re-lock your bootloader with a modified boot image or root on your phone, since the verification checks required by a locked bootloader to boot your phone may no longer pass.

    13) There are sometimes weird errors running ADB/fastboot commands that can be caused by certain USB ports and cables. Some people have reported that USB-C to USB-C cables don't work for them, but switching to a USB-A to USB-C cable made the errors go away. Some people report that USB 2.0 and USB 3.2 ports worked, but USB 3.0 ports did not, while others say their USB 3.0 ports worked fine for them. A couple people couldn't get commands to work on one computer, but got them to work on another.

    The point here is, if you're following the guide closely, and your platform-tools with ADB and fastboot are all up to date, but you're still getting weird errors despite doing everything correctly, try different USB ports on your computer, different USB cables, or even switching to another computer.

    14) Having an unlocked bootloader shouldn't affect your ability to take OTA updates once you're unlocked (I'm not an expert, so I can't take responsibility if it does affect OTA updates, I'm just echoing what I've read here and using my own understanding). However, if you've actually done anything with having an unlocked bootloader, like using it to patch your Android boot image to allow rooting, or modifying system files or anything, then you can no longer take OTA updates straight up. You now must use Magisk or ADB to side-load updates supplied by Google on their image or OTA download pages.

    15) Other info about rooting, taking updates when you're rooted, using Magisk or TWRP, etc. are outside the scope of this thread. Once your bootloader is unlocked, you can basically treat your Pixel 2 as any other bootloader-unlocked Pixel 2, and so you can follow the generic Pixel 2-specific guides on rooting, updating Android while rooted, modifying your phone's software, etc., with the exception that you can't follow their instructions on unlocking your bootloader in the first place, and you also should NOT re-lock your bootloader, since unlike the actual bootloader-unlockable Pixel 2's, you can't just re-unlock them later if you've updated beyond the vulnerable versions of Android on the Verizon/RMA Pixel 2's.

    I haven't said anything here that hasn't already been said in this thread several times, except some of my filling in the blanks in (4). But hopefully, this helps anyone coming across this thread and not able to read through the entire thing as I just did, or anyone that has read through it but can't remember it all.

    If I've missed anything or gotten anything wrong, please feel free to add or correct me. I went from not understanding much about unlocking bootloaders to feeling like I have a decent understanding, so thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

    could you write a scientific journal on this thread?
    4
    Android Q Beta 1

    If anyone's curious, I installed the new Android Q Beta 1 for the Pixel 2 successfully. However, it did not allow the bootloader to be unlocked.
    4
    I didn't forget about this, had some stuff come up so didn't have as much time the past couple days but I'm not giving up!
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