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How To Guide Unlocking the Pixel 6 Pro bootloader & general central repository of relevant links - January 2022 update available now

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roirraW "edor" ehT

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Oh wow so you have to boot up without a SIM card now to do this? So once you boot up with a SIM are you basically screwed if you want to unlock down the road?
To expand on what @96carboard said, booting up without a SIM card was at one time a workaround for getting a Verizon Pixel 1 to be able to enable unlocking the bootloader. May have helped in other situations and on other phones/Pixels but I only had the Pixel 1 before, so... :D
 
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96carboard

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2018
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You can stop the updates from being automatically applied in developer options. At least, that's what a particular button in there claims.

I don't like automatic updates. I always want to know that I'll have time to fix whatever the update breaks. Plus, every month is just a bit overboard. Don't be retarded about installing stuff that's made in hostile countries or by potential agents of those hostile countries and the criticality of security updates becomes very low.
 

rester555

Senior Member
Oct 27, 2010
406
131
Thanks for the tips, nothing has changed much with the process. Got my unlocked Pro 6 sorta sunny and ready to go for root.

Here's to hoping there are no shenanigans and root can be obtained fairly easily.
 
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roirraW "edor" ehT

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Staff member
I'm rather new to the world of Pixels - a quick question: is re-locking the bootloader possible without traces or any implications (like Samsungs Knox issue) ?
Welcome to the Pixel world! That has been my experience on my Pixel 1, no implications if you re-lock the bootloader (other than it will wipe your phone). This should still be the case.

Note that if you're going to re-lock the bootloader, make sure the ROM you have on your phone is completely stock (by flashing they latest official firmware) BEFORE re-locking it. I'll add this info to the OP in the morning.

Thanks!
 
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Morgrain

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2015
753
755
I wouldn't count on any particular day for them to release the factory images.
I did a bit of research and noticed that Google first released the factory images/OTA files for the

Pixel 2 - 4 days after launch (Oct. 23th 2020 factory image, Oct. 19th launch)
Pixel 3 - on "official" launch day (shipout) (Oct. 18th 2018)
Pixel 4 - on launch day (Oct. 24th 2019)
Pixel 4a - 4 days after launch (available Oct. 16th 2020, release of the phone Oct. 20th 2020)
Pixel 5, 4a 5G - on launch day (October 15, 2020)

So, if Google doesn't stray too far from it's previous release schedule, we should expect the factory image today or in the next few days.
 
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roirraW "edor" ehT

Forum Moderator
Staff member
I did a bit of research and noticed that Google first released the factory images/OTA files for the

So, if Google doesn't stray too far from it's previous release schedule, we should expect the factory image today or in the next few days.
Awesome! Thank you, I was honestly hoping someone else would research and find this fact. Cheers!
 

paysen

Senior Member
Nov 3, 2010
323
80
Thanks a bunch, just unlocked it as I had not much on the phone yet :)

edit:

Instructions are already easy, but for people who have never worked with adb:
->Download https://developer.android.com/studio/releases/platform-tools
->Download and install drivers: https://developer.android.com/studio/run/win-usb
->Unzip the files to a folder of your choice, I just did it in the download folder.
->Press windows key, search cmd, right click on it and start as admin
->type: cd C:\Users\Paysen\Downloads\platform-tools
(use your user name here instead of Paysen or the folder which you chose for unpacking)
->start with the instructions from 96 cardboard

The unlock process works like this;

1) Take brand new fresh phone out of box. Do NOT put sim card in it, just power it on.
2) When it starts harassing you to join google, hit "skip" and "remind me tomorrow" as applicable until you reach home screen. YOU DO NOT need to plug in a google account.
3) Settings --> About --> Build number. Tap it until it says you're a developer.
4) Back --> Network --> Wifi and connect it.
5) Back --> System --> Developer --> OEM unlocking (check), USB debugging (check), plug in USB, authorize when requested.
6) # adb reboot-bootloader
7) # fastboot flashing unlock

Now that you've unlocked it, it has been wiped, so repeat 1-4, then disable all the google spyware, and go ahead and start using it while waiting for aosp and root.
 
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Lughnasadh

Senior Member
Mar 23, 2015
2,741
2,397
Google Nexus 5
Huawei Nexus 6P
I did a bit of research and noticed that Google first released the factory images/OTA files for the

Pixel 2 - 4 days after launch (Oct. 23th 2020 factory image, Oct. 19th launch)
Pixel 3 - on "official" launch day (shipout) (Oct. 18th 2018)
Pixel 4 - on launch day (Oct. 24th 2019)
Pixel 4a - 4 days after launch (available Oct. 20th 2020, release of the phone Oct. 20th 2020)
Pixel 5, 4a 5G - on launch day (October 15, 2020)

So, if Google doesn't stray too far from it's previous release schedule, we should expect the factory image today or in the next few days.
Nice info. Yeah, I guess the very latest would be on Monday since Nov.1 happily coincides with the 1st Monday of the month. Hopefully sooner so we can start rooting.
 
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Izy

Senior Member
i'll consider rooting in the future but not straight away.

i want to enjoy having widevine to watch media, wait for better support for magisk

the only real thing i want to consider it for atm is adblock as i use chrome, i know theres a way to use adaway without root


whats important is how well twrp will work day one and also magisk future support now that main dev works for google and is dropping stuff like magisk hide.

Im curious how well kernel make an early stock based kernel it should help that the tensor was made in collab with samsung and probably has an exynos related base
 

Lughnasadh

Senior Member
Mar 23, 2015
2,741
2,397
Google Nexus 5
Huawei Nexus 6P
i'll consider rooting in the future but not straight away.

i want to enjoy having widevine to watch media, wait for better support for magisk

the only real thing i want to consider it for atm is adblock as i use chrome, i know theres a way to use adaway without root
Yeah, AdAway has a VPN mode. I'm using it right now.
 
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dmarden

Senior Member
Oct 30, 2008
2,052
505
Philadelphia, PA
I like to run an adblocker in non VPN mode so I can still use a regular VPN (without dropping to something lesser like a SOCKS5 based connection). Hoping for reliable root and magiskhide soon. Until then, no big deal.
 
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dimm0k

Senior Member
Jan 25, 2014
1,616
634
Google Pixel 4 XL
hopefully this is relevant to the topic, if not then I apologize. a while back I recall reading that once you unlock the bootloader on the Pixel 4 series that even if you wipe and flash the stock image that the device no longer sees it as clean and would fail SafetyNet. was this true and is it still true?
 
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  • 4
    January update coming Monday, January 17th, 2022 available now!

    Monday
    3
    Sorry that I need to confirm this statement:

    1. If I want to clean flash ROM, I don't need to key-in comment "fastboot flash vbmeta --disable-verity --disable-verification --slot=all vbmeta.img" before flashing magisk patched boot img file, right ?
    Correct, not needed as of Magisk Canary build 23016. (Unless you plan on using a custom kernel that hasn't been updated with the same fixes that Magisk 23016 has. If you're going to use the stock kernel, you're fine.)

    2. If I receive ROM OTA, I download OTA file and extracting boot img and then use magisk v236016 to patch boot img
    file. Then I also needless to key in comment " "fastboot flash vbmeta --disable-verity --disable-verification --slot=all vbmeta.img" before flashing magisk patched boot img file, right ?
    If you root, do not attempt to take actual over-the-air updates. You should disable that in Developer Options.

    Personally, I use the full factory image zip every time (with "-w " removed so it doesn't wipe). There are other ways to do it as well using Google's OTA zip file, but to some others and myself, it makes more sense to just use the full factory image zip. You need the full boot.img that's inside the second zip that's inside the full firmware zip anyway, to run Magisk on it.

    3. Any magisk new version updated, I just need to update it directly in magisk manager, right ?
    Correct. Always unhide the Magisk app if you've used its option to hide it, update the Magisk app, and then use the new Magisk app to root the new boot.img. I manually flash the new rooted boot.img myself. Your mileage may vary if you attempt Direct Install.
    3
    I've updated post #2 to reflect my latest guidance on whether or not we should still disable verity and verification even though Magisk Canary 23016 (and presumably above when they come out) no longer require it.

    I would continue to tell anyone who asks if they should still disable Verity and Verification that:
    • It isn't required except for use with some custom kernels
    • To make sure they know 100% that the developer or a user who flashes that kernel verifies that it's no longer required before failing to disable it. Some developers of custom kernels aren't positive if they should still be disabled when using their kernels, and they're going to continue advising others to disable them before installing the kernel.
    A reminder that disabling Verity and Verification, at least if you've never disabled them before, will cause you to need to factory reset the device otherwise there will be corruption.
    2
    Magisk Canary 23017 is out at Magisk Downloads on GitHub, or direct download link https://raw.githubusercontent.com/topjohnwu/magisk-files/canary/app-debug.apk.

    If you update in the app itself, unhide the Magisk app first.

    Edit: Ninja'd by @Lycidias in another thread with more detail. My excuse is my wife was talking to me. :D

    New magisk canary 😀
    screenshot_20220120-135658-png.5513491

    And heed @V0latyle's note and still be wary of taking the OTA method, until repeated success using Magisk Canary 23017 with this method on the P6/Pro has been reported:
    Good stuff. This should simplify things for those of you who prefer to update via OTA.

    Just updated my P5. Tried the "inactive slot" for poops and giggles, device bootlooped back to slot A.

    Although "should" be okay:
    Ok, makes sense now. Since you flashed the factory image you stayed on the same slot. Magisk didn't detect your inactive slot was updated (because it wasn't) so it didn't force the phone to switch slots upon reboot.

    Think we should still be good when updating via OTA (System Update) as long as this method is followed:

    Magisk app → Uninstall → Restore Images (Do not reboot)
    Apply OTA (Settings → System → System Update) (Do not reboot or restart)
    Magisk app → Install → Install to Inactive Slot
    Reboot

    But I guess we'll find out for sure in February. The new changes to Magisk were tested on both the Pixel 5 and 6 with success before the changes were merged so we should be good. 👍 (famous last words 🙃)
    2
    @roirraW "edor" ehT So this network connectivity disaster is becoming problematic for me. Let's say I wanted to unlock the bootloader simply to flash the November radio. Upon unlocking it's a full wipe and nothing I can do about that one. So then I can flash the radio easily enough and I'm sitting with a wiped device December update / Nov radio. Can I then relock the bootloader without consequences currently and in the future updates? Also, when I relock the bootloader it will boot into whatever I had prior to locking, right? And one more..lol.. can I preemptively wipe with a -w so that when I unlock it won't wipe again. Silly I'm sure but that would be great. I'm not sure though if I can even flash a full image with a locked bootloader.
    Just to add what @roirraW "edor" ehT said, you need to have an unlocked bootloader to flash factory images. However, you don't need an unlocked bootloader to flash Full OTA images.
  • 40
    Note that this is mainly for the officially listed "Unlocked" Pixel 6 Pro, available directly from the Google Store. All of this will also apply to any other (carrier-specific) variant of the Pixel 6 Pro which you can achieve an unlocked bootloader on. This includes T-Mobile and AT&T variants. It's likely Verizon variants will never be able to unlock their bootloader, or if so it will require paying the right person to do so.

    Feel free to ask about general questions, but for anything that's specific to your variant, you should use one of the other already existing threads. You'll find Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile-related threads in those respective search results.

    Here there be dragons. 🐉 I am not responsible for anything at all. 😹

    Unlocking or locking the bootloader will wipe the device every single time, so be sure to have your data backed up before doing so, or better yet, just unlock it as soon as you get the device.


    Likewise, when wanting to root you have to disable verity and verification, after which you'll need to wipe the phone, so best just to go ahead and disable these immediately after unlocking the bootloader. See the section below "A list of the other important guides".


    Keep in mind that unlocking the bootloader or rooting might affect your phone's capability to use banking apps such as Google Pay, your local bank's app, or even the ability to install some apps like NetFlix. See @Pekempy's thread Working SafetyNet with Pixel 6 Pro Android 12

    If you're going to re-lock the bootloader, make sure the ROM you have on your phone is completely stock (by flashing the latest official firmware) BEFORE re-locking it.

    There are no negative consequences if you unlock or re-lock the bootloader other than it will wipe your phone, and while unlocked you get a brief screen when you boot the phone telling you (and anyone who sees your phone at the time) that the bootloader is unlocked. You will also continue to receive updates (if you've merely unlocked the bootloader, you can take updates as normal) unlike Samsung, Sony, et cetera, which have permanent major consequences with reduced functionality even if you un-root and re-lock your bootloader. If you're actually rooted (not just bootloader unlocked), you'll have to perform extra steps to manually update each month, and to keep root/re-root.


    All posts about Google Pay or banking will be reported to be deleted. Please keep this thread on-topic. There are at least one or two other How To Guide threads in this section in which folks discuss how to get around banking app restrictions when you're rooted or just have an unlocked bootloader. See @Pekempy's thread Working SafetyNet with Pixel 6 Pro Android 12
    If users persist in discussing banking apps in this thread, I will have this thread locked and only update this first post when there is new and updated information regarding the subjects of the title of the thread: Unlocking the Pixel 6 Pro bootloader, rooting, and TWRP. See @Pekempy's thread Working SafetyNet with Pixel 6 Pro Android 12

    Honorable mention to @Jawomo's aodNotify - Notification Light / LED for Pixel 6 Pro! (XDA link) / Notification light / LED for Pixel - aodNotify (Play Store link), which in my opinion restores useful functionality missing in most phones these days. It also solves some subjective issues some folks have with AOD (Always On Display), and/or solves/works around the problem where AOD is required for the optical fingerprint reader to work without the screen being on.​


    Check warranty status - *may* reveal if a phone is refurbished, only if the phone was refurbished through Google - thanks to @Alekos for making me aware of the site.
    Official Google Pixel Update and Software Repair
    Official Google Pixel Install fingerprint calibration software (also available at the bottom of the Update and Software Repair page above) - I believe this is only helpful if you've replaced the screen
    Official Google Android Flash Tool (OEM Unlocking needs to be toggled on - you may not have to manually unlock the bootloader - the "site" will do that on its own)
    OEM unlocking in developer options needs to be toggled on. I don't "believe" you have to actually do the "fastboot flashing unlock" command.

    ADB/Fastboot, Windows Drivers, and unlocking the bootloader (thanks @sidhaarthm for confirming unlocking the bootloader works as intended, be sure to thank him in his post)
    • You'll need this if you're going to unlock the bootloader on your Pixel 6 Pro: SDK Platform Tools (download links for Windows, Mac, and Linux). Note that you can find links to download the tools elsewhere, but I wouldn't trust them - you never know if they've been modified. Even if the person providing the link didn't do anything intentionally, the tools could be modified without them being aware. Why take a chance of putting your phone security further at risk?
    • For Windows, get Google's drivers here Get the Google USB Driver (ADB will likely work while the phone is fully booted, but if you're like me, you'll need these drivers for after you "adb reboot-bootloader", to be able to use ADB and Fastboot.
    • Thanks to @96carboard for posting the details of unlocking the bootloader, be sure to thank him in his post. Unlocking or locking the bootloader will wipe the device every single time, so be sure to have your data backed up before doing so, or better yet, just unlock it as soon as you get the device. Keep in mind that unlocking the bootloader or rooting might affect your phone's capability to use banking apps such as Google Pay, or your local bank's app. If you're going to re-lock the bootloader, make sure the ROM you have on your phone is completely stock (by flashing the latest official firmware) BEFORE re-locking it. My experience on my Pixel 1 was that there were no negative consequences if you unlock or re-lock the bootloader other than it will wipe your phone, and while unlocked you get a brief screen when you boot the phone telling you (and anyone who sees your phone at the time) that the bootloader is unlocked. All of this should still be the case. You will also continue to receive updates. Unlike Samsung, Sony, et cetera, which have major consequences with reduced functionality even if you un-root and re-lock your bootloader. If you're actually rooted (not just bootloader unlocked), you'll have to perform extra steps to keep root/re-root.:


      The unlock process works like this:

      1) Take brand new fresh phone out of box. Do NOT put sim card in it, just power it on (you can put a SIM card if you want, you just don't have to).
      2) When it starts harassing you to join Google, hit "skip" and "remind me tomorrow" as applicable until you reach home screen. YOU DO NOT need to plug in a google account.
      3) Settings --> About --> Build number. Repeatedly tap it until it says you're a developer.
      4) Back --> Network --> WiFi and connect it.
      5) Back --> System --> Developer --> OEM unlocking (check), USB debugging (check), plug in USB, authorize on the phone when requested.

      Using the Platform Tools previously mentioned in command line/terminal:
      6) #
      Code:
      adb reboot-bootloader
      7) #
      Code:
      fastboot flashing unlock

      Now that you've unlocked it, it has been wiped, so repeat 1-4, then disable all the google spyware, and go ahead and start using it while waiting for aosp and root.

      Official Instructions for Locking/Unlocking the Bootloader
    Personally, I would always use the official drivers Google provides unless they just don't work for whatever reason: Get the Google USB Driver (this is for Windows). They work for me. They are rarely updated, but they are every once in a great while, sometimes years in-between.
    I agree with this. be careful using drivers or adb/fastboot tools. Some are fine, but there's no need for it really anymore. Google has made it very easy to install drivers and Platform-Tools (adb/fastboot tool).

    Google provides the Fastboot/ADB tool (Platform-Tools) and Google USB Drivers (adb/fastboot interface). This will allow any Pixel to interface with Windows using the fastboot/adb protocol. Official Google USB Driver includes support for both the Fastboot and ADB driver interface. There are 3 main drivers (Fastboot, ADB and MTP/Portable File Transfer). The MTP/Portable File Transfer driver is built-in to Windows 7-11.

    Fastboot/ADB Driver Interface - Official Download Link:
    When flashing a full image or unlocking your bootloader, the fastboot interface is being used.

    First Download official Google USB Drivers (it's a zip file). Extract the zip (important!). Right-click on the android_winusb.inf file and hit install. You can then restart your phone to the Bootloader Screen (hold vol-down while it restarts or turns on). When you plug in your phone, Windows Device Manager will show a new device at the top: Android Device: Android Bootloader Interface.

    Using the ADB interface: It's the same driver. Enable USB Debugging on your phone, then plug it in to your computer. A prompt will appear on your phone (to allow USB Debugging). The driver in Device Manager will appear as Android Device: Android Composite ADB interface.

    Now you can download and use Platform-Tools to flash an Android Image, OTA or run adb/fastboot commands.
    Official Download Page
    "Android SDK Platform-Tools is a component for the Android SDK. It includes tools that interface with the Android platform, such as adb, fastboot, and systrace"

    It's best to make Platform-Tools available system-wide. Download Platform-Tools from the above link and extract it to your C:\ drive - that way you will have a folder to add to the PATH Environment under Window System Properties Menu, Advanced, Environment Variables, System Variables, PATH (google how to do this, very easy). What this does is allow adb/fastboot commands to be run from anywhere in the system, so you don't have to be in the platform-tools folder to run adb/fastboot commands and flash an Android Image (Official or Android Fork such as ProtonAOSP).

    Rooting-related


    No longer applies - Things that make rooting more complicated on Android 12
    @V0latyle posted a new thread with some very important and fascinating information about the increased difficulty to root Android 12: Read this before rooting. Be sure to thank him there.

    A list of the other important guides - be sure to thank the respective OPs
    For all relevant guide threads just click the yellow "How To Guide" quick filter above the list of threads in the Pixel 6 Pro section.


    TWRP (not made for the Pixel 6 Pro yet - will update when it has)
    I would guess that this should be the appropriate URL for official TWRP custom recovery for the Pixel 6 Pro, but who knows when/if that will actually be made available, and it may become available unofficially in these forum sections before being made official. I'll adjust this URL as needed. https://twrp.me/google/googlepixel6pro.html.

    Custom kernels for stock ROM(s)

    Factory Images (requires an unlocked bootloader)
    It's also handy to have to the full official firmware available, whether it's to recovery from accidents or for actual development. Note the official link to the general Factory Images for Nexus and Pixel Devices page. The following link goes directly to the Pixel 6 Pro (Raven) section: Pixel 6 Pro Factory Images. I prefer to actually bookmark a link to the device listed immediately below the device I want the firmware for, because Google dumbly (in my opinion) puts the latest firmware at the bottom of the list for each particular device, and that ends up making you scroll a lot after a year or two of monthly updates.

    Note: You can still get the December 2021 Factory Images and OTA from this thread, if you need them for any reason: Alternate links to December - all full factory images and OTAs available

    Full OTA Images (doesn't require an unlocked bootloader)

    The usefulness of having Verity and Verification enabled (now that it's not needed for root) - post #2 below.

    Regarding P6P 5G model numbers and capabilities - post #3 below.

    List of all Pixel monthly security bulletins and Play System Updates - post #4 below.

    I may append these first four posts with further useful information or links as needed.
    15
    The unlock process works like this;

    1) Take brand new fresh phone out of box. Do NOT put sim card in it, just power it on.
    2) When it starts harassing you to join google, hit "skip" and "remind me tomorrow" as applicable until you reach home screen. YOU DO NOT need to plug in a google account.
    3) Settings --> About --> Build number. Tap it until it says you're a developer.
    4) Back --> Network --> Wifi and connect it.
    5) Back --> System --> Developer --> OEM unlocking (check), USB debugging (check), plug in USB, authorize when requested.
    6) # adb reboot-bootloader
    7) # fastboot flashing unlock

    Now that you've unlocked it, it has been wiped, so repeat 1-4, then disable all the google spyware, and go ahead and start using it while waiting for aosp and root.
    13
    Just to let everyone know, updating to .037 and re-rooting (without wiping anything) worked with no problems. My method is to just replace -w with --disable-verity --disable-verification in the flash-all.bat file and run the flash-all command. I then let it reboot, patch the boot image, return to bootloader and flash the patched boot image.

    Canary 23014

    EDIT: Thank you @ipdev for confirming my inquiry that this method would work back on Nov. 4 👍
    10
    I was able to root my Pixel 6 Pro on Project Fi. I had the Day 1 update applied. Wiping /data was required for the vbmeta thing (and was a good idea in general since I was downgrading the OS version).

    My steps:

    1. Download appropriate factory image for my device.
    2. Download magisk canary (v23 stable fails to patch the boot.img).
    3. Boot phone and run through OOB setup if needed, skip everything.
    4. Enable developer options, then OEM unlock.
    5. Reboot into bootloader.
    6. Modify flash-all script in factory image ZIP and add --skip-reboot to the image flash command (remove the pause and exit commands in the BAT as well if you're using that). You need to keep the -w flag in to wipe /data or else the phone won't boot the rooted image. Normally you don't need to reflash everything but the latest version is not available as a factory image, and doing this ensures every partition is kept the same version. Plus you need to wipe /data anyway.
    7. Connect your phone to PC via USB and run script.
    8. Extract vbmeta.img and boot.img from the image ZIP.
    9. Use fastboot to flash vbmeta.img with the flags listed above.
    10. Reboot and unlock device. Go through OOB experience, you can set up your phone properly this time.
    11. Push the boot.img and app_debug.apk (magisk) to your phone and install the APK., You can use ADB if you enable USB debugging or just find your phone in Windows Explorer and drag and drop (open APK in Files app and enable app install from Files).
    12. Run magisk and patch the boot.img.
    13. Use adb (or Explorer) to pull the patched magisk*.img down to your PC.
    14. Reboot to bootloader
    15. Use fastboot to flash the magisk'd magisk*.img to boot partition.
    16. Boot device.

    You should be rooted now. If something goes wrong go back to step 14 but flash the original boot.img on step 15 instead, that should get you back unrooted and you can see if things are working again (else go back to step 5 to start over).

    Issues/comments:
    1. Magisk Canary removes SafetyNet bypass as well as MagiskHide. Apps which check SafetyNet won't work now.
    2. Magisk won't offer modules for install, not sure if this is normal canary behavior or if the modules aren't compatible due to magisk changes.
    3. OTA updates won't install. I've had this issue with Magisk forever on other devices too. Some people say they should work but I've never seen them work.
    4. Elevation dialog works EXCEPT if you use su from an adb shell. The dialog seems to try to display but it doesn't actually display; probably the overlay is being blocked due to android security thinking it's an uninvited popup, I speculate it's a magisk bug. Terminal won't show up in the list of superuser apps either in Magisk so you can't just toggle it on in there as a workaround. EDIT: I figured out if you Hide Magisk Manager the elevation dialog will no longer work. Unhide as a workaround and grant elevation forever to any apps you need, then rehide. Automatic elevation of whitelisted apps still works (and I assume you can still toggle in the Superuser tab.)
    5. If I understand it correctly /data wipe should only have to happen once (reflashing vbmeta with the special flags still needs to happen whenever vbmeta is updated).
    6. Magisk has added a "DenyList" which sounds like MagiskHide but a) it has a different name which suggests it's different and b) SafetyNet is sitll a problem. So not sure if it is doing anything since apps just check SafetyNet anyway.
    7. I copied my /sdcard from my old phone to my new. I could not get Android to allow me to drop files in /sdcard/Android/data or /sdcard/Android/obb though. I think that is a new thing. Even with Solid Explorer getting permissions granted to write to those folders it was still denied. As said su in adb shell doesn't work so I couldn't try that.
    8. I tried to install Universal SafetyNet Fix module but it wanted Riru installed first. That rabbit hole did not seem safe to go down so I aborted at that point; someone else can give it a go.
    9. Gnirehtet and ScrCpy work fine if you like using those tools (you may need newer Android 12 compatible versions). However it's worth noting Play Store thinks you're on mobile data if Gnirehtet is active so it will pause installing apps if you do that in the OOB setup (eg apps from another device) and I couldn't get it to unpause without disabling Gnirehtet.
    10. Titanium Backup works fine for restoring app data, so I can verify root works.

    SafetyNet workaround would be appreciated if anyone has figured it out.
    8
    I wouldn't count on any particular day for them to release the factory images.
    I did a bit of research and noticed that Google first released the factory images/OTA files for the

    Pixel 2 - 4 days after launch (Oct. 23th 2020 factory image, Oct. 19th launch)
    Pixel 3 - on "official" launch day (shipout) (Oct. 18th 2018)
    Pixel 4 - on launch day (Oct. 24th 2019)
    Pixel 4a - 4 days after launch (available Oct. 16th 2020, release of the phone Oct. 20th 2020)
    Pixel 5, 4a 5G - on launch day (October 15, 2020)

    So, if Google doesn't stray too far from it's previous release schedule, we should expect the factory image today or in the next few days.