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How To Unlock Bootloader and Root Google Pixel 3 (XL) [GUIDE]

Speaking about Google Pixel 3 & Pixel  3 XL; the adjectives that come in mind are ‘Wonderful,’ ‘Marvelous,’ ‘Fantastic’ and similar others. If we go by the popular rumors being circulating around these are the only words that immediately make their way out of a person’s mouth. Expected to launch on October 9, 2018, the smartphones are rumored to be coming with multiplayer Augmented Reality and their own earbuds with Pixel Buds design. If you are thinking that Pixel 3 will come without a display notch then you may get disappointed with the fact that it is likely to come with a wider notch.


Good news for you is that Pixel 3 won’t be the first Google device to receive Android Pie update as Google has already officially released Android Pie for current pixel series of devices. The devices are also rumored to come with wireless charging and the big daddy Pixel 3 XL might have front facing speakers and two front facing cameras. Gosh! These are lot of rumored features. I guess we have to wait for the official release to know exactly what the Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL are holding.

This guide has been written for Android enthusiasts who love to root their devices. In this post we are going to share with you the process to root and install TWRP Custom Recovery on Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL device. Hence, you can go ahead with the process immediately after the device comes in your hand. So, let’s get going folks!

Unlock Bootloader & Root Google Pixel 3 with Magisk – Prerequisites

Please note that you require taking care of the following prerequisites prior to proceeding with rooting Google Pixel 3 with Magisk:

  • USB Debugging and OEM Unlock must be turned ‘ON’ on your Google Pixel 3.
  • ADB & Fastboot must be installed on your PC/Laptop.
  • Make sure that bootloader of your Pixel 3 is unlocked. If your device’s bootloader is not unlocked, no need to worry as we are going to detail the steps for that below.
  • Since data from your Google Pixel 3 will get wiped out, you require taking the Backup of essential data before proceeding.
  • Make sure that your Google Pixel 3 has a battery level of at least 75-80% before beginning with the rooting process.

Once you have made sure that your device has covered all the prerequisites, you can proceed with the rooting procedure. However, before that, if you haven’t got your Google Pixel 3’s bootloader unlocked, you can follow the below-provided steps to accomplish the same.

Unlock Bootloader of Google Pixel 3 [STEPS]

  • As a first, please make sure that USB Debugging and OEM Unlock has been turned ON. You can access these options by activating ‘Developer Options.’ For that you require navigating to Settings -> System -> About Phone and tap on ‘Build Number’ 7 times.
  • Connect your Google Pixel 3 to your PC. Navigate to the folder where you have installed ADB & Fastboot. Press Shift and do a right click from your mouse. From the pop-up menu that comes up, select the option of ‘Open Command Window Here.
  • The command window that comes up will be pointing to the ADB & Fastboot installation folder only. Type in the following command to make sure that your device is recognized by your PC.
adb devices
  • The same command in case of Windows Power Shell and MAC OS/Linux becomes ‘.\adb devices’ and ‘. /adb devices’ (Without quotes).
  • Once your device is detected by the Command Window, reboot your device to bootloader mode. You can do so by holding the power and volume buttons while your device boots up or by entering the following command.
adb reboot bootloader
  • When your device is displaying the bootloader menu please enter the following Fastboot command in order to unlock the Pixel 3’s bootloader.
fastboot flashing unlock
  • You will get to see a text on screen making you aware of the risks associated with unlocking bootloader of your device. Press the volume up key to select the text ‘Unlock Bootloader’ and press the power button thereafter.
  • Cool! Now your device’s bootloader will get unlocked and once the same is successful you require rebooting your device utilizing the following command.
fastboot reboot
  • Prior to using this command make sure that the bootloader is displaying a red warning sign and a text stating ‘Unlocked.’

Congratulations! You have successfully unlocked the bootloader of your Google Pixel 3. Now, you can proceed towards rooting Google Pixel 3 using Magisk.

Root Google Pixel 3 with Magisk [STEPS]

  • Post unlocking the bootloader you require toggling on the USB Debugging and OEM Unlock options once again.
  • Next, you require downloading the stock boot image of Google Pixel 3 or Google Pixel 3 XL. Please note that the build number of the boot image must match with the build number of your device.
    • You can download stock boot image for Google Pixel 3 (‘blueline’) from here for the build number – PD1A.180720.030.
    • You can download stock boot image for Google Pixel 3 XL (‘crosshatch’) from here for the build number – PD1A.180720.030.
  • Please move the stock boot image to the internal storage of Google Pixel 3 device.
  • Next, please download and install the latest Magisk Manager Beta APK from here.
  • Post successful installation, please launch Magisk Manager and in Settings, change the update channel to ‘beta.’ Don’t miss this step as many users have reported issues if they don’t perform this step.
  • Please tap on ‘Install’ and thereafter hit ‘Install’ once again.
  • Click on ‘Patch Boot Image File’ and select the stock boot image file that you have saved in the internal memory of your device.
  • Magisk Manager will start the process of patching the stock boot image file. Once the process is a complete tap on ‘Close.’
  • Magisk Manager must have saved the file as ‘patched_boot.img.’ Leave it like that and move the patched_boot.img file to your PC in the same folder where you have installed ADB & Fastboot.
  • Please reboot to the bootloader menu once again and now we are going to perform a test boot. Launch the command window in the same folder and enter the following fastboot command to temporarily boot the patched boot image file.
fastboot boot patched_boot.img
  • Once you hit ‘Enter’ your device will exit the bootloader menu and reboot into the OS. Once the reboot is successful please launch Magisk Manager and check out the version of Magisk which got installed. If you see two green checkmarks, it indicates that you are on the correct path. Now, test boot is over and we, actually, require installing Magisk.
  • Please reboot your device into bootloader mode and enter the following command in the command prompt to flash the patched Magisk boot image onto the boot partition.
fastboot flash boot patched_boot.img
  • The command prompt must be opened in the ADB & Fastboot installation folder itself.
  • Cool! Now your device will reboot back into Android OS and you can check the root status by opening up the Magisk Manager.

Root Google Pixel 3/ Pixel 3 XL Using Stock Recovery & Magisk – Final Words

Congratulations! You have successfully unlocked the bootloader and rooted your Google Pixel 3/Pixel 3 XL utilizing the stock recovery and the latest Magisk tool. Now, since your device’s bootloader is unlocked you can even install Custom ROMs to get more control over your device. The custom ROMs for Pixel 3/Pixel 3 XL will be made available soon.

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