Good news is here for people looking to root the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The folks over at XDA-Developers now have a method they deem safe enough to share on the site’s portal. Recognized Developer and Recognized Contributor, nathanchance, has released guides to unlocking, flashing, and rooting both phones.

Before you dive in, it’s worth pointing out that rooting can be risky business, if you’re not sure what you’re doing. You’ll need basic knowledge of Fastboot and ADB commands, which means you’ll also need a computer handy. And, make sure to read the instructions thoroughly before you begin.

It should go without saying, but just in case… We assume no responsibility if you brick your device.

With that being said, you should be just fine if you can read simple directions. It’s also worth noting that we are in no way affiliated with the developer. Please direct any and all support questions to the forum on XDA. (It’s linked below.)

I will be rooting my Pixel 2, but I won’t have that luxury on my Pixel 2 XL review unit, as that’s frowned upon, as you can imagine. Best to play it on the safe side since Verizon is so kind as to let me test. And for that matter, this may or may not even work on the Verizon variants of the Pixel 2.

Here’s how to get started:

Install Fastboot and ADB

  1. Unzip the folder on your hard drive.
  2. Go to the folder containing the ADB and Fastboot files and type “cmd” in the path bar at the top.
  3. A command prompt should open with the current folder showing on the prompt.
  4. Type the following commands:

    adb --version
    fastboot --version

At this point, you should see some information appear. If that is the case, Fastboot and ADB have been successfully installed.

Unlock the bootloader of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

The guide notes that unlocking your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL’s bootloader will wipe the phone. It’s a good idea to make a backup of any important data in case something goes wrong.

  1. On your phone, open Settings, navigate to System then About phone and tap on the build number seven times.
  2. The Developer Options will now be visible in the main settings page. Enter it and turn on USB debugging and OEM unlocking.
  3. Plug your phone into your computer, and type the following command in the Windows command terminal:
    adb reboot bootloader
  4. Next, decide if you want to do a standard unlock or critical unlock. A critical unlock allows you to directly flash bootloader files. Otherwise, you will get an error when you try to do so.
  5. Depending on what you decided in the previous step, run one of the following commands:
    fastboot flashing unlock


    fastboot flashing unlock_critical
  6. Follow the prompts on your device, and then reboot.

Root the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

  1. Download Magisk Manager from the official thread and install it.
  2. Grab a boot image to patch (you can choose either the one from the latest factory image or a custom kernel one) and push it to your device with this command:
    adb push <path_to_file> /sdcard/Download
  3. Open Magisk Manager and click the Install button.
  4. Click Install at the first prompt then choose Patch Boot Image File. A file manager will pop up.
  5. Select the boot image you want to patch and let Magisk Manager patch it.
  6. Pull it off your device with this command:
    adb pull /sdcard/MagiskManager/patched_boot.img
  7. Reboot into the bootloader:
    adb reboot bootloader
  8. Flash the boot image and reboot.Code:
    fastboot flash boot patched_boot.img
    fastboot reboot
  9. Open Magisk Manager and your device should be rooted.

Check out the respective forum threads for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL for tips on unlocking, flashing factory images, and rooting.

XDA Forums Thread for Unlocking/Flashing/Rooting the Pixel 2 (walleye)
XDA Forums Thread for Unlocking/Flashing/Rooting the Pixel 2 XL (taimen)

So, there you have it. Have fun rooting your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL and unlocking its full capabilities!

Cheers to Idrees Patel, from XDA-Developers, for this guide!