Shortly after the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL were launched, if owners had purchased either phone from Verizon, there was a brief opportunity where they could unlock their bootloaders. If they missed this initial opportunity and took software updates that followed, they were out of luck and only then able to pick-up official updates. Additionally, if you bought a Verizon Pixel or Pixel XL at any time in recent months (or the past year), as far as I know, there has been no method to fully open up your phone. That is until now.
Thanks to what appears to be a long-running group effort over at XDA, a method has been discovered that allows Verizon Pixel and Pixel XL owners to unlock bootloaders once again. Why would you want to do that? If you like to tinker with your phone, this is step 1. But also, if you want to flash image files from Google to get updates sooner or test things like Developer Previews, you would need an unlocked bootloader.
The method put together over at XDA seems about as simple as you’ll find anywhere. In all my years of unlocking phones or rooting, the steps involved often become frustrating at the fact that you would need to flash special images that were insecure or take advantage of this or that exploit. With this method, you simply follow a series of steps that includes all of 2 adb commands. I’m not kidding.
I’ve posted the instructions below, but should you run into anything, be sure to hit up those links at the bottom for any help or questions.
Verizon Pixel and Pixel XL Bootloader Unlock:
1. Remove Google account and any kind of screen lock (fingerprint, PIN, pattern, etc.) from your device.
2. Eject sim card from your device.
3. Reset your device. In setup wizard, skip everything, don’t connect to WiFi, don’t add fingerprint or any kind of screen lock.
4. Go to Developer Options and enable USB debugging.
5. Connect your phone to PC.
6. Open CMD in adb directory and type:
adb shell pm uninstall –user 0 com.android.phone
7. Restart your device.
8. Connect to WiFi, open Chrome and go to google.com (or any website really).
9. Go to Developer Options and enable OEM unlocking.
10. Reboot into bootloader and via CMD run:
fastboot oem unlock
fastboot flashing unlock