The Pixel and Pixel XL are not the easiest to root. Google has added a lot of security to the system files and, long story short, developers have had to cleverly come up with a systemless root method (which is way harder than it sounds). On top of this, Google removed the recovery partition which was used heavily in most rooting methods as well as being used for flashing custom ROMs etc. Chainfire, recognized master of all things root (might be his official title?), though has developed a version of SuperSU (the program used to control what apps get root permissions etc.) that works with this new partition/security structure. For those that want a more detailed explanation of the situation, this post on XDA does a good job of explaining it.
Regardless of how they managed to do it, it works! I managed to do it relatively easily (but not without some hiccups that I explain further below) and put together this tutorial and video for you. Let me know how it goes for you in the comments below.
Here’s how to root the Pixel or Pixel XL.
To root the device, you’ll first unlock the bootloader, boot into a custom recovery to actually install the custom recovery, use the custom recovery to flash SuperSu to then finally gain root. Here’s how to do that all.
Regardless of having a Verizon or non-Verizon model, download all of these:
Only if you have Verizon do you need to download these:
Regardless of whether you have Verizon or another version, enable USB debugging on the phone and plug it in using the steps below.
If you’re on Verizon, please use the below section to unlock the bootloader on your device. Otherwise, skip to the next section.
adb push dePixel8 /data/local/tmp
adb shell chmod 755 /data/local/tmp/dePixel8
adb shell /data/local/tmp/dePixel8
fastboot oem unlock
So, that was how you could unlock the bootloader on a Verizon Google Pixel or Pixel XL phone.
If you have a variant of Pixel or Pixel XL other than Verizon, then please use the following section to unlock the bootloader on your device:
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