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Several people were able to unlock the bootloader on the Verizon Pixel 2

Normally, Verizon models of the Pixel 2 come with locked bootloaders, though a workaround seems to unlock their bootloaders.

Published onDecember 29, 2017

The Pixel 2 was manufactured by HTC
  • Some Verizon Pixel 2 owners reported being able to unlock their bootloaders
  • Bootloader unlocking facilitates the process of loading custom software on devices
  • It is unknown why the workaround to unlock the Verizon Pixel 2’s bootloader works

Up until now, people would avoid purchasing a Pixel smartphone through Verizon if they mean to tinker with the software a bit. That’s because the Verizon models have locked bootloaders, a term that makes the custom development scene frown a bit.

However, some Verizon Pixel 2 owners say they were able to unlock the device’s bootloader, thanks to a workaround that, unlike 2016’s Pixel and Pixel XL, does not require the use of an exploit.

This is a notable workaround because people turn to Pixel phones not just for the straight-from-Google experience, but also the relative ease of use when it comes to tinkering with ROMs and kernels. That is helped along by bootloader unlocking, which facilitates the processing of putting that custom software on your device.

As reported by XDA Developers, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps, starting with downloading ADB and Fastboot. From there, enable USB Debugging on your Pixel 2, connect your device to your computer, and open either a command prompt or terminal.

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Once that’s done, type in adb reboot bootloader, which reboots your bootloader, and then fastboot flashing lock_critical, which prompts your phone to bring up the bootloader unlock screen. Use the volume buttons to select the “UNLOCK THE BOOTLOADER” option, and, after flashing TWRP and Magisk, you’re good to go.

There are a few things to keep in mind, the first being that unlocking the bootloader will wipe all the data on your internal storage. In other words, make sure to either make a back-up or be okay with losing everything you had on your Pixel 2.

Also, even though multiple XDA members have tried the aforementioned steps and succeeded, no one knows why they work. The theory is that there was some sort of oversight on Google’s or Verizon’s part, so we do not expect this to work for the Verizon Pixel 2 with future software updates.

Finally, it looks like it doesn’t matter where you bought the Verizon Pixel 2, since people said they picked up their Pixel 2 units from a Verizon corporate store and Best Buy.

If you own a Verizon Pixel 2, let us know if the above steps worked for you in the comments below.