Google has finally released the affordable version of the Google Pixel 6 series. The Pixel 6a continues the ‘a’ series, but it is slightly more expensive than the Pixel 5a which was launched last year. The device offers a compact design and stock Pixel experience. As you know that stock Android does not offer much in terms of customization, you can root your device to get the most out of your device. Here you will learn how to root Pixel 6a and how to unlock bootloader of Pixel 6a.
Before we move on to the guide, let us first know about its specifications and limitations. Pixel 6a has a 6.1-inch Full HD+ display. But the display supports only up to 60Hz refresh rate. And since most of the devices come with a high refresh rate even within the budget segment, this is one of the disadvantages of the Pixel 6a.
Google Pixel 6a comes with the same Tensor chip used in the Pixel 6 series. So the performance should be the same as flagship phones. It only comes with one RAM variant and that is 6GB RAM with 128GB storage. The camera on the Pixel 6a includes 12.2MP + 12MP Rear cameras and an 8MP front camera. And the device runs on the latest Android 12. It is enough to get a good performance from a device which can be even increased by rooting the phone which gives users more control over their phones.
How to Root Google Pixel 6a
Google released the kernel source and its fastboot image file which means developers can start custom development for the device. This means we can expect custom ROMs, custom Recoveries, and Mods for the Pixel 6a. But it’s going to take some time before we start seeing any of the custom development projects. You can root your Pixel 6a to get advanced features and customization. And for rooting Pixel 6a, first, you need to unlock the bootloader of Pixel 6a. So let’s start with that.
Unlock Bootloader of Google Pixel 6a
Just like other Android and older Pixel phones, the new Pixel 6a also comes with locked bootloader for security measures. But some OEMs like Google allow their users to unlock the bootloader. But it can void the warranty and users might not get official OTA updates. Unlocking bootloader of the Pixel 6a is exactly the same as other Pixel phones. So if you want to root Pixel 6a, follow these steps to unlock bootloader of Pixel 6a.
- Take a full backup of your phone as the unlocking bootloader will remove all data from the phone. Make sure to install adb and fastboot drivers on your PC as well.
- Now open Settings on your Pixel 6a and go to System > About Phone and tap Build Number 7 times to enable developer options.
- Go back to System and then head to Advanced > Developer options.
- In developer options, enable OEM Unlocking & USB Debugging.
- Boot your Pixel 6a into Fastboot Mode (Power off your phone then hold Volume Down + Power button together). Then connect your phone to PC using a USB cable. You can also use adb reboot bootloader command.
- Open Command Window/CMD on your PC.
- Enter the below command to initiate unlock bootloader on Pixel 6a.
fastboot flashing unlock
- It will now display some options on your phone. Use the volume buttons and navigate to ‘Unlock bootloader‘ and use the Power button to select it.
- It will unlock the bootloader of your Pixel 6a and delete all the data.
- After unlocking bootloader enter the below command to reboot to system
- Now you have unlocked bootloader of your Pixel 6a.
Once you have unlocked the bootloader, you will see it in the fastboot or bootloader mode under status. The unlocked word will be marked red. This means the bootloader is locked and you can root your phone or install custom ROMs and custom Recoveries. One thing to note is you don’t need to root your phone for custom ROMs and custom Recoveries. Now let’s jump to the rooting steps.
- Install Magisk on your phone
- Take a full backup of phone’s data (To restore if anything goes wrong)
- Install ADB & Fastboot drivers on PC
- Download latest Android SDK Platform-Tools
- Download Factory Image for Pixel 6a (Version should be similar to that running on your phone)
Steps to Root Google Pixel 6a with Magisk
- Extract the boot image from the downloaded Factory Image. Copy the boot.img to the phone storage. Also, extract the platform tools zip on your PC.
- Open the Magisk app and click on Install.
- Now choose the option ‘Select and Patch a File’ and select the boot.img.
- It will patch the boot file and the output will be saved in the download folder.
- Copy the patched boot image to the extracted platform tools folder and rename the patched boot image to boot.img. Also, copy the vbmeta.img from extracted firmware to the platform tools folder.
- Now open CMD in the platform tools folder (type CMD in the address bar of file explorer and press enter).
- Turn off your phone and boot it into fastboot mode. Press & hold Volume Down + Power button together to boot into Fastboot Mode.
- Once your Pixel 6a phone is in fastboot mode, enter the below command to flash vbmeta.
fastboot flash --disable-verity --disable-verification vbmeta vbmeta.img
- If it asks for a data wipe, do it. Now boot your phone into the patched boot image using the given commands
fastboot boot boot.img
- Your phone will boot into the system. Open Magisk app and click on Install > Direct Install.
- Once the installation process is done, click on Reboot.
- Your Pixel 6a phone will now boot with permanent root access.
You can confirm the root access in Magisk or any third party root checker app. And once you have root access, you can enjoy all of its features. It let you use various Xposed Modules after installing Xposed framework.
So there you have it, the complete guide on how to root Pixel 6a and how to unlock the bootloader of Pixel 6a. In case of any queries, do let us know in the comment section.