Google has finally released the affordable version of the Google Pixel 6 series. The Pixel 6a continues the “a” series, but is slightly more expensive than the Pixel 5a launched last year. The device offers a compact design and standard Pixel experience. As you know that stock Android doesn’t 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 Pixel 6a bootloader.
Before proceeding to the guide, first let us know about its specifications and limitations. The Pixel 6a has a 6.1-inch Full HD+ display. But the screen only supports up to 60Hz refresh rate. And since most devices come with a high refresh rate even in the budget segment, this is one of the disadvantages of the Pixel 6a.
The Google Pixel 6a comes with the same Tensor chip used in the Pixel 6 series, so performance should be on par with the flagship phones. It comes with only one RAM variant and that is 6GB RAM with 128GB storage. Pixel 6a’s camera includes 12.2 MP + 12 MP rear cameras and an 8 MP front camera. And the device runs on the latest Android 12. Just get great performance from a device that can even be boosted by rooting the phone, giving users more control over their phone.
Google has released the kernel source and its quickstart image file, indicating that developers can start custom development for the device. This indicates that we can expect custom ROMs, custom recoveries and mods for the Pixel 6a. But it will be a while before we start seeing any of the custom dev projects. You can root your Pixel 6a to get advanced features and customization. And to root Pixel 6a you need to unlock Pixel 6a bootloader first. So let’s start with that.
Unlock Google Pixel 6a Bootloader
Like other older Android and Pixel phones, the new Pixel 6a also comes with a locked bootloader for security measures. But some OEMs like Google allow their users to unlock the bootloader. But it may void the warranty and users may not receive official OTA updates. Unlocking the Pixel 6a bootloader is exactly the same as other Pixel phones. So if you want to root Pixel 6a then follow these steps to unlock Pixel 6a bootloader.
- Take a full backup of your phone as the unlock bootloader will erase all data from the phone. Also make sure to install adb and fastboot drivers on your PC.
- Now open Settings on your Pixel 6a and go to System > About phone and pressure Version number 7 times to enable developer options.
- Go back to System, then go to Advanced > Developer Options.
- In Developer Options, enable OEM Unlock and USB Debugging.
- Boot your Pixel 6a in Fast boot mode (Turn off your phone and press and hold Volume Down + Power button). Then connect your phone to the PC using a USB cable. You can also use adb reboot bootloader ordered.
- Open the command/CMD window on your PC.
- Enter the command below to start bootloader unlocking on Pixel 6a.
- It will now show some options on your phone. Use the volume buttons and navigate to ‘Unlock bootloader‘ and use the power button to select it.
- This will unlock your Pixel 6a bootloader and erase all data.
- After unlocking the bootloader, enter the below command to reboot the system
- You have now unlocked your Pixel 6a bootloader.
After unlocking the bootloader, you will see it in fastboot or bootloader mode under status. The unlocked word will be highlighted in red. This indicates that the bootloader is unlocked and you can root your phone or install custom ROMs and custom recoveries. One thing to note is that you don’t need to root your phone for custom ROMs and custom recoveries. Now let’s proceed to the rooting steps.
- Install Magisk on your phone
- Make a full backup of phone data (to be restored in case something goes wrong)
- Install ADB and Fastboot drivers on PC
- Download the latest Android SDK platform tools
- Download Pixel 6a stock image (version should be similar to the one running on your phone)
Steps to root Google Pixel 6a with Magisk
- Extract the boot image from the downloaded factory image. Copy it boot.img in the phone’s memory. Also extract the platform tools zip on your PC.
- Open the Magisk app and click Install.
- Now select the ‘Select and patch a file’ option and select the boot.img file.
- It will fix the startup file and the output will be saved in To download case.
- Copy the patched boot image to the unzipped platform-tools folder and rename the patched boot image in boot.img. Also, copy the extracted firmware vbmeta.img file to the platform-tools folder.
- Open CMD in the platform-tools folder (type CMD in the file explorer address bar and press Enter).
- Turn off your phone and boot it into fastboot mode. press and hold Volume Down + Power button together to boot into Fastboot mode.
- Once your Pixel 6a phone is in fastboot mode, enter the command below to vbmeta flash.
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
- Your phone will boot into the system. Open the Magisk app and click Install > Direct Installation.
- When the installation process is complete, click To reboot.
- Your Pixel 6a phone will now start with permanent root access.
You can verify root access in Magisk or any third-party root checker app. And once you have root access, you can enjoy all its features. It allows you to use various Xposed modules after installing the Xposed framework.
So there you have it, the complete guide on how to root Pixel 6a and unlock Pixel 6a bootloader. In case of any query, let us know in the comment section.
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