Tips & Tutorials

How to Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL

Bought the new Google Pixel? Start exploring and modifying it by first learning how to unlock Pixel 4 bootloader through this detailed guide. Google’s Pixel lineup is focused on providing the best Android experience on the market. Further, it is also set up perfectly to act as a test bench for developers that are creating new apps on Android. To support the cause even more and allow enthusiasts greater control over the device, Google also officially allows users to unlock bootloaders of their phones. For a complete step-by-step procedure on unlocking Pixel 4 bootloader, we have the tutorial right ahead.

Once you unlock the bootloader, you would be able to flash system files directly onto your phone and modify existing system files. For obvious security reasons, Google ships all phones with a locked bootloader but allows easy unlock if required. Before we take you through the procedure, make sure you have created a complete backup of your user data as this process will initiate a factory reset and your data will be wiped clean. Again, the process ahead is officially supported and would not require any third-party tools.

Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 4

Disclaimer: All the tools, mods or ROMs mentioned below belong to their respective owners/developers. We (TeamAndroid.com) or the developers are not to be held responsible if you damage or brick your device. We don’t have you on gun point to try out this tutorial 😉

There are tons of useful articles and how-to guides on Team Android for the Google Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL, but we think you might be interested in the following posts:

If you plan on rooting this phone or are still confused for why to root Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL, read: Benefits of Rooting Your Android Device.

Google Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL USB Drivers

You will need to connect your Android phone with the computer. For that, please make sure you have installed the USB drivers for Google Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL properly. If not, you can download the latest official drivers from our Android USB Drivers section here:

Download Google Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL USB drivers!

Backup and Other Important Tips

Done with the USB drivers? Perfect. The tutorial is on the next page, but first, please take a look at the following tips and important points you need to take care of. These are important, as we don’t want anyone losing their personal data or apps.

Always backup your important data that you might need after you install a new custom ROM, an official software update or anything else. Make a backup for just in case, you never know when anything might go wrong. Read: How to Backup Android Apps, Text Messages, WhatsApp, Call History.

If you already have a custom recovery (ClockworkMod, TWRP etc.) installed on your phone, we strongly recommend a backup using that as it creates a complete image of your existing phone set up. [Tutorial: How to Backup Android Phone using TWRP]

A few more optional tips that you should remember:

1. Having problems connecting your Android phone to the computer? You need to enable USB debugging mode. See here: How to Enable USB Debugging — for Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow, Nougat and Oreo.

2. Make sure your Android device is charged up to 80-85% battery level. This might help you: How to Check Battery Percentage. Why? Because, if your phone goes off suddenly while installing a custom ROM, flashing an official firmware update or installing mods etc. — your phone might get bricked or go dead permanently. No one wants that, right?

3. Most of the tutorials and how-to guides on Team Android are for factory unlocked Android phones and tablets. We recommend not to try our guides if your phone is locked to a carrier, unless we have specified the carrier name or device model.

If you are a developer and would want to unlock the bootloader, we recommend doing that before you set up the Google Play Store, install apps or anything because the security feature in Android clears out everything from your phone when unlocking bootloader of the phone.

Now, let’s proceed with the tutorial below to unlock Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL bootloader.

How to Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL

We have put together a detailed step-by-step instructions guide on how to unlock bootloader on Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL. If you are used to unlocking bootloaders on any previous Pixel devices, then this should not be any different for you.

Please read every line carefully and make sure you read the tutorial once before actually performing it on your Android device.

To Remember:

  • This unlocking bootloader tutorial is only for Google Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL. Please don’t try this on any other variants of the phone.
  • This tutorial has been performed on Windows, but anyone familiar with Fastboot on Mac or Linux can perform this as well with the same commands.
  • Make sure you backup all your data in your phone before proceeding as it will erase all data.
  • You will void your warranty by unlocking the bootloader.

Requirements:

  • Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL
  • USB cable
  • Android SDK with drivers (How to set up? Tutorial link given below)

NOTE: A new checkbox has been added in the Developer options in Settings that you have to enable before proceeding below with unlocking your bootloader. First, enable Developer options. Then check the box that says “Enable OEM unlock”. That’s it. Now you can proceed below to the Step 1.

Step 1 – Download the Android SDK / Fastboot and install all the USB drivers. How to set up? Read detailed instructions here: How to Set Up ADB / Fastboot with Android SDK.

Step 2 – Enable USB Debugging mode on your Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL.

Step 3 – If you already have Android SDK, then you can just download Fastboot and extract it in android-sdk-windows\platform-tools directory. Create directory if not already there.

Step 4 – Make sure you have backup your data as it will be erased. Connect your Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL to your computer.

Step 5 – Navigate to android-sdk-windows\platform-tools directory and open Command Prompt (Shift + Right-click > Open Command Prompt).

Step 6 – Type in the following commands and press Enter.

adb reboot bootloader

Step 8 – You now have to wait for the phone to reboot to bootloader. If it doesn’t, you can try running any apps. If it still persists, please redo the previous steps.

Step 9 – Once it does, execute the following command.

fastboot flashing unlock

Step 10 – After executing the above command, your phone should display a prompt. Press the Power Button to confirm!

Step 11 – If your Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL doesn’t reboot automatically, issue the following command.

adb reboot

That’s it! Your Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL bootloader is now unlocked! You can now install a custom recovery, a custom ROM or any system tweak you like. Just be careful with what you do! 😉

About the author

Taimur Akmal

Devoted writer, enjoys developing code. Appreciates excellent food, exceptional coffee and great company. He is also into sublime design and nicely built cars.