In the United States, Verizon Wireless is the exclusive carrier of the first generation and second generation Google Pixel devices. Verizon is known to be unfriendly to users modifying their devices, and thus any devices purchased from the carrier cannot have their bootloader unlocked. Unlocking the bootloader of a Verizon Google Pixel device needs either an exploit or a clever bypass, and it looks like another clever bypass has been discovered by XDA Members LeoTheRomRasta and Qu3ntin0 on our forums. So far, members are reporting that it works on the first generation Google Pixel and Pixel XL sold by Verizon.
How to unlock the bootloader of the Verizon Google Pixel/Pixel XL
Credits for the instructions below go to XDA Members Qu3ntin0, which he has posted here. XDA Senior Member burduli re-wrote the instructions and tipped us off on this method earlier today, so we also thank him.
- Remove Google account and any kind of screen lock (fingerprint, PIN, pattern, etc.) from your device.
- Eject sim card from your device.
- Reset your device. In setup wizard, skip everything, don’t connect to WiFi, don’t add fingerprint or any kind of screen lock.
- Go to Developer Options and enable USB debugging.
- Connect your phone to PC.
- Open CMD in adb directory and type:
adb shell pm uninstall --user 0 com.android.phone
- Restart your device.
- Connect to WiFi, open Chrome and go to google.com (or any website really).
- Go to Developer Options and enable OEM unlocking.
- Reboot into bootloader and via CMD run:
fastboot oem unlockOR
fastboot flashing unlock
If we could take a guess at what’s happening here, it looks like the phone app (com.android.phone) app checks whether the device shouldn’t have access to OEM Unlocking at first start. However, if you disable Internet access entirely, remove the SIM card, and disable the phone app, then it never gets the chance to perform that check and hence you will have access to unlock the bootloader.
Enjoy this method while it lasts!