In this article, we are going to show you a step-by-step guide on how to unlock the bootloader for both the Google Pixel 8 as well as the Pixel 8 Pro smartphones.
Before you begin, make sure that you take a complete backup of your device as all data will be removed when you unlock the bootloader of your device. Also, you need to note that the bootloader cannot be unlocked on every Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro devices. For example, if you bought your device directly from wireless carriers in the United States or Canada then it is slightly likely that the carriers are blocking you from unlocking the bootloader. So, if you face any issues while unlocking the bootloader then this might be the reason for the issues.
Before you begin, you need to have some things set up ahead of time. For example, you are going to need to have ADB and Fastboot tools installed on your computer. You need that because you need to use a fastboot command to initiate the bootloader unlocking. We have already done a tutorial on this site showing you how to install ADB and fastboot tools.
So, with that done you are going to need to enable developer mode. Now, again if you are not familiar with how to enable developer mode. Just go to the About Phone page in the settings app and tap seven to eight times on the device build number. Your device’s developer mode will be enabled.
Once you have enabled developer mode, you are going to go into the developer options menu which you will find on the additional settings page in the settings app. There you should see a toggle labeled as OEM unlocking. You need to enable this, confirm that you own this device by entering your pin, pattern, or password, and then confirm that you want to allow OEM unlocking by tapping the enable button.
This needs to be enabled before you can issue that Fastboot command. Now, that this toggle has been enabled you can go ahead and boot your device into the Fastboot mode.
How to unlock the bootloader of a Google Pixel 8 device
Just press and hold the power button to open the menu.
Tap on the restart option to restart the phone. While your phone is restarting press and hold the volume down button while the phone boots up.
As the screen turns on, connect your device to your PC with a USB cable.
Next, open up a command prompt, a Windows PowerShell, or a terminal on your PC. One of these three needs to be opened up in the same folder where you have installed ADB and fastboot tools on your PC.
So, in whatever folder you installed ADB and fastboot tools, go into that folder and open up a Windows PowerShell within that folder.
Make sure that Your Google Pixel 8 device remains connected to the PC via a USB cable as you continue the process.
Type Fastboot devices in the command prompt and hit enter to make sure that your device is connected to the PC.
Make sure that you have a device listed in this response meaning your device is connected.
If you didn’t get the device number when you type out fastboot device then it means your device is not properly connected or your USB has defected, or you don’t have the proper USB drivers installed in your PC. So just look into and have these issues rectified and type the command again to make sure that the device is connected.
Once you have established the connection between your device and PC, type out the command “fastboot flashing unlock” without the inverted commas and hit enter.
You should get an ok message in the command prompt window assuming everything has been done correctly after you get that ok message in the command prompt.
You should see the screen change on your Google Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro.
The device display kind of still looks like fastboot mode but the text is different, and you have different commands.
You will see the default option on the screen is to not unlock the bootloader. You can press the volume up or volume down buttons to change this option.
Press the Volume up or down button to highlight or make sure the top option says to “unlock the bootloader” is selected.
Also, read the warning message or be sure to read the message before moving forward so that you know what you are doing to your phone.
When you are ready to unlock the bootloader press the power button while the “unlock the bootloader” option is selected at the top.
You will see that your phone kind of looks like it restarted, the screen will turn black, and it will boot right back into the fastboot mode screen that you are at.
After your device boots into that state again you can see there that the device state option shows “unlocked”, that last time said locked.
Now, that you have unlocked the bootloader your device state option is changed over to unlocked.
With that done just make sure the option at the top is highlighted as “start”. If you have something else there again you can use the volume buttons to change the highlighted option.
Press the power button to select that option and you will see the screen turn black again.
Your device will start rebooting and it is going to boot you right back into the Android operating system.
You have just unlocked the bootloader which means that your device has been reset and all of the data has been wiped out.
Just go through the Android setup process just like normal.
After you boot back into the Android system, enable developer options. Go back into the developer options and there you should see that the OEM unlocking option is greyed out.
You will also see the text there saying that the bootloader is already unlocked.
If you see this in the developer options, then you have successfully unlocked the bootloader of your Google Pixel 8 or the Pixel 8 Pro.