How to Root Google Pixel 5a and Unlock Bootloader

Google Pixel lineup is one of the popular series which is available in mid range and flagship range. And recently Google silently releases Google Pixel 5a 5G for limited regions. In case you managed to get one of the Pixel 5a and want to unlock bootloader or root for various purposes, then this guide is for you. Here you will know how to root Pixel 5a 5G and how to unlock bootloader of Pixel 5a 5G.

Pixel 5a is almost similar to Pixel 4a 5g but with some tweaks. No one was expecting the phone to be released at all. But we think Google has released it to make some hype for their coming Pixel 6 series. The new Pixel 5a 5G features a 6.34-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) OLED display. It got the standard 60Hz refresh rate. Pixel 5a comes with Snapdragon 765G SoC along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of Internal Storage.

Camera specifications are the same as Pixel 4a 5G. And the good news from Google is they released the kernel source of the Pixel 5a 5G. If you are into customization, development, then you can begin your development for the devices such as custom ROMs, custom Recoveries. If you are a Pixel 5a user and want to root Pixel 5a or unlock bootloader of Pixel 5a, keep reading.

How to Root Google Pixel 5a

The Pixel 5a is only available in limited regions, but later we can see it in more regions. Also if you want to unlock bootloader of your phone, you should avoid buying the carrier locked units. You will not be able to enjoy root or custom ROMs on locked devices. Some services offer unlocking bootloader, but you have to pay for such services. Here in this guide, you will know how to root Pixel 5a 5G. But as it requires an unlocked bootloader, let’s first check how to unlock bootloader of Pixel 5a 5G.

Unlock Bootloader of Pixel 5a 5G

As we mentioned earlier, avoid buying the carrier locked device. Other than that Google Pixel phones can be easily unlocked without any hiccups. If you have unlocked older Pixel phones or Nexus phones then it will be an easy task for you. Check out the steps given to unlock bootloader of Pixel 5a.

  1. As always, take a full backup of your phone as it will reset the phone.
  2. On your Pixel 5a, open Settings and go to System > About Phone and tap Build Number 7 times to enable developer options.
  3. Go back to System > Advanced and open Developer options.
  4. In developer options, enable OEM Unlocking & USB Debugging.
    unlock bootloader of Pixel 5a
  5. Boot your Pixel 5a into Fastboot Mode or Bootloader 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.
  6. Open Command Window/CMD on your PC (PowerShell may not work so use CMD).
  7. Enter the below command to unlock bootloader on Pixel 5a
    • fastboot flashing unlock
  8. The above command prompt options on your phone. Navigate to ‘Unlock bootloader’ using Volume buttons and use the Power button to select it.
  9. It will erase all the data and unlock the bootloader on your phone.
  10. After unlocking bootloader enter the below command to reboot to system
    • fastboot reboot
  11. Now you have unlocked bootloader of your Pixel 5a 5G.

You can also verify it from developer options. In case later you want to relock the bootloader, make sure the phone is running on Stock ROM. If not then the first switch to Stock then relock bootloader.

Now that bootloader is unlocked, you are all set to root your phone. Below you can find requirements for root.

Prerequisites

  • Download Magisk App (Stable, Beta or Canary)
  • 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 5a 5G (Version should be similar to that running on your phone)

Steps to Root Google Pixel 5a 5G

  1. Install the Magisk App on your phone and update it to the latest version.
  2. Extract the platform tools zip on PC.
  3. Extract the downloaded Factory Image and copy boot.img to the phone storage.
  4. Open Magisk App and set the update channel to the version you downloaded: Stable, Canary or Beta.
    How to Root Pixel 5a
  5. Now click on Install which will be available next to Magisk.
    How to Root Pixel 5a
  6. Then choose the option ‘Select and Patch a File’ and select the boot.img.
    How to Root Pixel 5a 5G
  7. It will start patching the boot file. The output will be saved to the download folder with name magisk_patched.img.
  8. Copy the patched boot image to the extracted platform tools folder and rename the patched boot image to boot.img.
  9. Now open CMD in the platform tools folder (type CMD in the address bar of file explorer and press enter).
    unlock bootloader of Pixel 5a
  10. Power off your phone. Then press & hold Volume Down + Power button together to boot into Fastboot Mode.
  11. Connect the Phone to PC while in Fastboot Mode and enter the below command to get the current active slot
    • fastboot getvar current-slot
  12. It will return the current slot (A or B), remember it.
  13. Now enter the below command. Make sure to replace the letter word below in command with A or B that you got with command in Step 11.
    • fastboot flash boot_letter boot.img
  14. Reboot your phone using the below command
    • fastboot reboot
  15. Your Pixel 5a is now rooted. Open Magisk Manager and complete the App instructions, if it asks.

Now you can verify for the root using any third party root checker. And once your Pixel 5a 5G is rooted you can use apps and features that can’t be used by default. Also, you can enjoy all the Xposed Modules for advanced customization. Check out the guide to install Xposed Framework.

So there you have it, the complete guide on how to root Pixel 5a and how to unlock the bootloader of Pixel 5a 5G. In case of any queries, do let us know in the comment section.

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