How to Unlock Bootloader on Verizon Pixel (8.1.0 OTA)

If you purchased a Google Pixel 2 through Verizon, you may have been disappointed to discover that the bootloader is locked, and Verizon does not offer a way to unlock it – the OEM Unlocking option is disabled in Developer Options.

Fortunately, there is a way to unlock the device. You must be updated to at least the 8.1.0 OTA firmware for the Google Pixel 2, earlier firmware will not allow this process to work!

Warning: Unlocking your bootloader will wipe your user-data and factory reset your device, make sure you have backups of all important data before proceeding with this guide.

Requirements:

How to Manually Upgrade the Google Pixel 2 to 8.1.0 Oreo

Note: This tutorial is only for those who wish to manually flash the latest Oreo firmware, but most users should be able to receive the update OTA. Only proceed if you for some reason do not wish to apply the 8.1.0 Oreo update OTA through your device’s Update feature.

  1. Begin by downloading the Platform-Tools and extract them on your computer, and also install the Google USB drivers.
  2. Next download the Android Oreo 8.1.0 firmware from above, and rename the file to update.zip and place it inside the Platform-Tools main folder.
  3. Turn off your Google Pixel 2 and boot into Recovery Mode – press and hold Volume Down + Power button and do not release until Fastboot Mode appears on the screen, then use Volume buttons to highlight Recovery Mode and Power button to select it.
  4. In the Recovery Mode menu, choose the option to Apply Update from ADB.
  5. Connect your Google Pixel 2 to your PC via USB cable, go inside your Platform-Tools folder, hold Shift + right click inside the folder and choose “Open a Command Window Here”.
  6. An ADB console will be launched, so in the console type the following command: adb sideload update.zip
  7. When the firmware upgrade is complete, you can reboot your Google Pixel 2 into the Android system.

How to Unlock the Google Pixel 2 Verizon variant Bootloader

  1. First you need to enable Developer Options. Go into Settings > About > tap Build Number 7 times until Developer Mode is activated.
  2. Now go into Settings > Developer Options > enable USB Debugging.
  3. Connect your Google Pixel 2 to your PC via USB, go into your main ADB installation folder, and launch a command window (Shift + Right click + ‘Open a Command Window Here’)
  4. In the command prompt, type the following command: adb start-server
  5. You should see * daemon started successfully * in the console window, so now type: adb devices
  6. This should return your device’s serial number if ADB is properly communicating with your device – if not, you may need to troubleshoot your ADB installation or USB connection.
  7. If ADB successfully recognizes your device, type into the ADB window: adb reboot bootloader
  8. This will reboot your Google Pixel 2 into the Fastboot Mode, so once its there, type into the ADB window: fastboot flashing lock_critical
  9. Now follow the instructions on your device’s screen to complete the bootloader unlocking process.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

How to Unlock Bootloader on Verizon Pixel (8.1.0 OTA)

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