How to Root Pixel 3a / 3a XL

Pixel 3a Xl / Pixel 3a Root is now possible, thanks for Magisk. In this article, we will tell you how to root Pixel 3a XL and Pixel 3a using Magisk.

Google Pixel 3a is first of a kind device of Google or for the Android smartphone space as a whole. Android OEMs have made sure since the very beginning that only the pricey, flagship devices will come with a great camera. Midrange devices, so far, have always come with a ‘okay’ camera at best and nothing better. Seems like Google wanted to break that trend. Google packaged the very same camera which is found in the Google Pixel 3 and made an affordable device and called it Pixel 3a.

With almost half the price of Google Pixel 3, you get an awesome camera and all of Google’s goodness! Fast Android experience, timely updates, powerful camera and decent specs. In this article, we will guide on how to root Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL using Magisk.

Warning

A friendly reminder that rooting or installing TWRP or any sort of custom stuff (ROM/Kernel/Mods/Recovery) might void your warranty. That said, the stuff we mentioned earlier are pretty complex and if you are not 100% sure of what you are doing, this may not be for you. All that said, proceed with caution and always have a full backup of your data.

Requirements

  • Make sure you have the latest ADB and Fastboot installed on your device.
  • Enable USB debugging and OEM unlock. To do this go to your Settings > About phone. Now tap on the MIUI version 7 times until you see a toast message “Developer option enabled”. Go back to Settings > Additional Settings > Developer Options and enable OEM Unlock and USB Debugging.
  • Make sure you have enough charge left on your device to survive the process. 50% is recommended.
  • Install the latest Google USB Driver for Windows.

Unlock bootloader on Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

  1. Switch-off your device.
  2. Connect it to your PC via a USB cable.
  3. On Windows, extract ‘platform-tools-windows.zip’ file. You will get a folder called ‘platform-tools’. This is where you have the ADB and Fastboot on your PC.
  4. On Windows: Go to the platform-tools and enter cmd in the address bar.
    On Mac and Linux: Right-click inside the folder and select Open in Terminal to launch a Terminal window and start using ADB.
  5. Now check if your device is properly connected by typing the command given below and hit enter.
    adb devices

    If you’re using Windows Powershell, the command will have to be this.

    .\adb devices

    Similarly, for macOS or Linux users (some distros), the command will be this.

    ./adb devices

    You may need to allow USB debugging permissions on your phone if this is the first time you are doing this.

  6. If your device is connected, you will see yourdevice serial number listed and if you don’t, check if you have all the latest drivers installed properly.
  7. Execute the below command in the command prompt/terminal window to reboot your phone into fastboot mode.
    adb reboot bootloader
  8. Execute the command below to unlock your bootloader if your device is detected. Note: This step will wipe everything on your phone.
    fastboot flashing unlock
  9. On your phone, you will be warned about unlocking the bootloader, press the Volume Up button to highlight Unlock the bootloader option and the Power button to select/confirm it.
  10. Your device will reboot again in bootloader mode and you will see the text “unlocked” along with a red warning sign. Execute the below command to reboot your device.
    fastboot reboot

Root Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

TWRP Recovery is not yet available for the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. So, we cannot go by the regular approach of flashing Magisk Zip using TWRP Recovery. Thankfully, Magisk has an alternate approach for such devices and it is explained below.

Step 1. Get the stock boot image

You will need the stock boot image for your device first and it can be found in your device’s firmware archive. You can get it from the Google’s firmware download page for Pixel devices. Please make sure to download the appropriate firmware. For your convenience, we’ve included the latest firmware links for the devices below.

Note: The below are the latest firmware at the time of writing the article, you may want to check for latest updates here.

Pixel 3a

Pixel 3a XL

Once downloaded, extract the zip file and inside it, you will find another folder inside it; open that too. In this folder, look for a zip file which has a name starting with image-bonito or image-sargo.

Inside this zip file, you’ll find several .img files; in this look for a file named boot.img which is the stock bootloader image that we are looking for.

Step 2. Patch boot image

  1. Transfer the above boot.img file to your phone.
  2. Install the latest Magisk Manger APK from here: Download Magisk Manager Apk
  3. Open the Magisk Manger app.
  4. Select Install > Install > Patch Boot Image File.
  5. Browse and select the boot.img file which you have transferred to your device.

Magisk Manager will patch the file and when the patching is complete, it will save the file as “magisk_patched.img” in your Downloads folder.

Step 3. Root Pixel 3a/XL by flashing the patched boot image.

  1. Copy the “magisk_patched.img” file from your phone to you PC. Place it inside the platform-tools folder.
  2. Connect it to your PC via a USB cable.
  3. On Windows, extract ‘platform-tools-windows.zip’ file. You will get a folder called ‘platform-tools’. This is where you have the ADB and Fastboot on your PC.
  4. On Windows: Go to the platform-tools and enter cmd in the address bar.
    On Mac and Linux: Right-click inside the folder and select Open in Terminal to launch a Terminal window and start using ADB.
  5. Use the following adb command to reboot it into bootloader mode as before.
    adb reboot bootoader
  6. Execute the below command to flash the patched boot image file on to your device.
    fastboot flash boot magisk_patched.img
  7. Done.

Reboot your device and now you have root on your Pixel 3a XL/ Pixel 3a. This is the easiest way to root Pixel 3a using Magisk.

Leave a Comment