Google has silently launched Pixel 5a which is a successor of Pixel 4a. It features a slightly larger display, features a dust and water resistance rating, and a much larger battery compared to the Pixel 4a 5G. Now, if you’re one of the Google Pixel 5a users and want to flash any custom file on it, you can follow this detailed guide to unlock the bootloader on Google Pixel 5a.
The limitless customization on the Android operating system has come so far from what it was even a couple of years ago. Thanks to Android’s open-source nature and the hard work of developers to build third-party flashable files like custom firmware, mods, root, custom recovery, etc. All of these have made the Android operating system more customizable and easy to use than before.
Meanwhile, mobile device users have also matured enough to understand what’s best for their mood or usage in their daily life. So, without using the same old-school stock UI and its limited stock ROM features, Android users are now mostly interested to flash custom firmware (aftermarket) files or mod files or root access or custom recovery, etc to get an ultimate user experience.
What is Bootloader Unlocking?
A Bootloader is also known as a Boot Manager for Android devices that load up the operating system into the working memory and ensures that whether your device is booting into the system properly or not.
For example, whenever you power on or restart your mobile device, you can see a boot screen or logo at first, and then the device boots into the system completely. It’s sort of a code that’s locked by the device manufacturer and comes with a locked bootloader out of the box.
That means you can’t normally flash any third-party firmware or boot file in a locked bootloader until you unlock it. Manufacturers don’t want the user to customize their devices from the system level because it can mess up system files, user data, voids device warranty, trigger privacy issues, etc.
Therefore, you’ll need to unlock the device bootloader first in order to make your handset eligible to successfully install the customization files. Once you’re done with it, you can easily flash the third-party firmware file, mod files, tweak system components, enable root access, install a custom recovery, etc.
Please Note: Not all Android device manufacturers officially recommend or provide methods to unlock the stock bootloader and Google is one of them. So, unlocking the bootloader and flashing custom files on your Pixel devices will fully depend on you. It basically voids the device manufacturer warranty (if any).
Detailed Guide to Unlock Bootloader on Google Pixel 5a
Before you proceed to the following guide, we’ll highly recommend you go through all the requirements and download links properly.
Keep in mind that this guide is only applicable for Google Pixel 5a models. Now, check out other pre-requirements too.
1. Charge Your Device
To avoid the occasional shutdown or any power-related issues, we’ll recommend you charging your Pixel 5a handset properly before unlocking the bootloader. 50% or more charge should be enough.
2. Take a Full Backup
It’s worth mentioning that unlocking the device bootloader will simply wipe out all of your device data like documents, media files, installed apps, or games. So, take a full data backup by following this link that’s necessary for you and then you can proceed.
In some cases, several banking apps or other applications like Google Pay and Pokemon Go may not work properly on a bootloader unlocked device due to security reasons.
3. Requires a PC and USB Cable
In order to unlock the device bootloader using the ADB Fastboot tool, you’ll need a Windows computer and a USB data cable to connect your Pixel device.
4. Download Necessary Files
There are two necessary files mentioned below that you should download and install on your computer to unlock the device bootloader easily. Make sure to install both on your PC and then you can follow the main guide below.
Disclaimer: Flashing custom files or modifying your device by unlocking the bootloader may void the manufacturer’s warranty as well as can brick your handset easily. You should know what you’re doing. GetDroidTips will not be held responsible for any kind of issue that you may face while/after following this guide. Do this at your own risk.
Bootloader Unlocking Method:
- First of all, download and install the Android USB Drivers.
- Second, download and extract the ADB & Fastboot file in the C:/ drive on your PC.
- Third, make sure to take a full backup of your device data.
- Now, go to the device Settings menu > Tap on System > Go to About Phone.
- Here tap on Build number continuously seven times and you’ll see the ‘You are now a Developer’ message on the bottom screen.
- Go back to System > Tap on Advanced > Tap on Developer Options.
- Enable the Developer Options toggle > Enable both the USB debugging and OEM unlocking toggle.
- Go to the ADB folder where you’ve extracted the ADB & Fastboot file previously.
- Hold the Shift key + Right Mouse click anywhere inside the folder to open the command window / PowerShell window.
- Now, switch off your Google Pixel 5a device completely.
- Then long-press the Volume Down + Power button together for a few seconds until you see the next screen.
- Release both buttons and use the Volume Down button only to navigate to the options.
- So, navigate to ‘Restart Bootloader’ or highlight it.
- Now, press the Power button to select it or confirm it.
- Your Google Pixel 5a device will boot into the Bootloader Mode now.
- Once done, simply connect your handset with your computer using the USB data cable.
- Type the following command in the command prompt window and hit Enter to check whether your device is connected in ADB or not:
- If properly connected, it’ll show you a set of device ID.
- It may also prompt you to Allow USB Debugging. Just tap on the ‘Always allow on this computer’ checkbox and tap on OK.
- As you’ve already entered your device into the Bootloader Mode, just make sure to execute the command below to recheck it:
- If connected in bootloader mode, then you’ll see the ID. However, if not connected, then you can execute the following command to do so:
adb reboot bootloader
- Now, execute the command below to unlock the bootloader on your Google Pixel 5a:
fastboot flashing unlock
- If in case, your device is showing you two options to select, then choose the ‘Unlock Bootloader’ option to confirm the action. [Use the Volume Down key to navigate and press the Power key to confirm]
- Your device data will be erased completely and it’ll automatically reboot into the system again. [It may take some time]
- Go through the initial setup process. Enjoy!
You’ve now successfully unlocked the bootloader on your Google Pixel 5a. Now, you’re free to customize your handset as per your preference. You can easily flash a custom recovery, custom firmware, enable root access, etc. However, if you want to re-lock the device bootloader, you can also do it at any time.
That’s it, guys. We assume this guide was helpful for you. For additional queries, you can comment below.