The Google Pixel phones epitomize the pure Android experience at its best. Originally manufactured by HTC, Pixel and Pixel XL have been designed by the California giant itself and is marketed as being a “Google phone” without any credit to HTC in any form. Both phones are good but I prefer the Pixel XL to its younger brother. Today, we’ll see how we can restore Google Pixel XL to stock and unbrick it by installing the stock firmware.
Also see: How to Root Google Pixel XL
If you own the Pixel XL and have been playing around with it for a while, you must be familiar with things like resetting your phone, getting into the bootloader and recovery mode and flashing the factory images. There may be times when you might encounter issues like device overheating, random reboots, hanging and lag in performance, WiFi and network issues, boot loop, soft-brick, etc. If you know how to reset your Pixel XL and restore it to stock, you can fix such issues yourself very easily.
How to Install Stock Firmware on Google Pixel & Unbrick it
Disclaimer and Warning
It’s kind of a formality, but we’ve to do it while writing all tutorials. If you have decided to proceed with the procedure described in this tutorial, please follow it carefully and before you do that, make sure to follow each and every step without missing anything. A good tutorial requires a good follower for desired results. If you’ve any doubt and want clarification, do not hesitate to ask. And yes, follow the guide at your own responsibility.
Also see: Root and Install TWRP on Google Pixel XL
Prerequisites to Restore Google Pixel XL to Stock
Here’s are a few preparatory thing you should take care of before flashing the factory images:
- Unlock your Pixel XL’s bootloader. Verizon Pixel XL users can use this tutorial to unlock the bootloader. Since there may be issues while rooting the Verizon model on certain firmwares, users are warned to select the factory image carefully. Please note that unlocking the bootloader and restoring to stock will wipe your phone’s data, so backup your apps and data.
- Download the appropriate factory image package for your Google Pixel XL (codename= marlin): Click Here
- Your Pixel XL’s apps and data might be wiped after flashing the factory images. If you don’t that to happen, install NotePad++ and open the flash-all.bat file (found in the factory image package), and remove the “-w” from the script.
- Enable Developer options on your Pixel XL: Go to Settings> About phone> Build number and tap it 7 times. Then go back to Settings> Developer options and enable USB Debugging and OEM unlocking.
- Install the Minimal ADB and Fasboot Setup on your computer. When the program prompts you to create a desktop shortcut while installing, allow it. Also, remember the path where you’ve installed Minimal ADB and Fasboot Setup because you’ll need that later.
- Also, install the latest Google USB drivers on your computer using the instruction given in this tutorial.
- Charge your Pixel XL to at least 70% level.
Steps to Flash Factory Images on Google Pixel XL
Already done with the preparations stated above? Great! It’s time now for the real action.
- Copy the downloaded factory image zip package (in this case “marlin-nde63l-factory-71a65e7e.zip”) to Navigate to the Minimal ADB and Fastboot directory. Remember?? I told you to keep the installation path in kind.
- Now extract the contents of the zip file to the same folder. Your fastboot folder should look like as shown below:
- Turn off your device and boot it into the Bootloader Mode. To do so, press and hold the Volume Down + Power buttons until you see a screenshot like shown below.
- Now connect your Pixel XL to your computer using the stock USB cable and wait for a few seconds so that the device drivers are installed.
- Now launch the Minimal ADB and Fastboot by clicking the desktop shortcut. If you forgot to create the shortcut earlier, go to Windows Start menu> All Programs> Minimal ADB and Fastboot and click it. A command window will pop up.
- To ensure that your phone is properly connected, run the following command. You’ll see a code for your device in the command window.
- Now type the following command in the command window and hit the Enter key on your keyboard.
- The installation process will begin and you’ll see a string of outputs for the ongoing processes as shown below:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot>flash-all.bat target reported max download size of 536870912 bytes sending 'bootloader_a' (32820 KB)... writing 'bootloader_a'... (bootloader) Valid bootloader version. rebooting into bootloader... < waiting for any device > target reported max download size of 536870912 bytes sending 'radio_a' (57048 KB)... writing 'radio_a'... rebooting into bootloader... < waiting for any device > target reported max download size of 536870912 bytes archive does not contain 'recovery.img' archive does not contain 'vendor_other.img' wiping userdata... Creating filesystem with parameters: Size: 26663190528 Block size: 4096 Blocks per group: 32768 Inodes per group: 8192 Inode size: 256 Journal blocks: 32768 Label: Blocks: 6509568 Block groups: 199 Reserved block group size: 1024 Created filesystem with 11/1630208 inodes and 146354/6509568 blocks -------------------------------------------- Bootloader Version...: 8996-012001-1608281716 Baseband Version.....: 8996-012511-1609150631 Serial Number........: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx -------------------------------------------- checking product... checking version-bootloader... checking version-baseband... sending 'boot_a' (26481 KB)... writing 'boot_a'... erasing 'system_a'... sending sparse 'system_a' 1/3 (523506 KB)... writing 'system_a' 1/3... sending sparse 'system_a' 2/3 (524279 KB)... writing 'system_a' 2/3... sending sparse 'system_a' 3/3 (512303 KB)... writing 'system_a' 3/3... erasing 'system_b'... sending sparse 'system_b' 1/4 (517263 KB)... writing 'system_b' 1/4... sending sparse 'system_b' 2/4 (514150 KB)... writing 'system_b' 2/4... sending sparse 'system_b' 3/4 (516790 KB)... writing 'system_b' 3/4... sending sparse 'system_b' 4/4 (96127 KB)... writing 'system_b' 4/4... erasing 'vendor_a'... sending 'vendor_a' (234277 KB)... writing 'vendor_a'... Setting current slot to 'a'... erasing 'userdata'... sending 'userdata' (138957 KB)... writing 'userdata'... rebooting... finished. total time: 128.109s Press any key to exit...
- When you’re prompted to press a key, do that. Your phone will reboot automatically.
The first boot after restoring your device to stock may take about 5-8 minutes. Therefore, Wait patiently until you’re greeted by the welcome screen. Having done the initial setup, you’ll be able to use your phone.
Congratulations! You have successfully restored your Google Pixel XL by flashing the factory images.
Also see: How to Turn Pixel’s “App Shortcuts” into Home Screen Icons
I have a Verizon Pixel with unlocked bootloader. Will flashing the full stock image relock my bootloader?
Yes, it will. But you can unlock it again. If you have an unlocked bootloader, Android Pay won’t work on your device.