The Google Pixel is one of the most premium android smartphone out there. With the discontinuation of the Nexus series, Google has placed all their bets on the Pixel. The reason why people tend install custom ROMs is to make their device more customizable.
CarbonROM recently made a comeback while bringing Android 7.1.1 (Nougat) to the Pixel, Nexus 6P and more.
- A Windows PC
- USB Cable
- Google USB Drivers
- ADB & Fastboot
- At least 60% battery remaining on the device
Note: This will wipe all data on your device. Make sure you backup important files as necessary before proceeding.
On your Pixel, go to Settings, Developer Options and make sure you’ve enabled USB Debugging and OEM Unlocking.
Note: If you do not see the Developer Options menu, it can unlocked by going to Settings, About Phone, tapping build number a few times.
Now connect the phone to your PC and open Minimal ADB & Fastboot. We now need to confirm our device is connected. To do that, type:
This should show the Android devices currently connected to your PC. Make sure you accept the confirmation on the phone too. It is advised to disconnect any other Android devices. Once you’ve successfully connected the device, we need to boot to the bootloader to proceed. To do this, shut down the phone completely. Hold down the Volume down and Power button to enter fastboot mode.
Alternative method: On the Minimal ADB, simply type:
adb reboot bootloader
This should immediately switch the phone off and reboot to bootloader.
Once you’ve successfully connected your device, we can move on to unlocking the bootloader. Unlocking the bootloader allows us to write into different storage partitions of our phones which would otherwise be blocked.
Let’s make sure our phone is successfully connected to the PC. To check this, enter:
Once confirmed, we can unlock the bootloader. To unlock the bootloader, simply enter the following:
fastboot flashing unlock
If the device doesn’t automatically reboot, reboot it from the menu. It should now be unlocked.
Warning: This will FACTORY RESET the device i.e data will be lost. Make sure you make a backup before proceeding.
Once bootloader is unlocked, we now need to download the necessary files. Download the appropriate files for your Pixel. Copy the .zip file to the internal storage of your device and move the .img file to the location of Minimal ADB & Fastboot and rename it to “twrp.img” (no quotes). For most people, it is usually C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot.
Now, reboot the device to bootloader mode and connect it to the PC. Open up Minimal ADB and issue the command fastboot devices to confirm the connection. We’ll need to temporarily boot up to TWRP by issuing the command:
fastboot boot twrp.img
Once we have issued the boot command, your device will retrieve the twrp.img file from the computer and boot into TWRP.
To make TWRP survive reboot, navigate to Install and flash the .zip file we copied earlier. The zip file contains an automated installation script which handles the rest. You should now be able to boot to TWRP regularly.
Download the CarbonROM package for the Pixel here.
If not already in recovery mode, boot to recovery mode by powering down the device and holding the Volume Down and Power button. In the TWRP menu, select Wipe, then Factory Reset. Then, select Install and choose the CarbonROM zip package. This will prompt you to “Swipe to Flash”. Once the installation has finished you can Reboot to System. Note that the first boot might take a while.
Optional: You can also choose to flash Google Apps to obtain Google Services after flashing CustomROM. You can follow the tutorial to flash GApps here.