Magisk is a popular, open source and systemless root method for Android and this guide shows you how to install Magisk on the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL.
I recently showed you how to install TWRP on the Pixel 2 phones as your custom recovery. This is typically required for those who want to flash and install various modifications onto their device. The most popular thing to flash in TWRP tends to be a method for gaining root access. So today I will be walking you through the process of how to gain root access on the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL with Magisk. This will work if you are temporarily booted into TWRP, or if you have permanently installed TWRP.
Magisk has gotten popular over the last year or two because it’s open source and it provides more functionality when compared to SuperSU (which is closed source and owned by a Chinese company). SuperSU still has a reputation of working on more devices than Magisk, but the gap is getting smaller. It also provides systemless module support for a lot of popular modules that had previously required modifying the system partition or using Xposed.
How to Root the Pixel 2 with Magisk
- Download version Magisk v14.5 or higher (stable – beta)
- Move or copy the Magisk ZIP file to the Pixel 2
- Boot the Pixel 2 into Recovery Mode
- Tap the Install button
- Browse to and tap on the Magisk ZIP file we downloaded
- Swipe the white arrows to the right to confirm
- Wait for the installation to be completed
- Tap the Reboot System button to boot out of TWRP and back into Android
This step by step tutorial is a detailed explanation of a topic I covered on my Pixel 2 Tips and Tricks article. I recommend you read through that if you're curious about learning the ins and outs of the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL.
As mentioned, this requires that you have TWRP installed on the Pixel 2 or the Pixel 2 XL. If you haven’t set that up yet then follow a previous guide I wrote on the subject. Once that is done, you can then download Magisk and you’ll want to have version 14.5 or higher (this is why I listed the beta download link in the guide). Once the stable branch catches or passes 14.5, then you can switch back to it. Version 14.5 has made some changes specific to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL so it’s good to be up to date.
You can then move or copy that Magisk ZIP file over to the Pixel 2 and then boot into Recovery Mode. Now, I had some issues with booting into TWRP as it doesn’t let me use the touch screen (which means I can’t do anything). So you may need to try using the adb reboot recovery command and keep the USB cable connected to the device as a test method of getting past this issue. Once you are in TWRP and the touchscreen works though, we can then proceed.
From here, we simply need to tap on the Install button at the top left of the screen and it will take us to a file browser. You will need to browse to wherever you moved or copied that Magisk ZIP file to (for me it is always in Downloads). Once you find it, go ahead and tap on it to select it and then you’ll be asked if you’re sure you want to install it. We just need to swipe the white arrows to the right to begin the installation and wait a minute or two for it to complete.
Once it finishes, you can go back to the TWRP main menu (if you want to flash anything else or make backups), or you can just tap the Reboot System button. This will reboot the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL and take you back into the Android OS. When you boot in, you should see the Magisk Manager application sitting in the application drawer. Go ahead and launch it and make sure it tells you it is installed properly (green check marks at the top).
From here, you can even do a SafetyNet check like the image shows above.