Chainfire is an alias that most people who follow Android developing are aware of thanks to his tools such as CF-Auto-Root and SuperSU. Both of those tools have something in common which is the SuperSU getting installed and enabled; the difference is in the way they go about their business. About a year ago something new was developed by Chainfire which is FlashFire—a chance for people to keep root access after updating on many occasions. The FlashFire app relies on the rooting method being a systemless root which is what Chainfire managed to develop for the Android 6.0 and the Android 6.1 Marshmallow software update versions of the CF-Auto-Root tool and the SuperSU that people can flash manually from a custom recovery image.
When the news of Android 7.1 Nougat broke a large part of it was about enhanced security and with it came the worry of not being able to find a root method at all according to many publications. Further, it was being reported that Android 7.0 would not use the same systemless root method for the root access. As of recently both of those rumors have been put to rest with the rooting toolkit being made available to root the Pixel smartphones running on Androids 7.1, and now the CF-Auto-Root tool is also available to root both Pixel smartphones. The CF-Auto-root tool to get in control of the root user account on the Google Pixel XL running Android 7.1 is also the systemless root version still, meaning that you can still use FlashFire if you want to give it a try. Apart from that, there isn’t much difference between the systemless root and the older method that required going through the system partition apart from the fact that when you take a hard reset it entirely unroots and you need to flash the rooting file with Odin to get root access again.
- You need to have the Google Pixel XL smartphone; any of the other smartphones get bricked if you flash the version of the CF-Auto-Root tool that is available in this guide, including any of the other Pixel devices such as the first Google Pixel.
- You need a computer that runs on a version of the Windows operating system to use this guide. The Odin flashing tool cannot run on another operating system, and that’s a problem because the rooting file is only flashable via Odin.
BEFORE WE BEGIN
- You need to unlock the Developer Options menu on the Google Pixel smartphone and then enable the USB Debugging Mode from the Android 7.1 Nougat software updates so the software does not mind you making changes to do which is a requirement before the rooting of the Android operating can work.
- The Windows operating system needs to have the Google USB Drivers installed on it if you have not got them installed already. That way the Google Pixel XL phone can get identified by the flashing tool and that allows for the flashing to work.
HOW TO ROOT GOOGLE PIXEL XL RUNNING ON ANDROID 7.1 NOUGAT USING CF-AUTO-ROOT
- Download the CF-Auto-Root tool for the Google Pixel XL smartphone running on the Android 7.1 Nougat software updates.
- Extract the rooting file to the Downloads folder on the computer and then click on the rooting file that is available.
- Boot the Google Pixel into the Fastboot Mode and then connect it to the computer with the same USB cable you use for charging the battery.
- Run the rooting program that shows up on the display of the computer.
In conclusion, that is how to root Google Pixel XL smartphones running on the Android 7.1 Nougat software updates by flashing Chainfire’s CF-Auto-Root tool. At the time of writing this guide, the developers have mentioned in the release notes that it is not perfect and the link isn’t yet available from the CF-Auto-Root repository page. You can read all of the information that Chainfire has given from here.
It’s worth noting that while there is a version of SuperSU available, there is no version of TWRP available for the Google Pixel devices yet and thus installing the SuperSU manually is not recommended by Chainfire at the time of writing this guide.