Thanks to Magic, you do not have to lose root when updating to Android 11. The popular systemless root tool already achieved super-user access on Google’s latest operating system, even before the official release. It is currently in its experimental stages so the process is more difficult than usual, but it works.
Unfortunately, due to changes in Android 10, we have to wait for a while for an official TWRP-customized restore. This makes Magic flash more challenging, and it also means you are more vulnerable if a soft brick (or bootloop) occurs, so be careful.
Step 1: Unlock the phone’s Bootloader
To install Magic and thus root your phone, you need to flash a modified image on an OS partition on your phone. It is exactly what you unlock your bootloader you can do.
So it’s time to unlock your bootloader if you have not already done so. But know how to do it deletes your internal storage, which means that all your data that has not been backed up to the cloud will be lost.
This step is complex, so we’ve written a separate guide to go through it:
Step 2: Download Android 11 Factory Images to your computer
Now you need the factory images for the version of Android 11 that your device is currently running. This is a set of IMG files, usually in a ZIP archive, which is a perfect copy of your phone’s internal storage partitions, minus any user data.
If your phone has an unlockable starter charger, it is very likely that the phone’s manufacturer offers a free download of these factory images. For what it’s worth, you do not need all the factory images, only the start image. So if your phone’s OEM offers a direct download for the boot.img file, it’s faster.
Otherwise, you can use the following links to find the factory images of the two major brands in the United States that allow bootloader unlocking. Once there, go to “About Your Phone” in Settings and read “Building Number” at the bottom. Make sure this matches the version you are downloading.
Step 3: Extract the startup image
Extract the ZIP file with either your computer’s pre-installed ZIP extractor or a third-party option, such as 7-Zip. Open the folder and then open the ZIP file starting with “image-” followed by a name and a series of numbers with letters. Extract the “start” IMG file found inside this ZIP to your desktop.
Using a OnePlus phone is not as easy as unpacking a file. Instead, you must use a tool to extract the boot image from the “Payload.bin” file. Use the guide below to get square:
Step 4: Move the start screen to your phone
Now move the startup IMG file that you just extracted to your phone and place it in it Downloads folder. We recommend that you do this with a physical connection (ie a USB data cable), as uploading to a cloud service may damage the file.
For more help with this section, see Google’s guide for transferring files from Android to Windows or our guide for transferring from Android to Mac.
Step 5: Install Magic Manager Canary on your phone
On your phone now you need to install “Canary” or the pre-beta version of Magic Manager. Below we have linked the official version provided by topjohnwu, so press or long press on the link to save the file. Since it is an APK, you need to enable “Install unknown apps” for your browser and page load the app to install it.
Step 6: Patch the start screen with Magic Manager
Open Magic Manager and select “Install” in the upper right corner of Magical short. Press “Allow” when prompted to grant Magic permission to access your files.
On Install screen now, leave both “Preserve” options enabled and leave “Recovery Mode” disabled, then press “Next”. Press “Select and correct a file” in the next menu and your system file selector will be displayed. Use the hamburger menu to find yours Downloads and select the file “boot.img” that you copied over in step 4.
Now you are taken back to Install screen in Magic Manager. Tap “Next” here, then tap “Let’s Go.” Finally, just wait until the reading says “All done!”
Step 7: Move the patched startup image to your computer
From here, move magic_patched.img file from Downloads the folder on your phone to the desktop of your computer. If possible, use a data cable.
Step 8: Download Google Platform Tools to your computer
You need to send Fastboot commands to your phone to root it. To do this, you need a small piece of free first-party software created by Google.
You can download these “platform tools” directly from Google using the link below. Just select the link that corresponds to your computer’s operating system.
Step 9: Extract the ZIP platform tools
Once you have downloaded it, extract the file using your operating system’s built-in tool or using a third-party program such as 7-Zip. Once you have extracted, copy and paste (or drag and drop) the Platform Tools folder to your desktop for easier access as you will use it later.
Step 10: Open a query in the Platform Tools folder
For macOS and Linux users, open the Terminal app from your application folder. If you are using Windows, open the command prompt from the Start menu.
When the command line tool is open, type the following but do not press Enter yet:
Now press the space bar once to add a single space after “cd.” Still do not press Enter.
Finally, pull platform tools the folder from the desktop and drop it directly on top of the command line window. This will automatically fill in its full file name and folder location, at any time you can go ahead and press Enter on the keyboard.
Step 11: Put your phone in Bootloader mode
Now you need to boot into bootloader mode so that you can send the Fastboot command that installs Magic.
You can do this by enabling developer options, enabling USB debugging, enabling the connection, and then specifying adb reboot bootloader in the command prompt on your computer, but there is a simpler way: key combinations.
For most phones, turn off the device completely and then hold down the volume down button. Hold down the volume while holding down the power key until the phone starts up, and then release both buttons. If this shows a menu like the one below, you’re ready to go. Otherwise, use the ADB command.
Step 12: Connect to your computer
Now connect your phone to your computer with a USB data cable. Ideally, this would be the cable that came with your phone, but if not, make sure it is a good quality cable.
Step 13: Blink the patched start screen
Type the following command in the command-line tool on your computer, and then press enter to verify the Fastboot connection.
You should see the phone’s serial number. If you do, you can continue. Enter the following and press the space bar once to add a single space, however do not press Enter:
fastboot flash boot
Drag the “patched_magic” IMG file from your file explorer to the command-line tool, and then drop it directly into that window to automatically populate the file path. From there, press enter to send the entire command.
Note! If you are using Mac or Linux and get an error message after sending the above command, add a period and a slash (./) to the beginning and send it again. Example: ./fastboot flash boot boot.img
After a series of lines, including two that spit “OK”, enter the following command to restart to Android:
And add “./” on the front if it does not work the first time:
Step 14: Verify the root
When you return, all that is left to do is verify the root. Open Magic Manager and now you should see “Status: Normal” in Magical next to a building number next to “Installed”. Go ahead and download any root app and press “Grant” when prompted to access the superuser to see if everything works as intended.
Keep in mind that SafetyNet no longer passes by default due to changes in Android. As a result, you will lose access to Google Pay, Pokémon GO, and some banking apps that use SafetyNet to verify that your device is rooted or modified.
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