How to install GrapheneOS on Google Pixel 7 (Pixel 7 Pro) + Setup for new users

published 2022-11-28 · updated 2022-12-21 #how_to #android #grapheneos #install
The Google Pixel 7/Pixel 7 Pro is a great mobile device. With the Google Tensor G2 chip, it's one of the most secure mobile devices you can purchase.


Please excuse any grammatical errors. I used a tool to generate the transcript and haven't had a chance to read through it yet.

So in today's video, I'll be demonstrating how to install graphene iOS on the Google Pixel seven specifically, but if you have a different Google Pixel, this process will be relatively similar, I'm going to be using the web installer. And if you use that, it's nearly impossible to mess up your phone. So don't be afraid to attempt this. Now with that being said, there are a few hiccups you may run into during the install process. And I'll cover those at the relevant points in the video. The computer I'm demonstrating this from is running Mac OS, and I'm using the brave browser. So to get started, we're going to head on over to Griffin All websites that I mentioned in the video will be linked down below in the description box. So once you get here, click on Install Griffin OS. As I mentioned, we're going to be using the web based installer. So once you get to this page, we're going to scroll down to the prerequisites, give this a read through make sure that you have all of these requirements met. Make sure you're using one of the supported OSS, like I said, I'll be installing from macOS. So besides a supported operating system, make sure you are using a supported browser. There is an important note here, if you are using chromium on Ubuntu, it's broken and will not work. So use a different browser, such as Google Chrome. Another important note here do not use incognito or private browsing mode. And so once you give that a read through, I'm not going to waste your time by reading it to you, and you make sure that all the prerequisites are met, we can then proceed on to the first step, which is enabling OEM unlocking in the screen we're currently on is the screen that you'll see if you just bought it brand new and just took it out of the box. So first, I'm going to walk through the initial setup. If you're already past this part, you can skip it, I'll leave the timestamps down below in the play bar. So we're going to go ahead and select to get started. I'm not going to connect to a mobile network, I don't have a SIM card in my phone. Skip. I'm going to skip connecting to Wi Fi select Setup offline, continue. Date and time, you can leave that set to default. You don't need to uncheck these but I like to anyways click Accept limited warranty. Next additional legal terms except we are going to be erasing the phone so you don't really need to set a pin but I think it's good practice anyways

confirm the pin fingerprint unlock I'm going to skip this because like I said, we're just gonna be erasing the phone momentarily. No banks face on luck, no thanks. This is just a quick tutorial on swipe navigation. If you want, you can go through it. Otherwise skip. So we have finished the initial setup offline and go ahead and swipe up. And we're now at the home screen. So I'm recording this part while editing the video because I forgot to mention it initially, this step is not required. But it is suggested that you update your device before installing graphene allow us to check for updates, first connect to Wi Fi, then swipe up, go into settings, scroll down, tap on system. And then tap system update. If you see your system is up to date, then you're good to go. Otherwise, install any pending updates and then continue with the video. So to enable OEM unlocking we first need to enable developer options, which you can do by going to settings about and repeatedly pressing the build number menu entry. And just one note before we actually start following the instructions, make sure you always go to the source when you're looking for information. Don't just follow some random YouTuber or some blog post, always go to the official documentation in this case graphene get your information from the source first and then go from there. Select the instruction said we're going to swipe up, go into settings, scroll down to the bottom, we're going to tap about phone, scroll to the bottom. And down here we have build number. Go ahead and tap that until you are prompted for your PIN. If you set one, enter your PIN. And we can now see you are now a developer. So another developer options are enabled. Next go into Settings System developer options and toggle the OEM unlocking setting. So we're going to go back, scroll down, go to system. At the bottom, we have developer options, tap that. If we scroll down, we can see here OEM unlocking so there is one caveat about OEM unlocking that I want to mention. So if you purchased your phone brand new from Google or from a store, you will need to connect to the internet first so that your phone can check if the serial number was sold carrier locked or if you're able to enable OEM unlocking devices that are typically locked by the carrier or Verizon based devices, those ones even if you connect to the internet, you won't be able to unlock. Your only option at that point is to either return the device or sell it and buy a factory unlocked device. For me personally, I usually buy my devices directly from Google, I select the unlocked version option. And every time I've had no issues, so if you're watching this video and haven't purchased a device yet, and you're looking to buy a used mobile phone, I suggest asking the seller to send you a screenshot or a photo showing that OEM unlocking is available. That's the only way to truly guarantee it. I've purchased a device used in the past, and it was carrier unlocked, which means I could connect to different carriers, but it didn't actually support OEM unlocking so reach out to the seller to confirm that if they're not willing to send you a photo showing that I would suggest not buying that device. So again, if you bought a new phone, you connected the internet OEM unlocking should be available at that point. And once it is, go ahead and enable OEM unlocking, you'll be prompted for your pin again. Allow OEM unlocking, enable, and we can now see OEM unlocking is enabled. So on to the next step flashing as non root. This is for anyone who's on Linux, I'm not on Linux. So I'm not going to cover this. But if you are give this a read over following that is booting into the bootloader interface, you need to boot your phone into the bootloader interface. To do this, you need to hold the Volume Down button while the phone boots, the easiest way is to reboot your phone and begin holding the Volume Down button until it boots up into the bootloader interface. So this part can be a little bit tricky for some people. So we're going to swipe down, swipe down again, you'll see down here the power button, select that, and then select Restart. Once restarting disappears from the screen, hold the Volume Down button.

This will take a minute. And if you were successful on booting into the bootloader interface, you will see this screen. If you were not successful, your phone will just boot up as normal. At that point restarted again, hold the Volume Down button until you get into this interface. So the next step is connecting the phone. If you're on Linux, here's a note about that. If you're on Windows, you need to install the driver for fast boot if you don't already have it, there's a couple options for actually obtaining the drivers. So pause the video and Give this a read over if you're on Windows. And for everyone else, we can just go ahead and connect our USB cable to our device. So this is where a lot of people run into an issue. They plug their phone into the computer with a USB cable, and their computer doesn't actually see the phone and they don't understand what's going on. Typically that's due to a faulty USB cable. The best option in this scenario is to use the stock cable that came with your device. If you don't have that use a third party cable. But if you plug in your phone to the computer with a USB cable, and it doesn't see it, try a different cable. Typically it's a faulty cable causing you issues. One other thing to mention, make sure you're plugging your USB cable directly into your computer, don't plug it into a dongle first. That can also be the cause of issues. So again, use the cable that came with your device, plug it directly into your computer, and you should have the best chance of not having an issue. So plugging the cable to your device. So before we unlock the bootloader it's important to note that once you do, all data on your device will be wiped. So if you were using your phone and you took some photos, or maybe this was your primary device and now you want to test out graphene iOS, make sure you make a backup of everything on there, your contacts, calendar events, text messages, everything will be erased and there's no way to recover it. So once you confirm you have everything's backed up or saved that you want, you can then proceed to unlock the bootloader select unlock bootloader and if your cables not faulty and your computer sees your device, you will see a prompt like this graphene wants to connect, you should see your device listed here. Select Connect, we can see the screen changed, we have a quick disclaimer down here about unlocking the bootloader. And up here we can see it do not unlock the bootloader we want to unlock the bootloader. So to change the selection, we're going to press the volume down or up. You'll now see it says unlock the bootloader once you see that to select that option, press the Power button. And if you were successful at unlocking the bootloader you'll see device state has now changed to red unlocked. So now that the bootloader is unlocked, we can proceed on to the next step which is obtaining factory images. We're going to select Download release. And the actual amount of time this takes to download will vary depending on your internet speed. It's gonna take a minute, two minutes or an hour. And so while that's downloading, I just want to mention to consider donating to the project if you're getting any sort of value from it, the developers putting in a lot of work to updates and Supporting new phones as they come out. My favorite way to contribute is using GitHub sponsors, it lets me schedule a monthly recurring donation to them. So again, consider donating to the project donations are used for paying developers purchasing hardware paying for infrastructure. So once the download has finished, it'll say downloaded and the progress bar will be full. So now that the download has completed, we can proceed on with flashing our device, the initial install will be performed by flashing the factory images. This will replace the existing OS installation and wipe all the existing data, give this paragraph or read over. But the most important part is avoid interacting with the device until the flashing script is finished. So once we click flash release, just leave your device alone, don't touch it, wait for it to complete. Once you're ready, select flash release, you'll see the screen changes. And again, just let the device do its thing. Don't interact with it at all.

And so while that's flashing I just want to mention that I have a somewhat monthly newsletter that I send out, you can sign up for that at site of If you're new to privacy and security on your mobile device, I have a page on my website that has an index of all my videos I have. It's a good starting point if you want to get familiar with what options are out there.

And then while we wait for this to complete, one of my friends came to me the other day upset about something they did, I told them some solid life advice, and that was that they needed to embrace their mistakes. So they gave me a hug

so once the flashing has completed, you'll see the text on the screen has changed to flashed, and our phone is back at the bootloader interface. The next step and this is extremely important is to actually lock the bootloader give this a read over it explains why it's so important. But again, to do that, we're going to select Lock bootloader we see the prompt on our screen again, we see it says do not lock the bootloader same as earlier we're going to press the volume up or down until it says lock the bootloader at that point, press the Power button

and if that completes successfully, we'll see device state now says locked and it is green. Congratulations. You've now successfully installed graphene OS and can boot it. pressing the power button with the default start option selected in the bootloader interface will boot the OS. So if you have the default option selected, it should say start press the power button

you're going to see the screen here devices loading a different operating system. Since we have a nonstock operating system installed, the screen is normal so expect to see that it's also normal to see the Google splash screen. And at this point you'll now see the graphene OS boot animation we'll take a minute for the initial boot we can now walk through the initial setup. Select Start, select your language Next, set your timezone. Next I'm going to skip connecting to Wi Fi for now skip I don't have a SIM card in my device but you can put one in if you want. Next, I'm going to disable location services for now. Next fingerprint you can set this up if you want to.

I do suggest setting a PIN code at the very least then please set something else besides 12345. Once you type that in and again press confirm if you had a backup from an existing graphene OS installation, you can restore it now. Otherwise, if this is a new installation for you, press skip

and then start so back on the webpage disabling OEM unlocking OEM unlocking can be disabled again in the developer settings menu within the operating system after booting it up again. After disabling OEM unlocking we recommend disabling developer options for a device that's not being used for app or OS development. So we're going to follow the same steps We did it when we initially enabled OEM unlocking, we're going to go into settings, scroll to the bottom, select About phone, go to the bottom, tap build number to be prompted for your PIN code. You are now a developer, select back, go into System developer options. We can see here OEM unlocking is enabled, we want to disable that, please restart the device to enable device protection feature. So we're going to do that in a moment. And then again, we want to disable developer options. So on select that, you need to restart your device to change this setting. Tap Restart. Now on the boot screen, I'm going to press my power button. When that initial warning shows up, tell you why in a second.

So pressing the power button pauses the boot. And the reason for that is down below here, we can verify the boot key hash. And so what you want to do depending on the device you have, if it's a pixel six or newer, you want to look at this screen. In my case, I'm on the pixel seven. And I want to verify that this string matches what is displayed on my device. So take a minute to do that. Looking at it, I can see it does match. The reason as to why is listed here. So give that a read over. And so once you confirm that, press the Power button again to resume the boot. So at this point, you have successfully installed graphene OS and you can start using it if you like. But if you are new and looking for the simplest way to get started, I want to quickly cover that one feature of graphene OS is they offer sandbox Google Play services on stock Android OS plays services are installed in a way where they bypass the app sandbox and receive a massive amount of highly privileged access. On Griffin OS Play services can be installed as standard apps with no special access or privileges. So if you're new and looking for the simplest way to get started, this is what I recommend. And that's what I will be demonstrating. There's a couple other options if you want a bit more privacy, such as installing them in a separate user profile. And I cover that in a video which I will link down below. But if you're at all hesitant about this switch, and using graphene OS, then I suggest installing them as I'm about to demonstrate. Once you get more comfortable, you can watch my other videos or check out different blog posts on some ways to enhance your privacy and security. But for now, take the simplest approach get comfortable and go from there. So the first thing we need to do to install sandbox Play services is connected to Wi Fi. So I'm going to swipe down, select Internet, I'm going to select my Wi Fi network. Once you've successfully connected to your Wi Fi, we're going to swipe up, select the Apps app. We're going to go to Google Play Store, select that, as we can see here, it's also going to install a Google services framework and Google Play services. Select Install all it's going to take about five minutes to complete, I will be linking this down below, I do suggest you take the time to read it over, as well as the usage guide that's linked at the bottom. There's a lot of great information in here. It explains how it works, the actual configuration, limitations, things like that. So take the time read it over. There's a lot of good stuff. So once that's completed, you'll see down here and now says open instead of installing. I'm just going to swipe up. We're going to swipe up again, go into our app drawer. And you'll now see Play Store listed here. So this will function just like Play Store on stock Android OS, you can select that sign in. If you're looking for a little more privacy, create a separate Google account that you just use on here to download apps and things like that. Go ahead and sign in, download your apps, get yourself started. And then like I said at that point once you're comfortable, check out some of my other videos or different options that are available. On my last piece of advice, privacy and security. It's a journey. Don't try and do everything at once. If you change too much, it'll be hard to keep the habit so take it step by step. Do what you can and every little bit helps.