In this post, we will be covering all the steps needed to Unlock the Bootloader of your Android Device. Furthermore, some OEMs like Xiaomi, Sony, HTC, Samsung follow a different route when it comes to carrying out this process. So to reflect that, we have covered them under a separate section at the end of this guide.
The first question that might come to your mind is what is a Bootloader and do I need to unlock it. Well, in short, if you aren’t one of those technical geeks who like to tweak their device’s software, then quite frankly you shouldn’t be unlocking the device bootloader. Although there are tons of benefits of having an unlocked bootloader, it sure does have its downsides as well. We will have a look at both sides of the coin in a while. But first, let’s know more about the bootloader.
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What is Bootloader?
According to Google “A bootloader is a vendor-proprietary image responsible for bringing up the kernel on a device. It guards the device state and is responsible for initializing the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) and binding its root of trust”. Confused? So am I! let us leave all this aside. In simpler terms, a Bootloader is software that runs every time your phone boots (start). It contains a set of instructions that tells the device which program to load at what instance. It also decides whether to boot your device to ‘Android OS’ or the ‘recovery mode’.
By default, most of the OEMs ships their devices with a locked bootloader. The reason for their part is quite simple: they only want you to run the OS that they ship on their device. The reason for the same is due to security concerns. But they still leave a window of opportunity for the tech geeks those who wish to tweak their device’s system. And if you are one of them, then this guide is all that you will require.
Why Should I Unlock the Bootloader of My Device
Unlocking your device’s bootloader is like opening the gate to a plethora of opportunities. You could flash various Custom ROMs, install Custom Recovery (like TWRP), try out tons of mods and hacks, and most importantly- root your device. After you get administrative privileges, you could then try out a ton of Magisk Modules, Xposed Framework among others.
What is even more interesting is the fact that just by using a single line of code, the bootloader could be unlocked. So what are you waiting for, go ahead and give it a try, or should you? Before beginning with the process, make sure to read the downsides of unlocking it. All this is mentioned in the below article.
Downsides of Unlocking the Bootloader
The biggest downside of unlocking the bootloader is that the warranty of your device would be void. But why do the manufacturers do this? The answer is simple. All the OEMs ship their devices with a locked bootloader so that the users could only use the stock OS that comes pre-installed.
The device vendors do not want the users to try out the customized version of the OS as they are launched by third-party sources such as LineageOS or Resurrection Remix. The manufacturers are in no way related to these creators, hence they distance themselves by voiding the warranty of the device.
Apart from the warranty void, you will also lose all the data stored on your device. Moreover, some apps like Netflix also have some negative consequences. The L1 Widevine Certificate gets lowered to L3 and as a result, you wouldn’t be able to stream Netflix content in HD quality. Last but not the least, there’s always some chances of your devices getting bootloop or ending in a bricked state.
So, Should I Unlock My Device’s Bootloader
See, the onus completely lies in your hands. If you are among the tech geeks who love to tweaks their devices, then give no further thoughts. As far as the warranty is concerned, well trust me there is ‘no’ software issue that cannot be rectified by yourself if you have some knowledge about rooting and flashing-related stuff.
So the need to meet the guys at the service center does not arise! In a nutshell, if custom ROMs and rootings are what you think of day and night, then look no further. But if you only use your device only for chatting and calling purposes, then I’m there isn’t much in store for you. You could very well carry on with the normal uses, without ever giving a second thought of unlocking the bootloader.
How to Unlock the Bootloader of Android Devices
To unlock the bootloader of your device, follow the below-mentioned points. Make sure not to skip any one of them.
- Your entire data would be wiped off. So before beginning with the process, make sure to make a complete backup of your device.
- Enable USB Debugging: To do so, head over to Settings and navigate to About Phone. Then tap on Build Number 7 times, doing which you should be greeted with a message along the lines that you are now a developer. Now go back to Settings and head over to System. Tap on Advanced and now you should see the Developer Options.
- Enable OEM Unlocking: To unlock the bootloader of the Android device, you will also be required to enable OEM unlocking. To do so, head over to Developer Options and enable the said toggle.
- Download ADB and Fastboot Tools for executing various ADB and Fastboot commands.
DroidWin or any of its members won’t be held responsible in case anything happens to your device while performing the below steps. You completely understand the risk of bootloader unlocking and proceed ahead at your peril.
Steps to Unlock Bootloader of Android Devices
- Connect your device to the PC via USB cable.
- Navigate to the folder where you have installed Android SDK and Platform Tools.
- Inside the folder, while pressing the ‘Shift’ key, right-click on an empty location.
- Select ‘Open PowerShell window here’.
- Well, you could also use Command Prompt if you wish [recommended]. For that, type in cmd in the platform-tools address bar and hit Enter. This shall launch the Command Prompt window.
- Next, type the below code to boot your device to fastboot/bootloader mode:
adb reboot bootloader
- Now type the below code to unlock the bootloader of your Android device. Executing the below code will also wipe off all the data from your device.
fastboot flashing unlock
- For devices launched prior to 2015, you should try the following command:
fastboot oem unlock
- Furthermore, if you are willing to flash a custom ROM, then you will have to unlock the partition as well. Use the below command for that:
fastboot flashing unlock_critical
- If you get a confirmation message on your screen, reply in affirmative (‘Yes’, ‘I agree’, Unlock the Bootloader’, etc).
- Reboot the device by typing the below code:
That’s it. You have successfully unlocked your device’s bootloader. The first boot may take a little longer than usual. That is completely normal. Furthermore, you will also have to set up your device using your Google Account.
NOTE: Some devices, although launched after 2015, still follows the fastboot oem unlock code. So if the fastboot flashing unlock throws an error or two, try out the fastboot oem unlock code on your device.
OEM Specific Bootloader Unlock Guide
As already mentioned in the introductory para, there are some smartphone manufacturers that take a slightly different approach when it comes to unlocking the bootloader. For example, Realme requires In-Depth APK, Samsung calls for disabling Vault Keeper, Sony requires device-specific code, and so on. Hence we have compiled a separate guide for all these OEMs below, you may refer to it:
- How to Unlock Bootloader on any Sony Xperia Device
- How to Unlock Bootloader on any Samsung Device [New VaultKeeper Method]
- A Universal Guide to Unlock Bootloader on any Realme Device
- How to Unlock Bootloader on any Motorola Device
- Guide to Unlock Bootloader on every Google Pixel Device
- How to Unlock Bootloader on any Realme Device
Now that you have successfully unlocked the bootloader of your Android device, go ahead and try rooting your device, flashing various custom ROMs and installing tons of amazing mods, including GCam. So with that, we conclude this comprehensive guide on how to Unlock the Bootloader of Any Android Device. If you are having any issues concerning any part of this guide, do let me know. I will get back to you with a solution.
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