How to unlock your Android bootloader

Knowing how to unlock the bootloader of an Android phone is not a simple procedure. This is because the method varies by manufacturer, ranging from simple procedures to very complex ones, and others that depend on the manufacturer to allow intervention. See how to unlock the bootloader below.

How to unlock your Android bootloader

How to unlock your Android bootloader

First, let’s be clear: There is no single method to unlock the bootloader that works for all phones. Each manufacturer implements the feature as it sees fit, so procedures vary widely. However, unlocking is essential for those who want to install alternative ROMs on their mobile phone.

Second: Regardless of the method, unlocking the bootloader erases all data from the phone. Therefore, back up everything before starting the procedure.

Now, let’s look at how to unlock the bootloader in a few ways.

1. ADB and Fastboot

The ADB and Fastboot method is the default, with tools provided by Google. Works with most phones, but may not be recognized by some devices. The procedure is long, so follow the walkthrough calmly.

  1. In a browser (on your PC), go to developer.android.com;
  2. Download and unzip the ADB file package;
  3. On Android, open the Settings app and tap “About phone”;
  4. Tap “Software Info”;
  5. Tap the Build Number (or Build Number) repeatedly
    until your phone tells you that you are now a developer;
  6. Return to the main Settings screen;
  7. Tap on “Developer/Developer Options”;
    On some devices, the option is within the “System” menu;
  8. Turn on the “USB Debugging” switch and tap “OK”;
  9. Return to your PC, click on the Windows 10 search field and type “PowerShell” (without quotes);
  10. Right-click on “Windows PowerShell” and then “Run as administrator”;
  11. Connect your phone to PC via USB cable;
  12. If a message appears to allow USB debugging by the computer, check the box and tap “OK”;
  13. Type the command  adb reboot bootloader and hit “Enter” to restart the phone in Fastboot mode;
  14. Type the command fastbook oem unlockand hit “Enter”;
  15. The phone will display a message requesting confirmation of the process;
  16. Use the volume buttons to navigate to the “Yes” option and press the “Power” button to confirm.

And ready.

2. For Motorola phones

Motorola attaches the unlocking of their phones to a unique key, linked to the ID of each device. To get it, you need to request it from the manufacturer. You will also need ADB on your computer, as in the previous method.

  1. Visit support.motorola.com/us/en/ and click “Continue Anyway”;
  2. Log in with your Motorola account or create a new one;
  3. Repeat steps 1 through 13 of the previous method until you restart your phone in Fastboot mode;
  4. Type the command fastbook oem get_unlock_dataand hit “Enter”;
  5. A long string of numbers of 5 lines will be displayed. It is the mobile phone ID;
  6. Copy the string numbers, without spaces or words like “info” and “bootloader”, in the order they were displayed on the screen;
  7. Paste the string into the “Make sure your device is unlockable” field on the Motorola page;
  8. Click on “Can my device be unlocked?”;
  9. Accept the Motorola terms of agreement and click “Request Unlock Key”;
  10. The unlock key will be sent to your Motorola registered email, copy it;
  11. Return to PowerShell, type the command fastbook oem unlock unlock_key and hit “Enter”.

And ready.

3. For Samsung phones

Most Samsung phones today come with an option to unlock the factory bootloader, accessible through developer mode:

  1. On Android, open the Settings app and tap “About phone”;
  2. Tap “Software Info”;
  3. Tap the Build Number repeatedly
    until your phone tells you that you are now a developer;
  4. Return to the main Settings screen;
  5. Tap on “Developer/Developer Options”;
    On some devices, the option is within the “System” menu;
  6. Tap Unlock OEM and confirm;
  7. Turn off your phone, turn it back on in Download Mode and connect it to your PC via USB cable.
    Depending on the device, the button combination can be “Power Button + Volume Down” or “Bixby Button + Volume Down”;
  8. Press and hold the Volume Up button until the screen changes to the unlock bootloader option;
  9. Press the Volume Up button and the bootloader will be unlocked.

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