If you want to unlock bootloader on your device and root your device, then the first thing you should do is to enable the OEM Unlock option on your Android device. In this guide, learn about OEM Unlocking and how to enable the same on your Android device.
Android has become the most used operating system in the world, thanks to its open-source nature. Over the years, Android has grown very powerful such that OEMs are now including eve Desktop modes in Android devices. One of the many reasons why people love Android is because of the fact that you can customize Android to your heart’s content. Nowadays, Android manufacturers also including theming options on Android devices. You can change the launcher, icon packs, wallpapers, lockscreen, and much more. But all these are cosmetic customizations. But, what if you are a power user? And want to take full control of your device at the core software level? Then you are required to unlock the bootloader on your Android device.
Now, this is not needed for most people and that is the reason why Android does not provide these capabilities to all users out of the box. Added to that, changing things at the OS level can also have drastic results if something goes wrong. So, if you want to customize your device such as installing custom ROMs, custom Kernels, custom Recoveries, etc, then you first need to unlock the bootloader of your device. And to unlock the bootloader, you need to enable OEM Unlock option on your device.
What is OEM Unlock?
OEM Unlocking on Android is an option that needs to be enabled in the ‘Developer Options’ settings of the device, in order to unlock the bootloader. This option also called as “OEM Unlock”, was first introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop by Google.
So, what really happens when you enable OEM unlocking on your Android device? Simple – the “unlock_ability” flag is set to “1” when you enable OEM unlocking. By default, the value for this flag will be “0” out of the box when you buy the device. Please note that this flag will stay “1” until you manually turn it off which means that this setting is persistent across reboots and data wipes.
Because this option is only intended for advanced users, you cannot find this option straightaway when you buy a new Android device. It is tucked under a setting called “Developer options” which by itself is hidden. We shall see how to enable this in the next section.
Backup your device!
While enabling the OEM unlocking option will not wipe the data on your device, unlocking the bootloader will. If you are enabling the OEM unlocking, you will most probably proceed to unlock bootloader on your device. That is why we highly recommend to backup your Android device before proceeding further.
How to Enable OEM Unlocking on Android Devices
Step 1: Enable Developer Options
The OEM Unlock option is under a setting called “Developer options” which is by default hidden when you buy an Android device. We first have to enable Developer options settings to proceed further.
- Go to Settings > About Phone.
- Look for an option called Build number. In some devices, this may be found under a setting called Software information.
- Once you find that option, keep tapping on the Build number option repeatedly until you see the text “You are now a developer“.
This means now you have enabled Developer Options on your device.
Step 2: Enable OEM Unlock on Android
- Go to Settings > System.
- Tap on “Developer options“.
- Scroll down till you see the option called “OEM Unlock“. You might be asked to enter your password/PIN if you had set one for your device.
- In the “Allow OEM unlocking?” popup that appears, simply tap on “Enable“.
That’s it; this is the easiest way to enable OEM Unlocking on Android devices.