How to Unlock Bootloader using Fastboot on Android

by | December 11, 2019

In this guide, we will show you how to unlock the bootloader of your device using the ‘fastboot oem unlock‘ command. Once you unlock bootloader of your Android device, you would be able to root, install custom ROMs, and custom recovery on your Android device.

Unlock-Bootloader-Android

Steps to Unlock Bootloader on Android using Fastboot

Step 1. Backup your Android device

Unlocking the bootloader of your Android device will completely wipe out all the data on your device. All your apps, music, videos, app data, documents – everything will be completely wiped. Essentially, this will factory reset your device. It is recommended to backup all the data on your device before proceeding with the tutorial.

We have a detailed guide on how to properly take a full backup of your Android device. You shall refer to it if you want some guidance: How to Backup Android Device Completely

Step 2. Install ADB and Fastboot on your computer

In order to unlock the bootloader of your Android device, you must have ADB and Fastboot installed on your computer. These come as a part of Android SDK Platform tools. ADB and Fastboot provide a way for your computer to communicate with your Android device.

You can install ADB and Fastboot on your computer by following this guide: Download and Install ADB and Fastboot on Windows

Step 3. Enable USB Debugging & OEM Unlock

USB Debugging and OEM unlock options will be found under a setting called ‘Developer options’ which needs to be enabled to proceed.

» Enable Developer Options

The first step is to enable developer options on your Android device. For this, go to Settings > About Phone and look for an option called Build number. In some device, 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.

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Enable Developer Options

» Enable USB Debugging

Next, go to the main screen of the settings and look for an option called Developer options. In some devices, this may be found under another option called System or something similar.

Inside Developer options, scroll down until you find the Enable USB Debugging option. When you find it, tap on it and enable the same.

» Enable OEM Unlock on Android

  1. Go to Settings > System.
  2. Tap on “Developer options“.
  3. 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.
  4. In the “Allow OEM unlocking?” popup that appears, simply tap on “Enable“.
  5. Done.

Step 4: [Optional] Get OEM Unlock Code From Your Device Manufacturer

Some of the manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola, and Sony require you to enter an authorization code in order to unlock the bootloader on their devices. These codes can be obtained from the official portals of the respective OEMs.

You can get the OEM Unlock Code by visiting the appropriate link of your device manufacturer:

Step 5: Boot Android into Bootloader/Fastboot Mode

To unlock the bootloader on your Android device, you first need to boot it into the Bootloader mode, also called Fastboot mode. You can usually reboot your Android device into fastboot mode by pressing a key combination. The problem is, the key combination varies from manufacturer to manufacturer or even from device to device in some manufacturers such as Samsung. If you know the key combination, you may use it and reboot your Android into fastboot mode.

If you do not know the key combination to reboot your device into fastboot mode, you can use the below steps which will work universally on all Android devices:

  1. Go to the folder where ADB and Fastboot drivers are installed on your computer.
  2. Open a command prompt from inside this folder. To do this: Hold down Shift Key and Right-click on the empty space inside the folder and then select ‘Open command window here‘ or ‘Open PowerShell window here‘.
  3. Connect your Android device to your computer.
  4. Make sure the device is unlocked and the screen is lit.
  5. Run the following command in the command prompt or PowerShell window:
    adb devices
  6. Once you run the above command, you should now get a prompt on your Android device asking if you want to allow USB Debugging. Tap on ‘Always allow from this computer’ and press OK.

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    Allow USB Debugging

  7. Once the above step is complete, you should see your device is listed in the command prompt.
  8. Next, execute the following command to reboot your Android into bootloader/fastboot mode:
    adb reboot bootloader
  9. Done. Now your device should reboot into bootloader mode on your Android device.

Step 6: Unlock bootloader using Fastboot Command

  1. Make sure your device is bootloader/fastboot mode.
  2. Execute the below command to unlock the bootloader on your device:
    fastboot oem unlock

    If the above command doesn’t work, you’re probably having a Nexus/Pixel device or an older Android device. In such case, try the below command:
    fastboot flashing unlock

  3. Once the command is executed, you would be asked to give your confirmation on your Android device’s screen to unlock the bootloader.
  4. Use the Volume buttons to highlight ‘Unlock the Bootloader’, ‘Yes’ or any similar option and use the Power button to confirm the selection.
  5. Once your bootloader is unlocked, your device will automatically reboot normally. And if it doesn’t, execute the below command:
    fastboot reboot

Now, you have successfully unlocked the bootloader on your Android device. This process will take some time; please be patient. When your device boots after the process, it will take time to boot and it is expected. Once the device boots, you will notice that all your data is wiped and your device is factory reset; proceed with the setup!

Now that you have unlocked your Android device, you can install TWRP on your device or even root your Android device with Magisk.

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An engineer by day and a blogger by night, Vish is passionate about all things tech. His day starts with a hot cup of coffee and a few crunchy bytes of tech news and ends with him falling asleep in front of his laptop while authoring tech content, with F.R.I.E.N.D.S. playing in the background.

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