If you want to root your Android phone, you must first unlock the bootloader. Don’t worry, unlocking the bootloader is easier than you may think. On most devices, manufacturers put locks on the bootloader to prevent the user from tampering with it. Your phone probably does have a locked bootloader; hence you are reading this page. The guide on this page will show you the manufacturer’s way to unlock bootloaders on any Android phone.
Part 1. What is bootloader on Android, and how it works?
what is bootloader
The bootloader is a code that is triggered every time you power on an Android phone. It issues your device commands on how to get to the home screen. Bootloaders are not limited to only Android smartphones; devices such as tablets, computers, and iPhones also have bootloaders. It is only linked to Android much because Android users continuously need to unlock bootloaders to root their devices.
How it works
When you switch on your Android phone, for the device to start up, a code confirms the upload request. If the code returns results that there really is an upload request, it sends the program to the phone’s flash memory. This piece of code that triggers the entire booting process is the bootloader.
What is the purpose of a bootloader?
The main job of a bootloader is to allow users to update the device firmware via USB interfaces. Android manufacturers lock the bootloaders of devices to prevent the users from tampering with it or installing a different operating system on the smartphone. Some other manufacturers do not bother to lock theirs, however, and so these are easier to root than the locked bootloaders because you don’t need to unlock the bootloader.
what happens if I unlock the bootloader?
Unlocking your bootloader opens the possibilities for the user to get root access to the Android device. You can now customize your smartphone user experience however you deem fit. When you unlock the bootloader, you can install custom ROMs, uninstall built-in apps, etc. Also, note that you will lose any warrant you have the moment you unlock your bootloader.
Part 2 How to Unlock bootloader on Android?
Step 1: Check if your phone is allowed to unlock
First and foremost, not every device’s bootloader can be unlocked. Some manufacturers or phone models do not support this. For devices that cannot be unlocked officially, Android engineers have to find loopholes to exploit and make the bootloader unlock possible. To confirm if your phone will let you unlock its bootloader, visit the XDA Developers website.
Step 2: Back Up Everything Valuable
Knowing that unlocking your bootloader wipes your device, the first step to take should be to back up your important files and data. Copy your files to a computer, export the application settings, and save them on backup files on your PC also.
Step 3: Install the Android SDK and Phone Drivers
After backing up your phone, you are now almost set to unlock the bootloader. The next thing you should do when you unlock bootloaderis to install the Android SDK (software development kit) and the device drivers on your computer. For this, you need a command-line program, an Android Debug Bridge, and a reliable USB cable. Here is how to install the Android SDK and drivers.
- Visit the Android SDK website to download it. Under “SDK Tools Only,” find and download the ZIP file related to your platform. After this, unzip the archive to the location in which you want to save the data.
- Next, open the SDK Manager. Uncheck all the options here except “Android SDK Platform-tools.” Nexus phone owners can make use of the “Google USB Driver” downloadable from Google.
- On completion of the installation, close the SDK Manager.
- To install your device’s USB drivers, visit the phone manufacturer’s website and get it from the “Downloads” section.
- Finally, you may need to reboot your computer to finish the installations.
Step 4: Enable USB Debugging
Open the Settings app and tap on the “About phone” option. Find the “Build Number” and tap on the test seven times. On the seventh tap, the phone will notify you that you are not a developer.
Next, go back to the first Settings screen and select “For Developers.” Tap the “Unlock OEM” option (absent on some models), and then switch on “USB debugging.”Next, connect your device to the computer via a USB. If the phone asks you if you wish to allow USB debugging, accept it.
Step 5: Unlock the phone
You are now ready to unlock bootloader. First, if your phone is in Fastboot mode, you have to run a command. Power off the device, and before turning it back on, press and hold the Power and Volume down buttons for a couple of seconds. Once you release these buttons, the phone will boot in Fastboot mode.
HTC phones may need you to select “Fastboot” using the power button. Go to your computer and open the folder names “Platform-tools” located in the “Android SDK folder.” Next, hold shift, right-click in the folder, and select “Open Command Window.” Now, enter the unlocking code supplied by your device manufacturer to finalize the unlock bootloader process.
Part 3 How to remove any lock on Android phone completely
The process of unlocking bootloaders Android devices varies from device to device, and you may have to research the specific code to use. If you want to unlock your phone without that much hassle, you may want to use the desktop program called iMyFone LockWiper (Android). This application is used for wiping locks from Android devices; it can remove screen locks, FRP locks, Google locks, and even unlock your bootloader. It’s powerful but quite simple to use. You don’t have to take our word for it; check out some of the most crucial features below.
- It is fully compatible with Android devices of all models. LockWiper (Android) is tested to work on more than 6000 Android devices.
- It unlocks your bootloader instantly even if you do not know the device’s password, and the process is safe as the program does not share your data with a third-party.
- The bootloader unlocking process is simple with LockWiper (Android). It is beginner-friendly, and you will find it straightforward, even if it is your first time unlocking a bootloader.
- It works on all Android operating system editions perfectly.
How to unlock your bootloader using iMyFone LockWiper (Android)
- Download iMyFone LockWiper (Android) and Launch the application and select the “Remove Screen Lock” mode. After, connect your phone to the PC with a USB cable.
- Confirm your device information with the dropdown menus on the following screen and click “Start to unlock.” LockWiper (Android) will now download unto your phone the data package for unlocking the bootloader.
- Following the on-screen instruction, remove the bootloader from your device.
Where is the bootloader stored?
The bootloader is a code that helps in starting up. It resides within the “/boot” partition of your phone memory.
Does unlocking bootloader delete everything?
Unfortunately, yes. When you unlock your Android device bootloader, the operation deletes every information on the device and returns your phone to factory settings. This is why it is best to unlock bootloader immediately you purchase your phone.
Can I unlock the bootloader without a PC?
Although XDA Developers recommend that you use a PC, you can also unlock your phone’s bootloader without one. A recommended tool for this is Cyanogenmod.
Does kingroot unlock bootloader?
While Kingroot is excellent for easily rooting your phone, it does not unlock bootloaders. You would need a separate tool for unlocking the bootloader before using Kingroot to root your phone.
What is OEM lock on Android?
OEM (original equipment manufacturer) is used for setting your bootloader in a security mode that does not allow you to overwrite your recovery image.
What does OEM unlock do?
An OEM unlock could be explained in geeky terms, but it’s easier to look at OEM unlock as synonymous with a bootloader unlock. You need to do this before attempting to root your device, or it will fail.
Are you fed up with the customization options of your Android device and want more? More in terms of not only looks but also power and functionality? Then you have to root it. To root the Android smartphone, you must first unlock its bootloader. Hopefully, this guide has shown you how to unlock bootloaders, and generally all you need to know about them.