For those of you who want to root and install custom ROMs on your Motorola Android smartphone, you will first need to unlock the bootloader. Unlocking bootloader allows you to install custom recovery like ClockworkMod (CWM) or TWRP recovery, both which can root your Motorola device and also let you install custom ROMs.
This method will work on most Motorola Android smartphones like Moto X (1st & 2nd gen), Moto G (1st & 2nd gen, not for AT&T or Verizon though), Moto E, Moto X/Droid Maxx (Developer Edition), Photo Q 4G LTE, Droid Razr M/HD, Razr i, Atrix HD (Developer Edition), Electrify M, and future devices that support Motorola’s bootloader unlocking website.
For Moto X users, if you have AT&T or Verizon, you won’t be able to use this method as AT&T and Verizon have locked bootloader (because they don’t like you playing with your own phone that you already paid full price for).
So, if you have a device that supports bootloader unlocking (and even if you don’t you can try it and find out if it’s unlockable or not), let’s go ahead and unlock the bootloader.
I will be using a Moto X 2nd generation but the instructions are identical for all Motorola phones.
You can use Windows, Mac, or Linux to do this. I made the video tutorial for Windows but you can use the provided slight-change in code for Mac or Linux.
UNLOCKING BOOTLOADER WILL ERASE EVERYTHING ON YOUR PHONE!!! – PLEASE BACKUP ALL YOUR PERSONAL PHOTOS/VIDEOS/FILES BEFORE PRECEDING!!!
Step 1. Power off your Motorola smartphone then hold down Volume Down and Power buttons together for about 10 seconds.
Step 2. Let go of the buttons and you should see a character-based fastboot menu. This is called fastboot menu/mode.
Step 3. Connect a micro-USB cable from your Motorola phone to your computer.
Step 4. For Mac OSX or Linux, skip to Step 6. If you have Windows, open Device Manager and check that you have “Motorola ADB Interface”. If you don’t have it, install Motorola USB drivers and unplug/replug your micro-USB cable.
Step 5. Next, download fastboot.zip and unzip. You should get a folder called “fastboot” in your Downloads directory.
This has all the files you need for all Windows, Mac or Linux. You DO NOT need to waste your precious time downloading and installing the whole Android SDK which can take hours.
Step 6. Open a terminal for Mac/Linux or open a command prompt for Windows then type:
fastboot oem get_unlock_data
For Mac OSX:
chmod 755 *
./fastboot-mac oem get_unlock_data
chmod 755 *
sudo ./fastboot-linux oem get_unlock_data
Copy the numbers and letters outputted then paste onto Notepad or your favorite text editor.
Step 7. Get rid of any whitespaces and make the letters/numbers into one line of code.
Then copy it into your clipboard. (Ctrl+c)
Step 8. Go to Motorola Bootloader Unlocking website. You may have to sign up for an account or you can also sign in with your Google account.
Step 9. When you see Step 1 page, scroll down and click “Next”.
Step 10. On Step 2 page, scroll down and you should see a place where you can paste your code. Paste the code from Step 7 here then click “can my device be unlocked?”.
At this point, you can find out whether your Motorola device is unlockable or not.
Step 11. If your Motorola device is unlockable, you will see “Request Unlock Key” button appear at bottom. Click on it!
Step 12. Check your e-mail inbox, your unlock code should have arrived. Copy this to your clipboard.
Step 13. Next type:
fastboot oem unlock PasteYourUnlockCodeHERE
For Mac OSX:
./fastboot-mac oem unlock PasteYourUnlockCodeHERE
sudo ./fastboot-linux oem unlock PasteYourUnlockCodeHERE
Step 14. Goto your Motorola device, it should unlock!
Yey, you’ve successfully unlocked your bootloader!
Step 15. Your phone should reboot and your Motorola smartphone is like the day you bought it but with bootloader unlocked!
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