How to Unlock Bootloader on Android! [Android Root 101 #1]

Want to root your Android smartphone or tablet?  Want to install TWRP recovery and enjoy loads of custom ROMs available today for your Android device?  Well, if so, in this tutorial I show you how to do exactly that starting with unlocking the bootloader.  Before you can install TWRP recovery or install custom ROMs on your Android device, you will have to unlock the bootloader in most cases.

NOTE: Unlocking bootloader will ERASE EVERYTHING ON YOUR ANDROID!  Backup anything important before preceding, you have been warned!

This tutorial is part of the Android Root 101 series, if you want to learn about Android root and custom ROMs check out the whole Android Root 101 Series here.

NOTE: This is part of HighOnAndroid “Android Root 101” series.

Which devices are supported by this Bootloader Unlock Method?

Now, this bootloader unlocking method will work for all Android devices except for the following:

  • Samsung devices that can be rooted have unlocked bootloader so you can skip this step.  Newer Snapdragon U.S. models on Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S8, S8 Plus, Note 8, S9, and S9 Plus all have locked bootloaders and there is NO WAY to unlock the bootloader on those.  However, you can get the Exynos international models which have unlocked bootloaders.
  • Most LG, HTC, Huawei, Motorla, and Xiaomi devices require the user to get unlock code through their website to unlock the bootloader, see below for brand-specific guides:

If you have….

Android devices guaranteed to work on:

  • Google devices like any Google Nexus or Pixel devices including Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL and any other Google devices are supported.
  • All OnePlus devices are supported including OnePlus One, OnePlus Two, OnePlus 3/3T, OnePlus 5/5T, OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T, OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus 7T.
  • Any other generic Android devices most likely use this bootloader unlock method such as budget Android smartphones, tablets, or no-brand Android devices.

Step 1. Go into Settings->About Phone and tap on the “Build number” about 5 times.

You should see a message similar to, “You are now a developer” or “Developer mode has been turned ON”.

Step 2. Tap on back button once(or twice) and you should see a new menu option called, “Developer options”, tap on that.

For newer Android 10 devices like Pixel phones, go to Settings->System->Advanced and you will see “Developer options.”

Step 3. In “Developer Options” menu, make sure “OEM Unlocking” is checked ON.  Now, some of the older Android devices may not have this option.  If you don’t see the option anywhere, you can skip this step.

Step 4. Download fastboot.zip and ADB Drivers(for Windows, no drivers needed for Mac or Linux).

Download fastboot.zip & ADB Drivers (https://highonandroid.com/fastboot-zip-android-usb-drivers/)

Once fastboot.zip has been downloaded, unzip/extract all files to “fastboot” folder in your “Downloads” directory.

Step 5. If using Windows, run the ADB Driver program you just downloaded.  This will work for all Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10.  For Mac or Linux, you can skip this step.

You can verify that your drivers are working correctly by going into your Windows Device Manager and you should see something like, “Android ADB Interface”.  In my case, it says, “Google Nexus ADB Interface”.  If you don’t see it after installing drivers, try unplugging the USB cable from your Android device and plugging it back in.

Step 6. Go to your Android device immediately and a pop-up window should appear, make sure to tap on “OK” if you see “Allow USB debugging”.  This is so you can use ADB commands to your Android device which we will be doing.

Step 7. For Windows, open a command prompt by typing “cmd” in the Windows search bar.  For Mac or Linux, open a terminal.  If you don’t know how to do this, you can Google it.

Next type the following.

For Windows:
cd Downloads
cd fastboot
adb reboot bootloader

Note: “Downloads” folder is the default download folder for most computers. If yours is different, type that instead here.

For Mac:
cd Downloads
cd fastboot
chmod 755 *
./adb-mac reboot bootloader

Note: The “chmod” command is required to change file permissions on both Mac or Linux before you can execute them.

For Linux:
cd Downloads
cd fastboot
chmod 755 *
sudo ./adb-linux reboot bootloader

Note: The “sudo” is required if you are running your Linux system as a user.  You can also simply type, “sudo -i” to enter root mode then you don’t have to type sudo in front.

Step 8. Next we will unlock the bootloader with the command, “fastboot oem unlock” OR “fastboot flashing unlock”.  It doesn’t hurt to try either but one of them will unlock the bootloader.  This is due to the newer fastboot commands on newer phones.

So type the following.

For Windows:
fastboot oem unlock
or
fastboot flashing unlock

For Mac:
./fastboot-mac oem unlock
or
./fastboot-mac flashing unlock

For Linux:
sudo ./fastboot-linux oem unlock
or
sudo ./fastboot-linux flashing unlock

You should see a message on your Android device asking to “Unlock bootloader”.  Use the volume keys to select “Yes” then hit the Power button and this will unlock your Android.

Your Android device should reboot but if it doesn’t use the bootloader menus and select, “Start” to reboot your Android.

Step 9. Wait for about 5-10 minutes for your Android device to boot fully.

Step 10. You should see a welcome screen just like the first day you got your Android device.  Congratulations, you have successfully unlocked the bootloader, ready to root your Android!

What next?

You should now be able to easily install TWRP recovery and root your device using Magisk.  I should have that tutorial up soon!

This tutorial is part of the Android Root 101 series, if you want to learn about Android root and custom ROMs check out the whole Android Root 101 Series here.

43 Responses

  1. Naman says:

    Sir does the samsung galaxy grand 2 sm g7102 have unlocked bootloader??
    Waiting for your reply sir.

  2. Michael Dawai says:

    Hi,
    Please help me unlock bootloader for Huawei fig-lx1 pie 9.1 in 2019 I tried with Huawei DC Bootloader unlock codes but my device is not listed and server error is shown when you try to login.

    • Pj says:

      Sure how to unlock bootloader S7 edge ATT?

    • Rob says:

      Mine is greyed out on the OEM unlock it’s fresh out of box haven’t connected to WiFi or used my old sim what’s the work arounf

      • Lioneye says:

        have a pixel 4 a friend gave me it was his work phone from google.
        I am stuck trying to get the OEM unlock to check. its grayed out.
        its not a virizon model because it says Esim on the box and was told that means it’s a google fi phone. It’s managed by a admin. I want to unlock bootloader and flash a new Rom so I can use the phone. at this point I can not log in to my google account and the phone turns off after an hour of not being logged in to an @google.com account. any help would be greatly appreciated

  3. Sian says:

    Dear Lee,

    I just purchased Huawei Y9 Prime (STS-L21) and found that its bootloader can’t be unlocked.

    Do you kindly have any possible solution?

    Regards

    • Jyt says:

      I have a samsung j3 sky and i cant use any methods to root it that require usb because my port is broken is there a way to do this without it

  4. khursheed says:

    Hi, sir i have huawei honor 4c CHM-U01 kitkat 4.4.2 I unlock bootloader to shown your method but my phone is not unlocked please help me to unlock bootloader of my phone 4c thanks

  5. Gary Roberts says:

    hey partner. axia qs5509a will go as far as the cmd to go into flashboot mode, and instead it just restarts itself. am i one of the unlucky ones with the raggedy budget phone? thanks, man

  6. jey says:

    Does it work on Lg Stylo 4

  7. paul says:

    hi
    have a doogee x70
    on the dive manager the phone show but not the ADB Interface so cmd is not working

  8. Gleydson says:

    friend sorry for the inconvenience, but please would you help me have an essential phone he updated to version 9 of android and was locked in the initial logo, already tried to return to version 8 but can not help me

  9. dyto says:

    lg h845 is not supported devices at lg official page, so how to unlock bootloader lg h845?

  10. DJ says:

    Damn it!! Oh well: I bricked it.

  11. DJ says:

    This method keeps ‘killing’ my tablet’s power (sorry, my mistake the first time I tried it. I thought I bricked it.) I have just tried it again and got the same results–only this time it either killed the power, or it bricked it. I should say that I got my tablet from (a BIG MISTAKE) a Chinese seller on AliExpress who used android modifying software to change the specs.

  12. Onesmus says:

    Unlock bootloader for infinix hot note clone android 5.1.0

  13. MS says:

    Getting the error “no devices/emulators found” when given the command adb reboot bootloader. I have installed the UniversalAdbDriverSetup

  14. Patrick Caballero says:

    Thank you for your service. You saved me a lot of work trying to root a Samsung S7 Sprint American. I was hoping that someone has figured out how to do it. I just don’t think it will ever be cracked.

  15. cutemon cutemin says:

    Does vivo and oppo devices supports this unlocking method??

  16. Gg says:

    not working for huawei y5 2019

  17. Matt says:

    None of this works for OPPO phones.

  18. MD. SHAMSUZZAMAN says:

    sorry bro its not working in my huawei nova 3i ine-lx2
    it says
    FAILED (remote:check password failed! )

  19. JoeShen says:

    My phone is Motorola MT870, I can not unlock bootloader. Could you help me?

  20. KH says:

    Hi, I tried root my old oneplus one. After I finished the step ./fastboot-mac oem unlock, there is no message from my phone to ask to unlock bootloader. It just remained in fastboot mode. How can I solve it? The phone is still with CM12 which has not been updated for ages and it is stalled with TWRP 2.8. Can I just flash the rom using this version of TWRP? I really like to install Android onto this phone. Many thanks.

  21. Maaz says:

    Hi i have Huawei Mate 20 pro how can i unlock my bootloader please help

  22. Yogi says:

    Can you please do a full one detailed setup, I tried step by step. I am so hung up on step 7, I have windows 10 up to date. Saw nothing on my phone happen on my phone when I plug in my cable.

  23. Mike says:

    Hello Max, I read you list of phones that this will NOT work on, but have a question on what it will. Does this method work on an ATT Galaxy Note 4 SM-N910A with Android 6.0.1 OS ? I have rooted my old Note 2, but this looks and sounds more complicated than the Note 2, is it ? If it will NOT work on the Note 4, can you point me to one that will work from a trustworthy source ? Thank you for your time and help.

  24. Reality2020 says:

    Hi…is that way work for Huawei p30 pro?

  25. Jay says:

    Will this work on T-Mobile version of OnePlus 7 Pro?

  26. Detective_Khalifah says:

    Neither “fastboot oem unlock” nor “fastboot flashing unlock” work on Coolpad Mega 3 (3503I). What can I do?

  27. sumit says:

    sir,
    can you please tell the procedure for unlocking bootloader for vivo devices.
    For vivo v9

  28. Purushottam says:

    Nokia 6.1(2018) bootloader unlocking problem..

  29. Amirul says:

    I am using google pixel 2 and oem unlocking is greyed out. What should i do

  30. Zoski says:

    Hello I would like to ask if it is possible to unlock my bootloader
    My device is Huawei Y6s (JAT-L29)

  31. Agung says:

    Can i use this methide on samsung galaxy tab 3.7.0 sm-t116nu

  32. neeraj says:

    vivo v11 pro not to be bootumlocking

  33. Aidid says:

    How can i bootloader on vivo s1 pro

  34. Brandon says:

    What’s the best way to protect data on a phone with an unlocked bootloader?

  35. Anonymous457 says:

    is there a way to backup the EMMC using fastboot and twrp.img (i heard it on quora) and yes this is temporary since there is no flashing
    also how do you decrypt tablet

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Max Lee

Max Lee is the founder of HighOnAndroid.com. Max makes Android tutorials and review videos for people who want to get high on Android over at his YouTube channel and Korean YouTube channel.