What is a Bootloader?
Why is Bootloader Locked?
A bootloader is usually locked on an Android device because although it’s an open source OS, still the manufacturers want you to stick to their Android OS version specifically designed for the device. In order to apply this concept, manufacturers lock the bootloader. With a locked bootloader on Android devices, it is virtually impossible to flash a Custom ROM and forced attempts void warranty as well as usually end up in bricks. Therefore, the first step is to always unlock the bootloader.
Why To Unlock Bootloader On Android Devices?
How To Unlock Bootloade
Before attempting this guide to unlock your bootloader, please note that this is intended for Android phone with STOCK ANDROID OS ONLY. We will be using a Google Nexus One as our reference because it comes with zero user interface alteration from it’s manufacturer. If you are looking to unlock bootloaders on handsets which already have a custom UI from manufacturers installed like HTC Sense, Samsung TouchWiz etc, then this guide won’t be applicable.
Step-1 The first step is download and install Android SDK as instructed in this post.
Once you are done with downloading and installing SDK, turn off your device and boot in bootloader mode:
- On Nexus One, press and hold the power button and trackball.
- On Nexus S, press and hold the volume-up and power buttons.
- On Galaxy Nexus, press and hold volume-up, volume-down and power buttons.
- On Nexus 4, press and hold volume-down and power buttons.
- On Nexus 7, press and hold volume-down and power buttons.
- On Nexus 10, press and hold volume-up, volume-down and power buttons.
Step-3 Now go to command prompt / terminal interface on your computer and type following command:
fastboot oem unlock
Step-4 Once this is done, your phone will show a screen that will prompt you regarding unlocking bootloader. Read through the instructions carefully and confirm by pressing volume up button followed by the power button.
There you go! You now have your bootloader on your Nexus Android device unlocked.