How to Unlock an Android Bootloader

By Paul Higgins

Android is the name of a mobile operating system developed by Google Inc. which can be found on smartphones and tablet computers. Like other operating systems, Android uses a bootloader, which is a program that initializes the boot sequence. Unlocking the Android bootloader allows you to modify the operating system to, for example, install custom applications. You can unlock your Android device's bootloader by using specific software applications.

Step 1

Visit in your Web browser and download the latest version of the Android software development kit. Right-click on the downloaded ZIP archive and select "Extract here."

Step 2

Download the Fastboot utility from Extract the file contained in the archive in the "add-ons" folder that is inside the extracted Android SDK folder.

Step 3

Turn off your device. Turn it on while pressing the keys that enable the bootloader mode. Those keys are specific to your device. If you do not know which keys to press to enable bootloader mode on your device, refer to its documentation.

Step 4

Connect your Android device to a universal serial bus port on your computer.

Step 5

Open the Windows Start menu. Type "cmd" in the search field at the bottom of the menu and click on "Command line prompt." Using the command line prompt commands, navigate to the "add-ons" folder inside the Android SDK directory. The "cd" command allows you to change directories when using the command prompt. For example, to open a directory named "android", type "cd android".

Step 6

Enter "fastboot oem unlock" in the command line prompt window and press the Enter key. Your device will now display a message warning you about the potential issues associated with unlocking the bootloader. Tap on "Yes" if you wish to unlock the bootloader.

Tips & Warnings

  • Unlocking your Android device's bootloader may void its warranty.