The Linux platform based Android OS is really customizable and easy to use for any user or developer. Just like other devices, the Samsung Galaxy device bootloader runs when the device turns on. It decides whether to load the recovery or load Android OS. It packs the boot file, kernel, and system framework which helps to boot your device smoother and faster every time. Here in this article, we will share with you the steps on How to unlock bootloader on Samsung Galaxy Phones in a couple of methods.
If you’re getting bored of the old stock UI or recovery and want a new custom recovery or flashing a Custom Firmware or Root your handset, unlocking the device bootloader is the first preference. Without bootloader unlocking, you really can’t proceed to the next steps. The smartphone OEMs don’t provide an unlocked device bootloader due to device security or privacy concerns. But if you’re an advanced user or a developer, you can unlock it accordingly. Please note that unlocking the device bootloader may void the device warranty (if applicable).
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Bootloader?
- 2 What is Bootloader Unlock?
- 3 Advantages of Unlocking Bootloader
- 4 Disadvantages of Unlocking Bootloader
- 5 What is Fastboot?
- 6 New Method: Steps to Unlock Bootloader on Samsung device
- 7 Method 1: Steps to Unlock Bootloader on Samsung Galaxy Phones Without PC (Recommended)
- 8 Method 2: Steps to Unlock Bootloader on Samsung Galaxy Phones via PC (ADB & Fastboot)
What is Bootloader?
A device bootloader is a code or a program that starts when the device powered on in order to choose and run the operating system on our device every time we boot our handset. It basically tells the operating system and kernel to whether to run the recovery mode or initiate the boot process in the system. It’s also worth mentioning that the device bootloader can be found on each and every operating system running devices or gadgets like smartphones, tablets, PC, etc.
Due to Android’s open-source nature, it’s quite easy to unlock the device bootloader. By unlocking it, you will be able to flash any third-party Custom ROM, Root, Mod files, Custom Recovery, and more. This will give simple access to you to tweak your Android device. Similarly, you can even lock the bootloader.
What is Bootloader Unlock?
A Bootloader is usually locked on an Android device due to system security or privacy-related measures. As the Android OS is an open-source platform and anyone can do anything with it, the smartphone OEMs always want to stick to their skin and OS version that is specially developed and designed for their own device models. That’s why most of the OEMs don’t provide an unlocked bootloader out-of-the-box.
Unlocking the device bootloader open the gateway for the Android device users towards its unlimited possibilities of customizations and other features. It’s also worth mentioning that the stock firmware is limited with customizations and users may not play with it deeply. Whereas after unlocking the device bootloader, users can easily flash the custom firmware, custom recovery file, install root access, third-party modules, and more. So, it’s always necessary to unlock the bootloader if you’ve made up your mind to flash custom files.
Advantages of Unlocking Bootloader
- Flash Custom ROMs
- Install a Custom Recovery (TWRP)
- Install Root access (SuperSU or Magisk)
- Some OEMs are already providing a bootloader unlocking method or tool
Disadvantages of Unlocking Bootloader
- By unlocking the device bootloader, your device warranty may void
- You may not experience the similar device performance
- Improper bootloader unlocking may end with a bootloop or brick your device
- Handset privacy or security measures may get affected
- Bootloader unlocking method will delete all the device data completely
What is Fastboot?
Fastboot is a useful command-based tool that works only in the bootloader or fastboot mode. It offers to flash fastboot files or image files easily on your handset. You can recover stock recovery, unlock the bootloader, reset phone data, and more by a bunch of commands.
By just opening your device in fastboot mode and connecting it with your PC, put specific commands and enjoy the changes. It’s worth mentioning that the Fastboot tool and method is very simple and easy to use. You just need to follow the specific commands step-by-step in order to get results.
- You will require a PC or Laptop and a USB cable for this.
- Keep your device charged at least up to 60% before doing anything.
- Download the ADB and Fastboot Tools on your PC and install it for Windows | Mac.
- Make sure to take a complete backup of your device (No Root).
Updated on September 23, 2020: This guide also supports the latest Galaxy Note 20 series and S20 Series which came out with Android 10.
Updated on February 28, 2020: For devices that came out of the box with Android 9.0 Pie, we have added a new method to unlock the bootloader. This method works on the Samsung Galaxy S10 series, Note 10 series, M series, and A series.
New Method: Steps to Unlock Bootloader on Samsung device
This method works only on devices that came out of the box with Android 9.0 Pie or above.
- First of all, Enable Developer Mode
- Launch the Settings application
- Scroll down and tap on the Developer Options option
- Toggle the OEM Unlock option on
- Confirm by tapping the enable option.
- Power off your device. Press Bixby + Volume Down and plug in your device to a PC to boot into download mode
- Long press volume up to unlock the bootloader. This will wipe your data and automatically reboot
Note:Unlocking bootloader will wipe all your data from your device. Make sure to take a complete backup of your phone before doing the next step.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wgjUayOMMo
- Just when you think the bootloader is unlocked, surprise surprise, it is actually not! Samsung introduced in
VaultKeeperthe system, meaning the bootloader will reject any unofficial partitions before explicitly
- Go through the initial setup. Skip through all the steps since data will be wiped again later when we are installing Magisk. Connect the device to the internet in the setup, though!
- Enable developer options, and confirm that the OEM unlocking option exists and grayed out! The
VaultKeeperservice will unleash the bootloader after it proves that the user has the OEM unlocking option enabled. This step is to make sure the service gets the correct info, and also double-check that our device is in a correct state
- Your bootloader now accepts unofficial images in download mode, a.k.a actual bootloader unlocked :D. Follow on to read the rest of this guide.
- That’s it! You have unlocked the bootloader on your device.
Method 1: Steps to Unlock Bootloader on Samsung Galaxy Phones Without PC (Recommended)
If your Samsung Galaxy handset runs on MediaTek chipsets or Qualcomm or Exynos processors in Asia or Europe or China region, it’s quite easy to unlock the device bootloader or enable OEM Unlock.
- First, enable the Developer options on your Galaxy device.
- Go to the phone Settings menu.
- Scroll down to the bottom part and tap on the About Phone section > tap on Build Number for 7 times continuously.
- Then go back to the main Settings menu again and scroll down a little bit.
- Tap on the Developer options > turn on the toggle OEM Unlock.
- You’re done. Enjoy!
Method 2: Steps to Unlock Bootloader on Samsung Galaxy Phones via PC (ADB & Fastboot)
Some times, the device manufacturer doesn’t allow to unlock the device bootloader easily. You may have to get permission and get the code from your manufacturer at first. However, if you get the code, follow the steps mentioned below:
- Enable Developer options and OEM Unlock at first on your handset. Already mentioned in method 1.
- Then you need to enable the USB Debugging as well from the Developer options to connect with your PC.
- Download and extract the Download ADB & Fastboot zip file on your Windows PC and install it.
- Connect your phone to the PC via the USB cable.
- Once the device is connected, switch off your phone and open the fastboot mode.
- Now, go to the ADB & Fastboot folder on your PC, press Shift Key + Right Mouse Click on a blank area to open the Windows command prompt.
- Type the following command in CMD:
- You may get a pop up to allow USB Debugging on your phone. Just tap on OK button.
- Type the next command below and hit enter:
adb reboot bootloader
- Now, your phone reboots into bootloader mode, check if your phone is showing the locked bootloader or not. If yes, then type and press enter the below command:
- Your device fastboot number will appear on the ADB & Fastboot screen. That means you’re ready to proceed. If not, then try the process again properly.
- Once your phone is recognized follow the next command:
fastboot oem unlock
- You’re done. To reboot your device into the main system, type the following command and hit enter button:
- Finally, your phone will reboot into the system. Wait for the complete boot process.
We assume that this guide will help you a lot and you’ve successfully unlocked the Samsung Galaxy device bootloader. If you’re facing any issues, feel free to ask in the comments below.
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